A chat with the renowned authors Yoko Tawada and Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson; teaching in both Gyoza and origami; an introduction of Japanese studies; a coverage of Japan's reaction to COVID-19, and Japanese Role Playing games are only a part of the week long programme at the Japan Festival online 1 - 7 February.
The festival is organized by the Japanese Department at the University of Iceland in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Iceland, the Iceland-Japan Society, and the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages. The festival has been an annual one day event on campus attracting a large and diverse group of guests. In light of current restrictions on gatherings it was, however, decided to move it entirely online this year and offer a comprehensive and diverse programme for a whole week.
The programme is designed to appeal to people of all ages. One of the events is a chat between the world famous author Yoko Tawata and her translator, Margaret Mitsutani. Two books by Tawada have been published in Icelandic, Etüden im Schnee (Etýður í snjó) and Kentoshi (Sendiboðinn) by Angústúra publishing house. Kentoshi received the esteemed National Book Awards in the category Translated Literature in 2018.
Furthermore, Kristín Ingvarsdóttir, assistant professor of Japanese Language and Culture at the University of Iceland will chat with the best selling Icelandic author Ólfur Jóhann Ólafsson, who was recently nominated for the Icelandic Literary Awards. They will discuss his writing as well as his experience of working for over a decade for the Japanese corporation Sony.
The Japan festival also includes teaching spectators online how to make Japanese pan-fried dumplings, or gyoza and the famous origami, manga figures and writing in Japanese. Academics and students at the University of Iceland will give interesting talks on Japan's response to COVID-19, and Japanese role-playing game will be compared to Western ones. Students in Japanese at the University of Iceland will then introduce their studies and talk about their experience of exchange studies at a Japanese university.
All events at the Japan Festival are free of charge and further information can be found on the Festival's Facebook page.