Cultural bridges: Lithuania and Japan

2019 m. kovo 26 d., antradienis

On March 21st, 2019 we organised interesting party about connections of Lithuania with Japan.
We all probably know Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who is very wide known person in Japan and also in Lithuania. But we are happy to share about other persons to show how we closedly related with Japan.

Before 1868 Meiji reform Japan was closed to foeign countries, but nevertheless, some art pieces, as china (porcelain), laquerware, fans, textile already reached Europe and received big welcome. Even then were some collectors of Japanese art in Europe. After Meiji reform Japan opened and lots of art pieces started to flow to Europe, firstly to London and Paris. China products were packed in paper pieces, which were decorated by ukyo-e prints. European artists soon discovered differences and found that Japanese art totally different from their classical art. And they started to collect these Japanese prints, to share, discuss and to create something very different.

Lithuanian artist and composer M.K.Čiurlionis should have visited exhibitions of Oriental art while he studied in Warsaw, Krakow or visited Prague. His symbolistic art, colourways, wave motives reminds Japanese art. That connection and relation of Čiurlionis to Japanese art was discovered by Japanse musician Ichiro Kato in 1967, and soon he became main person of Čiurlionis art club in Japan. Mr.Kato worked a lot to organise M.K.Čiurlionis art exhibition in Tokyo in 1992 and concert of Čiurlionis music pieces by prof.V.Landsbergis in 1995 in Tokyo too.

Our friend and client donated large book by Hokusai prints to our Shop, so in this party we had chance to try to find Hokusai similarities with Čiurlionis.

In this party we discussed about Japanese lithuanists and also about JALFA (Japanese-Lithuanian friendship association).

Lucky we had students from Japan, Saga University, as our guests this time. They were staying in Kaunas for one week and found time to visit our Shop and interesting party. We hope they will come to Kaunas again soon.