Jakarta (ANTARA) - Japanese artist Sakura Tomomi Ijuin has been trying to connect Indonesian and Japanese cultures since 2011 through the Sakuranesia Society Foundation, which provides opportunities for the younger generation to make friends using art.

Since 2011, she has been carrying out activities that connect Indonesia and Japan by becoming chairman of a foundation that provides opportunities for children from all over the world to make friends through art in Japan, she informed in Jakarta on Monday.

Sakura Tomomi, who is also known as Sakura, is head of the Sakuranesia Society Foundation. She has also been active in international cultural exchange activities, including in Bali in 2018, which finally introduced her to the Jember Fashion Carnival (JFC).

After learning about JFC from a donor, she tried to find information about the carnival until, in 2019, she came to attend her first JFC event in Jember, East Java, in person.

Sakura felt that she had the same mission as the JFC: connecting the world through art and creativity. This encouraged her to introduce the JFC to Japanese artists.

She said Japanese artists were surprised when they learned that Indonesia had a world-class festival like JFC, which has been going on for 20 years with the support of many volunteers.

Sakura succeeded in getting Japanese artists interested in voluntarily participating and enlivening the JFC out of pure interest, without being paid for accommodation or other costs.

"When I invited them to participate in celebrating JFC, they were very happy and willing to work together," Sakura said.

She informed that during this year's JFC, she brought three groups from Japan, namely the Artwear group, which presented music, calligraphy, and fashion entertainment, and the Grand Carnival group, which presented dance performances such as the Kadowa Dreams dance team.

The Kadowa Dreams dance team, which consists of the best dancers in Japan and has participated in world competitions, plans to hold auditions in Indonesia for members of their dance league.

This is because, according to Japanese artists, Indonesia is known for having a large number of young people, so they want to revive the world of entertainment for talented young people.

Not only from a cultural point of view, Sakuranesia also invited the World Kids Carnival group, which will make donations to children from three schools in Jember.

"A total of about 30 people from Japan participated in the JFC. This is the first time they have visited Jember," she said.

Earlier, Deputy Governor of East Java, Emil Elestianto Dardak, said that JFC is not just an event to display costumes, but a dream to advance the nation.

This year's JFC has participants from at least eight countries, including Japan, and representing five continents. This reflects the success of the JFC event in the outer zone of Japan.

"JFC is not only the pride of Jember and East Java, but also Indonesia, so the meaning is not limited to the clothing and creativity that are displayed," he said.

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Translator: Astrid F, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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