Düsseldorf Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to arrive in the state capital. At the end of a traditional Japan day, it should rain gold from the sky.
Preparations for Japan Day were in full swing on Friday. The fireworks on the side of the Oberkassel were preoccupied with preparing the missile containers at midday with creative angst. “We are very concerned that it will storm and it will rain soon, and we will have to step in with the gas,” said Martin Schmitz, sales manager for large fireworks at Nico Europe from Wuppertal.
At his side were three Japanese pyrotechnics who came especially for Japan Day: Hideki Kubota and his colleagues Natsuko Oe and Aya Takasaki. What we have here are dolls,” Schmitz said. “Real fireworks are safely stored in a container. 1,502 fireworks will be launched into the air at 11pm on Saturday night.
The motto, drawn up in 2020, is still valid and has not lost any of its themes, as the German pyrotechnist says: “Peace and friendship.” The popular spectacle will last about 25 minutes, and Japanese colleagues have demonstrated the splendor of the expected colors: red at first, bright in the middle, and at the end there is a shower of gold.
60 ignitions are triggered. Schmitz, who has been there for many years and is also responsible for the Rheinkirmes fireworks, became excited: “Japan and Fireworks Day – this is still something very special for all of us.”
Anne Linden, who is responsible for events in the city, sees it similarly. I remembered while visiting at the site: “In 1983, we had our first Japan week – with the fireworks, a lot of people came, and people didn’t go home later because of the collapse of public transportation.” In 1987, the organizers underestimated the floods and all the preparations were in vain, everything swam in the water, everything had to be scrapped.
600,000 people are expected to attend Japan Day this year. Everything is already ready: in the Mannesmannufer the tents of equipment extend to the Reuterkaserne, the main podium at Burgplatz. The band “Charan Bo Rantan with Kankan Balkan” will perform there on Saturday at 9:40 pm until the start of the fireworks.
Singer Momo (29) and accordionist Koharu (33) are in Dusseldorf for the first time – in Japan the two sisters have a certain cult status with their blend of chanson, pop and folklore. The band’s name symbolizes happiness and friendly confusion, explained Sven Janig of the Japanese Cultural Institute in Cologne, who led the duo to Germany to perform a total of three shows.
“Something out of line – that’s how the name could also be paraphrased.” This is also evident from the sisters, because their hair is blue and purple, the summer kimono – also called the yukata – is striped in color and their heads are decorated with hats, those clothes that remind of the French gendarmes. “Our mother designed all of this,” the women say proudly. “Because we imagined Germany to be very green, so we thought our colorful clothes would fit well there.”
Artists and art, fireworks, dance and music: Japanese culture will be celebrated once again with a major event in Dusseldorf on Saturday. Japanese street food can be discovered in many gastronomy tents. Traditional clothing, calligraphy, and Japanese sports arts can also be experienced live.
Our editorial team reports live on Japan Day and starts on Friday. The multifaceted culture of the East Asian nation is presented in about 75 platforms and in a colorful theater program on Japan Day.
It starts at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Then Mayor Stefan Keeler, Andreas Pinkwart (NRW Minister of Economy), Manabu Miyamoto (Japanese Club President) and Kiminori Iwama, Consul General of Japan in Dusseldorf, will then speak on the main stage in Burgplatz.