Katazome (stencil dyeing) paintings by Japanese painter Toba Mika are being showcased at the Nara Yakushiji temple in Nara prefecture from Oct. 16 to Nov. 10.

The exhibition, themed “Taking Nara and Hanoi closer through Katazome arts”, aims to celebrate the 1,000 th founding anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and 1,300 years of the ancient capital of Nara .

Prompted by her love for Vietnam , since the 1990s, Mika has created many paintings depicting major changes in Vietnam during the process of national industrialisation and modernisation.

Mika organised exhibitions in Hanoi in 2003 and the former imperial city of Hue two years later. She is planning to join hands with the Japan Culture Centre in Vietnam to hold another show at the Temple of Literature and Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum from Dec. 6-25, 2010.

On Oct. 16, a seminar highlighting Vietnamese and Japanese cultures took place at the 1,300-year-old Yakushiji temple, a UNESCO world heritage site.

While talking of cultural and historical similarities between the two nations and between Nara and Hanoi in particular, speakers emphasised the fact that a Vietnamese Buddhist monk brought folk songs with him when he came to manage the Todaiji temple in Nara prefecture in the 8th century. That was vivid evidence of cultural exchanges between Vietnam and Japan./.