LAHORE: The Embassy of Japan, in collaboration with the Pakistan-Japan Cultural Association (PJCA), Lahore, and Lahore Sogetsu Study Group, is holding exhibitions of wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) and ikebana flower arrangement, two of Japan’s most cherished cultural traditions spanning over centuries of history.

The exhibitions will remain open till Saturday (today).

Wagashi exhibition, titled Wagashi-Art of the 5 Senses, presented the pleasantly colored dainty pieces of confectionery called the art of the five senses as they are works of art designed to appeal all the senses with their appearance, flavour, aroma, feel and the sounds of their names. While reflecting the various aspects of nature and the changing seasons, wagashi sweets are exquisitely shaped and crafted earning them the name of edible art, which are traditionally served as an accompaniment to the Japanese tea ceremony .

Ito Takeshi, Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Pakistan, inaugurated the exhibitions.

Yamazaki Tetsuya, the chef of the Embassy of Japan, skillfully demonstrated the art of preparing a variety of beautiful and delicious wagashi sweets, using traditional ingredients and techniques. With his artistic skills and aesthetic sense, Yamazaki elaborately spoke about the cultural significance of Japanese confectionery that not only used at different celebrations and rituals in Japan but also represented the changing seasons.

The ikebana exhibition by the students and teachers of Lahore Sogetsu Study Group, exhibited their spring arrangements, titled “Mughal Architecture through the eyes of Sogetsu Ikebana”. The floral designs took their inspiration from the numerous floral frescoes of the monuments of the Walled City like Lahore Fort, Sheesh Mahal, Badshahi Masjid , Wazir Khan Masjid, Shahi Hammam, to name a few.

Neveen Syed, the director of Sogetsu Study Group, gave a live ikebana demonstration, inspired through her inspirational tour of the various historical monuments in Lahore.

Explaining to the viewers, Ms Neveen said this kind of an exhibition that linked history with flowers, was the first of its kind in Lahore where floral artists of Ikebana expressed their feelings through the meditative art of Sogetsu Ikebana.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ito appreciated the aesthetically pleasing exhibitions of wagashi and ikebana arrangements, and hoped that through these exhibitions more Pakistanis would enjoy the Japanese culture and that the bond of friendship between Japan and Pakistan would be strengthened.

He commended the hard work of Japanese chef Yamazaki Tetsuya, who especially came from Islamabad to present before Pakistani audience a rare glimpse into wagashi, the art of five senses.

Mr Ito appreciated the Lahore Sogetsu Study Group that helped in organising these exhibitions successfully in Lahore and displaying ikebana floral arrangements during the emperor’s birthday celebration in Islamabad last week. He also thanked Aamir Shirazi, the honorary consul general of Japan in Lahore, and Dr Ghazala Irfan, the president of PJCA Lahore, for their continued support.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Noshki killings
Updated 14 Apr, 2024

Noshki killings

It must be asked why Baloch separatists continue to target civilians as well as security men despite large deployment.
Upholding the law
14 Apr, 2024

Upholding the law

THE recent discord in Bahawalnagar offers a chance to reflect on the sanctity of the law and its enforcement across...
Tragic travels
14 Apr, 2024

Tragic travels

FOR those embarking on road and boat journeys, the probability of fatal accidents has seen a steady rise. The recent...
Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...