The “Japanese Spring” festival reminded Volgograd residents about the history of Hiroshima

With the year 2020 designated the Year of Cooperation between Russian and Japanese Regions and Sister-Cities, the Embassy of Japan in Russia and the Japanese Culture Department “Japan Foundation” decided help the citizens of the two countries learn more about each other and continued the wonderful tradition of organizing “Japanese Spring” thematic festivals in various Russian cities. This winter, Volgograd joined their list.

It should be remarked that one of the Festival’s coordinators in our city is Elena Samigulina, a university teacher specializing in the Japanese language and culture, who in 2017 did an internship on the platform of the “Mayors for Peace” international organization stationed in Hiroshima – Volgograd’s Japanese sister-city.

A whole series of thematic events, featuring Japanese cinema screening, master-classes, lectures and performances, was launched on January 16. The festival’s organizers were joined by such reputable cultural institutions as Ilya Mashkov Volgograd Regional Museum of Fine Arts and Maxim Gorky Volgograd Regional Library.

Ilya Mashkov Museum of Fine Arts opened an exhibition “Images and substance” featuring Japanese printed graphic of the 1970s and accompanied by a Japanese tea ceremony.

Maxim Gorky Library put an emphasis instead on youth seminars and interactive events. On February 8, it held a presentation of Japanese martial arts and paper crane origami class, where Elena Samigulina herself was the teacher. The paper folding session was preceded by a presentation dedicated to Sadako Sasaki and the atomic bombing victims in general. Elena also went in great detail to speak about Volgograd and Hiroshima’s relationship history starting with the Cooperation Agreement of 1972.

In Maxim Gorky Library, too, a Japanese language class was held on February 16, and a lecture on education and employment in Japan on February 22. The “Japanese Spring” festival ended with a calligraphy master-class Ilya Mashkov Museum of Fine Arts on February 23.

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