Report of past events



Opening of the Exhibition "Japanomania in the Nordic Countries" and Celebration of 150th Year Anniversary of Japan-Denmark Diplomatic Relations

Date: 18 January 17.00-19.00 2017

Place: SMK

Kagami Biraki Ceremony

The opening of the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Japan-Denmark Diplomatic Relations and the official anniversary event ; Exhibition "Japanomania in the Nordic Countries"  was held at the National Gallery of Denmark on 18th January.

From the Danish side, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik, Minister for Culture and Ecclesiastical Affairs Ms.Mette Bock, Director for the National Gallery of Denmark Mr.Mikkel Bogh, Ambassador of Denmark to Japan Mr.Freddy Svane, Director General of the Danish National Archives Mr.Asbjørn Hellum, from the Japanese side, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr.Nobuo Kishi, Ambassador of Japan to Denmark Mr.Toshio Suzuki, President of the National Archives Mr.Takeo Kato attended the ceremony.

The opening ceremony started with the folk dance 'Bakamen' from Funabashi City in Chiba Prefecture, which has a sister-city agreement with Odense City in Denmark. After the speeches by director Mr.Mikkel Bogh, Minister Ms.Mette Bock and State Minister Mr.Nobuo Kishi, 'Kagamiwari (sake barrel top breaking)' was held and they had a toast with Sake. The ceremony was concluded with a mini concert performed by five musicians from Copenhagen Phil with Chief Conductor Mr.Toshiyuki Kamioka at the helm. More than 1,000 participants celebrated the opening.


"Tsukemono and the Flavor of Japanese Food" Lecture by Prof. Ole G. Mouritsen

Date: 23 February 2017

Place: Hotel and Restaurantskolen, Vigerslev Allé 18, 2500 Valby

The official anniversary event : "Tsukemono and the Flavor of Japanese Food" Lecture by Prof. Ole G. Mouritsen was held at Copenhagen Hospitality College on 23rd February.

Professor Mouritzen

Dr.Ole G. Mouritsen, a professor at University of Southern Denmark, has specialized in biophysics, but is also researching in the field of Japanese cuisine culture, especially “Umami”. He was appointed as a Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan in March, 2016.
In this lecture he talked about a variety of topics such as how to make Tsukemono (Japanese preserved vegetables), its position in Japanese cuisine, scientific analysis of Umami, and which ingredients contain Umami. Many in the audience including professionals and student of chefs were listening to him with strong interest. During the Q&A session, many questions were asked and an active discussion was held between the audience and the professor.


After the lecture, the audience tried the taste of five kinds of Tsukemono, which were made by professor Mauritsen. They were very impressed by its unique flavor.


Lecture by Ambassador Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin "From Catastrophe to Comradeship: how the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 tied Japan and Denmark closer together"

Date: 14 March 2017

Place: Tokai University European Center

Anniversary Lecture Report
Event details
Organizers: Tokai University European Center & The Denmark-Japan Society
Date: 14 March 2017
Time: 19:00-21:00
Venue: Tokai University European Center
Lecturer: Ambassador Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin

Professor Mouritzen

Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin has been a professional Danish foreign service officer since 1985, and was Denmark’s ambassador to Japan from 2008-2011.
Since 2013, he has been part of EU’s foreign service (European External Action Service) as the European Union’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Lecture title: “From Catastrophe to Comradeship: how the Great East Japan Earthquake tied Japan and Denmark closer together”
Franz-Michael Skjold Mellbin was Denmark’s ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2011, and he spoke of how the Danish embassy dealt with the situation in Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011. Describing the threefold nature of the disaster (earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima), the lecturer commented on the human, logistic, political and communicative consequences and challenges that arose in its aftermath.
The lecture highlighted the importance of “taking action” in a crisis situation, and described how the Danish embassy proactively took the initiative in locating and contacting all Danish citizens present in Japan, and managed to account for everyone within the short time span of 72 hours. Having accomplished this so quickly, the embassy freed up considerable time and energy which instead could be channeled into helping the Japanese - such as raising much needed money for the relief effort.
Danish disaster-relief focused primarily on Higashi-Matsushima (percentage-wise the hardest hit area) and was motivated by a desire to help the local children. The ambassador delivered a large donation, raised by Danish companies and businessmen, to the mayor of Higashi-Matsushima in person. The money was earmarked for school busses hired in to transport local children to schools outside the stricken area for their daily classes.
The embassy was also involved in arranging for Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik to visit Japan, and he also made the journey up to Higashi-Matsushima to see the damage for himself and meet the local people. Both the monetary donation and the Crown Prince’s visit to Higashi-Matsushima drew extensive media coverage in Japan, and in addition to being excellent PR for Denmark, paved the way for the development of strong ties between Denmark and Higashi-Matsushima. These initial ties have since matured into various forms of cooperation, but in essence they originate from a human impulse to offer help in time of need. The lecturer recalled with admiration the dedication of the residents of Higashi-Matsushima in carrying out relief work, despite the fatigue and stress they were under, not to mention the burden of grief many had to cope with at the same time.
The lecture drew a full house at Tokai University European Center with a lively post-lecture Q&A session. All in all, it was an informative, insightful and entertaining event, at the same time marking the 150-year diplomatic anniversary between Denmark and Japan, as well as commemorating the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Ambassador Franz-



Lecture by Architect Sambuichi on occasion of opening of exhibition "Hiroshi Sambuichi - Moving Materials" at DAC

Date: 28 April 2017 15.00-17.00

Place: KADK, Festsalen, Philip de Langes Allé 10, 1435 København K

The lecture event by Japanese architect Mr.Hiroshi Sambuichi, “Hiroshi Sambuichi -Moving Materials 風(Kaze)、水(Mizu)、太陽(Taiyo)”, was held at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture (KADK) on 28th April 2017. This is the official Japan-Denmark 150 years anniversary event co-organized by the Danish Architect Centre(DAC), KADK and the Embassy of Japan in Denmark.


Professor Mouritzen

Mr.Hiroshi Sambuichi is an adjunct professor at KADK since 2011, and is well known internationally with his unique works such as the “Naoshima Hall” and the “Inujima Seirensho Art Museum”. Currently his two architecture exhibitions are held at Cisternerne (“THE WATER”
(link: as a part of the Japan-Denmark 150 years anniversary events.

Professor Mouritzen

“Moving materials” such as wind, water and the sun, which Mr.Sambuichi diligently observes, are the contrasts to the “nonmoving” materials such as iron, timber and cement, of which general architecture consists. Mr. Sambuichi’s works have the distinctive feature that they consist of not only unmoving materials, but also of “Moving materials”. In this lecture he explained about his philosophy,  his past works, and the two special exhibitions currently held in Denmark as well. The hall in KADK was almost full with about 600 audience members, who were listening to the lecture with strong interest.