2020 Tokyo Olympics Cultural Program
On October 15th, in the official “Tokyo 2020 NIPPON Festival Joint Program” cultural program, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced the “2020 International Ogura Hyakunin Isshu Karuta Festival”, as proposed by the National Karuta Association, and 3 municipal districts, including Fukui Prefecture’s Awara City. From May 23rd to 31st of next year, each district will host international competitions and various events, in an opportunity to have the charm of Karuta on display for everyone across and outside of Japan. It is a first for this program to be executed within Fukui Prefecture.
“NIPPON Festival” works to promote Japan’s culture and arts, in cooperation between various committees, organizations, and municipalities across Japan. There have been proposals of 30 to 50 various programs for the period of April to September of 2020. Leading up to October 15th, 17 proposals have already been selected.
Other than Awara City, which has significant ties to the Karuta-themed manga “Chihayafuru”, and has hosted the National Women’s Karuta Championship for 3 consecutive years, the Karuta Festival will be hosted in Tokyo’s Bunkyo district, where the National Karuta Association is situation, and also in Shiga Prefecture’s Otsu City, where the Men’s Karuta Championship and the Women’s “Queen” Karuta Championship are held every year.
From May 23rd, the Karuta Festival will begin in Otsu City’s Omi Jingu, with events including international competitions between groups and between individuals, a competition for the visually impaired, and hands-on sessions for inexperienced players. On May 24th, international competitions and various related services will operate in Seifuso, a ryokan in Awara City. The important details of each district’s competitions and events will be announced in a conference in Omi Jingu, on November 10th.