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Seminar: Takarazuka - A Hundred Years of Song and Dance
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme – June 2014 Training Day for Volunteers
Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan 2014
The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools 2014-15 - Award Ceremony and Presentation Evening
Artist talk: Seiichi Hayashi in conversation with Ryan Holmberg
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2014
Artist talk: Macoto Murayama on Botech Compositions - Where Botanical Art Meets Science
Public Seminar: Tracing Colours and Characters in the Work of HARUKI MURAKAMI
Public Seminar - Freeter, the Japanese Precariat: Youth and Labour Disintegration in Japan
Introduction to new resources for the JF Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2
Public Seminar: The Work of the Visual in Mourning the Dead in Post-Tsunami Japan
Japanese Film Screenings at the Japan Foundation
Stamp Rally @ JF Library - Summer 2014
Out of Step - Artist talk by contact Gonzo
Young, Fearless & Limitless -
Artist talk - Yo Nakamura and Underground Airport
Public Seminar - Always on and connected: young people and their mobile social media use in Japan, the US, and the UK
Talk: Speaking the Same Language - International Collaboration and Co-production in Performing Arts
Public Seminar - NAGADORO: Rural Life after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai
Public Seminar: 50 Years of the Shinkansen
Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga
Public Seminar: Economic Policy and the Welfare State in Japan and the UK
Art Meets Design -
Talk: Yuri Suzuki x Kouichi Okamoto with Alex Coles
Public Seminar - Maths-As-It-Could-Be: The life and philosophy of Kiyoshi Oka
Public Seminar: The Real Story Behind Japan's Marriage Crisis
JF-BATJ Japanese Language Teachers' Seminar: Assessing Japanese with JF Standard - with Mayumi Mitsuya
Talk: Building Blocks: Curating Architecture
LDF Digital Design Weekend: Magnetic Field Record, Kouichi Okamoto
Artist's Talk: Fujiko Nakaya
Talk: An Introduction to Sake
Teacher Training: WJEC Japanese Language Units (QCF)
Public Seminar: WORLD LITERATURE, Japanese perspectives
Shinjuku Culture in the 1960s -
Talk by Go Hirasawa and Jelena Stojković
Artist talk by Satoshi Kitamura
in conversation with Nicolette Jones
Public Seminar: The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country
Bigakko: Anti-Academy - Talk by Alice Maude-Roxby
Artist Talk by Aiko Miyanaga
JF@London Anime & Gaming Con
Japan Conference for Schools 2015
Potential of Japanese language education in primary schools new
Contemporary Art History: Japan - A Book Talk by Hideki Nakazawa
Japanese Studies Post-Graduate Workshop, 2015 new
Make Your Own Japanese Teaching Resources with PowerPoint
Worn with Pride -- Textiles, Kimono, and Propaganda in Japan, 1925-1945
Workshop: Rethinking 'Japanese' Pop Culture: A Topic for Academic Study?
Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students 2015 new
Reality Check: Artist talk by Chim↑Pom
Post 3.11: What Can Art Do? Four Years On: Art and the Disaster
Public Seminar: People Make Places: Empowering Locals through Community Design
Screen Translation and the Benshi Tradition in Japan
Artist talk by SHIMURAbros
Public Seminar: STEMming the Gender Gap: A New Era for Japanese Women in Science and Engineering?
Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan Festival July 2015
Nihongo Cup: The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK FINALS DAY!
Japanese Study Seminar in Alsace 2015: Call for Participation!
ENDO Shuhei | Architect for a New Era
Japanese Refresher Course for Teachers 2015
Central and Local Governance in Japan and the UK: Lessons from Okinawa and Scotland
Riding the Current - Japanese Contemporary Art and its Curatorial Views
BUKATSUDŌ: Teaching Character in Japanese School Clubs
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2015
Artist Talk by Hideyuki Katsumata
Primary Japanese - resources sharing workshop
Join the Club! Fandom in Japanese Theatre: Kabuki & Takarazuka
The Lie of the Land - Rethinking Landscape Painting
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme 2015 Training Day for Volunteers
Shojo manga: Girls' Comics from Japan
Shojo manga: Girls' Comics from Japan
Japan Foundation at Language Show Live 2015
What Girls Want - The World of Shojo Manga (Girls' Comics)
D.I.Y. Japanese Club! Extra-Curricular Japanese Resources & Ideas Sharing Workshop
Hatsune Miku - The Metamorphosis of Music and Technology
Film screening and discussion: Samurai Warrior Queens
Temple Tastes - Talk by Rev. Kakuho Aoe
JAPAN NOW
Japan Conference for schools 2016
Public Seminar: Female Entrepreneurship in Japan
International Dialogues - Shigeru Ban
PARO - The Therapeutic Robot: Robotics for an Ageing Society
Artist Talk by Shun Ito
Talk & Demonstration: Exploring the Music of Noh
Japanese Show & Tell! Online Resource Workshop for Independent Learners of Japanese
Into the River: Artist talk by O JUN
Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools 2016 Finals Day
Japanese for Juniors: All About Japanese Dolls!
Summer Explorers! 2 - Japanese Anime Screenings
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2016
The Twelfth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
London Design Biennale
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2016
Talk by author Mitsuyo Kakuta
Manga: The New Generation - Talk by Ken Niimura and Miki Yamamoto
Contact Points Talk and Lecture
Silence is Golden? Classroom Silence in Universities in Japan and the UK
Using Drama to Enrich Japanese Language Education new
Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 3: Pighead
Game Changer - talk by Hisakazu Hirabayashi
NIHONGO CUP | The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK
Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level) | TERM 2
Giving Choice And Connecting People: Expanding Ideas For Japanese Language Study With Minato
Language Education for Social Future: Language, Community, and Identity
12th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students FINALS DAY
Sport and Diplomacy: Past Reflections and Looking Towards 2020
