News and information about the 150 year anniversary of Denmark-Japan relations.
Denmark Design 150
On the 24th and 25th of May, Danish Embassy together with 9 leading Design design companies organized an event “Denmark Design 150” at the Residence of Danish Ambassador.
Danish design is known for paying respect for tradition, cherishing modernism and simplicity. At the same time, Danish design is building its own unique style that fits to the sense of consumers’ today through innovation.
Japan has for many years been a strong market for Danish design. To pay respect and acknowledge this close relationship between Danish design and Japan in the year of the 150 years anniversary of diplomatic ties between our two nations, and to present the transformation from classic to new modernism of today, two-days Danish design event was held on the 24th and 25th of May at the residence of the Royal Danish Embassy.
Nine leading Danish interior design companies organized the event with a total number of over 400 retailers, design architect offices and press attending.
The Residence in Daikanyama was transformed with modern Danish furniture and interior design. It created an amazing atmosphere for getting inspired by Danish design.
The nine participating companies consisted of: Fritz Hansen, Carl Hansen & Søn, Louis Poulsen, Ko Design Concept (representing Kähler, H Skjalm P, Paper Collective, Korkartellet, etc), Danish Interiors (One Collection, Pandul, etc), Shingu Shoko (Morso), Apex (Menu, Silkenorg Plaids), Atex (Normann Copenhagen), Scandex (Leklint, Leander)
Read more about Danish design here: http://denmarkdesign.jp/.
Denmark Festival Market – a bit of Denmark in Daikanyama
On Saturday May 20th, more than 400 Danes and Japanese defied the rising temperatures and enjoyed Denmark Festival Market at the Royal Danish Embassy
Temperatures close to 30 degrees and a blue sky set the setting for Denmark Festival Market. The Royal Danish Embassy opened its courtyard for Danes and Japanese alike to enjoy Danish food, cakes, beer and coffee.
More than 400 people defied the heat and participated in the festival market. During the day, the beloved Danish children’s character Rasmus Klump made several appearances and almost stopped traffic in Daikanyama, crowding the street with people wanting a photograph with him. The guests also got to try out their skills in both handball and handicrafts. Hummel put up a handball goal for the guests to test whether they were the next Mikkel Hansen or not, while ECCO held workshops teaching the guests to make leather purses.
Danish former K-1 champion Nicholas Pettas appeared at the market as well, where guests could challenge him in a rowing competition.
During the market, the venue SuperDeluxe provided live jazz with performances by, among others, koto-player Michiyo Yagi. The music was a nice supplement for the Danish food and drinks and helped set the cosy atmosphere.
The Royal Danish Embassy would like to extend thanks to the participating companies, which all helped make Denmark Festival Market a success.
Thank you to: BoBedre Japan, Den Danske Klub, ECCo, Funabashi Andersen Park, Funabashi City, Hummel, Mikkeller, Nicholas Pettas, Peters Køkken, PNB Coffee, SuperDeluxe & musicians, Taito City and all the volunteers.
OPPOSITE2017 is taking over Tokyo
On Thursday May 11, OPPOSITE2017 kicked off their huge music event at the Japanese jazz club SuperDeluxe in Tokyo.
The ambitious event OPPOSITE2017 is bringing a line-up of 14 Danish jazz acts to Tokyo. In order to secure the Danish experience for the audience, OPPOSITE2017 is offering food by the Danish Michelin-awarded chef René Warn and beer from Mikkeller, and has equipped the venue SuperDeluxe withDanish interior design and art to set the scene. On Thursday May 11, OPPOSITE2017 opened at the jazz club SuperDeluxe in Tokyo with a taste of what is on the menu for the following week. At the opening event, Danish composer and pianist Jeppe Zeeberg played improvised compositions for the audience and the Danish girl power band Selvhenter showed how to turn jazz into a danceable concert, leaving the whole audience wanting more of OPPOSITE2017.
OPPOSITE2017 runs until May 20 at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo, where the jazz club has been transformed into a Danish oasis in Japan. It is possible to see the line-up and purchase tickets here: http://opposite2017.com/. The line-up has been especially chosen to join the project, and includes among others Liima, a new project by the members of Efterklang,
OPPOSITE2017 is a celebration of the 150 years anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Japan. In the fall, SuperDeluxe will bring Japan to Denmark at Jazzhouse in Copenhagen.
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