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Long live Bangladesh-Japan friendship

Dhaka celebrated Japan Fest-2018

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Masud Karim :
For the first time after several years, Dhaka celebrated the ‘Japan Fest’ that showcased both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture as well as music.
The Fest was organised by the Embassy of Japan at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on September 15.
More than 1,000 Bangladeshi people interested in Japan enjoyed the fest and immersed themselves into Japanese culture.
Japan and Bangladesh have established a long and friendly relation since 1972. In terms of recent cultural and educational exchanges, Japan has provided its government scholarship for about 170 Bangladeshi students, while cultural events including Japanese film festival, Judo competition, Japanese speech contests, manga and anime workshop etc. were organised in Dhaka last year.
‘Japan Fest 2018’ was organised to bring Japanese culture for Bangladeshi people at hand to further enhance amicable relations between the two countries.
“This was the first time for me to experience so many Japanese cultures at once,” said  Anika Begum who is majoring Japanese language at University of Dhaka. “I attended Japanese tea ceremony and thrilled to taste the tea which is a rare chance here in Dhaka.”
Apart from various Japanese cultural displays and workshops, three renowned Japanese musicians performed in the Japanese pop song and traditional music concert in the evening, bringing additional excitement to the audience.
The event was supported by Japanese and Bangladeshi organisations; Regent Airways, Ajinomoto, Grameen UNIQLO, Honda Bangladesh, Studio Padma, Japanese Commerce & Industry Association in Dhaka, Bangladeshi Ikebana Association, Bangladesh Bonsai Association, ICARUS and students of Department of Japanese Language & Culture as well as Department of Japanese Studies, University of Dhaka.
In 2022, the two friendly countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Japan will further strengthen the bilateral relations towards the anniversary.
Ikebana displayed by BIA
 ‘Ikebana’ is the Japanese art of flower arrangement which dates back to the 7th century when floral offerings were made at altars. Ikebana reached its first zenith in the 16th century under the influence of Buddhist teamsters/monks and has grown over the centuries, with over 1,000 different schools in Japan and abroad.
Ikebana School was established in October 1973 at the premises of the Embassy of Japan at Shantinagar in Dhaka. Eminent painter late Shilpacharjya Joynul Abedin and Ambassador Oyamada of Japan handed over certificates to the 28 graduates of the first batch in March 1974.
Sheikh Rehana was also a student of this school. Since then, our school moved to Shat Masjid Road, Dhanmondi Road-27, Lalmatia, Mohammadpur, Monipuri Para and Indira Road. In the course of time, Bangladesh Ikebana Association (BIA) was established in September 2010 and by now we are running the following Ikebana Schools:-
1) JUAAB-BIA Ikebana School at Farmgate, Dhaka
2) BIA Ikebana School at Mirpur, Dhaka
3) BIA Ikebana Kalabagan School
4) BIA Ikebana Comilla School
Among the four famous Ikebana Schools in Japan (Ikenobo, Ohara & Sogetsu), we have been following mainly the styles of Ohara School under the dynamic leadership of Ikebana Grandmaster  Kazuo Zoha and her outstanding students Late  Husna Banu Khanom, Prof Monowara Islam,  Shamsun Nahar Hossain, Razia Sultana, Shahinoor Masud and others. Through our continuous activities at different places, Ikebana is now known to many people of this country.
BIA Ikebana Kalabagan School has been inaugurated last March by National Professor Anisuzzaman and Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, MP. This is first time we introduced Kids Ikebana in Bangladesh.
A traditional cultural festival called ‘Japan Fest 2018’ was held at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy recently for the first time after several years that showcased both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture as well as music, Ikebana display.
The Embassy of Japan organized the day long festival at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on that day where over 1,500 Bangladeshi and other foreign people interested in Japan enjoyed the festival.
‘Japan Fest 2018’ was organised to bring and introduce Japanese culture for Bangladeshi people at hand to further enhance amicable relations between both countries. “This festival is one of the main channels to make more and more good relationship between Japan and Bangladesh. Japan is one of the good and friendly country of Bangladesh,” said BIA Presidend Shahinoor Baby. Masud Karim, Life Patron of Bangladesh Ikebana Association (BIA) who is also Director of Japan- Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI).
Tea Ceremony was one of the attractive event in this festival. Three renowned Japanese musicians performed in the Japanese pop song and traditional music concert in the evening, bringing additional excitement to the audience.
Japan Fest 2018 has been organized to further enhance the amicable relations- which began from 1972- between the two countries
Dhaka is celebrating the ‘Japan Fest,’ showcasing both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture and music, for the first time after several years.
It is noted that more than a thousand Bangladeshis enjoyed themselves by immersing in the festival, which has been organized by the Embassy of Japan at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
Minister of Cultural Affairs Asaduzzaman Noor, MP visited Bangladesh Ikebana Association booth and appreciated for all participants’ supportive cooperation.  
Bangladesh Ikebana Association is going to display Ikebana at Siliguri, Darjeeling on October 5. Purpose of display to introduce Ikebana in West Bengal and it will be first time Ikebana display in Siliguri. A number of expert will join this upcoming event. We have plan to arrange an International Ikebana Festival in middle of 2019 in Dhaka. n

[The Writer is Life Patron of Bangladesh Ikebana Association (BIA) and Director of
Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI)]

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