NIHONGO CUP | The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK FINALS DAY
Vegalta: Soccer, Tsunami and the Hope of a Nation -
Documentary screening and discussion
The Old Puppet Joruri: The Tale of High Priest Kochi
Japanese Taster for Schools Programme Volunteer Training Day 2017
How to become a Benshi! Silent Cinema and the Art of Live Narration
The Life and Work of Jiro Takamatsu - Talk by Yumiko Chiba
Summer Explorers 3: A special free film programme all about food
Ryoji Ikeda - Test Pattern Live
Culinary Culture & Gastronomy in Japanese Cinema
Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2017
The Children's Bookshow
Transnational Cities: Tokyo and London
The World’s a Stage: Yukio Ninagawa’s Work, Career and His Legacy
Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama
Seminar: One Place After Another - What can periodical international contemporary art projects actually share?
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme – September 2014 Training Day for Volunteers
Japan Foundation at Language Show Live 2014
Japan Foundation at Alcon
Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara
The Tenth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students FINALS DAY
Special Film Screening: Ninja Shadow Warriors
Introduction to "flipped learning" for GCSE Japanese
The Truth About...Ninjas - Talk and Demonstration
Public Seminar: Online Election Campaigns and Digital Democracy in Japan
Artist Talk by Riusuke Fukahori
Public Seminar: The Role of Education in Disaster Risk Reduction: Lessons from Kobe and Tohoku
Potential of Japanese Language Education in Primary Schools - Public Seminar
Artist talk by Chu Enoki: "Scrap Heap Hero"
The Metamorphosis of Japan After the War
Postwar Japanese Photography - Talk by Marc Feustel
A Lost Art Revived: Tsujigahana, Itchiku Tsujigahana and Itchiku Kubota -- A talk by Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins
Public Seminar: INEMURI: The Art of Napping in Japan
Artist talk by Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter
Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2015
Can a Freeter Buy a House? Contemporary Housing Issues in Japan from the 'Lost Generation' to 'Generation Rent'
Bite-sized Bunraku: A Little Flavour of Japanese Traditional Puppetry
Japan Foundation / BAJS Japanese Studies Post-graduate Workshop 2016
Shinya Tsukamoto: Filmmaker Talk
Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai (Gateshead, Anime Attacks)
Kawaii as a Button! Cuteness in Contemporary Craft Practice
Safe as Houses? Housing and Welfare in an Ageing Society: Japan and UK Perspectives
Nihongo Cup – The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK
The 11th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students FINALS DAY
Japan Foundation at Language Show Live Scotland
Japanese Noir - Author Fuminori Nakamura in conversation
Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level) - Term 3 new
Common Thread: Artist talk by Satoru Aoyama
Japanese Gardens: Talk by Kei Ishikawa
Japan Foundation/BATJ Early Summer Conference: Teaching Japanese with Technology Within and Beyond the Classroom
Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan Festival
Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker: Talk by Toco Nikaido
Shining Stars: Idols in Japanese Cinema in the 1980s and 1990s
London Design Biennale 2016
Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 2: Got to Make Them Sing!
Japan Foundation at Language Show Live London 2016
Voices from the Japanese Avant-garde Music Scene:
Talk and Performance by Musician and Vocalist Koichi Makigami
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017
The Many Faces of Noh - Talk and Demonstration by Hideta Kitazawa
Filmmaker Talk: Naotaro Endo, director of Tsukiji Wonderland
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) July 2017 new
WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO CONNECT? Japanese Identity and Desire to Pass on the Language and Culture among Japanese Diaspora
Archipelago: Exploring the Landscape of Contemporary Japanese Women Filmmakers
Poetry in Stop Motion - New Expressions in Japanese Animation: A Talk by Prof Yuichi Ito
Ninagawa Company's Macbeth
Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
Rethinking 'Japanese' Pop Culture: Transnational media cultural connections and the question of cultural diversity
Carving the Future - Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Today
Talk with Noe Aoki and Teppei Kaneuji
Japan Foundation at London Anime & Gaming Con July 2015
Inside the Industry: ANIME
The Eleventh Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
J-Basic - Last Chance EVER to enrol!
Design for living with kids - talk by Shu Hagiwara
Filmmaker Talk: Aya Hanabusa new
Artist talk by Katsumi Komagata
Japanese Plus | Learn About Wakamiya-Maru: The Edo Ship that Sailed the World
Japanese Study Seminar in Alsace 2016: Call for Participation!
Primary Japanese Resource Sharing workshop
An Ode to Toru Takemitsu
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
Architecture on Stage: Atelier Bow Wow
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2017
Filmmaker Naoko Ogigami in conversation
J-Basic Online for Teachers 2015
Public Seminar: Prof AKIRA IRIYE - An Historian Looks at the Contemporary World new
Art in the Age of the Global Environment
Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Student Survey 2015
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) July 2016
Spring Double Bill: "Kabuku" and "The Garden of Words"
Self-made Photobooks as an Object - Talk by Yumi Goto
Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 4: The Sun by Tomohiro Maekawa
Japan Foundation / BAJS Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2017: Make an Impact
Japanese Study Seminar in Alsace 2017: Call for Participation!
Japan Foundation at Language Show London 2017
Metamorphosis of Japan After the War
Windows on a Modern World: The Role of the Department Store in 20th Century Japan
The Crucified Lovers (Chikamatsu monogatari)
Speaking Out: Actor-Director Talk Kaori Momoi
Illustrated Talk by Obi Impresario Genbei Yamaguchi X
Shinsuke Ogawa and Ogawa Pro: Collective filmmaking and the culture of dissidence
Let's Play Hanafuda!
