Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since my last entry, welcome to all the new members of this international community!



Rome is starting to be cold and the 50th anniversary of the Japan Cultural Institute is approaching. It will be in December, and lots of events are soon to be scheduled for next year.


Meanwhile, a couple of very interesting and successful nights have been held here.

A very famous Ikebana Master Instructor took part in a wonderful conference/demonstration last October 5th. Mrs. Koka Fukushima came here to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ranson Study Group, the Italian branch of the Japanese Ikebana Sogetsu School.


Ikebana is one of the most appreciated Japanese traditional arts, well-known in Italy as well, and with a lot of supporters and amateurs. The peculiarity of Sogetsu School, one of the many different schools of Ikebana, is the great modernity and the attention paid to the materials. The founder, Sofu Teshigahara, with his revolutionary approach, had broken traditional ties with his contributions to the world of ikebana.


The conference was a celebration of the Italian Ranson Study Group, founded in 1987 by Master Lina Alicino. As a special guest, Mrs. Koka Fukushima enchanted the audience making wonderful ikebana compositions and talking about her method and experience.

このカンファレンスは、Lina Alicino氏により1987年に創立されたランソン・スタディ・グループの25周年の記念イベントとして行われました。スペシャルゲストの福島光加氏による生け花デモンストレーションは、観客をあっという間に魅了し、また、彼女独自の生け花術、ご経験談など貴重なお話を伺うこともできました。




©Mario Boccia

Two weeks later an old friend of the Institute came along with two fellow musicians to give an amazing concert. We had the privilege to have the great jazz pianist and composer Makoto Kuriya as our guest for the third time, together with Keisuke Torigoe (doublebass) and Hiroki Murakami (drums). The concert was held on the occasion of the European tour “Makoto Kuriya Piano Trio” and was a great success.

その二週間後、ゲストとしてお呼びするのは三回目になるクリヤ・マコト氏(ジャズピアニスト作曲家)が、今回は二人の音楽家、鳥越啓介氏(コントラバス)と村上広樹氏(ドラム)と共に、素晴らしいコンサートを開きました。コンサートは”Makoto Kuriya Piano Trio”ヨーロッパツアーのローマ公演として行われ、大盛況のうちに終了しました。



©Mario Boccia

The next scheduled events are a conference about humanoid robots developed in Japan and the concert of Tadashi Tajima, a famous shakuhachi player.


See you next time with new reports and news!



 Old Meets New 新旧アーティストの交差点

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since my last entry in this blog!

Spring is coming in a few days, honestly I can’t wait for it. Winter in Rome has been tough this year, we have even seen the SNOW!! It never happens!! Well, it lasted a couple of days but still... amazing!

Take a look at the Istituto Giapponese covered with snow!






I’m going to report about a couple of events held here at the Institute in the last months.

In January we had the pleasure to hosting Michiko Nojiri Sensei for a conference on the “Chado”, the Tea Ceremony.

Nojiri Sensei is living in Rome since 50 years and during this long time she has been one of the greatest Japanese personalities in Italy. She is the founder and director of the Urasenke Center in Rome that represents the Japanese traditional culture abroad. After the lecture, based on her personal travelling experience in Europe, Nojiri Sensei gave a demonstration of Chado, to show the power of non-verbal communication.

最近の日本文化会館でのイベントを報告しますね。1月には、Michiko Nojiri先生をお招きして「茶道」のイベントを開催しました。Nojiri先生は50年もの長い間ローマにご在住で、イタリアでは著名な日本人です。先生は裏千家ローマ出張所の創始者であり、所長で、日本の伝統文化である茶道を海外に紹介する活動をしています。ご自身のヨーロッパにおける体験をもとに講演をされた後、Nojiri先生は茶道のデモンストレーションをされ、言葉を使わないコミュニケーションの力を示してくださいました。




It was a really moving lecture, I think it’s a big honor having the chance to listen to a person with such an awesome life, spent carrying on the tradition of the Chado among the European cultural movements.

In February we hosted a wonderful classic concert, starring a ridiculously young violinist, the 16 years old Kazuhito Yamane. This extremely talented boy played for more than an hour accompanied by the also young pianist Tomoaki Yoshida (but he’s 28, very old if compared to Yamane!).

The audience had a totally enthusiastic reaction, not only for the skill of the two musicians but also for their nice attitude


2月には弱冠16歳のヴァイオリニスト Kazuhito Yamaneさんをお招きして、クラシックコンサートを開催しました。この才能溢れる少年は、同じく若手(といっても28歳なので、Yamaneさんに比べると年を取っていますが!)のピアニストTomoaki Yoshidaさんの伴奏で1時間以上ヴァイオリンを演奏しました。観客の皆さんは、お二人の演奏技術はもちろんのこと、その振る舞いの良さにも熱狂的な賞賛を送っていました。




It’s a quite weird sensation being able to compare a Chado Sensei with her long life filled with experience and stories to tell, with such a young violin Sensei, that in spite of his age shows an incredible maturity and a very professional ability.

In March the Institute is being monopolized by the first anniversary of the terrible Tohoku Earthquake of 2011, we will hold a couple of conferences and a photographic exhibition to remember.

Time flies, already a year, unbelievable.



All the pics are copyright ©Mario Boccia

写真はすべてMario Boccia撮影


Music beyond Borderline 音楽はボーダーラインを越えて

Hello everybody! Christmas is coming OH! OH! OH!

Rome is extremely COLD right now, although here it never snows (I wonder how many degrees there are in Moscow... and in Sydney?!)

