News and information about the 150 year anniversary of Denmark-Japan relations.
Sponsors awarded with trophies commemorating the 150 years anniversary
Thursday, each sponsor company was awarded with a trophy for their contribution to the 150 years anniversary celebrations.
16 companies from both Japan and Denmark have decided to become sponsors of the 150 years anniversary between Denmark and Japan. On Thursday, April 13, each sponsor was awarded with a trophy for their contribution to the anniversary celebrations.
The trophies were presented by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark, Freddy Svane, at a reception at the Royal Danish Embassy.
The Royal Danish Embassy extends its deepest gratitude for the companies’ support of the 150 years anniversary celebrations.
The sponsors are: Andersen Group, Grundfos, Novenco, Maersk Line, Suntory, Saxo Bank, Ecco, Coloplast, Toyota Boshoku, Novo Nordisk, Actus, Carl Hansen & Søn, Aso Cement, Denmark Yoghurt, Jabra and Lego.
Please see this page for more information on the sponsors:
Cisterns x Sambuichi
Goodwill Ambassador Hiroshi Sambuichi is currently exhibiting at The Cisterns in Copenhagen. The installation has received much praise.
One of the eight Goodwill Ambassadors of the 150 years anniversary, Hiroshi Sambuichi, is currently exhibiting in Denmark. The renowned Japanese architect is collaborating with the unique Danish exhibition space “The Cisterns”, and has made a beautiful installation, which has already gained much appreciation.
In 1853, Copenhagen was plagued by cholera. Due to the poor hygiene of the city’s water supply, the disease kept spreading. In an attempt to contain the contagious disease, the city decided to create a 16 million litre underground reservoir called “Cisternerne” (The Cisterns). In 1996, the Cisterns were turned into an exhibition space unlike any other. The humidity is close to 100 percent, the temperature is constantly cool and the Cisterns have a high concentration of CO2.
“It was an almost magical encounter, when we invited Sambuichi to see The Cisterns in 2015,” says Director of The Frederiksberg Museums, Astrid La Cour.
“The various characteristics of The Cisterns that could be considered problematic – the constant flow of water, the extremely high humidity level, the 17 seconds of echo and the absence of daylight – were to Sambuichi the best possible starting point for a project. He immediately understood the unique character of the place,” says the Director Astrid La Cour.
The Hiroshi Sambuichi installation “The Water” works with the unique qualities of the Cisterns. He has created a pathway for the visitors, an interpretation of the Japanese Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima. A waterfall cascades down the Cisterns and moss covers the stone structures.
In accordance with the working method of Sambuichi, using natural light and resources for his work, the opening hours of the Cisterns vary with the length of the day. When the sun sets, the Cisterns will close. Currently the Cisterns close at 3 pm, but in the summer, the Cisterns will stay open until 8 pm.
Hiroshi Sambuichi is one of the eight Goodwill Ambassadors for the 150 years anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Denmark and has close connections to Denmark:
“My relationship with Danish culture deepens and expands every year, through education, art, publications, media, natural science and architecture. The theme throughout these exchanges is Nature.”
“The Water” runs until 2. February 2018.
Read more about the exhibition here
Post stamps celebrating the 150 years anniversary
HIH Princess Takamado and her Tupilak collection at the Embassy
On Friday, the Royal Danish Embassy received a beautiful collection of Tupilaks from Greenland. The collection is on long-term loan by HIH Princess Takamado who, together with her late husband in 1996 paid an official visit to Greenland.
On Friday, the Royal Danish Embassy held a small reception in the honour of HIH Princess Takamado’s generous long-term loan to the Embassy.
In 1996, HIH Princess Takamado and her late husband, HIH Prince Takamado, travelled to Denmark and Greenland. During their visit in Greenland, the royal couple bought a beautiful collection of Tupilaks when in Greenland and received two seal skin coats from the prime minister at the time, Lars Emil Johansen.
HIH Princess Takamado decided to donate the Tupilak collection to the Embassy because she felt it would do the collection more justice to be exhibited here. It seemed for her to as the right choice since Greenland is such a big part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
The Tupilaks will be exhibited at the Embassy, where invitees will have a chance to look at the intriguing figures. Tupilaks have been used in Greenland as a way to capture ancestors’ souls and use them against one’s enemy. Now the Tupilaks are mostly used as souvenirs. The characters are carved out of bone and tooth and resemble grotesque figures looking terrifying and frightening.
The Minister for Culture visits Wakayama-prefecture
On February 10th 1957, the Danish sailor Johannes Knudsen drowned in an attempt to save a shipwrecked sailor, who sadly drowned as well. Knudsen, however, has since become a local hero in Wakayama and today marks the 60 years anniversary for his sacrifice. This was celebrated in Wakayma with a beautiful memorial ceremony held by the government of Wakayma at the Johannes KnudsenMemorial in Hinomasaki Park, where the Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock, attended and paid her respect by offering flowers.
Later, the minister and Japan Branch president of Maersk Line A/S, Jørgen Harling, presented Certificates of Appreciation to both the Johannes Knudsen Honouring Association and the Community of Takui, Hidaka Town in Wakayama Prefecture for their dedication to the preservation of Knudsen’s memory.
