Symposiums hope culture can remedy conflict in Asia


When someone first arrives in Japan, how do they respond to the nation’s code of etiquette? Strictly adhering to traffic lights, humbly declining compliments and thanking people twice, learning the manners of a country is key to understanding its culture and getting along with others.

The International House of Japan hopes to facilitate this understanding with two symposiums on “Peace and Culture.” By highlighting cultural activities in Asia that contribute to peace in the world, the symposiums will attempt to explain the relationship between culture and past conflicts in Asia, and how we can create the foundations for peace in the future.

This month, the first symposium will focus on noh, a traditional form of Japanese theater, and its connection to peace.

Next month, the symposium will focus on the contemporary arts. This event will bring together artists and experts from Japan as well as countries such as Afghanistan, Vietnam and Malaysia to witness this critical phase of peace and culture as found in their works.

These symposiums are great chances to rethink how we can work toward peace in our own cultures and in our lives.

The International House of Japan is a private, nonprofit organization that was founded in 1952 in order to promote cultural links between Japan and other countries around the world.

“Cultivating a Culture of Peace in Asia” will be presented in two parts at the International House of Japan in Tokyo on Feb. 7 (at press time, this symposium has sold out) and March 2. Both symposiums will begin at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For more information, call (03) 3470-3211 or visit www.i-house.or.jp.