Friday, February 5, 2010

Japan Day for Scotland? Great Idea

Seems to be a week for great ideas. Just read on the BBC website about plans for a Japan Scotland day to help strengthen links between the two countries.

Sakura Scotland has approached the Japanese Consulate General in Edinburgh about the event which is planned for the autumn, the company hopes to invite fashion students to come up with and then display clothing designs on a Japanese theme.

Now I'm not sure how this is going to be lead and what angle it's going to take but a couple of years ago myself and a colleague found ourselves arriving at the train station in Dusseldorf (if truth be known en route to a Kiss consert in Nijmegen!).

Now with kilts on (no face paint) you may have thought that we would have been subject to some rather strange looks. Nope. It was Japan Day in Dusseldrof and the whole of the city's youth was in Manga Fancy Dress costimes and make up. Made us look entirely normal.

The point however was that Dusseldorf was celebrating the culture of the largest population of Japanese in Europe and it was one helluva party. The banks of the Rhine were given over to Japanese stalls with traditional food and drinks, stages with entertainment and recitals and all in all a tremendous atmosphere of history and cultural respect with an estimated 1.2 million visitors.
One of the highlights of the traditional Japan Day is a fantastic fireworks display after nightfall, conjured up in the sky over the river by Japanese pyrotechnicians.

With the strong air connections between Dusseldorf and Scotland such a cross cultural celebration could actually have tremendous impact on restimulating the Japanese market for Scottish tourism and indeed exports.

Good luck to Sakura Scotland - would love to help if we can.

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