The one who built a spiritual bridge over two worlds, two
cultures, two distant and so special realms, was Cristina
Cărbune(Inoguchi), born in Constanta and married in TokyoAsakusa,
where she lives.
Faithful to her country, Romania, Cristina has promoted
many Romanian literary volumes, and has also initiated and
organized important Romanian-Japanese projects, through which
Japan, the country where she now lives, has found out a little bit
more about our Romanian spirituality. That is how the fragile
Spring flowers, the snow drops, met the delicate cherry blossoms,
sakura, and how the fascinating Japanese pagodas, ¨the tea
ceremony¨(cha-no-yu), the „ikebana” have come in contact with the
famous Moldavian monasteries, the Romanian „ie”(embroidered
peasant blouse), the¨calușari¨(Romanian folk dancers), and our
winter traditions and customs.
To discover once again the beauty and the charm of these
two worlds, I invite you to step on the ¨Bridge Between Two
CAP. II ROMANIAN – JAPANESE CULTURAL TIES
Though situated on different continents and thousands of miles apart, Japan and Romania have close friendship relations. Consequently, both countries foster activities for getting to know the specific culture of each other. Japan has students who have come to learn in Romania, but Romania too has youngsters studying in the Country of the Rising Sun. There are universities in Romania where Japanese is being studied. And we have Romanians living in Japan (by marriage) and Japanese children with Romanian mothers.
40 years since Yokohama (Japan) and Constanta (Romania)
have become twin cities
This year, Constanta will celebrate the union with Yokohama’’
The protocol of the union was signed by the then mayors,
Gheorghe Trandafir (mayor of Constanta) and I. Asukata (mayor
of Yokohama) on October 12-th 1977. The Romanian ambassador
in Tokyo was also present at the ceremony.
The document said that:”The sorority between the two cities
will not only have a contribution to consolidating the friendship and
collaboration between Romania and Japan, but also in
strengthening world peace.”
Due to the good relationship between the two cities, the Local
Council in Constanta gave the name Yokohama to a street in the
city. In the Tabacariei Park there is a handmade sculpture entiteled
“Japanese Stone Lanterns” offered by the Local Administration
of Yokohama in October 1982. The plate at the bottom of the
sculpture says’’A gift from the president of the Yokohama –
Constanta, friendship committee, Matsuo Ariyama”.
Yokohama is the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, situated to the
south of Tokyo, in the Kanto region, Honshu Island. It is the second
largest city in Japan, with a population of over 3.7 million people
Yokohama used to be a small fishing village up to the end of
the Edo period, when Japan had a national seclusion policy, having
few contacts with foreigners. In 1853 -1854 Commander Matthew
Perry reached the south of Yokohama, with a fleet of American
warships demanding Japan to open up more trading ports. After the
initial opposition, Perry was allowed to dock his ships in
Kanagawa, near today’s Yokohama. After one month of
negotiations the Kanagawa Convention was signed on March 31st,
1854. Perry signed it as an American representative and Hayashi
Akira also known as Daigaku-no-kami signed it as the
representative of Japan.
Today Yokohma is one of the most important ports in Japan,
alongside Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, Hakata, Tokyo and Chiba.
Constanta was founded as a consequence of the Greek
colonization of the Black Sea (from the Greek: Pontos Euxeinos) by
the colonists of Milet in the VII – V Centuries BC, and was given
the name Tomis. During the Medieval Times, Constanta was one of
the Genoese markets for trade in the Black Sea region. Genoese
merchants and ship-owners had settled in the Dobrogea peninsula.
The so called ‘’Genoese Lighthouse” dating back to that time that
was built on an old headland, still exists.
Today Constanta is a lively city that combines the centuries old
history with modernity. Constanta receives its guests with open
arms, with a lot of charm and surpirising places. It is a city
celebrating multiculturalism, where oriental and modern life
intermingles in order to generate a joyous and spectacular lifestyle.
Constanta is the second most important city in Romania, a city
which should be visited throughout the year, both in summer and in
winter, as well as in spring and autumn.
(Translated by Tudor Mihai)
Sources: Google & Wikipededia
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CONSTANTA, ROMANIA – MAY 25: Unidentified people visit the Sedov, biggest tall ship in the world with 117,5 meters, during Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta on May 25, 2014 in Constanta, Romania.