First Czech Centre in Asia opens in Tokyo

Czech Centre in Tokyo

The network of Czech Centres, institutions promoting Czech culture abroad, has once again expanded. A brand new Czech Centre has recently opened in Japan's capital Tokyo, at the Czech Republic's Embassy. The Czech Republic is known in Japan mainly for its classical music, successes in sport and in recent years also for its animated film. The Czech Centre will now try to bring more aspects of Czech culture to Japan.

Director Petr Holy told Radio Prague what the first Czech Centre to be opened on the Asian continent can offer to its visitors.

"The centre was launched by an exhibition of collages by Jan Svankmajer. They are actually illustrations to the latest Japanese edition of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland'. Until April next year, we will be running an exhibition of glass objects by Borek Sipek. Another important event we organised was a festival of films by director Jan Hrebejk. For December we are planning an exhibition of photographs by Daniel Sperl and for next January we are hoping to invite artist Frantisek Skala to present his comic book."

The centre is gradually building a library thanks to contributions from Czech publishers and Petr Holy says it will soon provide Czech lessons.

"Czech classes have been going on for years in Japan - I myself was a teacher until recently. Our Czech courses will start in January and we are very pleased that the number of people interested in this difficult language is increasing in Japan, too."

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