Korea-Japan Festival connects Pyeongchang, Toyko

(The calligraphy club from Tottori Higashi High School in Tottori Prefecture, Japan, presents a work of art wishing for the success of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, as well as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, at the Korea-Japan Festival in Seoul, held at the COEX convention center in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, on Sept. 24.)

The 13th Korea-Japan Festival in Seoul was held at the COEX convention center in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, on Sept. 24. 

This year, many of the events were held in honor of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the two common interests linking Seoul and Tokyo these days.
 

The cheerleading team Braves from Nippon Bunri University performs to mark the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, during the opening ceremony for the Korea-Japan Festival in Seoul on Sept. 24.

The cheerleading team Braves from Nippon Bunri University performs to mark the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, during the opening ceremony for the Korea-Japan Festival in Seoul on Sept. 24.

The Braves, a cheerleading team from Japan’s Nippon Bunri University, together with PyeongChang mascots Soohorang the white tiger and Bandabi the Asiatic black bear, were the first performers at the festival. Next was the calligraphy club from Tottori Higashi High School in Tottori Prefecture, Japan, which showed a huge work of calligraphy that connects the two Olympic Games to be hosted by Korea and Japan. 

The high school students said, “Let us connect our hearts from Pyeongchang to Tokyo,” in Korean. Stepping down from the stage, Yamashita Erika (山下瑛理香), one of the students, said, “I stood on the stage today with a sincere prayer hoping that the two countries successfully host the Olympics.“ 

Messages written in both Korean and Japanese filled the Festival Wall that stood on the sidelines of the venue. Some of them wrote, “I hope the Olympic Games in both Korea and Japan go well,” and, “Go for it, Korea and Japan!” 
 

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jongwhan delivers his congratulatory remarks during the opening ceremony of the Korea-Japan Festival in Seoul, at the COEX convention center on Sept. 24.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jongwhan delivers his congratulatory remarks during the opening ceremony of the Korea-Japan Festival in Seoul, at the COEX convention center on Sept. 24.

“Korea, Japan and China promise to push ahead joint cultural events while all eyes are on the three countries for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the Tokyo Olympics and then the Beijing Winter Olympics,” said Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Jongwhan. “In order to make the Olympics a grand and fine festival, we have to help each other and expand cultural exchanges.” 

The Korea-Japan Festival has been held in Korea since 2005, when it started to mark the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo. In Tokyo, a sister event has been held since 2009.