It’s rare to see two countries get along – especially when their cultures couldn’t be any more different. It seems inevitable that misunderstandings will arise when it comes to different cultures experiencing each other, even in an age where we can learn all about how the other side lives beforehand. It takes a special kind of push to get two countries to take a true look at each other, and, eventually, to respect what the other is capable of. It’s why it comes as such a surprise that the efforts of passionate individuals from both sides have helped countries like Japan and Russia experience each other’s cultures and improve overall relations.
The people behind the passion
It certainly isn’t a match made in heaven, as the difference in culture leaves a rather large gap. However, the effort of the Chodiev Foundation has acted as a bridge to help people from both countries understand the other. It all started with the ambitions of Patokh Chodiev, who wanted to help Japan get more exposure in Russia, as well as the other way around. It led to the formation of the ICF, and the sharing of culture via festivals and programs.
The festivals that form the bridge
While a massive difference in culture can often lead to more than a few misunderstandings, there is also a fascination that comes with wanting to experience how the other side lives. It’s the baseline that allows the ICF to make waves in international relations. For example, the Russians have generally been interested in Japan’s technological sector, as well as their way of life. J-Fest, which is one of the festivals being sponsored by the International Chodiev Foundation is primarily focused on learning about Japanese culture and technology. There is no shortage of lectures and workshops for those interested, as well as concerts for those who want more entertainment out of their festivals.
The Japanese counterpart, on the other hand, is the Exchange festival, which is all about appreciating the theatre scene in Russia. The Exchange is a huge deal in Japan, as a festival that lasts a whopping eight entire months. It’s one of the most significant programs that the ICF has sponsored and is popular enough that even tourists are drawn to this festival!
The collections that forge bonds
To conclude, it isn’t just the festivals that are making waves as far as Japan’s relationship with Russia goes. Japan is home to some of the most masterfully crafted pieces of art – which include the Kubota collection. Crafted by the late great Itchiku Kubota, these speciality kimonos are dyed with an age-old process called Tsujigahana. As a matter of fact, many aspects of the original dying process have been lost to time, with Kubota creating his unique spin based off years of trial and error. It’s a sight to behold and one of the many reasons why Japan is getting so much exposure in Russia and the rest of the world. There’s no denying the fact that cultures can transcend borders.
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