Japan-players-HavanaHavana 29 March  An exhibition of sixteenth and seventeenth century Japanese Nanban art opened in Havana on Friday (March 28) to mark 400 years since Samurai Hasekura Tsunenaga’s visit to Cuba and the development of friendly ties between the two nations. The collection features a full-body portrait of the samurai who first visited Cuba as well as collection of works from some of Japan’s most important Nanban artists. “We are presenting original works in Havana’s Fine Art Museum, of which we are very proud because of the Ibero-American countries this collection is only in Mexico, Argentina, Chile Spain and our Cuba. So, in Ibero-America there are only five collections, and we are proud to have one of them,” said curator, Teresa Toransio. samurai
In 1614, Tsunenaga stopped over in Cuba as he headed to establish relations with Mexico and the Vatican. Over the centuries, the Asian superpower and the Caribbean’s Communist-lead nation have enjoyed friendly ties. “(The exhibition) gives everyone the opportunity to appreciate the ancient art of this wonderful country which has a fabulous tradition. This is something that is appreciated both in Japan and Cuba and it allows us to further strengthen relations,” said Mario Naito Lopez, a Cuban resident of Japanese descent. Japan has also organised a series of other cultural events in Cuba to celebrate 400 years of relations, including a concert of traditional Japanese music at the iconic Cabana Fortress.