Traditional Ainu and Ryukyu arts featured at Chuo’s “JAPAN DAY” event

Traditional Ainu and Ryukyu dances and music were featured at the “JAPAN DAY” event which took place under the theme of “multiethnic nation Japan” at Chuo University’s Tama campus on May 26. Both Japanese and international students looked satisfied with the rare opportunity to come into contact with those unfamiliar ethnic cultures.

中央大学多摩キャンパスで去る5月26日、「多民族国家日本」をテーマに、アイヌや琉球の伝統的舞踊や音楽などが披露されるイベント「JAPAN DAY」が開かれた。参加した一般学生や留学生らは、日ごろ馴染みの薄いこれら民族の文化に触れる機会を与えられ、満足したようだ。

JAPAN DAY has been held once a month since last December for the purpose of acquainting Chuo’s international students with Japanese culture. It is planned and managed by students. The event is aimed to promote cross-cultural communication by giving Japanese students chances to convey their culture to international students to help them learn more about it. It was the fifth time the event had been held.

 JAPAN DAYは留学生に向け日本の文化を伝える目的で、昨年12月から毎月開催されているイベント。学生スタッフが企画、運営している。日本人学生は自国の文化を留学生に伝え、留学生は日本の文化を肌で感じることで異文化交流を図ろうというもので、今回が5回目だった。

Maoko Yokouchi talks to Hakumon Herald.
Maoko Yokouchi talks to Hakumon Herald.

At G Square where JAPAN DAY took place, the participants were seen trying to communicate with each other in Ainu and Ryukyu languages and perform their traditional dances under the leadership of the event organizers. Maoko Yokouchi, a second grader of the Faculty of Law and one of the organizers, said she has doubts about many people thinking that Japan is a homogeneous state. She told Hakumon Herald, “I hope this event will provide a good opportunity for people to know that Japan is a multiethnic nation.”

 会場となったGスクエアでは、参加者同士がこれら民族の言葉を使ってコミュニケーションを図ったり、スタッフが先導する形で伝統の舞踊を皆で踊ったりする場面も見られた。今回のイベントを主催した法学部2年の横内真生子さんは、日本が単一民族と思っている人が多いことに疑問を持っており、「このイベントが、日本が多民族国家であることを知ってもらう良い機会になればいい」と話す。

Kazunari Tanimura (center right) shows traditional Ainu dance at G Square.
Kazunari Tanimura (center right) shows traditional Ainu dance at G Square.

Kazunari Tanimura, a fourth grader of the Faculty of Law, who performed traditional Ainu dances, underlined the significance of the event, saying, “This is a good opportunity to convey Japanese culture not just to international students but Japanese students as well. I do hope they will know more about various cultures and ethnics in Japan, including the Ainu and Ryukyuan in particular.” Why don’t you take part in one of JAPAN DAY monthly events?

 また、アイヌの伝統舞踊を披露していた法学部4年の谷村一成さんも「日本の学生や留学生に日本の文化を伝えるいい機会であり、アイヌや琉球を筆頭に、日本のいろんな文化や民族を知ってもらえたら」と、イベントの意義を語ってくれた。ぜひ一度足を止めてみてはいかがだろうか。

(Written by: Mika Yamamoto)(山本美香)

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