The Japan Foundation Prizes for the Promotion of Community-Based Cultural Exchange (1999)

Awardees (in geographical order)

Ohanashi Caravan Center

Nobuyuki Okuma
Year of Establishment
Image picture of Ohanashi Caravan Center

The Ohanashi Caravan Center not only gives two hundred Puppet-theatre performances a year for the children who live in and around the Kanto Area, but it also makes an annual performance tour of Southeast Asia, and also extends invitation to Japan to people involved in children's education from the same area to attend workshops.
The Center is attracting attention, from the standpoint of preschool education and literacy education,through the experience and know-how of its Ohanashi Cravan, which gives puppet-theatre performances of and reading story-picture books in the countries of Southeast Asia.
In Japana as well as, the center gives performances that take as their themes the folk tales of Southeast Asia,as well as joint performances with trainees from Southeast Asia, and it exerts constant efforts toward the nurturing of international understanding among children through such activities as crayon donations.

Inami International Wooden Sculpture Camp

(Toyama Prefecture)
Kunio Kiyoto
Year of Establishment
Website External link
Social Media Accounts External link
Image picture of Inami International Wooden Sculpture Camp

The town of Inami in Toyama Prefecture is famous for its woodcarving craftsmanship.
The town extends invitations to overseas woodcarving artists to give them opportunities to create works in competition with local woodcarving artists and to display their completed works outdoors in the town.
Thus, the attempts to promote international cultural-exchange activities that utilize to the full its local traditions. Overseas participants from 14 countries attended the previous camp.
The operation of the camp is carried out on a volunteer basis by the townspeople,who cooperate in such activities as interpreting, cleaning, and the production of a newsletter.
Thus, it is a project in which the entire town is deeply involved.
During the period of the camp, plans are made and carried out for such activities as workshops for the general public, photography and ice-sculpture competitions, and concerts of folk music from around the world, providing rich opportunities for exchange among the townspeople, general visitors, and the overseas artists who have received invitations to participate.

Ryukukoku Matsuri Daiko

(Okinawa prefecture)
Tatsuhiro Teruya
Year of Establishment
Website External link
Social Media Accounts External link External link
Image picture of Ryukukoku Matsuri Daiko

The Ryukoku Matsuri Daiko is a stirring performance of taiko(large Japanese drums) drumming and dance that consists of the beating of taiko drums not only to traditional Okinawa folk songs, but also to Okinawan pops and Western music, alongside dances made up of original choreography that introduce movement patterns from traditional stick fighting and Karate.
For nearly twenty years, the group has continued to create and send out a new performing-arts culture that is based upon the traditions of Okinawa, as well as to contribute to the nurturing of the youth of Okinawa from elementary school children to young adults.
The group continues to exert assiduous efforts toward participation in program for the introduction of Japanese culture and celebrations of the anniversaries of Japanese immigration to the United States, the countries of Latin America, and the countries of Asia, as well as promoting overseas dissemination of its work through the activities of overseas branches in Argentina, Brazill, Peru, and the United States.
Thus, they have achieved great accomplishments toward impressing overseas audiences with the presence of Okinawa culture.

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