Friday, July 22, 2011

Japanese Center in Krakow

by aleks

In medieval city of Krakow, Poland, across the Vistula River from the Wawel castle,  there is a center of Japanese art and culture.  Downstairs exhibition hall has photographs of Japanese Zen and Tea gardens + a small two tatami mats tea house.  Upstairs is filled with different items of Japanese culture - historical and contemporary:  from clothes, warrior sword and uniforms, through woodblock prints, books, dolls, ceramics to contemporary flowers.  I took some illegal photos (photos were allowed, but no flash - i tried to turn the flash function off, but it didn't work, and it flashed each time) - will post them as soon as I reunite with my computer....

The center has also a small gift shop where i bought a book of Basho's haiku in Polish and a restaurant, with surprisingly authentic Japanese food (I suppose some ingredients are hard to find or substitute).

here is the web address of manggha in Krakow, Poland, and a few pics stolen from the web:
Japanese Center manngha in Krakow, Poland
Wikipedia on manngha museum.

Distorted image of Wawel castle reflected in manngha window

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the global perspective. Is there a large Japanese population in Krakow? Can't wait to hear your stories when you return. Safe journey!

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  2. Great contrast between the handsome center and (distorted) reflection of the castle! Hope you bring home a menu...

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  3. It gives me warm feeling to think of some (local) Japanese people working really hard to help the center authentic. Like many people here, I believe that learning other countries/cultures is the great first step to broaden one's horizon at any age.

    Thank you for introducing the Japanese Center in Krakow, Aleks!

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  4. thanks Lynnda, Monzie and Keiko.

    i don't think there is any size-able Japanese population in krakow - Manggha Center of Japanese Art is a japanese art gallery created by Academy Award winning director Andrzej Wajda, who is crazy about things Japanese... the building takes entire city block.

    i have some pics of my own from the Japanese center, including window reflection of the castle with family characters - will post when jet-lag subsides...

    Keiko: i thought the center was quite authentic for a place thousands miles away from Japan... and is quite loved, and open to all cultures, too - while we were there it sponsored festival of international music, so we saw a german opera on the topic of ww2, and saw announcements for kronos string quartet performing the very next day!

    part 2 of the 'Japanese Center in krakow' coming soon:)..

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