Singapore/Japan Relations through SJ50 Matsuri and Friendship Parade
Since the early 1980s and 90s, J-pop has been widely spread in Singapore through music and TV dramas (yup, the era where I was being brought up). Popular singers that most of us know include X-Japan, Ayumi Hamasaki and Namie Amuro. During the younger days, kids have known the famed ultraman as the “salted-egg superman” in mandarin. Hence Japanese culture is not foreign to the Singaporeans.
Held on 29 Oct 16, SJ50 Matsuri is the biggest Japan festival celebration ever held in Singapore organised by the matsuri steering committee. SJ50 marks the 50th anniversary of Singapore – Japan diplomatic relations and matsuri means festival celebration in Japanese. This event was held in Civic Plaza Outdoor Courtyard, Ngee Ann City, featuring the Japanese traditional/pop culture, tourism and various products from Japan. Awa Odori, being the largest element, is made up of various synchronised performances by different participating groups, and the parade remained as the highlight of this event. SJ50 Anniversary Ceremony was graced by the Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo and H.E. Ambassador Kenji Shinoda. There was also a talk show held by a Singaporean celebrity Michelle Chong and the MC for the parade was hosted by Jamie Yeo and Tim Oh. Their Facebook pages can be found here: SJ50 Matsuri and SJ50.
Orchard road was closed for a few hours to cater for this friendship parade. A total of 2000 people performing the Awa Odori along Orchard road. This is mainly formed by the Japanese and locals from Singapore-Japanese Friendship Organisations, local schools, as well as Harajuku Fashion Walk Singapore. The public are also invite to participate in the Friendship Parade where they were taught Awa Odori dance on the spot on the. Ichi ni, ichi ni…
Strong positive energy filled the air! The vibes were great here in SJ50 Matsuri as everybody enjoyed themselves. Looking forward to the next SJ100. Kanpai!