"Finnish Perspectives on Japan: An Evolving Picture"

Guest Speaker:
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
    Art Exhibitions:
  • Modern Japanse photos in Helsinki and Kerava, paintings in Rovaniemi
  • Nobuyoshi Araki's photo's "Tokyo Still Life" and Japanese ukiyo-e in Helsinki
    Stage performances:
  • Traditional dance show from Okinawa
    Japanese films:
  • 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.
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    FCCJ President Timo Varhama introduces the guest speaker
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    Professor Timo Airaksinen
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    The meeting was held at the Chikuen Room of Capitol Tokyu Hotel.
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    The audience follow the presentation with interest.
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    From left; Yasuro Numata, SAS, Yoko Kawaguchi, AvestaPolarit Japan, Tamami Hori and Isamu Maeda of Metso Paper and J-B Dumerc, SSH.
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    Timo Varhama presents a gift of appreciation, center Mrs. Airaksinen.
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    The meeting was attended by 25 members and guests.
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