Is Japanese Food Healthy? Taste, Sense and Sensation - A Talk by Prof Ole G Mouritsen
Book Launch & Talk: Making Tea, Making Japan. Kristin Surak in conversation with Christine Guth and Fabio Gygi
Japan Foundation at Bristol Anime Con
Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 2016
Japanese Culture Day
Anisong - The Musical World of Anime
Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (A1 Beginner Stage 2 Level) | TERM 2
A Silent Voice - Discover Japanese Studies through Anime!
Japan Now at the British Library
Japanese Plus: Talk About Music in Japanese
Learn & Teach Primary Japanese!
Japanese Plus: Let’s Speak Kansai Dialect!
Kamishibai performance of “Wakamiya-maru” story via skype
Japanese Taster for Schools Programme Volunteer Training Day 2016
The Japan Foundation & SOAS Language and Culture Course (Beginner Level) - Term 3
Japanese Language Proficiency Test July 2015
Japanese Language Teachers’ Seminar: How to use Japanese language learning websites and apps: Expanding your ideas and options
Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level) - Term 2
Artist talk by Sputniko!
Talk by author Miri Yu
Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Ninagawa x Shakespeare - Talk by Yuriko Akishima
Special Free Film Screening: The Lovers' Exile
Film Screening: KABUKU
Behind the Curtain of Contemporary Kabuki Theatre
Voices from the Past: Shadows of War in Japanese Cinema
Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai (Gateshead) new
Japanese for Juniors: Learn Japanese through Stamp-Making!
Japan Foundation Japanese Language & Culture Course A2 Elementary Stage (Pilot)
Japanese from Scratch: Sweet-Talk your way in Japan!
Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Head Teachers 2015
Summer Explorers! Japanese Anime Screenings
Japanese Plus Special: Friend or Foe? Understanding Japanese Thought and Culture through Yōkai
The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme
It Only Happens in the Movies? Japanese Cinema and Encounters
SAKE: Tradition Meets Innovation - The Story of the First Non-Japanese Sake Master Brewer
Japanese from Scratch: All About Bento!
Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level)
Deadline Extended! Ask me anything in Japanese with director Yuki Tanada
Japanese Language Teachers’ Seminar: I Can Write in Japanese
**2nd chance!** Japanese from Scratch: Sweet-Talk your way in Japan!
Playwright Talk: Toshiki Okada
Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Headteachers
Japanese Plus: Japanese for Jobs
Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2014
Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace: Call for Participation!
Japan Foundation/JGap Japanese Language Teachers' Seminar: Self-Expressing Activities and Elementary Japanese Language Education
Artist talk: Shinro Ohtake
Kawaii: Crafting the Japanese Culture of Cute
Children's Lives in Wartime Japan
LIFT ‘16: Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker
Mr Potsunen's Peculiar Slice of Life by Kentaro Kobayashi
London, Rio, Tokyo Olympics Symposium
Conference: Foreign Graduate Employment in Japanese Companies – Implications for Japanese Studies Teaching & Research
Japan’s Changing Diplomatic and Security Practice – A Research Workshop
UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2017
Japanese Cultural Studies outside of Japan – its current status and future perspectives
Ecologies of Knowledge and Practice - Japanese Studies and the Environmental Humanities
Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2017
Creation from Catastrophe – how Architecture rebuilds Communities
London International Animation Festival 2016
"The World of Maki Asakawa" - Songs from the Japanese Post-War Counterculture
Kikagaku Moyo UK Tour
HYPER JAPAN presents: Illuminight – Magical ‘akari’ lanterns installation
Shinro Ohtake
Rie Nakajima: Fall
MFL Progress TeachMeet at Howes Primary in Coventry
JF Supported: Joint East Asian Studies Conference 2016
International Workshop on Reflective Transitions of Politics in Japanese Art
The Japanese House: I Was Born, But... + live piano and Benshi narration
Yoshitomo Nara: Greetings from a Place in My Heart
Japanese Experience for Children in Brighton
Here and Now
Japan Orientation at the University of East Anglia
Dartford Grammar School - GCSE and IB event
Throwing Shadows: Japanese Expanded Cinema in the Time of Pop
Cream Screens: Takashi Makino and [+] Collective new
Photobook Bristol
The Red Candle - Mermaids in the East
Jiro Takamatsu: The Temperature of Sculpture
Raindance Film Festival 2017
Glasgow Film Festival
Hideyuki Katsumata: USO de HONTOU
5th East London Comics & Arts Festival
BAJS Workshop: Meiji Japan in Global History
Leaving Language in a Japanese Limousine
BFI London Film Festival 2017
Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya
Primary Japanese Up-skilling Course – Level 1: 5 March 2016
Koki Tanaka: Provisional Studies: Action #5 Conceiving the Past, Perceiving the Present
Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2016 new
LIFT 2014: Toshiki Okada’s Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich
Eastern Exchanges: East Asian Craft and Design
J-CLan Initiative: Introduction to Japanese Culture and Language Teaching in Primary Education
NEoN Digital Arts
Edinburgh International Film Festival 2016
Volunteer Japanese Teaching Opportunity at University of Edinburgh Training Day
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival
Fogscape #03238 by Fujiko Nakaya (Lumiere Festival)
The Modern Lens: International Photography and the Tate collection
Plexus new
TUSK Festival 2015
Koki Tanaka: Liverpool Biennial 2016
Dartford Grammar School - Japanese Networking Event for Head Teachers
TUSK Festival 2016 new
Current Location (Fellswoop Theatre)
Raindance Film Festival
It’s a Wrap: Japanese furoshiki past and present
Sensoria 2015
Botech Compositions: New Work by Macoto Murayama
Book Launch: The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972
Public Seminar: Japanese Archaeology in the Digital Age new
Aesthetica Short Film Festival
Takehisa Kosugi: SPACINGS
Journal
test
Japanese IB Networking Event
British Museum presents: Hokusai
Japan Foundation at London Anime & Gaming Con Feb 2016

