Thursday, August 5, 2010

Visit Japan at the Indiana State Fair!

The new “Bridges to Japan” exhibit will show Indiana State Fair visitors what Japanese culture is all about, as well as the many connections between Indiana and Japan.

This year, in what is expected to be an annual international exhibition, the 154th Indiana State Fair will showcase Indiana’s relationship with one of its closest partners, the nation of Japan. The International Pavilion/Grand Hall, an 8,000 square foot building located on the Fair’s Main Street, is devoted to the in-depth exploration of Japan and its connections with Indiana.

The exhibit honors the fair’s goal of being a platform for education and showing visitors the strong ties between Indiana and Japan and in particular, Indiana’s Japanese “sister state” Tochigi Prefecture.

The “Bridges to Japan” Exhibition, organized by the Japan-America Society of Indiana (a member of the Nationalities Council of Indiana), the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (State of Indiana), and the Indiana State Fair, through the generous support of many companies and organizations, will appeal to a broad range of visitors who will visit the State Fair for two and a half weeks, from 6-22 August. “Bridges to Japan” will feature traditional and contemporary components, a variety of performances and activities, and displays on the relationships between Indiana and Japan, such as the importance of the Japanese manufacturing presence, sister cities, educational exchanges, and the history of the Japanese in Indiana.

The exhibit features traditional Japanese customs such as tea ceremonies, Japanese calligraphy, sumo wrestling, and a myriad of music and dance performances. In addition, representatives from Tochigi Prefecture and guests from the Japanese sister cities of Carmel (Kawachinagano), Lafayette (Ota City), and Shelbyville (Shizuoka City) will lead numerous cultural activities.

Once inside “Bridges to Japan” guests will pass through a bamboo grove and garden, created by the Engledow Group and Litchfield Landscaping, with advisory support from Dr. Takuya Sato, or cross over a koi pond on a traditional Japanese bridge. Japanese architectural styles will be readily apparent with a traditional inn featuring tatami (pron. tuh-tommy) mats and a Japanese stage, designed by Takenaka Corporation and constructed by nationally-recognized McGuire Scenic. An area devoted to contemporary Japan will help visitors delight in the fun of Japanese pop culture. Some of the programs and demonstrations scheduled for the stage include:

* Masaji Terasawa (pron. muh-sah-jee terra-sow-uh), the popular Candy man who makes intricate candy sculptures and entertains audiences of all ages
* Martial arts demonstrations
* A gourd painter craftsman from Japan (opening weekend)
* Taiko (pron. ty-koh) – traditional Japanese drum performances
* Bunraku (pron. bun-rah-coo)– Japanese puppet theatre
* Sumo wrestlers from Japan (opening weekend)
* An open audience-participation fashion show featuring Japanese pop culture (Cosplay) and the comic Japanese band Peelander-Z

The exhibit also features daily appearances of the top-ranked Japanese robots, including Wakamaru (pron. wok-uh-mah-roo), a communication and performance robot, sponsored by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-Japan and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Climate Control, Indiana. The Japan External Trade Organization of Chicago has facilitated the appearance of “Paro-chan”, the therapeutic seal pup courtesy of Paro Robots U.S., and the special appearance of the “I-Fairy” Receptionist Robot, which recently made headlines when it conducted a wedding in Japan, courtesy of the Kokoro Company.

Other special “Bridges to Japan” features fairgoers won’t want to miss are:

* A Japanese food corner offering traditional fare including Japanese pork cutlets (made possible by through the generous support of Indiana Packers Corporation), Japanese noodles, green tea ice cream and sushi (including a new “deep-fried sushi” specialty) provided by popular local Japanese restaurants Ocean World, Sakura and One World Market.
* A large-scale replica of a Tochigi Inn where guests will be able to participate in hands-on activities while sitting on tatami mats.
* A display of the Shinkansen bullet train with the topography of Japan passing by at 200 mph

The “Bridges to Japan” Exhibition is sponsored by a host of corporate partners and organizations, including: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana; AISIN, Eli Lilly and Company, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Cummins, Delphi Corp., Duke Energy, Indiana Packers Corp., Kikkoman Corp., NTN Driveshaft, TOA (USA), Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, and the United States-Japan Foundation, among many others.

“Yoroshiku!” “We hope to see you there!”

The Indiana State Fair takes place tomorrow through 22 August at the State Fairgrounds, 1202 East 38th Street, Indianapolis.




「日本はインディアナ州にとって、長年に渡り、最も強力な経済及び文化パートナーです。インディアナ・ステート・フェアで州の国際関係を紹介する最初の国として、日本をご紹介することは当然です。」と、ミッチ・ダニエルス (Mitch Daniels) インディアナ州知事はコメントしています。ダニエルス州知事は、2005年から5回にわたって、アジア地域への経済開発の使節団を率いています。


「インディアナ・ステート・フェアは州内最大のイベントで、今回この展示を紹介することができ、大変嬉しく思います。」と、ステートフェアの専務理事 シンディ・ホイ(Cindy Hoye)氏はコメントしています。「17日間のフェア期間中、素晴らしい展示の数々、食事、情報、デモンストレーションなどを通じて、日本がインディアナ州にとってどれだけ重要な国際パートナーであるかを、90万人を超えるお客様にご紹介いたします。」


「インディアナ州には米国内で唯一、3つの日系自動車メーカーの工場があり、220社以上の日系企業が43,000人以上の州民を雇用しています。日本は明らかに、当州の国際パートナーの最有力国といえます。ミッチ・ダニエルス インディアナ州知事が、フェアでの国際テーマの最初の国として日本を指名してくださったことを、大変誇りに思います。フェアへの訪問者の数を鑑みても、今回の展示は、北米で今年最大級の参加者を要す日本関連のイベントになるでしょう。」と、インディアナ日米協会 専務理事テレサ・コザック(Theresa Kulczak)氏はコメントしています。




* マサジ・テラサワ氏による飴細工
* 各種武道のデモンストレーション
* 栃木県の伝統工芸 ふくべ細工(最初の週末)
* 栃木県相撲連盟による相撲 (最初の週末)
* 太鼓パフォーマンス
* 文楽
* 一般参加のコスプレ・コンテストと日本人コミック・バンド「Peelander-Z」によるライブ

また展示エリアでは、三菱重工業株式会社のコミュニケーションロボット「wakamaru (ワカマル)」、独立行政法人産業技術総合研究所が開発したアザラシ型メンタルロボット「パロ(PARO)」、株式会社ココロの新型案内ロボット「I-FAIRY(アイ-フェアリー)」、以上3点の日本の最先端ロボットをご紹介します。


* 日本の食文化を紹介するフードコーナー:地元で人気の日本食店が、蕎麦、串カツ、カツカレー、牛丼、寿司(揚げ寿司)などを提供します。
* 畳の部屋で、日本文化(書道、昔ながらの遊びなど)の体験型アクティビティ
* 日本の高速鉄道(新幹線)に関する展示
* 日本への旅の思い出を購入いただくお土産屋




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