SHARE the HAPPINESS JAPAN ⇄ FINLAND 100th Anniversary of Japan-Finland Diplomatic Relations Event

2019.7.26 - 7.28

In 2015, we at GOFAR BANK held workshops in many places, including elementary schools in Helsinki, Finland, art schools in Porvoo, and facilities for people with disabilities. Since then, we have been carrying out the “Bridge Project” to connect the hearts of children in Japan and Finland for four years.

And this year, 2019, to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Finland, we will be holding an art event at Hirakata T-SITE in Osaka as a culmination of the project, with the cooperation of Porvoo Art School and Askola Art School in Finland.

In addition, it has been decided that the “Bridge Project Exhibition” will be held in Finland in January 2020.

“What is the Bridge Project…?”

Can you make friends with strangers?

The answer is probably known to those who have embarked on this journey.

The person who builds the bridge – the bridge traveler

The Bridge Project is a journey to encounter something unknown.

That unknown is probably waiting on the other side of the bridge.
Make friends with strangers.
That’s our Bridge Project.

The bookshelves that reach the ceiling on the walls of Hirakata T-SITE were filled with heartfelt drawings by children from Japan and Finland, and the large atrium space was also lined with drawings by Finnish children.

Many people participated in a live painting event in which Japanese children painted and connected half of a “Party Bridge” drawn by Finnish children, completing a large bridge of friendship measuring 1.8m in length and 6m in width.

The four tables displaying the bridge projects of Japanese and Finnish children were covered with blue floral tablecloths that had been jointly created by children from both countries.
These blue floral tablecloths were painted by the children with three prayers in mind.
The first flower was a prayer for peace on earth and in the world.

The second flower was a prayer for spreading joy to all the children around the world who cannot smile.

The third flower was a prayer for my own happiness.

Light overflowed from the tablecloth with these three prayers, bringing kindness to the hearts of the visitors.

Next to a large white tree in the middle of the venue, we placed a board with the message, “If you could become friends with a stranger… what joy would you share with them?”
Many people and children wrote their answers on blue flower cards and hung them up, causing blue flowers to bloom all over the tree.
This joy will surely reach someone who lives on the same earth.

On the final evening, chromatic accordionist Kanako Katou played a joyful tune, bringing the event to a moving finale.
The power and light overflowing from the drawings of Japanese and Finnish children, and the joy shared by everyone overlapped with the thoughts of GOFAR BANK, making “SHARE the HAPPINESS” a wonderful event.

The great bridge of friendship that was created at the venue, the blue flower tablecloths, the Bridge Project, and the blue flower cards that shared joy were sent to Finland for the event in Helsinki in January next year.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the people who sponsored and cooperated with us.

All profits from the charity sales corner will be used for the “Joy of Drawing Across Borders” project to purchase art supplies for children who do not know the joy of drawing or who do not have an environment to draw.