The “Japonismes 2018: les ames en resonance” (“Souls in resonance”) festival was successfully launched yesterday (July 12) in Paris.
Cities across France will host events showcasing Japanese culture, including ancient Jomon Period pottery, contemporary drama and technology-driven art installations.
“‘Les ames en resonance’ means ‘souls in resonance.’ This comes from the words of Paul Claudel, who was a great writer and served as French ambassador in Japan in the 1920s,” explained H.E. Masato Kitera, ambassador of Japan to France.
The term “Japonismes” describes the wave of Japanese culture that swept across France in the 19th century and influenced French masters such as Debussy and Monet.
“As we celebrate 160 years since the establishment of Japan-France diplomatic relations, our ties are better than ever. We call it an exceptional partnership,” said Kitera. “Many Japanese companies are doing business in France, and they have developed cordial links with the communities and local authorities where they are based.”
Fumito Kobayashi, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in France, noted, “Out of all the countries in Asia, Japan invests the most in France, creating 74,000 jobs here.”
“Japan and France share the same spirit and values. We have both benefited from the intertwining of our cultures and the consequent interaction among our people. I want to witness even closer mutual understanding and exchanges within a wide range of areas, including economic, cultural, art and sports. I aim to take Japan-France relations to a new level, encompassing all aspects — even the spiritual,” said Kitera. “In this spirit, Japonismes 2018 will surely introduce a new, more intimate dimension to our relations. It will help our souls resonate with each other.”