Seminar: Takarazuka - A Hundred Years of Song and Dance   org

The Takarazuka Revue Company, one of the largest theatre groups in Japan, features an all-female cast that specialises in either a “male role” or a “female role” in the musicals, stage dramas and dance revues. Showcasing a wide range of genres, it has attracted a mass audience of mostly female followers, resulting in tickets sales reaching fever pitch levels. But what is the role of Takarazuka in the world of Japanese theatre and what does it signify?

This special event commemorating the 100th anniversary of Takarazuka provides an opportunity to cultivate a cross-cultural understanding of the theatre company through discussion. Beginning with a brief talk by Dr Nobuko Anan, a lecturer in Japanese studies at Birkbeck, University of London, regarding the history and characteristics of Takarazuka, she will be joined by Noriko Tosaka (aka Ai Otohara) and Machiko Nakano (aka Reo Kazami), two distinguished former Takarazuka performers, as well as Jano Williams, co-director of the documentary Dream Girls (1994). Tosaka and Nakano will reflect on their past experiences inside the exclusive, fiercely competitive company whose practices have remained largely unchanged for a century. As arguably one the first filmmakers outside of Japan to capture the elite world of Takarazuka, Williams, a British filmmaker, will speak about their motives for making their insightful film, and what they observed through the camera behind the scenes of the dazzling revue.

Following the discussion, the former Takarazuka performers will take part in a short demonstration illustrating the distinct form of male and female characterisations that the company is so well known for.

This event will extend beyond a simple overview of Takarazuka and together, the speakers, each with their own perspectives, will delve into the impact of Takarazuka, issues associated with Takarazuka, including gender, as well as the societal norms that have created this spectacular scene.


Date: 27 June 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

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Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme – June 2014 Training Day for Volunteers   org

The next Volunteer Training Day for our Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme will take place on Thursday, June 26th 2014.

