Improving Ties through Culture: One Man’s Effort to Build Bridges
Never underestimate the ability of a single individual to change the world. With enough passion and dedication, every one of us can make a difference. Even in situations where a single person can feel helpless, such as when it comes to the relationship between two entire countries, it’s still possible to make a difference – such as with the case of Dr Patokh Fatah Chodiev. This is an individual who wanted to improve Japan’s relations with Russia, to the point that he began a foundation dedicated to spreading the mystical culture of both countries not just with each other but to the rest of the globe.
The result is the International Chodiev Foundation, which has proven to be very successful in their efforts to sponsor exhibitions and events aimed at fostering relations. Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it has taken Dr Chodiev many years of hard work to be able to make his dream into a reality. With all of the work that he puts into both the foundation and his other projects, Japan can rest easy knowing that the representation of their culture in Russia is in good hands.
An eight-month-long Russian festival in Japan
You read that correctly – an eight-month-long celebration. Most festivals in Japan that celebrate their own culture aren’t nearly that long. It just goes to show how much of an impact Russia has made on the Japanese people. With the help of Dr Chodiev and his foundation, the Exchange Russian Days Festival is always in full swing, and it garners the attention of people all over Japan. Considering its length and how the festival happens in nearly all regions, it’s safe to say that it gets the attention of tourists from all around the world as well!
It focuses on what Russian culture is best known for – theatre and performance arts. With dedicated Russian talents at the helm of these shows, they continue to wow the Japanese populace with their inspired and emotional performances.
Spreading masterworks throughout the globe
Just as the Japanese can enjoy Russian culture through the festival, the International Chodiev Foundation has also sponsored the Kubota Collection to tour around the world and spread awareness of just how masterful Japan’s artisans truly are. Itchiku Kubota is known for his series of kimonos which were made with a dying process that is something of a mystery – even to Kubota himself. Tsujigahana is what this process was called, and while Kubota worked himself to the bone, he was unable to expose its secrets completely. Instead, he came up with his own style that very closely mimics the beauty and allure of these legendary pieces.
As if these weren’t enough, there is also a festival in Moscow known as J-fest, which celebrates everything Japanese and is a smashing success in its own right. To conclude, these programs and exhibitions have proven instrumental in improving ties between Japan and Russia. As a matter of fact, the Kubota Collection is transcending borders and becoming more and more known worldwide.