January 17-25, 2016: Gagaku Concert in Belgium
(Anniversary Event for the 150 Years of Friendship between Japan-Belgium)
(2015 Japan Foundation Grant Program for Dispatching Artists and Cultural Specialists)



   2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Belgium. In order to celebrate this significant year, the two countries are organizing various commemorative events. Given the magnitude of the event, the Imperial Household Agency announced on November 4, 2015 that His Majesty the Emperor of Japan will assume the Honorary Presidency for this Anniversary on the Japanese side from December 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. His Majesty the King of the Belgians will assume the same role on the Belgium side.
   It is an honor for the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble to be officially invited by the Embassy of Japan in Belgium and the Preparatory Committee to take part in the events and introduce the traditional art of Japan to the Belgium people. The Ensemble will be performing gagaku at the opening ceremony celebrating the 150 years of Friendship between the two countries which will be held at Egmont Palace in Brussel.
   During our one week stay there, three concerts are scheduled at the following venues. The concerts are supported by the Japan Foundation as a grant program.

I. Gagaku Concert at the opening ceremony

Main Entrance of the Egmont Palace
Date: January 19 (Tues), 2016
Venue: Egmont Palace
Program: Bugaku dance, Seigaiha
Organizers: Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Japan in Belgium, Preparatory Committee


II. Miyabi Concert in Belgium (Embassy of Japan in Belgium HP

   Since 2011, the Miyabi concert has been planned by Belgium director, Dr. Ado Huygens and Mr. & Mrs. Yoichiro Iguchi, president and vice-president of the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble, in order to make gagaku more understandable for Western people. For this occasion, the Miyabi concert was made possible by an extensive support from G. A. Forest Foundation which was established by Belgium businessman, Mr. G. A. Forest.

Palais des Bozar
Date: January 23 (Sat), 2016
Venue: Brussel Palais des Bozar (Seating capacity 500)
Program: Introduction of gagaku instruments, Kangen music of Hyojyo no netori and Etenraku, Bugaku dance of Urayasu-no-mai, Ryo-o and Kanshu
Guest Musician: Mr. Shogo Anzai, former chief court musician at Music Department of the Imperial Household Agency
Expected Concert Time: 90 minutes
Organizer: G. A. Forest Foundation

   Artists from Japan and Belgium who engage in promoting Japanese traditional arts will also be joining to add grace to the Miyabi concert. Their planned participations are: Ikebana demonstration by Ms. Atsuko Bersma-Tonsen of Sogetsu School, Ikebana exhibition by Ikebana Sagagoryu in Belgium (http://www.sagagoryu.gr.jp/)(Japanese only) and Chanoyu demonstration by Ms. Somi Suzuki of Urasenke.

III. Gagaku Concert and Workshop at Japanese School of Brussel

   One of the Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble’s objective is to educate and raise the aesthetic sensibilities of young people through gagaku. For that, the Ensemble has conducted its activities in and out of Japan.
   It is the second visit for the Ensemble to hold a performance and a workshop at this Japanese School. It is our wish that our presence at the school will bring better understanding of Japanese tradition to the students.

Date: January 20 (Wed), 2016
Venue: Gymnasium at Japanese School of Brussel
Participants: 300 people consisting of students, teachers and parents
Program: Introduction of gagaku instruments, Kangen music, Bugaku dance, workshops
Organizer: Japanese School of Brussel

   The gagaku concert in Belgium was made possible by monetary donations from many supporters such as Mitsubishi Corporation, other companies and individuals. We still continue to seek your support for the concert; therefore, please visit our website for more information about donation and its remittance method.



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