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City hosts celebration of ancient Japanese culture; Wide range of displays.

Byline: BY MIKE CHAPPLE Daily Post Staff

BRITAIN'S Japanese ambassador, His Excellency Shin Ebihara, is travelling to Liverpool to launch Japan Day when a mass celebration of his country's culture is staged at the Mountford Hall on Saturday.

Organised by Japan Society North West, the large free admission spectacle will feature demonstrations of Japanese art, music and self defence as well as many stalls selling Japanese craft and food stuffs.

"This has been in the melting pot for ages and is twice as big as the first one we held in Manchester two years ago so we're hoping for a big turn-out," said the society's chairwoman Angela Davies, from Childwall.

"Certainly the Japanese are taking it very seriously indeed, as Mami Mizutori the minister at the Japanese embassy will also be coming together with Peter Heginbotham, the Honorary Japanese Consul for the North West." The day begins at 11.15am with Taiko drumming, by Tamashii daiko, followed by demonstrations of the martial arts of aikido, iaido, bo-jutso and kendo throughout the afternoon.

Events taking place outside in the courtyard at the Mount Pleasant based venue will be a demonstration of the traditional stringed instrument the Koto by musician Sumie Kent, a haiku workshop, kimono dressing by Jill Clay and a sushi food demo from Takayasu Takemoto.

Among other attractions will be a demonstration of manga and anime, the art of ikebana, or Japanese flower arranging, origami, plus shibori textile painting. A participant will also be dressed up in full ceremonial kimono and there will be stalls set up by the Wirral Bonsai Society, collectors of Ningyo (Japanese dolls) and koi carp aficionados among others.

Before the day closes there will be a raffle draw with some top prizes donated by contributors including a return flight for two to Japan, a free meal for four at a local Japanese restaurant and an hour with a Geisha to witness a traditional tea making ceremony.

The society will also be looking for new members to join the group which is growing on Merseyside and whose goal is to increase understanding and appreciate the people, culture and language of Japan.

Mrs Davies added: "The idea is to introduce people in the North-West to the idea there is more to Japan than cars, kimonos or tosa fighting dogs, lots of other things about Japanese culture ancient and modern that are there to capture the imagination which this exhibition will prove."


Taiko drumming, as part of Japan Day
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 18, 2008
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