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A comprehensive celebration of Japanese arts and culture that’s part of the lead-up to this year’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the ongoing Japan Cultural Expo features everything from art exhibitions to performing arts events taking place throughout the country. The expo offers something for everyone, but the vast number of happenings held under its umbrella can make choosing what to see a bit challenging. In this series, we’re checking in with six experts to get an insider’s take on the Japan Cultural Expo events that definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Our fifth curator is Katsumi Tanaka, the frontman of Tokyo-based music collective Minyo Crusaders, who blend Japanese folk with Latin, Caribbean and other exotic beats. Tanaka is on a mission to reintroduce his listeners to folk – originally the ultimate people’s music but no longer part of daily life for most of us today. His efforts have hit the spot both in Japan and abroad: Minyo Crusaders now have a global fanbase, having toured extensively in Europe and elsewhere.
In choosing five notable events at the Japan Cultural Expo, Tanaka focused on happenings that, like Minyo Crusaders’ music, shine a spotlight on cultural exchange between Japan and other countries and that provide an opportunity to rediscover Japan’s traditional performing arts through experience.