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Japanese trading, art and culture exhibition opens in capital city

Update: January, 17/2014 - 08:34

Back in time: Viewers take photos of objects displayed at The Colour of Japan exhibition.

HA NOI (VNS) — The first high-end, large-scale exhibition featuring Japanese history, culture and the long-term trading relations between Japan and Viet Nam has opened in downtown Ha Noi.

As many as 70 groups of antiques have been selected for the exhibition, titled The Culture of Japan, from collections with the National Museum of Vietnamese History (NMVH), the Kyushu National Museum and other museums and cultural agencies throughout Japan.

According to Nguyen Dinh Chien, deputy director of the NMVH, the objects on display include the typical ceramics and bronzeware of the Jomon culture (about 2,400-12,000 years ago), the Yayoi era (from the fourth century BC to the middle of the third century AD) and the Kofun era (third to seventh century AD).

The exhibition will also feature sculptures dating back to the Nara period (710-794), the Heian period (794-1185) and the Kamakura period (1185-1333), along with exhibits of Buddhist sculptures and other sacred objects.

"Among the exhibits will be some remarkable objects from the shipwreck that occurred when Japan battled Mongolian army troops in the 13th century, in the seas near Takashima island, now in Nagasaki province," Chien noted. "The stone bullets and the ship's stone anchors can help audiences understand more comprehensively about the war between the Japanese people and the Mongolian invaders, which occurred at the same time when the Vietnamese people were resisting the Mongolian invaders," he added.

Other noteworthy exhibits at the show include some royal letters by Japanese and Vietnamese rulers written to one another in the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as some scroll paintings of Japanese trading ships at Viet Nam's Hoi An Port, Chien added.

"This is the most high-end antique exhibition of its kind, introducing Japanese culture to Viet Nam," Karoku Miwa, the director of the Kyushu National Museum, told Viet Nam News.

"This exhibition is a follow up to the successful hosting of the first and largest-ever exhibition on Vietnamese culture in Kyushu last April. The exhibition, titled A Great Story of Viet Nam, displayed 300 documents and objects, and attracted more than 70,000 visitors in Kyushu alone."

Le Thuy Chi, a student from the Foreign Trade University, could not hide her excitement at seeing the Japanese antiques for the first time.

"I have seen several movies on the Japanese samurai," she said. "But this is the first time I have seen a samurai's helmet or samurai weapons. Now, I admire the famous spirit of Japanese samurai even more," she added.

Artefacts: A porcelain female figurine from the late 17th century (left) and an 18th-19th century samurai bowl helmet made from thirty-six iron plates and raised rivets with four white sides. — VNS Photos Truong Vi

The exhibition will run at the NMVH, 25 Tong Dan Street, until March 9.

A workshop for creating and playing traditional Japanese games, such as the Koma spin-top, the Hanetsuki badminton game, the Kazaguruma paper pin wheel and the Take-tonbo bamboo dragon, will be held this Saturday. Audiences can also try on Yukata summer kimonos designed for both men and women.

Alongside the exhibition, a cultural event series titled Cool Japan Fukuoka will be organised here from Saturday until January 21. Some of these activities will continue until the end of the exhibition. — VNS



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