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【2017】Wa no Akari that Paints Japan’s Cultural Assets to be Held in Tokyo

The “Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan ~ Nihon no Shikisai, Nihon no Isho” event will be held at the Hyakudan Kaidan, a tangible cultural property designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, inside Hotel Gajoen Tokyo from July 1st until August 27th this year.

“Wa no Akari” is a famous event that is graced by more than 150,000 spectators since it was first held in 2015, boasting a record number of guests even among the planned exhibitions. For this year, the theme of the event will be “Nihon no Shikisai to Isho” (Japan’s colors and designs) by local craftsmen and artists. The Hyakudan Kaidan, the cultural property that houses seven rooms adorned by 126 Japanese paintings and drawings created by various artists that represent the early Showa era and the works of art that showcase the skills of Japanese artisans, will be transformed into a new art work by the creations of modern craftsmen and artists.

The exhibited works will be fused with the works of more than 30 exhibitors from all over Japan that revolve around three genres comprised of festival, art. and artisans. The event will be a major collection of festivals that are held in various parts of the country, including the Aomori Nebuta Festival and Akita Kanto Festival that are famous as two of the three grandest festivals in the Tohoku region, and the cute annual Yanai Kingyo Chochin Matsuri (Yanai Goldfish Lantern Festival) in Yamaguchi’s Yanai. The Nagasaki Lantern Festival, a winter tradition in Nagasaki that makes its debut in the event, will also treat guests to dragons and colorful lanterns.

The veteran nebuta (decorative float) master Hiroo Takenami will present the “Soma Taro Yoshikado Yojutsu wo Osamaru,” which was displayed at the Aomori Nebuta Festival in 2014, in its original version at the main exhibition. It is perched on top of cart, so it is a nebuta that is not usually visible to spectators up close even during the peak of the festival. Being able to see the fine points of this nebuta, such as its excellent brush strokes and colors, is something that is truly unique to this exhibition. A photo area will also be set up in the middle of the space to let guests take a photogenic shot of the impressive nebuta.

Further, the exhibition area of the famous illuminated art works will be allotted its largest space ever this year. The Hyakudan Kaidan will also house a collection of about 20 works of art, including the Urushi (lacquer), Shippo (seven treasures), and Kumiko (member).

Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Tokyo Metropolitan Area-designed Tangible Cultural Property “Hyakudan Kaidan”

1-8-1 Shimo-meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Now apart from the above, there will also be various “Wa no Akari” illumination shows at the Daimon Ike (Daimon Pond) and restaurants that will make summer in Gajoen even more beautiful. Feel the true spirit of Japanese aesthetics called "wa" through the cultural assets painted by hand by modern artisans and artists.

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 06.28.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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