The event aims to mark the 50th founding anniversary of the Vietnam – Japan diplomatic relations in 2023, and promote the friendship and culture exchange between the two countries.
The opera is based on a real story of the love of Japanese merchant Araki Sotaro and Princess Ngoc Hoa [called Princess Anio by Japanese] in Hoi An, Vietnam, during the trading era of the Shuinsen in the early 17th century.
During the Nguyen Dynasty, Princess Ngoc Hoa was the daughter of Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, who reigned from 1613 to 1635.
Since ancient times, Japan and Vietnam have had a strong relationship as reliable and equal partners. By making an opera based on this, the project aims to create a work that will become a symbol of the deepening relationship between the two countries.
In the story, Araki goes to Hoi An to trade and meets the princess. They fall in love and get married. In 1620, he takes her to Nagasaki, where locals like her due to her beautiful appearance and gentle character.
She calls him “anh oi, anh oi” in Vietnamese, so locals nickname her Princess Anio.
Today, locals still stage a palanquin procession ceremony to welcome Princess Anio at Nagasaki Kunchi Festival in Nagasaki.
The project will bring together famous opera directors, musicians and singers from both nations.
Addressing the press conference, Deputy Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Wantanabe Shige expressed his wish to lift Japan-Vietnam relations to a new height, with further breakthrough development in the future.
For his part, director of Da Nang’s Department of Foreign Affairs Huynh Duc Truong said he believes that the joint opera project will become a significant event for the bilateral relations, contributing to foster cultural exchange between Vietnam and Japan.