From Tokyo with love

Toshima Ward to host Scotland Day and offers venues to Scottish performers.

One of Tokyo’s most diverse cultural hotspots will invite its hundreds of thousands of residents to engage in a celebration of Scotland and the Scots this November.


Mayor of Toshima Ward, Mr Yukio Takano, confirmed to External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop last night that the ‘special ward’, or municipality of Tokyo, will host a second Scotland Day this year, and pledged to provide venues for Scottish artists and performers on an on-going basis.


Scotland Day 2017 will build on the success of last year’s event, introduced by the Japan Scotland Association. The 2017 event is expected to feature visual arts and cultural performances, displays promoting Scottish products and Scotland as a tourism destination and place to study, plus talks on Scotland and Japan’s shared history.


Ms Hyslop said:


“I’m delighted Toshima Ward will build on the success of the first Scotland Day with another celebration this year, and welcome the Mayor’s generous offer of assistance for our artists and performers to bring their work to Tokyo. Our cultural and artistic legacy clearly proceeds us.


“We’re continuing to develop strong cultural links with Japan and this year the Edinburgh Festivals will welcome their Japanese counterparts to develop future collaborations, while our galleries are working together to display the best of our visual arts.


“I visited Toshima earlier this week and it is a buzzing and vibrant location from which to showcase our world-class artists and performers. This is a well-timed boost for us as we promote our expertise on holding world-renowned events and festivals in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.”


Ms Hyslop was joined by Festivals Edinburgh Director, Julia Amour this morning at a media briefing promoting Scotland’s festivals, Scotland as a tourism destination, and Scotland’s Place in Europe.


Ms Amour said:


“As the Edinburgh Festivals celebrate 70 years of connecting the world in 2017, it’s fantastic to be here in Tokyo alongside the Cabinet Secretary to develop the creative exchanges that are so vital to our global outlook, and to ensure that our world-leading Festival City serves to represent Scotland at its most confident, open and creative.”



Cultural connections with Japan this year include:

  • National Galleries Scotland will tour Turner and the Poetics of Landscape throughout Japan in 2017/18
  • Japanese artist Nelo Akamatsu will be the Sonica Festival’s Glasgow artist-in-residence for four weeks in October, with his award-winning Chijikinkutsu

The meeting with Mr Takano took place as part of a programme delivered by Scottish Development International (SDI) and the Scottish Government.

Scottish arts organisations or performers interested in bringing their work to Toshima Ward should contact the Tokyo Scottish Development International office.

The Cabinet Secretary’s programme of engagements runs from 13 to 17 February in both Tokyo and Nagasaki.

On Monday night, Ms Hyslop held a Business Reception at the British Embassy to promote Scotland as an ideal location for further Japanese investment.

More will be announced throughout the coming week.

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