The third international festival of Japanese music "The Soul of Japan" was very popular with the Muscovites and Moscow's guests. The festival which opened in September 2001 lasted 108 days. Russian and Japanese masters gave more than 20 concerts, taught the persons interested to play Japanese musical instruments, gave puppet performances and lectures. Not only experienced musicians but also young performers played for the Muscovites. Many Muscovites got acquainted with the soul of Japan for the first time within the four festival's months, said Ichiro Kawabata, the Japanese Embassy's counsellor for culture. The closing day of the festival was marked by a real holiday "The Garden of One Flower" timed to Emperor Akihito's birthday. The holiday's programme included a concert of the ensemble of the court music Gagaku and the Bugaku ceremonial dance from the Tenri University. Japanese opera singer Wakako Ban and the Moscow conservatory's ensemble of Japanese music performed at the concert. The national dresses of the performers, the sounds of oriental instruments and flower compositions with a yellow chrysanthemum, the symbol of the Emperor's exclusiveness, produced an impression as if somebody suddenly brought a part of the Country of the Rising Sun in cold and snow-covered Moscow.
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