France goes big on Japan with mammoth cultural program

By Loïc Vennin

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"it's the French, more than any other nation, who know Japanese culture the best"

I don't what this is based on but... I beg to doubt it.

Lots and lots of french people (mostly youth) know Japan only through manga, anime, video games and cosplay (and a little of boys band).

My experience is that I had to explain that no, japanese people do not eat dogs, yes, they have a healthcare system, no, they do not speak chinese, yes, China and Japan are different countries, no, not all japanese people practice karate, and other things of that level.

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I don't see how this does anything but play up stereotypes rather than show Japanese culture today. Best cultural exchange I attended was a group from Toyama prefecture. About a dozen people performing stories, dancing, along with traditional arts, lots of after parties, then a final nomikai party.

Really fun conversations during and after events that were full of joy where we met and got to know a group of people, not just things, and that's what builds real connections.

Sometimes it's the small scale that makes the greatest impact

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don't see how this does anything but play up stereotypes rather than show Japanese culture today.

I agree with you that the small scale can make the greatest impact, but you can't say this program is just playing to stereotypes. You've got gagaku, electronic music, Kabuki and Noh, modern and traditional fashion, cutting edge contemporary art, light installations, Naomi Kawase movies... I'd go, if I were in Paris.

But I'd be just as glad to have been at your Toyama gig.

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