Celebrating 40 years of friendship with Japan

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SELECTED students from the University of the Philippines pose with Japanese performers of “Fun and Magic: Daikagura,Wazuma and Rakugo.”

In celebration of the 40th year of Asean-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, a series of performances dubbed “Japanese Fun and Magic: Daikagura, Wazuma and Rakugo” was successfully held in Manila and Davao City for the month of June.

Led by the trio of Japanese traditional performers—Michiyo Kagami for daigakura, Tsubasa Kitami for wazuma, and Enmaru Sanyutei for rakugo—the shows thrilled and amazed Filipino audiences.

Daigakura, commonly known as juggling, is a traditional and spiritual performance  to chase away evil spirits and attract good fortune during the Edo period.  Wazuma is Japanese traditional magic embraced by Japan in the eighth century, while rakugo is a traditional form of comic monologue which reflects traditional concepts and values.

Two shows were held at Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku in Davao City on June 24 and 25. Three performances were also staged in various schools in Manila, namely, Manila Japanese School, De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines on June 26, 27 and 28, respectively.

Dressed in Japanese kimono, one by one the performers took center stage and showcased their expertise in juggling, magic and comical stints in front of their young and energetic audience. Selected students gamely participated in juggling and performing magic tricks. Despite rakugo’s performance being  in Japanese, the viewers were all ears, and were keen to watch the distinct movements of the rakugoka. The show was well-applauded and highly appreciated by the Filipino audience.

“Japanese Fun and Magic: Daikagura, Wazuma and Rakugo” is one of the events prepared for the year-long celebration of the four decades of relations between Asean and Japan. It aims to further promote Asean-Japan relations, cultural exchange between Japan and the Philippines, and Philippines-Japan friendship and cooperation.

This event was presented by the Embassy of Japan in Manila, The Agency for Cultural Affairs-Japan, Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, Manila Japanese School, De La Salle University, and the University of the Philippines.

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