Jerusalem Celebrates Japanese Culture

Municipality to hold week-long events celebrating Japanese cuisine, martial arts, music and movies as two nations strengthen ties.

Ari Yashar ,

Mt. Fuji, symbol of Japan
Mt. Fuji, symbol of Japan
Flash 90

Following the Jewish High Holidays, Jerusalem will once again be awash in festive events - but not Jewish ones. The Municipality is planning to hold a special week of events honoring Japanese culture from October 19 to 25.

Israel has been growing increasingly close to Japan recently, in July becoming the first country Japan signed an Industrial R&D (Research and Development) Collaboration Agreement with. The relations are particularly important given Japan's advanced technology and strong economy, which is ranked third in the world in terms of GDP.

Celebrating the ties between the two countries, a broad range of traditional and modern aspects of Japanese culture will be on display in events featuring culinary and artistic experiences, as well as opportunities to learn Japanese martial arts.

The week-long events will be held on Emek Refa’im St., Park Hamesila, The First Train Station Complex and the Cinematheque.

Japanese Culture Week is part of a program by the Jerusalem Municipality and Israeli Cultural and Knowledge Promotion Center, which together with government ministries and embassies from both counties will hold an annual cultural week with a different country each year. Japan's selection as the first country may indicate the growing ties between the two countries.

Several Japanese artists will arrive to perform at the events, including legendary Sumo wrestler Konishiki, musician Mizaki Miako, and the Heavance Band.

Various restaurants and coffee shops in the areas around the events will be offering special Japanese dishes, and in addition there will be a tasting of the famous Japanese rice wine sake.

The Cinematheque will be screening Japanese films throughout the week in conjunction with expert lectures, and there will be numerous workshops and street performances, as well as a Hebrew-English-Japanese Karaoke competition and cosplay event to dress up as anime and video game characters.

"Jerusalem has become an international city over the past few years and its status as a cultural and sports capital has been well established," said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. "The Japanese Culture Week in the capital city is an additional event that reinforces the city as an international cultural center and provides a boost for the businesses operating within its boundaries."

Barkat continued "we are delighted to initiate this unique cultural tradition in the city. This year's festival is taking place following the Jewish New Year and will celebrate the unique Japanese culture. I invite all to come to Jerusalem to participate."