A Japanese experience for the whole community

Published 30 April 2009

kotoThe Armidale and University communities will have an opportunity to experience something of the rich diversity of Japanese culture when the University of New England stages its annual Japanese Cultural Day next week.

That experience will include Japanese music, dance, martial arts and food in an event next Thursday evening, the 7th of May, organised by staff and students of Japanese in UNE’s School of Arts.

Entry to the program of performances, beginning at 6 pm in UNE’s A1 Lecture Theatre (Arts Building) will be free, and there will be an interval during which Japanese food (sushi packs) will be available for $7.50.

The program will begin with songs performed by UNE students of Japanese, followed by a dance performance and a kendo demonstration by students from Japan’s Chubu University who are studying at the UNE English Language Centre. Kendo is a modern Japanese martial art, based on traditional swordsmanship, in which practitioners wear protective armour and use a shinai – a weapon made from bamboo.

After the interval there will be a performance of music for koto (13-stringed instrument, pictured here) by Ms Sayaka Nunotani from Osaka, who is an International Business student at UNE. This will be followed by a martial arts demonstration by local masters – Jonathan Sensei (aikido) and Antony Sensei (iai-jutsu, a Japanese art of swordsmanship) – and their students. The program is scheduled to finish at 8.30 pm.

Kiyomi Yamada, a Japanese lecturer at UNE, said everyone would be welcome at the event, which would celebrate not only Japanese culture, but relationships between the discipline of Japanese at UNE and the wider University and Armidale communities.