Our regular Training Days at our London office are a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, get teaching ideas, and ask any questions you may have.  We ask our volunteers who live within travelling distance from London to attend at least one Training Day before making a school visit), in order to get a full understanding of the JTS Programme.  Those who are not yet members of JTS but are interested in joining are also welcome to sign up for the training day.  You can read about our last London Training Day, held in February 2014, here.

Provisional Timetable: The day will begin with an induction for new attendees at 12:30 (registration starts from 12:15). Those who have been to a JTS Training Day before may attend from 13:00. 

How to apply

To register, please click here to use our online application form.

The registration form uses Google Documents and is subject to Google's standard terms and conditions of use. If you would prefer to register in a different way or have difficulty in accessing the form, please email us at info.language@jpf.org.uk and we will send you a Word/ PDF application form.

If you are not yet a member of JTS, please click here for more information about the programme and to complete a membership application form.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, June 24th. Please note that this is event is free, but prior booking for this event is essential for all attendees. 

For more information about the JTS programme, please click here.

Click here to apply for our June 2014 (London) Training Day


Date: 26 June 2014 from 12.10pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

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Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan 2014   org

The Japan Foundation are once again delighted to be exhibiting this July at HYPER JAPAN- the UK’s biggest J-Culture event.

Come and visit our stand to learn how the Japan Foundation can help you learn about Japanese language and culture, get Japanese language started at your school, or simply get involved in events and activities related to Japan.

We’ll also be giving away some exclusive free gifts, as well as holding a Japan Quiz with some fantastic prizes!

For more information and to buy a ticket, please click here to visit the official Hyper Japan website. Tickets on sale now!


Date: 25 July 2014 - 27 July 2014 from 9.30am
Venue:

Earls Court, London

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The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools 2014-15 - Award Ceremony and Presentation Evening   org

Come and see the work of the winners of the Japan Foundation’s Japan Webpage Contest for Schools!

Twenty schools in the UK have developed webpages to highlight to highlight the Japan-related work they have been doing, and to share their love and enthusiasm for Japan throughout the world, as participants in the Japan Webpage Contest for Schools. Now, over six months after the contest opened, a panel of judges have selected the winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Prizes, while members of the public have voted on the winners of the Primary and Secondary Public Vote prizes. The winners in alphabetical order are:

We will reveal which schools have won which prizes at the Award Ceremony itself.

We are inviting members of the public to come to the Award Ceremony & Presentation Evening for the contest, to see the winning schools receive their prizes and present their website. You will also have the chance to meet with the teachers and students at the reception after the ceremony.

Click here to book your place

****

About the Japan Webpage Contest for Schools

This contest is open to any UK school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that's part of your school's website.

The tentative schedule for the webpage contest is as follows:

  • Deadline to enter the contest January 12th 2015
  • Short-listed schools announced Mid January 2015 
  • Online public voting February 2015
  • Announcement of contest winners Monday 2nd March 2015
  • Presentation Evening and Award Ceremony March 2015

Applications for this contest are now closed. For details on the Public Vote and Award Ceremony, please keep checking the Japan Webpage Contest for Schools website at www.japanwebpagecontest.org.uk


Date: 28 March 2015 from 2.30pm - 3.50pm
Venue:

Room 642, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL

Download JWCS14-Flyer2sides(lowres)

This contest is supported by the Association for Language Learning (ALL), the British Council, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Japan Centre, JP BOOKS and the Japan Society.

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Artist talk: Seiichi Hayashi in conversation with Ryan Holmberg   org

Seiichi Hayashi is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist. After beginning his career as an animator at Toei Studios in 1962, Hayashi became a leading figure in the vibrant avant-garde cultural scene of late 1960s and early 1970s Tokyo. As a regular contributor to the legendary alternative manga magazine Garo, Hayashi became renowned for pioneering new territory in the medium of comics, with stories ranging from allegorical critiques of postwar Americanisation and the Vietnam War, to touching reflections on motherhood inspired by Japanese woodblock prints and pop music. Hayashi is perhaps best known for his graphic novel masterpiece Red Coloured Elegy (Sekishoku Erejii, 1970-71) and his distinctive character designs for Lotte Koume (Little Plum) candy drops, which debuted in 1974. His images of a young girl in kimono still remain on the sweet’s packaging today.

The Japan Foundation is delighted to host Seiichi Hayashi for this special event, exploring the significance of Hayashi’s achievements and introduce his multi-faceted work to a UK audience. In conversation with art historian Ryan Holmberg, who will begin with an introduction to the counterculture of the 1960s, Hayashi will speak about his comics, animation, and illustration work, as well as his central participation in this most innovative and turbulent era of postwar Japanese history.  The event will be a rare opportunity to hear a Japanese artistic legend speak about his life and work.


Date: 1 July 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.


This event is co-organised with Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures.

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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2014   org

The Japan Foundation will be exhibiting at Japan Matsuri 2014, at Trafalgar Square in London. This dynamic annual event brings people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, family activities and much, much more.