Today it's my last working day before Christmas and お正月 holidays, I'll be back at my desk on January 4th. YAY!

Before leaving I'd like to share some picture with you, they're from the concert held here on December 7th.

The event, called BORDERLINE, was a cross-over between contemporary music and Noh Theatre, with the involvement of the Italian band Alter Ego (flute and two clarinets) and the Noh performer Ryoko Aoki. It was really a "borderline show" but the audience (around 120 people) had an enthusiastic reaction.





「BORDERLINE」というタイトルがつけられたこのイベントは、イタリアのバンドAlter Ego(フルートとクラリネットデュオ)と能楽師 青木涼子さんによる現代音楽と能謡の音楽のボーダーラインを越えたコンサートでした。それはまさに「ボーダーラインを越えたパフォーマンス」で、約120名の観客は熱狂的な反応をしていましたよ〜。


(© Mario Boccia)


(© Mario Boccia)


(© Mario Boccia)

This month we had also a couple of visits from a senior high school and a junior high. The kids came to see the exhibition (the one I wrote about in my previous entry) and had a lot of fun making origami with my colleague Daniela. I took one picture but I have to put a black "mask" on the faces because of privacy laws. Here it is.



Young generations learning how to make a 鶴!


And that's all folks, sorry for the short entry but I have to finish some work before going to vacation.

I leave you a picture of the traditional Italian Christmas dessert. It's called PANETTONE and is a kind of sweet soft bread filled with raisins and candied fruit. It's DELICIOUS!



I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a more-than-wonderful 2012!



Old-fashioned Photo Exhibition レトロな写真はお好き?

Hello everyone!

Like Egypt, Italy is getting cooler as well. Rome is starting to get covered with dead leaves and sometimes rainstorms wash away everything. チョーめんどくさい。

I’m really jealous of the wonderful J-POP Salon opened in Cairo, I’m a manga lover and would be great if a similar event could be held here in Rome. Many compliments to Aki san!

No manga for me here at Istituto Giapponese, but an equally awesome photo exhibition called “Metamorphosis of Japan After the War”, the work of 11 photographers who captured images of postwar Japan from 1945 to 1964.






Ken Domon

Children looking at a picture-card show. Tokyo 1953


紙芝居 東京 1953年


Takeyoshi Tanuma

Dancers resting on the rooftop of the SKD Theatre. Asakusa, Tokyo


SKDの踊り子 浅草国際劇場屋上 東京 1949年

In my personal opinion I find very fascinating this old-fashioned style of photography, with real black&white (not the “fake one” made up using photoshop), real photographic film and no image editing at all. Isn’it incredible? There was an era without photoshop and digital cameras! We should always remember this, and pictures like these will appear in all their magnificence.

Yesterday another big event promoted by the Institute took place in Rome, at beautiful Teatro Olimpico.

It was the RYUKYU DANCE & MUSIC, a gorgeous performance of traditional music and dance from Ryukyu Islands, former name of Okinawa.

Among the dancers and musicians were included several "Living National Treasures of Japan" in performing arts and for sure the show was something unforgettable.


ローマ日本文化会館が主催したもうひとつのビッグイベントが美しいテアトロ・オリンピコにて昨日開催されました。その名も「琉球伝統芸能 ローマ公演」というイベントで、琉球(現在の沖縄県)の伝統芸能である古典音楽・舞踊の見た目にも豪華なパフォーマンスが展開されました。踊り手や演奏家の中には、日本の芸能部門の「人間国宝」もいて、この公演が観客にとって忘れられないものとなったことは間違いないでしょう。


(© Mario Boccia)


(© Mario Boccia)


(© Mario Boccia)


(© Mario Boccia)

Isn'it great?! The audience was totally fascinated, it was a big success.

Last, but not least, I had the chance to watch the latest Ghibli movie at Rome Film Festival last week.

Directed by Goro Miyazaki (Hayao's son), is called "From up on Poppy Hill" (コクリコ坂から) and it's very nice!

The plot is about a young girl in 1963, fighting with her classmates to save from demolition an old building used as a base for all the school clubs.

Of course romance and troubles are involved in the story, one of the best latest Ghibli in my opinion! Strongly recommended!





Ciao da Roma!  ローマからこんにちは!

Hello everybody! はじめまして! This is Federica from Rome writing my very first entry in this blog! I'm very excited to start this experience and first of all I wanna send a big ありがとう! to Mio san, for her kind support!

I've been working at Rome Japan Cultural Institute since September 2010, as a member of the cultural office staff and I’m in charge for various activities, such as patronages, database administration, and conferences.



Unfortunately I don’t have much to say right now, because in July-August the Institute is on summer break with no activities.

The atmosphere is very quiet and the familiar sound of cicadas echoes all around. I love summer.


In September an exhibition about Japanese gardens will be held at the Institute, and here you can see some pictures of the setting.




Gardening is one of the most popular aspects of the Japanese culture, a lot of people calls to visit the garden of the Institute, that will be opened from next October 1st for one month (usually the visits are held during October and April-May).

Last spring another Association in Italy (near Milan) borrowed the same exhibition from us and was a great success.



By the way, at the moment the Institute is 工事中 because next year will be the 50th anniversary of its foundation and a lot of events are in program.

Taking advantage of the summer break, we are renovating the concert hall (above all the air conditioning system) and here's how the hall looks like right now...





Hopefully in September everything will be ok!


See you next time with new reports!