February 27 was a special day for the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo, as the kick off media event to celebrate Finland's 100 years of Independence was held at the Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo. The venue decorated with blue and white balloons was packed with more than 120 journalists and guests coming to hear about the commemorative projects planned for this year.
"We celebrate Finland's centennial year with the theme 'yhdessä,' which means 'together.' Our approach is a bottom up one- the Government holds no copyright to how the independence should be celebrated," Ambassador of Finland to Japan Jukka Siukosaari said in his opening remarks. "We wish to bring all interested parties to include their own events in the Finland 100 calendar."
There are over two thousand events taking place in place in Finland and around the world. Many will be held in Japan as well under the Finland 100 logo. There were 8 presentations at the media event, where the organizers explained in detail about their upcoming plans. One of the highlights was the official introduction of the Finnish Embassy's popular twitter character Fintan's anime; the audience laughed and clapped to see Fintan speak and move for the first time. The appearance of the Moomin ballet dancer was of course the climax; Japanese dancer Mai Komori dressed in the costume of the Snork Maiden danced and twirled elegantly to promote Finnish National Ballet's Moomin Ballet performances in Tokyo and Osaka this April.
Introduction of Finland 100 projects:
The Finnish Institute in Japan
Kalevala inspired art by Japanese contemporary artists
Launch of the long-awaited Japanese-Finnish dictionary
"Finland's 100 items"project where Finnish innovations from 1917 to 2017 are introduced one item per year
Finnish Design 2017
About 600 items from master pieces by Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck to current design products by Harri Koskinen, Heini Riittahuhta are exhibited at different museums across Japan.
Tampere Philharmonia Japan Tour
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Sibelius in May at 5 different locations. About 30 digital prints of the original Moomin drawings will be displayed in the lobby at each venue.
Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra 842nd Subscription Concert
Finnish maestro Hannu Lintu conducts TMSO and The Polytech Choir Male Chorus performing Symphony Kullervo by Sibelius in November
Finland 100 Pop Up
Finnish design brands Artek and iittala comes together to hold events ans workshops introducing Finnish culture and lifestyle