Visit our stand for information about studying Japanese, freebies and the chance to enter our quiz and win some great prizes!

For more information about Japan Matsuri, please visit the official Japan Matsuri website at JapanMatsuri.com.


Date: 27 September 2014 from 11.00am - 6.00pm
Venue:

Trafalgar Square, London

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Artist talk: Macoto Murayama on Botech Compositions - Where Botanical Art Meets Science   org

Macoto Murayama is a digital artist who creates intricate computer-generated botanical images. Much like a true botanist, Murayama gathers flowers and dissects them piece by piece, before accurately creating detailed illustrations of the flowers’ form as geometric and mechanical structures using 3D imaging software. Murayama’s unique botanical blueprints lend themselves to the fields of architecture and scientific illustration; a cohesion of botanical art and technology which also reveals the beauty and complexity of nature.

In this talk, Murayama, who has been conducting research in the UK and visiting various botanical gardens as part of the Metal residency programme, will introduce his findings whilst also exploring the concepts and technological aspects behind his work. Joined in conversation by Nathan Cohen, Artist and Director MA Art and Science, University of the Arts London, and Lucy Smith, botanical artist/illustrator, they will together discuss how the ancient tradition of flower illustration, a popular subject in both Japan and the UK, can evolve in the digital age. Using Murayama’s unique approach to botany as a starting point, this event will further explore the way art can be integrated with science in the 21st century and beyond.


Date: 10 July 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

This event is co-organised with Metal. As part of the Liverpool Biennial, the exhibition Botech Compositions: New Works by Macoto Murayama will be held at Metal Liverpool (5 July – 26 October 2014). For more information, please click here.

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Public Seminar: Tracing Colours and Characters in the Work of HARUKI MURAKAMI   org

In this special seminar, Dr Gitte Marianne Hansen (Newcastle University) will explore some of the connections and meanings between colours and characters throughout the work of Haruki Murakami. She will begin by analysing Murakami's latest novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, before looking at earlier characters from well-known longer novels such as Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 as well as from short stories such as The Little Green Monster.  

Following the talk, Dr Hansen will be joined in discussion by Dr Sebastian Groes, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Roehampton.


Date: 26 August 2014 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

**This event is now FULLY BOOKED**  If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Public Seminar - Freeter, the Japanese Precariat: Youth and Labour Disintegration in Japan   org

In the first of two special talks at the Japan Foundation, David H. Slater (Sophia University), drawing on 25 years of ethnographic research, will explore the tangled relations between patterns of work, representation and politics in Japan. Following the talk Dr Slater will be joined in discussion by Dr Helen Macnaughtan (SOAS, University of London).

Abstract:

The rise of "freeter" on the Japanese scene in the early 1990's is in part the result of a shift in labour patterns among youth, and particularly young men, that had been occurring since economic growth began slowing in the 1970's.  The term initially held the false promise of labour mobility, a certain "freedom" from the constrictions of Japan Inc institutionalized work patterns and the possibility of personal self-realization in diverse social domains. This momentary distraction from the neoliberal fragmentation of social identity lasted for a short period of time, mostly spurred on by a corporatist mass media and opportunistic academics.

Today the structural and policy patterns are familiar to late capitalist society around the world, but the cultural effects are somewhat more crushing. On the one hand, there is a desperate desire to return to the "suffocating embrace" of exploitative life-time employment in full-time work - work that is no long available after 25 years of labour degradation, and which seem to only accelerated with the rise of Abenomics. On the other hand, we also see glimpse of politicization, the rise of precariat-style mobilization here and there. 


Date: 12 August 2014 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Image by Lee Chapman

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Introduction to new resources for the JF Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2   org

This event will introduce new resources that can be used alongside the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2.  This will help give teachers of Japanese everything they need to start teaching primary level Japanese from September.

In this free workshop, primary school teachers at all levels of Japanese proficiency will find out about these new materials and how to use them to inspire their pupils. The resources follow the Japan Foundation Japanese Scheme of Work for Primary Schools, which is packed full of lesson plans, resources and exciting and fun ideas for teaching primary-level Japanese to Year 3 pupils. These teaching materials have been created by the Japan Foundation’s Chief Language Advisor Dr Seiji Fukushima, and have been tested with two classes of Year 3 pupils at Southfield Primary School. Participants will additionally have access to exclusive draft versions of the resources, and Dr Fukushima will give explanations about how he has used them, and how they might be adapted for other primary Japanese classes. The resources themselves include worksheets, plans, activities, games etc.

Dr Seiji Fukushima started his career as a Japanese teacher in Mexico in 1994.  He has also worked at Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies in Uzbekistan (1997-2000), Novosibirsk State University in Russia (2000-2001), the Uzbekistan-Japan Center for Human Development (2003-2006), and the Japan Foundation Budapest in Hungary (2007-2010). He currently works as the Chief Japanese Language Advisor for the Japan Foundation London, and has been trialling the JFL Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2 with two Year 3 classes at Southfield Primary School near Hammersmith.

