March 2008: First Japan Week

March 2008: First Japan Week

From March 11 to March 13, the Catholic University of Leuven (department of Japanese Studies) and Kansai University organised three days of cultural, academic and educational activities centering on Japanese culture, ranging from classical theatre to modern film. The 'Japan Week' was held in Leuven as a part of the bilateral agreement between both universities.

Opening Ceremony at the Rectorate of the K.U.Leuven - March 11

Browse the photo album.


Samurai film trilogy


Director Yoji Yamada's acclaimed recent trilogy of samurai films.

  • 11 March: “The Twilight Samurai” (Tasogare Seibei, 2002)
  • 12 March: “The Hidden Blade” (Kakushi Ken Oni no Tsume, 2004)
  • 13 March: “Love and Honor” (Bushi no Ichibun, 2006)

All showings start at 20h, in Japanese with English subtitles. Before the screening of "The Hidden Blade", at 19h, four-times Japanese Academy Award-winning director Yoji Yamada himself will join us to take part in a live interview about his work (conducted in Japanese and Dutch).

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Screening of two recent anime:

  • 11 March: “Appleseed” (アップルシード, 2004)
  • 13 March: “Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: the Conqueror of Shamballa” (劇場版「鋼の錬金術師 シャンバラを征く者」, 2005)

Both screenings begin at 22u30. Japanese with Dutch subtitles.

Traditional dance and Noh theatre
12 March, 14h-17h


A rare opportunity to attend a live performance of Noh, one of Japan's celebrated three forms of traditional theatre. Actor Akihiro Yamamoto will play the lead role in 'Izutsu', 'The Well Head', in which an itinerant monk faces the ghost of a young woman who died a tragic death centuries before. After the performance, Yamamoto will conduct an explanation of Noh theatre's unique characteristics and techniques (in Japanese and Dutch).

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Browse the Noh Workshop and Noh Theatre photo albums.

Introduction to Noh theatre
5 March (!), 19h-20h30

In preparation of the Noh performance during the Japan Week, theatre specialist Gretl van Ourti will give an introduction on the more esoteric aspects of this impressive and complex form of theatre. An understanding of Noh's conventions is certain to greatly enhance enjoyment of an actual performance. The introduction will be in Dutch.

A unique folding screen rediscovered
11 March, 13h30-17h


Several years ago, eight seemingly random panels that had been adorning the walls of Austria's Eggenberg Castle for centuries were identified as parts of a priceless lost work of art: a traditional Japanese folding screen or 'byobu'. Now restored to its former glory, the screen may be admired in full-size photographic reproduction on March 11 from 13h30 on. Starting at 14h30, researchers involved in the restoration and analysis of the screen will present their results in an international colloquium (English language).

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Browse the photo album.

Kimono demonstration
13 March, 18h


An exceptional demonstration by professional kimono dressers hailing from the reputed Toyoko Kobayashi kimono school. A model will be dressed layer by layer in a 'junihitoe', the twelve-layer kimono once worn by ladies of the imperial Heian court (794-1185). The assistance of no less than three dressers is required to put on a junihitoe, and the entire garb can weigh up to twenty kilos.

More information

Browse the photo album.