The Johannes Knudsen Honouring Association established the memorial site in 1957, raised a bust of Knudsen in 1962 and has since 1958 held annual memorial services on February 10th. The Community of Takui, Hidaka Town in Wakayama Prefecture offers flowers to the memorial monument every five days in summer and every tenth days in winter and is responsible for the maintenance of the memorial.
Opening of “Skagen – An Artists’ Colony in Denmark” at the National Museum of Western Art
Today, the National Museum of Western Art opened its doors for its exhibition of the famous Danish Skagen-paintings, which are being exhibited on occasion of the current 150 years anniversary between Denmark and Japan.
Attending the exhibition was H.I.H. Crown Prince Naruhito in his capacity of honorary president of the anniversary and the Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock. The crown prince and the minister toured the exhibition in accompanied by Denmark’s Ambassador to Japan, Freddy Svane, and Japan’s Ambassador to Denmark, Toshiro Suzuki.
The exhibition includes paintings by the famous Danish painters P.S. Krøyer, Anna Ancher and Michael Ancher. “Skagensmalerne” (the Skagen painters) is the name commonly used to refer to the artists’ colony that gathered in the northernmost town of Denmark, Skagen, to paint from the late 1870s to 1900. Their paintings are especially known for their light composition and their depictions of every-day life in Denmark.
This is only the second time ever the paintings have been showcased outside Denmark and it is the first time they can be enjoyed in Japan. Art-lovers and other people interested in seeing the paintings should take this opportunity as it most likely is the last time the paintings will be exhibited outside of Denmark. Due to the certain delicate white pigment used, the paintings are very fragile and are easily damaged.
The exhibition runs from February 10th to February 28th at the National Museum of Western Art, hereafter the paintings will be exhibited at Hekinan City Tatsukichi Fujii Museum of Contemporary Art in Hekinan, Aichi-prefecture.
You can read the Art Museums of Skagen’s press release about the exhibition here.
Will be updated with pictures
Launch of ambitious anniversary music and film program
Today, the music and film program of the 150 years anniversary between Denmark and Japan was officially launched on the jazz bar SuperDeluxe in Roppongi. Attending the launch was Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock, and representatives from SuperDeluxe, JazzDanmark and Tokyo Northern Lights Festival. During the launch, Danish jazz musicians Mark Solborg and Simon Toldam performed live to a screening of “The Abyss”, an Asta Nielsen silent film.
During 2017, JazzDanmark and SuperDeluxe will carry out an ambitious music exchange where Danish musicians will travel to Tokyo to perform at SuperDeluxe and Japanese musicians will perform at Jazzhouse in Copenhagen.
In May, Tokyo and SuperDeluxe will host the first half of this project, “Opposite 2017”. 30 Danish artists will travel to Tokyo with Jazzhouse for 10 days and take over SuperDeluxe. Architect Bo Benzon will transform SuperDeluxe with help from Danish furniture maker Engelbrechts. The whole event will be broadcasted live by the online radio station The Lake.
Tokyo Northern Lights Festival is an annual film festival in Tokyo with focus on Nordic films and represents the film program of the 150 years anniversary. In 2017, the festival will focus on Denmark on the occasion of the anniversary and show both classic silent films and contemporary film from Denmark through February.
Danish Minister for Culture visits popular art-island
As a part of her visit to Japan, Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock, visited Naoshima Island in Okayama province. The Island is famous for its way of showcasing contemporary art in a new way by incorporating the whole island as a museum.
The minister visited Chichu Art Museum. Chichu Art Museum literally translates to “The Underground Art Museum”, as it is almost entirely underground except for two big courtyards, that open up to the sky.
Earlier, Naoshima served as a landfill for industrial waste but has been transformed and is now the prime destination for art lovers across the world. Fukutake Foundations supports the art-site and the Danish Minister for Culture was shown around on Naoshima by representatives from the foundation and by 150 years anniversary Goodwill ambassador and renowned architect Hiroshi Sambuichi.
The minister was accompanied on her visit by the Danish ambassador to Japan, Freddy Svane. The visit was reported in local media as well.
Foldable furniture: Danish and Japanese students collaborate
Since the fall, students of Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) have collaborated to develop foldable furniture, which they have entitled Collapsibles. The aim of the project is to strengthen and develop the relationship between the two institutions and therein strengthen the students’ skills.
Now the result of many months of hard work will be exhibited at Kyoto Institute of Technology. The exhibition is part of the 150 years anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Japan and was opened by the Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock, on February 8th.
“During the project, the students from Denmark and Japan have presented the results for each other via transmitted critic sessions over Skype,” says lecturer for KADK, Nicolai De Gier.
There is an ongoing tradition for Danish architecture, design and crafts to look for inspiration in Japanese culture and craft tradition.
“We hope that this is only the beginning, and that our two cultures can continue to inspire and develop each other. We hope that our two institutions will be able to expand our future collaboration and exchange students and teaching methods. There is a good historic foundation to continue the tradition,” says Nicolai De Gier.
The exhibition is open from February 6th to February 12th.