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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kizuna Festival brings Japan to Cambodia

Kizuna Festival brings Japan to Cambodia


The first Japan-Cambodia Kizuna Festival will take place this weekend, with four days of music, film screenings, martial arts and origami demonstrations, lectures and even a science show, all aimed at creating a cultural bridge between the two countries.

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Japanese pop group Ram Wire will perform on Saturday at the Japan-Cambodia Kizuna Festival.

The Festival, organised by the Japanese embassy and the Cambodia-Japan Co-operation Centre, will open at 6pm on Thursday with a performance by AUN, a group that plays traditional Japanese instruments.

A highlight of the festival will be the Cambodian premiere of We Cannot Change the World But We Wanna Build a School in Cambodia, a movie adapted from a 2008 book by Japanese writer Kota Hada.

Osamu Mukai, a famous actor and a goodwill ambassador between Japan and Cambodia, plays Kota Hada in the story about his experience travelling in rural Cambodia to build a school.

The movie, screened last year in Japan, served to introduce Japanese audiences to social realities in Cambodia.

“What Japanese people know about Cambodia is mainly Angkor Wat, the Khmer Rouge or land mines, but they don’t know how hard it is for children in the countryside to go to school,” says  Machida Tatsuya, counsellor of the Japanese embassy in Cambodia.

This will be the first time Cambodians have a chance to see the film, which will be screened, with Khmer subtitles, at 6pm on Friday.  

Other highlights of the festival include a room with traditional tea ceremony, a concert by popular Japanese pop group Ram Wire at 6pm on Saturday and karate and kendo demonstrations at 4pm on Saturday.

The festival will be held from February 16 to 19 at the Cambodia Japan Co-operation Centre, in Russian Boulevard, near the Royal University. Admission is free.



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