Address from Consul General Takaoka: Kyo Mai Inoue-Ryu Event in Edinburgh

Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you so much for joining us this evening.  My name is Nozomu Takaoka and I arrived in Edinburgh to take up my post as Consul-General of Japan less than two months ago. This the first event for me to introduce Japanese culture to an experienced audience in the top culture and creative city in Europe, Edinburgh. Therefore, I am very happy to welcome the Kyo Mai Grand Master, Inoue Yachiyo the 5th.

Kyo Mai literally means 'Dance of Kyoto', the ancient capital of Japan. Kyoto is by far the most popular tourist destination in Japan, especially for those who are culturally oriented. But even if you visited Kyoto, you have to be extremely lucky to be able to appreciate the Kyo Mai performance by its Grand Master, Inoue Yachiyo the 5th, since she is designated by the Japanese Ministry of Culture as a living National Treasure.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to see her performance as well as her daughter’s accompanied by traditional instruments, shamisen and koto here in Edinburgh, since Kyo Mai has rarely been performed outside Japan and indeed for the first time in this city. As the Grand Master was kind enough to explain to me the spirit of Kyo Mai yesterday, I venture to summarize that if Kabuki was like a novel, Kyo Mai is like poetry, depicting the deep meaning of life which appears on the surface in an instant moment of truth.

Let me entrust the performance itself with further explanation, and just take this opportunity to mention that Japan will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2020. Because both rugby and Paralympics originated from UK, it is only natural that mutual interest between Japan and UK is destined to grow.  

To mark the period linking these two major events, the UK-Japan Season of Culture will take place based on the agreement by the two Prime Ministers. Therefore, I would like to encourage your interest and participation in the various events to be planned in 2019 and 2020.
In closing, I would like to reiterate my gratitude to you and leave the floor to MC.

Thank you very much.