When you hear the name Japan, what comes to your mind could be technological advancement and maybe some think of Toyota and Honda. Japan is one of the most beautiful Islands located furthest east of the Asian continent. It has a very rich history and culture with many iconic sights like Mount Fuji. It is also one of the largest economies in the world. I got to talk to Mr Tadakazu Kanno, Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Botswana to give us a preview of the ongoing exhibition.
Wada: Tell us about the ongoing exhibition?
Kanno: The Embassy of Japan in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport & Culture Development has an ongoing exhibition at the National Museum in Gaborone. The exhibition was officially opened by His Excellency, the Ambassador of Japan, Mr Kozo Takeda and Honorable Minister Tshekedi Khama, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport & Culture Development.
The exhibition was opened on the 23rd of April and will run until the 26th of May 2019. Everyone is welcome to visit the national museum to see the beautiful handicrafts of Tohuku. The exhibition is free and open to the public 7 days a week from 0730 hours to 1630 hours
W: What is the significance of the Exhibition?
K: You will recall that in 2011 Japan experienced an earthquake and Tsunami that devastated the whole country and shook the whole world. During this earthquake and tsunami, many lives and treasures were lost. This exhibition was specifically planned for the March 11 anniversary of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami. The disaster left damage and destruction and much was lost. Lots were lost in the manufacturing and handcraft culture.
The people of Tohoku came together to rebuild their lives and restore peace which is represented by this exhibition. It is also a reminder that even after such a tragedy there is life.
W: What should people expect when they go to the National Museum?
K: People should expect to find beautiful arts and craft from the beautiful Tohoku region. In the displays are various genres including works of ceramic, lacquerware, textiles, metal, wood and bamboo.
Furthermore, the work exhibited also shows some of the daily implements used dating back from ancient time. You will get to appreciate folk wisdom derived from people’s lives and the environment they live in.
W: How many countries has this exhibition reached so far?
K: This exhibition has been travelling around the world in countries that Japan has diplomatic relations with for quite sometime now. The exhibition takes about a month in the country before travelling to another country. Before coming to Botswana the exhibition was in Poland and will now be travelling to Croatia.
W: What can Batswana learn from this exhibition?
K: This exhibition gives Batswana and other communities an opportunity to see and appreciate genuine Japanese handicrafts without travelling to Japan. There are some beautiful bamboo baskets that are similar to what other Batswana are doing in the Northern part of Botswana. This also could be a chance to see how it is done by the people of Japan.
W: Which is the most treasured artifact and why?
K: We love all the pieces that are here, they all have their own exclusivity. However, we have two coloured paintings created by Shiko Munakata ‘The Cave in the lion’ created in 1953 as well as ‘An Eagle on the shore’ created in 1962.
These are the most treasured because of the depictions of the vital power of the humans and the awesome presence of divine entities. Mr Munakata loved painting from a young age and got his inspiration form the Van Gogh’s colours in sunflowers. He lived between 1903 and 1975.
We’d love to hear what you thought of the exhibition and if you snapped any photos. Please don’t forget to share this post so that others can hear about it.
If you’re looking for more things to do over the month of May have a look at our roundup of family-friendly events in Gaborone.
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