More than 40 cultural events to take place within III International Forum “Japanese spring on the Volga”

They will take place in the regional center from 15 to 18 May. There will be an original programme "Kulturnaya volna", which will offer visitors concerts, master classes, meet-the-artist sessions and film screenings.


"Our country continues the Russia-Japan Cross Year. The Ulyanovsk region fruitfully cooperates with the Land of the Rising Sun both in the economic and cultural spheres. Last year the Days of Japan in Ulyanovsk festival included ikenobo master classes, Japanese shadow play and a performance of the Japanese band. I would like to mention that inhabitants of the region were really interested in these events and participated in them with pleasure. We hope that Ulyanovsk residents will give a warm welcome to our Japanese guests this time, too", – said Tatyana Ivshina, Executive Director of the Foundation "Ulyanovsk – the Capital of Culture".

The forum's cultural programme will open with a parable "Crane" ("Zhuravl") with participation of Tomomi Orit, a Japanese actress. The event will take place in the Ulyanovsk Regional Puppet Theater at 14:00 on 15 May. The play combines elements of Russian and Japanese theater. The Ulyanovsk State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Governor will perform in Lenin Memorial at 19:30 on the same day. It will be directed by Ilya Derbilov, the art director and the chief conductor, and will feature soloists Imagava Kokoro (violin) and Horie Kotoha (piano), who are Japanese students from Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. The programme will include Johannes Brahms' Violin Concerto and Frederic Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2.

“The Ulyanovsk State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Governor is looking forward to meeting our guests. Both soloists are winners of many prestigious international competitions and have a great talent. I am sure that such cooperation and interaction onstage will be beneficial for both young musicians and actors of our orchestra”, – Ilya Derbilov noted.

The majority of activities will take place in the Center for Japanese Culture at the Palace of Books. It was opened in 2018 with assistance of Governor Sergey Morozov, members of the delegation of the Embassy of Japan in Russia and Fukuoka Prefecture, representatives of the Parliaments of Japan and Russia, members of the Russia-Japan friendship society, members of the Japan-Russia Friendship Association, Masaji Matsuyama (Minister of State), Tokuro Furuya (Minister of Embassy of Japan in Russia), Sergey Ryabukhin (Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Budget and Financial Markets), and Konstantin Kosachev (Chairman of the International Affairs of the Federation Council Committee).

“The Center for Japanese Culture at the Palace of Books is the only thematic platform in the Ulyanovsk region available to a wide range of users. Here anyone interested in Japan can learn about the culture, history and language of this amazing country. More than five thousand people have visited various events since the establishment of the Center for Japanese Culture. One of the main points of interest will become a creative meeting with Rashid Yanov, Head of the Comics Center of Lermontov Penza Regional Library. The guest of honor will tell inhabitants of our region about creation of the Modern Comics Alphabet ("Sovremennaya azbuka v komiksah") and about creative achievements and activities of his organization”, – emphasized Evgenia Sidorova, Minister of Art and Cultural Policy of the Ulyanovsk region.

Lyubov Chilikova, head of the Sumi to Kami Club, will talk about specifics of Japanese calligraphy and lexical meaning of some hieroglyphs in the Center for Japanese Culture at the Palace of Books at 15:00 on 17 May. She will also teach visitors to write their names using hiragana and katakana (Japanese syllabic alphabets). A creative laboratory with Alexander Philippov, an Ulyanovsk origamist and the winner of many competitions, will take place at the same place at 17:00. He will show all stages of making a paper figure, will give a lecture about the theory and history of this ancient art, and will present an independent animated cartoon “Utopia”. A highlight of the evening will be performance of Bloodlessthewar, a youth band from Tokyo, in Records Music Pub at 20:00.

The Battle of Sushi Chefs will take place in Miruku restaurant at 11:00 on May 18. It is planned to hold a meeting with representatives of the Asian cinema club “Bakemono Kitsune” of the Japanese center “Yamato” in the Palace of the book at 13:00; it will also include demonstration of films by Japanese directors. A web-conference with teachers of the Japanese language club of the Volgograd Regional Library named after Maxim Gorky will take place at 15:00.

The programme "Kulturnaya volna" will be closed with a musical session "Na bortu Pallady" with participation of Ulyanovsk musicians and Bloodlessthewar. The concert will take place in the Goncharov Historical and Memorial Center Museum at 20:00 on May 18.

The Ministry of Art and Cultural Policy of the Ulyanovsk region, Foundation "Ulyanovsk – the Capital of Culture" and the Embassy of Japan to the Russian Federation will act as organizers of the event.