What do all of these photos have in common?

These are watermelon, a cat and okra.
What they have in common is that they came to Japan from Africa.

Africa was once called the “Dark Continent” and regarded as unfamiliar to Japan. In fact, however, Africa and Japan have been connected for a long time through interactions between people and exchanges of things, as you can see in these examples. Recently, the FIFA World Cup was held in Africa for the first time and the Japanese national football team also participated. Since 1993, the government of Japan, in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank, has organized the Tokyo International Conference on African Development External Link Bottom (TICAD) every five years. In June 2013, the fifth conference (TICAD V) was held in Yokohama.

This exhibition features the relationship between Africa and Japan, which has remained relatively unknown until today, under the theme of “Japan in Africa, Africa in Japan.” It presents materials from the National Diet Library collection that are related to people and things that demonstrate the interaction between these two regions.

*Although some materials on display may include inappropriate expressions in light of today's human rights awareness, the content has been left unaltered considering their historical background.

  • These high-definition images are available in the National Diet Library Digital Collections. Those that are labelled NDL Digital Collections can be viewed via the Internet on any computer. Those labelled Restricted access can only be viewed on computer terminals at the NDL or an affiliated library, or via the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals. For more information, please refer to the webpages for the Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries and Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals.
  • A string in square brackets is a NDL Call Number.
  • The original Japanese-language article first appeared in October 2013 as part of Small Electronic Exhibitions Kaleidoscope of Books, No. 14. Please note that the descriptions herein are based on information that was current at that time.

Next Chapter 1:
Japanese who traveled to Africa

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