Celebrations such as the recently held Japanese Cultural Night hosted by Lagoona Mall play a significant role in strengthening bilateral relations between Qatar and Japan, Darwish Holding chairman and managing director Bader al-Darwish has stressed.
“We are very pleased to be part of this exceptional cultural event as our relationship with Japan extends to many decades, during which we have been partners with some of the most coveted Japanese brands such as Yamaha, Ricoh and Sony, with the latter being represented by us since the early '50s," he said.
“Since then, we have shown ongoing success, outstanding performance and exceptional growth. Also, we would like to highlight the confidence of the Qatari market in Japanese brands as we are very delighted with the remarkable local presence that they have established with time. Today, we truly believe in our mutual role of promoting and supporting any socio-cultural and educational initiative, which will impart a stronger stimulus to the Japan-Qatar bilateral relationship,” al-Darwish noted.
During the kimono fashion show
Japanese Ikebana artist Kumika Sugiyama displays her skills in flower arrangement
A demonstration from the Doha Kendo Club
The event, organised by the Japanese embassy in Qatar in collaboration with Lagoona Mall, celebrates the beginning of ‘Reiwa’, the current era of Japan, which began on May 1, 2019 when Emperor Naruhito was enthroned as the 126th emperor of Japan.
In his opening remarks, Japanese ambassador Kazuo Sunaga underscored the importance of culture “in forging bridges of understanding between the people creating a stimulating space for interaction and rapprochement”.
“We are delighted to sponsor the first cultural event in the Reiwa era in Qatar, and we hope that it will bring the people of the two friendly countries closer and promote further understanding of the Japanese culture between the good people of Qatar,” the ambassador stressed.
‘Reiwa’, which is interpreted as ‘beautiful harmony’, signifies a “culture born and nurtured as people’s hearts are beautifully drawn together”. The celebration aimed to bring better understanding of the Japanese culture and traditions and engage with the local community.
Aside from al-Darwish and Sunaga, in attendance was Mohamed Said al-Baloushi, representing HE the Minister of Culture and Sports, as well as foreign dignitaries and other guests.
During the event, members of the Doha Kimono Club presented an exquisite selection of kimonos, a traditional Japanese garment, and wowed the audience with a colourful show, while showcasing how each individual thread is woven together to create extraordinarily elegant pieces.
The show was followed by a demonstration from Kumika Sugiyama, a Japanese Ikebana artist, who amazed the audience with an artful presentation of flower arrangements and symbolic designs.
Also, Master Ryo Arai, alongside members of the Doha Kendo Club, entertained guests with a demonstration of Kendo, the traditional Japanese martial art of swordsmanship. Guests also had the opportunity to have their names written in Japanese calligraphy by Wakako Kimura and Yayoi Kodama.
Besides Lagoona Mall, the event was also sponsored by Fifty One East, FNAC, Al Isteklal TC-IAC Qatar, and Plaza Hollandi in an effort to demonstrate the strong ties between Qatar and Japan and reflect their support to cultural exchange initiatives.