Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bunka-no-hi/ Culture Day

文化の日 / Culture Day
Bunka-no-hi, pronounced boonka-no-hee, is a national holiday celebrated annually in Japan on November 3rd. English translation is "Day of Culture" and it exists to promote the arts and various fields of academic endeavor, typically there are art exhibits, culture festivals, and parades held in honor of this holiday. "Since 1937, the award ceremony for the prestigious Order of Culture has been held on this day. Given by the Emperor himself to those who have significantly advanced science, the arts or culture, it is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Imperial Family. The prize is not restricted to Japanese citizens, and for instance was awarded to the Apollo 11 astronauts upon their successful return from the moon."*
*text taken from Wikepedia.

Order of Culture Medal

"Established in 1937, the Order of Culture medal features the five petals of a mandarin orange blossom with three magadama (comet-shaped stones) swirled in the center. The attachment features a mandarin orange and leaf.

*Note: An indeciduous mandarin orange tree was planted in the south garden of the Kyoto Goshou Shishinden in the Heian Era, and has thrived ever since. Its position in the garden is immortalized by the phrase Ukonno tachibana. Prized from ancient times, the mandarin orange tree symbolizes eternity. It is said that the mandarin orange tree is used in the Order of Culture because this symbolism connects deeply with the timelessness of culture.

Curiously, Culture Day is statistically one of the finest days of the year. Between 1965 and 1996, there have only been three years with rain occurring in Tokyo on Culture Day." *
*photo and text taken from

Mandarin Orange Tree, photo courtesy of Natasha

Why am I posting about this Holiday?
The Kokeshi show I'm curating will be held in honor of this day. Opening night and artists' reception will be Saturday, November 3, from 6pm to 10pm. Subtext Gallery is located in San Diego, California at 680 West Beech Street, zip code 92101. Official postcard for event will be posted soon.

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