The Japanese Embassy in Ankara is set to host the Japan Festival 2020, a month-long celebration to enhance cultural interaction between the two countries.

Starting Wednesday, the embassy will host the annual event remotely for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first event is an online concert by group Yamatolia. It will be open to all, and can be accessed via the embassy’s official accounts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Other programs include live interviews, martial arts sessions, and online sushi lessons, among others, until Jan. 20, 2021.

On the 130th anniversary of the Ertugrul Frigate shipweck in the southeast of Japan, a heartbreaking incident considered the beginning of Turkey-Japan friendship, the movie Ertugrul 1890 will be available for those in Turkey on Vimeo (Dec. 23-30).

The Ertugrul Frigate

In response to the visit of Prince Komatsu of Japan to Istanbul in October 1887, the Ertugrul was sent to Japan in July 1889.

Carrying 609 sailors, the ship left Japan on Sept. 15, 1890 but was caught in typhoons that affect the East Asian country every year.

It sank off the coast of Wakayama Prefecture on its way back home on Sept. 16, resulting in the loss of 533 Turkish sailors and officers, including Ottoman Rear Adm. Ali Osman Pasha.

Japan’s rescue efforts, and support shown to survivors, however, sealed the friendly ties between the people of both nations.

A monument for the martyrs was erected in 1891 in Kushimoto, where the accident took place. The tragic legacy is kept alive at ceremonies held annually at the monument.

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