Japan's Cultural Policy Should Be Reconsidered: Prof. Sota Insists
Takahiro MIYAO (Professor and Head, Japanese Institute of Global Communications, IUJ)
|Japan-Quebec Special Seminar:
|Date/Time:||May 12 (M) 19:00-21:00|
|Place:||L'Institut Franco-Japonais de Tokyo|
||Introductory Address (19:00-19:05)|
Marc Beliveau (Delegation Office of Quebec Government)
Panel Discussion (19:05-20:00)
Prof. Yoshikazu Otaba (Meiji University)
Prof. Shuji Sota (Atomi Gakuen University)
Mr. Mitsuhisa Ikeuchi (Corporate Advisor & College Lecturer)
Prof. Takahiro Miyao (International University of Japan)
Networking Party (20:00-21:00)
|Co-Sponsors:|| Delegation Office of Quebec Government|
On May 12, 7-9pm, a special seminar was held at L'Institut Franco-Japonais de Tokyo, sponsored by the Delegation Office of Quebec Government to discuss what Japan can learn from Quebec for the purpose of promoting Japan-Quebec relations.
After a brief introductory address was given by Mr. Marc Beliveau on behalf of the Delegation Office of Quebec Government, Tokyo, interesting presentations were made by three specialists on Quebec, Prof. Yoshikazu Obata in literature and culture, Prof. Shuji Sota in art management, and Mr. Mitsuhisa Ikeuchi in economic affairs, moderated by Takahiro Miyao.
First, Prof. Obata explained the historical and spiritual background of people in Quebec with special reference to the song, entitled "Gens du Pays" (meaning "people of the nation"), which is widely sung by people in Quebec on festive occasions and has been helping their search for "national" identity for the last few decades, according to Prof. Obata.
Second, Prof. Sota pointed out the unique characteristics of Quebec-style performing arts, blending physical movement with artistic content, as represented by La la la Human Steps and Cirque du Soleil. Interestingly, their general emphasis on visual rather than verbal means to express internal feelings is shared by Japanese arts. However, there is a definite difference between Quebec and Japan in terms of art management. Generally speaking, Japan lacks the global viewpoint in art management that is one of the most important characteristics of performing arts in Quebec, where not only production but also distribution are always planned and executed from the global standpoint. This is something that Japan can learn from Quebec for a more open and global perspective in artistic activities, especially its management aspects.
In this connection, Japan's cultural policy should be reconsidered, as suggested by Prof. Sota (for details, see the summary of his interview in the reference below), who insists that the Japanese government should adopt a "cultural strategy" in order to connect the domestic market more directly with overseas markets in the field of arts. Here, it is important to present a total picture of "Japanese culture and arts" including both traditional and contemporary arts (or pop culture), instead of the current practice of presenting those two kinds of arts separately. For that to happen, the Japanese public should be engaged in cultural and artistic activities more often, and show their appreciation for arts by contributing more time and money to raise the quality and competitiveness of Japanese arts from the global point of view, according to Prof. Sota.
Third, Mr. Ikeuchi talked about the economic development of Quebec with special emphasis on the effects of its language-cultural policies. He concluded that Quebec's language-cultural policy has benefited its economy after all, because it helped Quebecois obtain their identity and self-confidence so that many French-speaking professionals have been attracted to Quebec, especially Montreal and Quebec City, to work for internationally competitive industries.
Summary of Interview with Prof. Sota: http://japanquebec.blog76.fc2.com/blog-entry-7.html
This report is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):