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VIEWING JAPAN FROM THE OUTSIDE IN:
Exhibition Gives Visitors a Fresh Glimpse at Their Own Culture
December 20, 1999
A photography exhibition titled Nippon: Taishitachi no Shiten 1999 (My Favorite Spot in Japan through Diplomats' Eyes) was held in Tokyo's Ginza district in mid-October. In reviewing the works submitted by diplomats from numerous countries residing in Japan, the event's chairman, Luxembourg Ambassador Pierre Gramegna, commented, "I have gained a real sense of the role of photography as a universal language."
A Fresh Look
The perspectives of the photographs ranged from traditional landscapes capturing Japan's scenic beauty to casual everyday scenes. Among them were shots of such famous traditional tourist spots as the ancient capital of Nara in Nara Prefecture, the city of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, and Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, as well as youth culture in the hip Tokyo districts of Shibuya and Harajuku, small neighborhood parks, public baths, and stalls selling takoyaki (roasted dumplings containing octopus pieces). Gramegna hopes that the photographs, which presented objective yet warm views of Japan, conveyed the artists' affection for Japan. One of the fascinating aspects of the exhibition was that it gave Japanese viewers a chance to discover aspects of their country's landscape and of everyday life that they, as insiders, had been unaware of. The photographs from the exhibition have also been compiled in a book.
A New Form of International Exchange
This new form of international exchange--using photography as a universal language to share perspectives on Japan--is hoped to play a growing role in promoting mutual understanding.
Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources.
Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and
do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese