Japanese culture flourishes in Lahore with Wagashi and Ikebana exhibitions

Lahore: To experience and learn about the rich cultural diversity and aesthetic beauty of Japan, the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan in collaboration with the Pakistan-Japan Cultural Association (PJCA) Lahore and Lahore Sogetsu Study Group showcased the exhibitions of Wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) and ikebana flower arrangement, two of Japan’s most cherished cultural traditions spanning over centuries of history.

Wagashi exhibition titled “Wagashi- Art of the 5 Senses” presented the pleasantly colored dainty pieces of confectionery called the art of the five senses as they are works of art designed to appeal all the senses with their appearance, flavor, aroma, feel and the sounds of their names. While reflecting the various aspects of nature and the changing seasons, Wagashi sweets are exquisitely shaped and crafted earning them the name of edible art which are traditionally served as an accompaniment to the Japanese tea ceremony .

Mr. ITO Takeshi, Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan, inaugurated the two exhibitions which represented the essence of Japanese traditions and culture.

Mr. YAMAZAKI Tetsuya, the Chef of the Embassy of Japan, on the occasion skillfully demonstrated the art of preparing a variety of beautiful and delicious wagashi sweets, using traditional ingredients and techniques. With his artistic skills and aesthetic sense, Mr. Yamazaki elaborately spoke about the cultural significance of Japanese confectionery that are not only used at different celebrations and rituals in Japan but also represent the changing seasons. His presentation won great applause from the attendees.

The ikebana exhibition by the students and teachers of Lahore Sogetsu Study Group, exhibited their spring arrangements titled “Mughal Architecture through the eyes of Sogetsu Ikebana”. The floral designs by the teachers and students displayed have taken their inspiration from the numerous Floral Frescoes of the monuments of the Walled City, namely Lahore Fort, Sheesh Mahal, Badshahi Masjid , Wazir Khan Masjid, Shahi Hammam to name a few .

Ms. Neveen Syed, Director Sogetsu Study Group, gave live ikebana demonstration on the occasion which was inspired through her inspirational tour of the various historical monuments in Lahore. Explaining to the viewers, Ms. Neveen said that this kind of an exhibition where history is linked with flowers, is the first of its kind in Lahore, where floral artists of Ikebana have expressed their feelings through the meditative art of Sogetsu Ikebana, spreading peace and harmony and friendship through flowers.

Mr. Ito, while speaking on the occasion, deeply appreciated the aesthetically pleasing exhibitions of wagashi and ikebana arrangements, and hoped that through these exhibitions more and more Pakistani people can enjoy the Japanese culture which will lead to strengthen the bond of friendship between Japan and Pakistan. He said that It is always a pleasure to visit the beautiful city of Lahore that is culturally so rich and vibrant yet has an aura of historical significance for its people. He commended the hard work of Japanese Ambassador’s Chef Mr. Yamazaki Tetsuya, who has especially come from Islamabad to present before Pakistani audience a rare glimpse into Wagashi, the art of 5 senses.

Mr. Ito expressed his special appreciation for the Lahore Sogetsu Study Group who have dedicated and supported to organize these exhibitions successfully in Lahore and also for displaying beautiful ikebana floral arrangements during His Majesty the Emperor’s birthday celebration in Islamabad last week. He also thanked Mr. Aamir Shirazi, Honorary Consul General of Japan at Lahore and Dr. Ghazal Irfan, President of PJCA Lahore, for their continued support and efforts for holding various cultural events in Lahore.