Japanese culture week is returning to Sana’a [Archives:2008/1176/Local News]

July 28 2008

Alia Ishaq
SANA'A, July 23 – The Japanese Embassy recently hosted a conference in Sana'a at Al-Waleema restaurant to promote its upcoming Japanese culture week in the capital, scheduled to begin on Saturday, Aug. 2.

The weeklong festivities' main event will be a concert featuring traditional music by the Okinawa Band. Okinawa is an island prefecture in Japan, which the week will focus on in part of its activities. The concert will be Monday, Aug. 4, along with other events at the Japanese Cultural Center on Al-Qasr Street.

The week also will include various Japanese games, custom weaving, martial arts performances, a Japanese tea ceremony and a traditional Okinawa-style dance performed by Yemeni students who are learning that country's language at the Japanese Friendship Association.

In addition to the dance, Yemeni students studying Japanese will organize all of the week's other activities. “In addition to the various activities are many simple and traditional games that children will love and which also can help develop their mental skills,” notes Shahba Al-Kibsi, a student at the association and a participant in the cultural events, adding, “My favorite is Sudoku.”

Al-Kibsi says the reason she's participating in the week is simply her interest in Japanese culture, explaining, “I want to help show Yemenis the culture that I love.” The event's activities will conclude on Thursday, Aug. 7.

This year's Japanese culture week is the second in Yemen, as another was organized last November. According to Yosuke Miyamoto, second secretary at the Japanese Embassy, some 3,000 Yemenis participated in the 2007 Japanese culture week.

“This year's culture week is organized to attract more Yemenis. We hope it will be a way for them to get to know more about Japanese culture,” Miyamoto added, highlighting that this year's events coincide with the Sana'a Summer Festival, which he believes will help attract more visitors to the Japanese Cultural Center.