Anniversary Year Officially Over

Today, we celebrate the 151 years anniversary for the signing of the “Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation” – and the 1 year anniversary of the official start of the 150 years anniversary.

First of all, the Royal Danish Embassy in Tokyo would like to thank everyone who have participated in the anniversary in any ways – whether you have helped support it, organized an event, told your friends about it or simply just followed it on the homepage and social media, thank you. Because without people interested, there can be no friendship between our two countries.

On this 1 year anniversary and the final day in the anniversary year, we would like to give a status on the year and the celebrations. If you want to know more about the specific events, please see our News Archive or Facebook-site.

We will begin with the anniversary events.

As of 25th of November, there were 170 individual events registered in the online event calendar – several of these travelling exhibitions etc., which have been counted for each place they have been exhibited. The anniversary has been represented by official events in 24 prefectures from Okinawa to Hokkaido. The graph below shows the geographical division of the events.

From the graph, it is clear to see that just about half of all events took place in the Greater Tokyo Area (including prefectures such as Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa). This centralisation on Tokyo was expected as many of the Embassy’s cultural contacts are based in this area. For example, Funabashi City and Taito-ku, both sister cities of Danish cities and frequent contributors to the Japanese-Danish relations, are both based in this area and have been especially active in celebrating the anniversary. In fact, the two sister cities have held 25 anniversary events in total – 14 in Taito-ku and 11 in Funabashi City!

The scale and size of events have differed greatly from the grand Skagen Exhibition at National Museum of Western Art in Ueno to micro-events such as a local Saitama library exhibiting their H. C. Andersen books.

As for the contents of the events, the graph below shows the division of events in 23 specific categories of theme (e.g. art, design, film etc.) – several events have been placed in more than one category due to their nature.

It is clear from the graph, art, modern music, design and seminars were the most frequently used categories of theme and they characterised just under half of all events. We see it as a very positive thing that most events could be place in more than one category and that the division between the categories were so diverse. It indicates complex and interesting events and a broad interest of Denmark in Japan.

We do not yet have the final number of attendees for the anniversary events but at least 350,000 people have participated in the anniversary celebrations in Japan, according to the feedback we have received from event organisers.

The Embassy is very pleased to see that the anniversary, the logo and Denmark have been represented across Japan, in various shapes and sizes and to different groups of people – and so many people as well!

We have also been pleased to see that the anniversary has attracted media attention from both national newspapers such as Yomiuri Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun and Sankei Shimbun as well as small, local newspapers primarily from areas with pre-existing interest in Denmark – e.g. Wakayama and Higashi-Matsushima.

The reporting on the anniversary has rarely been about the anniversary itself but rather about the anniversary’s connection to another story, e.g. royal visits to both Denmark and Japan or the exhibition of the Skagen paintings in February. This has resulted in the anniversary being mentioned in a wide variety of contexts and in a wide variety of different media types.

Finally, the anniversary has led to unique media opportunities otherwise unattainable. For example, the highly exclusive fashion magazine Richesse printed a 20-page travel guide to Denmark inspired by the anniversary, and the architecture magazine a+u dedicated an entire magazine to Danish architecture because of the anniversary.

As for the anniversary homepage, we think it has performed quite well as the digital centre for the anniversary in Japan. In total, the homepage received 60,970 visitor, with 46,744 (76.7%) of them being new visitors and 14,226 (23.3%) returning visitors. A large majority of the visits came from Japan (85.7%), with Denmark coming in second (8.2%). The next three top visitors were USA (1.8%), the UK (0.43%) and Sweden (0.4%).

As seen below, the most visited page was of course the Japanese front page. The second most visited page was the event calendar, and it indicates that the homepage was widely used to browse the various events, and half of the top 10 visited pages were in fact event pages. In 6th place we find the Japanese timeline of the event, which indicates that the Japanese visitors have had an interest in the history between Japan and Denmark.

All in all, we are very pleased with how the anniversary turned out and would like to thank all of you once again for your interest and support for it!

We are already looking forward to 2067 and the 200 years anniversary.