MIP Presents 'Ukraine in Japan's Mirror' Book at Mystetskyi Arsenal

On December 16th, the chapter book ‘Ukraine in Japan’s Mirror’ was presented at Mystetskyi Arsenal. The book was created by Mariia Ruban, a Kharkiv artist, to the order of the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine.

The book is a series of pictures for children comparing traditional symbols of Ukraine and Japan.

According to the artist, the pictures are drawn in watercolour since the style of a watercolour drawing is more characteristic for the Japanese school of art.

Mariia Ruban explains: “So, on one side of the page there is, say, a samurai, and on the other is a Cossack; a Japanese temple – a Ukrainian church; miso soup – borsch; a cherry blossom – a sunflower, and so on.”

Opening the event, MIP’s State Secretary Artem Bidenko said that the Year of Japan had been celebrated in all Ukrainian cities; each Ukrainian region experienced Japanese traditional and cultural features, and the Ministry decided to create something special for children as well. “We have been keeping the topic of Japan on top of the news agenda for the whole year. We have tried to set up our own events, we have organized two national public social ad campaigns, about Japan’s assistance to Ukraine and special features of the Japanese. And now, this chapter book is an opportunity to bring Ukrainians and Japanese closer through graphical perceptions. It is hoped that this will be a good souvenir to remember Ukraine for Japanese dealing with Ukraine both in our country and in Japan as well.”

Takashi Hirano, the political attache of the Embassy of Japan, said: “I think that it is easy to say that we, Ukrainians and Japanese, are very different, but it is more interesting to learn that we are different but have quite a lot in common at the same time. As soon as we know more about each other, we will be able to speak more and more about such things. And this book will contribute to it.”

During the presentation, a workshop was held for Japanese and Ukrainian children by the artist. Nearly 40 people – children and their parents – drew together the symbols of the two countries.