The Japanese cultural festival (bunkasai) is an annual event hosted by the Japanology students at Sofia university. It is a one-day celebration aiming at promotion of the Japanese culture to Bulgarians and introduce guests to the Japanology course and the possibilities it offers.
Bunkasai includes various stage performances, demonstrations, presentations, workshops, interactive educational games and more. It consists of two parts – stage and non-stage. The stage part usually includes a play, a quiz, traditional and modern dances. The non-stage part includes various workshops. Some of those workshops are: calligraphy workshop, hall of horrors, Japanese games room, tea room, ‘kitsuke’ room for dressing the guests in a traditional Japanese summer garment (yukata).
Students from the first to the fourth year organize meetings at which they decide what the concept of the event is and what will be the way in which that concept will be implemented in the respective year.
The festival aims at being interesting and informative, as well as to give the guests a chance to experience the Japanese culture, thinking and aesthetics. Students voluntarily split in organizational teams. Japanese exchange students taking classes in Sofia University the current year also take part in the preparations. Everything is coordinated with the Japanology professors who provide guidance and advice on the effective implementation of the project.
Throughout the academic year a script for the play and the stage part is being prepared and dance rehearsals are being held weekly. Additionally, the students draw out schedules for the workshops and create a financial plan for the event. Promotion for the bunkasai is accomplished through advertisements on social networks, posters and official invitation letters.
The purpose of the festival is to enrich the knowledge of the Bulgarian public about the peculiarities of traditional Japanese culture, language and people; to acquaint future applicants with the opportunities offered by one of the most desirable specialties of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philologies – the Japanese studies program, as well as the learning conditions, facilities, teaching staff and their potential future classmates. By organizing the Bunkasai festival we also aim to contribute to maintaining important connections and partnerships, notably with the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Bulgaria, but also with various schools and academies specializing in education in Japanese, as well as with clubs and organizations related to Japanese culture, thanks to which every year young people are inspired to enter the field of Japanese studies.