Japanese culture on show

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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National Museum Jamaica (NMJ) launched a new travelling exhibition dubbed The Dolls of Japan: Shapes of Prayer, Embodiments of Love at its downtown Kingston headquarters last Thursday.

The exhibition will run from Friday, April 12, to Friday, June 28 at 10-16 East Street with entrance on Tower Street.

The presentation, which aims to bring greater exposure of Japanese culture to Jamaicans, was made possible by partnership with NMJ and Japan Foundation through the Japanese Embassy in Jamaica.

According to the Japan Foundation, “the Dolls of Japan reflect the customs of Japan and the aspirations of its people, possess distinctive regional attributes, and over the centuries have developed in many diverse forms”.

Seventy elaborately crafted dolls are displayed in the exhibition, each with a different story to tell about Japan and its people. The displays include: Noh Dolls that depict actors wearing masks and elaborate costumes as they dance; and Bunraku Dolls depicting classical theatre puppets.

Former Ambassador of Jamaica to Japan Ambassador, Claudia Barnes expressed great pleasure in having the exhibition as she believes Jamaicans will have the opportunity to see Japanese culture which has so many dimensions.

“There are so many Jamaicans who are deeply interested in Japanese culture due to the fact that the two countries have been collaborating on so many different projects, and so I hope that many will be able to share in this experience” she said.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Denzil Thorpe stressed that the link between Japanese and Jamaican cultures should not go unnoticed as the latest dancehall queen is Japanese. The Dolls of Japan, he said: “Highlights the way of life of our Japanese friends and we feel very special to be sharing this world travelling exhibition.”

Before arriving in Jamaica, the exhibition was on display in Guatemala. It is scheduled to move on to Dominican Republic after its two months. It will eventually travel to 130 countries.

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