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Prague to host Japanese culture festival again after 15 years

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Prague, Nov 10 (CTK) – The Japan Week festival aimed at promoting traditional Japanese culture and intercultural understanding will host almost 1,300 Japanese artists, both professionals and amateurs, in Prague on November 18-23, Vit Spisek has told journalists on behalf of the organisers.

Within the festival, visitors may see the traditional Japanese way of tea preparation, fencing performances, puppet theatre, caligraphy and dance shows as well.

The festival has been organised after a pause of 15 years by the private International Friendship Foundation with the support of Prague. It has been organised for 31 years in different countries of the world.

The Prague City Hall will contribute by five million crowns to the event and the entrance to all performances will be free of charge, apart from those with a limited capacity, which need to be booked through the festival’s website

The programme will be launched on October 18 at 13:00 in the Old Town Square. Performances, exhibitions and workshops will take place in the Congress Centre, while concerts will be held in the Municipal House.

In his introduction of the programme, Spisek pointed out a Samurai show of the group Kamui, which created the complete fencing choreography for the Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill movie and whose head Tetsuro Shimaguchi also acts in the film. Visitors may also enjoy drum performances of three groups of drummers. The Tokara group is led by Art Lee, who is the only foreigner that holds a special licence from Japan to teach drumming and promote the Japanese culture.

The tea making ceremony will be demonstrated by six groups. Several studios will present the Ikebana art of flower dressing. A fashion show in traditional kimonos is also featured and people will be allowed to try them on.

While Prague is a favourite destination of Japanese tourists, Czech culture certainly has its fans in Japan, too.

Jan Wolf, Prague’s councillor for culture, said that this was illustrated by the 662,000 of visitors who saw Alphonse Mucha’s cycle of paintings the Slav Epic in the three months of its display in Tokyo this spring. The Japanese city of Kyoto is one of Prague’s partner towns, Wolf added.

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