If you don’t already know, reggae is the string that binds us to the hearts, minds and ears of many Japanese. Artists such as Bob Marley, Buju Banton, TOK, Elephant Man and more recently Voicemail is well known by many Japanese Nationals. Check out the Jamaica Observer‘s coverage of the One Love Jamaica Festival which is held yearly in Japan.
The 2007 renewal of the One Love Jamaica Festival on May 19 and 20 reaffirmed the depth to which Jamaican culture – in particular the music – has penetrated this typically closed society more than half the world away. Some 40,000 people gathered in Yoyogi Park in the capital Tokyo to witness performances from Jamaican, as well as indigenous Japanese reggae artistes (plus at least one Japanese dancehall queen), and also to consume jerk chicken and other Jamaican delicacies, gaze at exhibitions of Jamaican paintings and photographs and pick from a display of art and craft souvenirs.
The highlight of the event was the Bob Marley Songs contest, which featured Japanese singers performing Marley’s songs, the winner receiving a prize trip for two to Montego Bay’s renowned Half Moon hotel. The festival, the brainchild of Japanese promoters Ryuichi Tsuruno and Yoshihisa Haga, was first held in 2004, with the aim of promoting cultural exchange between the two countries.
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