LUNCHEON MEETING 23 OCTOBER, 2002
"Finnish Perspectives on Japan: An Evolving Picture"
Profesor Timo Airaksinen
Chairman of the Japan Guild in Helsinki
The image of Japan today is very postive according to Professor Airaksinen. After the war the picture consisted mainly of traditional images like samurais and geishas, but soon with the introduction of Japanese products in Finland, like Nissan Bluebird and Honda motorbikes, the image diversified, however this picture of the industrial Japan was somewhat contradictionary, as many also had the image of "copycats", which today has practically disappeared. Later, the picture further developed with culture. Music in the form of Izumi Tateno and Yoshiko Arai, design with Marimekko's Japanese designers, literature, which is well understood in Finland, through Kawabata and others.
Japan in today's Finland could be exemplified by:
26.5. % of cars sold in Finland are Japanese
increasing number of Japanese tourists
Modern Japanse photos in Helsinki and Kerava, paintings in Rovaniemi
Nobuyoshi Araki's photo's "Tokyo Still Life" and Japanese ukiyo-e in Helsinki
Traditional dance show from Okinawa
Helsinki R&A Fesitival (9 films)
Finnish Film archives (3 programs, 80 events)
"Spirit of Nature" prize to Arctitect Kengo Kuma
Visits from Japanese Parliament:
Marutei Tsurunen and other parliamentarians
Lectures on Japan:
"Tomorrow's Japan" seminar in Tampere
The main problem in the relations is the media, which tend to report only negative news from Japan.
IMAGES FROM THE MEETING
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