You can download samples of the resouces we will be introducing at this seminar below.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY! 

(This booking form uses Google Drive and is subject to Google's Terms & Conditions. Alternatively, you may book a place by downloading and submitting the booking form below)


Date: 1 August 2014 from 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation London

Download KS2SOWEvent-Flyer
Download Unit1 (Konnichiwa)
Download 1-Tanabata

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Public Seminar: The Work of the Visual in Mourning the Dead in Post-Tsunami Japan   org

3.11 was probably the most minutely documented disaster in history. And yet for all of these images, the impulse to archive representations of loss points to another set of images that have themselves gone missing: hundreds of thousands of family photo albums that were washed away by the tsunami.

In this special talk, Dr David H. Slater (Sophia University) addresses the various issues that have been raised therein, including the anxiety and ambivalence surrounding the uncontrolled circulation and handling of other people's photos; issues of obligation and debt to both the living and the dead; the role of the visual in the larger project of the 'work of mourning;' and the problems of politics and representation when these pictures end up in galleries around the world. Joining Dr Slater to discuss these issues will be Dr Dolores Martinez, Emeritus Reader in Anthropology at SOAS, University of London. 


Date: 13 August 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Image: Collage by Y. Sasaguchi (2012), photographed by Saori Sasaguchi, Photo Kizuna Project

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Japanese Film Screenings at the Japan Foundation   org

This summer the Japan Foundation will be hosting a number of special screenings of contemporary Japanese films, from animations, comedy films through to period dramas. For a full details of the films, please click here to download the flyer.

  • Saturday, 9 August, 2pm
    After the Flowers (Dir. Kenji Nakanishi, 2010, 107 mins, English subtitles)
  • Saturday, 9 August, 6:30pm
    Barefoot Gen (Dir. Mori Masaki, 1983, 85mins, English subtitles)
  • Friday, 15 August, 2pm
    Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Battle of the Warring States (Dir. Keiichi Hara, 2002, 95 mins, English subtitles)
  • Friday, 15 August, 6:30pm
    Waterboys (Dir. Shinobu Yaguchi, 2001, 91 min, English subtitles)
  • Saturday, 16 August, 2pm
    Bushido Sixteen (Dir. Tomoyuki Furumaya, 2010, 109 mins, English subtitles)
  • Saturday, 16 August, 6:30pm
    Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Dir. David Gelb, 2011, 81 mins, English subtitles)
    Friday, 22 August, 2pm
  • Chibi Maruko-chan (Dir. Tsutomu Shibayama, 1990, 94 mins, English subtitles)
    Friday, 22 August, 6:30pm
  • Hotel Hibiscus (Dir. Yuji Nakae, 2003, 92 min, English subtitles)

Date: 9 August 2014 - 22 August 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

These screenings are free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the 
screening you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk
Places are very limited (limited to 80 people per screening) – so book now to avoid disappointment!
Please note that it is only possible to book a maximum of four screenings per attendee. Any additional bookings 
will be placed on a reserve list. When booking for more than two screenings, please advise which screening you 
would like to prioritise.Booking:

These screenings are free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the screening you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

Places are very limited (limited to 80 people per screening) – so book now to avoid disappointment!

Images: Clockwise from top left: Bushido Sixteen, (c) 2010 "Bushido Sixteen" Production Committee; After the Flowers, (c) Hana no Ato Associates; Chibi Maruko-chan (Movie); Hotel Hibiscus, (c) 1999 OFFICE SHIROUS/BANDAI VISUAL

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Stamp Rally @ JF Library - Summer 2014   org

This summer holiday, we're launching a special campaign at the Japan Foundation London Library - a stamp rally, offering some lovely prizes!

Visit the Japan Foundation London Library from 
22 July – 29 August to get your stamp card! Every time you visit the library during these dates, you’ll get a stamp!

Visit the Japan Foundation London Library from 22 July – 29 August to get your stamp card. Every time you visit the library during these dates, you’ll get a stamp!

  • Get 3 stamps = You'll receive a small prize
  • Get 5 stamps = You'll receive a special grand prize!
Library Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 
10:00am – 1:00pm, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuesday: 2:00pm – 7:00pm

Library Opening Hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00am – 1:00pm, 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Tuesday: 2:00pm – 7:00pm

For more information about the Japan Foundation London library, click here.


Date: 22 July 2014 - 29 August 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation London Library

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Out of Step - Artist talk by contact Gonzo   org

Contact Gonzo is an improvisational performance group from Osaka, Japan that disregard the framework of the prevailing definition and code of dance. Their pioneering style is a balance of elements from contemporary dance, performance art and urban culture mixed with influences from martial arts. The collective of four members with different backgrounds - Yuya Tsukahara, Keigo Mikajiri, Takuya Matsumi and Masakazu Kobayashi – use physical strength and agility to create experimental encounters with attacks of movement. Earning numerous invitations to perform at exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including MoMA in New York and the Sydney Biennale in Australia, they present their works not only through performances but also by means of art installations wherein photo and film is used. 

