Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC, Sri Lanka’s fastest growing commercial bank, was the banking partner for the recently concluded Japan Expo Premier 2017 exhibition. The exhibition was held from February 2 to 4, 2017, at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), backed by the Embassy of Sri Lanka (Tokyo) and Embassy of Japan (Sri Lanka).
The event, while highlighting the strong bond between the two nations, showcased several key aspects of Japanese culture, which not only immersed visitors in the country’s rich heritage but also entertained them immensely.
The main theatre was the most popular attraction as it featured the best of Japanese entertainment. The highlight was Oshin, the main actress of the popular Japanese teledrama that gained wide popularity among the Sri Lankan TV viewers. Sri Lankans of all ages have been enthralled by the drama’s rich storyline through the years. Ayoko Kobayashi or Little Oshin during her young days was a much welcomed guest on stage evoking nostalgic emotions among the audience. The other popular screenings included the smash hits Seven Samurai, Samurai Hustle, Super Kabuki II and One Piece.
Adding to the entertainment were talks by the Samurai Hustle cinema director and One Piece producer. The children’s theatre screened popular cartoons such as The Adventures of Panda and Friends, Detective Conan and internationally known production Mobile Suit Gundam. The musical performances by Takarabune (specialists in Japanese and Taico dance), Shamisen Shinobu, Acoon Hibino and popular boy band B-Stations were well received by the visitors. One of the most memorable events at the Expo was the live performance of Japan’s national sport, Sumo. For many visitors, this was a once in lifetime opportunity and one that brought them up, close and personal with actual Sumo wrestlers.
Exhibitions and workshops
The Chado Cafe situated in the Japanese Workshop Zone served native refreshments and also amazed visitors with the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, which is an integral part of every citizen’s life. Stepping into the Kado workshop, visitors were in for a visual treat thanks to a fascinating display of Japanese flower arrangements. The Japanese kimono fashion show, held at the main theatre, delighted the audience with an abundance of Japanese culture, grace and beauty. The turnout and general feedback showed that Japan Expo was a success and one that gave Sri Lankans and others present a deep, memorable insight into Japanese culture.
Pan Asia Bank DGM Marketing and Card Products Nalaka Wijayawardana commenting on the event said, “We are proud to have been part of this groundbreaking event that further strengthened ties between Sri Lanka and Japan. As a banking entity, our focus on people and sensitivity to culture and relationships are at the core of everything we do.”