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We have entered a golden age of cultural exchange. Britain this year is commemorating Japan 2001, a yearlong program of events introducing Japanese culture. As part of these festivities, a Japanese style matsuri festival was organized last month in London's Hyde Park, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.
The event's honorary directors were Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito and Britain's Prince Charles. During a performance of the Awa odori on an outdoor stage, both princes joined the circle of dancers and stepped to the upbeat rhythm. Organizers claim that the event made a deep impression on Britons and piqued their interest in things Japanese.