“Sugihara Week” will fill Kaunas with Japanese culture

This September in Kaunas starts with the motives of the Land of the Rising Sun. The programme of the series of events “Sugihara Week“ includes concerts, a symposium, film reviews, public lectures, Creative workshops and other exceptional events on September 3 – 9. During the events, Kaunas people will get to learn more about Oriental culture as well as the friendship between Kaunas and Japan.

The events of “Sugihara Week“ start with the opening concert “Improvisation Music“ on September 3 on the stage of Kaunas Philharmonic society including the performers of Japan and Lithuania.

Kaunas citizens are also invited to watch the film “Kaunas. Signs of Suhigara and Japan“ telling about the relations of our city with Japan. There will also be exhibitions about Japan open throughout the week as well as various lectures and sight-seeing tours arranged for Kaunas citizens and guests.

“The special guest this year is the Unexpected Culture Festival “nowJapan” that invite people to join creative workshops of Japanese artists” – added Dr. Aurelijus Zykas, Director of Asian Studies’ Centre and one of the organizers of the festival.

On September 5 the International symposium „Diplomats saving Jewish Lives“ will take place in the Small Hall of Vytautas Magnus University including lecturers from Israel, Japan, the USA, Poland, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

On September 8, Saturday, Kaunas will host one of the most important events during the week – the planting of Sakura trees of Kaunas-Japan Friendship Park on the Nemunas Island. The event will include the performance of Kaunas Dance Theatre “Aura“, a workshop of kites and other Activities.

The official closing event of the festival will take place in the Grand Hall of VMU with the performance of the Japanese choir “Ichinoseki Glee Club & Musical Hiraizumi & Shiratama“, Kaunas Choir “Varpelis”, ensemble “Nemunas“ and other artists.

“The festival “Sugihara Week” is a gift to our city. The culmination of it will be the newly planted Sakura Park on the Nemunas Island. The event is organized by Sugihara Group, uniting different organizations and communities of the city having connections with japan. These people of Kaunas work with Kaunas City Municipality and other institutions, therefore the events are really interesting and worth attention“, – said the Vice-Mayor of Kaunas Mr. Simonas Kairys.

The Sugihara Week is a series of events meant to commemorate the deeds of the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara. This historic personality lives in Kaunas in 1939-1940 and together with the Dutch consul Jan Zwartendijk issued thousands of “Visas for Life“ that rescued at least 6000 Jewish lives.