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Dec 17, 2021 / 15:50

Japan -Vietnam opera project “Anio Princess” launched

The opera tells the touching love story between a Japanese merchant and a Vietnamese princess, a daughter of Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen (late 16th - early 17th century) in Hoi An ancient town.

The musical project entitled “Anio Princess” aims to promote Vietnam - Japan exchange and friendship through music. The opera is scheduled to be premiered in 2023 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations establishment between Vietnam and Japan (September 21, 1973 - September 21, 2018).

The banner of the “Princess Anio” opera. Photo courtesry of the organisation committee

According to the records of historians about the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam, the foster daughter of Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen (1613 -1635) who reigned in central and southern Vietnam at the time, got married to Araki Sotaro, a Japanese merchant during the Azuchi Momoyama and Edo eras. During his visits to Hoi An Port for business, Sotaro gained the trust of Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen and was allowed to get married with Ngoc Hoa, the Lord’s daughter.

The couple then returned to Sotaro’s hometown in Nagasaki. Princess Ngoc Hoa was loved by the people here and named Anio san. Today, the procession to welcome the princess is recreated every year at the Nagasaki Kunchi Festival that takes place in Nagasaki from October 7 to 9 .

Hanoi-based Japanese conductor Honna Tetsuji said that in 2023 Japan and Vietnam will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with a monumental musical project. “The music teams of the two countries will work closely, jointly building a special musical project based on great historical facts dating back 350 years ago to celebrate the special event,” he said.

“Princess Anio” is a huge and meaningful musical project for both countries. The opera will be performed in Vietnam in Vietnamese and Japanese.

Japanese–Vietnamese relations are over a millennium old, and the establishment of friendly trade relations dates back to at least the 16th century.

Since diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1973, the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Japan has been continuously nurtured by generations of leaders and peoples, becoming a common treasure of both countries. 

In 2014, Vietnam and Japan set up the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia, marking a significant milestone in the bilateral relations.