Supported through the Japan Foundation’s Performing Arts Programme (PAJ), Contact Gonzo drops into the UK on their way home from a residency in Italy and Latvia to talk about the unique performance method and body expression that they have developed. Reflecting on the current state of performing arts and performance art in Japan, they will also discuss how important it is to be responsive to the environment they encounter in order to fulfil their artistic creed.

The group will be joined for a discussion by Prof Anna Furse, Head of Department of Theatre and Performance, Goldsmiths, University of London and founder member of Transitional Identity in the early 1980s, the UK's first Contact Improvisation touring company.

There will be a short performance by Contact Gonzo after the talk.


Date: 5 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Performances:

In addition to the talk and mini performance at the Japan Foundation, contact Gonzo will perform twice in London on Saturday, 6 September. Come to Russell Square Gardens (Russell Square, London) at 12:45pm and again at Cafe OTO (Dalston, London) at 4:30pm to see their exciting work! (No booking required for either performance.)

Image credit: OKA-Z

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Young, Fearless & Limitless -
Artist talk - Yo Nakamura and Underground Airport
  org

The Japan Foundation is dedicated to supporting performing arts from Japan and through the PAJ (Performing Arts Japan) programme, we have helped bring exciting, cutting-edge artists to Europe to both present and develop their work. Most recently, Underground Airport and Yo Nakamura, both of whom are representatives of a new direction for performing arts in Japan, have been invited by National Theatre Wales to take up a residency for future and further collaborations with the UK, supported by the Japan Foundation.

In this joint artist talk, Yasuro Ito of Underground Airport, a theatre group renowned for portraying society through their metaphorical works, and Yo Nakamura, an award-winning dancer and choreographer, will introduce their careers and work illustrating how they each utilise a variety of media to create their own unique style. Reflecting on their WalesLab project, where they have been able to take inspiration from the people, landscape and history of the area, they will look into how these encounters and experiences could influence their future work and activities, as well as the difficulties they have faced in the borderless and global performing arts world of today. Ito and Nakamura will also be joined for a discussion by Sioned Huws, independent choreographer and Artistic Director of the Aomori Project.

This event will provide the opportunity to discover the future for Japanese performing arts and meet some of the most thrilling young talents that Japan has to offer.

There will be a short performance by Yo Nakamura after the talk.

To download the full event flyer, please click here.


Date: 28 August 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

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Public Seminar - Always on and connected: young people and their mobile social media use in Japan, the US, and the UK   org

Smartphone use has seen a meteoric rise in the past few years. Indeed, it is now hard for most of us, especially young people living in cosmopolitan urban centres, to imagine a world without the smartphone – and, for that matter, without the social media apps it supports such as Twitter, Facebook and LINE. But how do people in different parts of the world use their smartphones? What do they share cross-culturally – and what do they choose not to share? Do cultural differences really matter when the technology is the same?

In this public seminar, Professor Toshie Takahashi (Waseda University) will present findings from a comparative study of digital media use amongst young people in Japan, the US and the UK, focusing on their practices of connectivity with intimate and distant others through social media on smartphones. Joining Takahashi to discuss these findings will be Dr Chris Davies, joint convenor of the Learning and New Technologies Research Group at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. 


Date: 11 September 2014 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Image by Lee Chapman

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Talk: Speaking the Same Language - International Collaboration and Co-production in Performing Arts   org

With the increasing number of opportunities available, performing arts professionals have noted the benefits of international collaboration, and this has resulted in a growing number of projects being co-produced, even between the U.K. and Japan. Attributed to many factors, including arguably improved communication technology and the increased pace of globalisation, this established practice is not just about touring a one-off project; through combined efforts by producers and artists, multicultural understanding and artistic development is used to create new works that overcome barriers between nations, languages and companies. But what is the reality of international collaboration/co-production and why has there been a surge of the practice in recent years?

With over 40 years of experience as a producer for contemporary performing arts, Hiroshi Takahagi, Vice Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in Japan, will explore issues involved in international collaboration/co-production, in particular works linked with Japan. Illustrating some past examples, Takahagi will also explain the different modes and mechanisms of creating a joint work, and expand on the rewards and challenges of these international activities, as well as what the future holds.

Following Takahagi’s presentation, he will be joined for a discussion with Mark Ball, Artistic Director at LIFT and Michelle Carwardine-Palmer, Managing Director at National Theatre Wales.

This programme will provide hands-on knowledge about the state of international collaboration/co-production and will offer food for thought for anyone who is concerned about the formation of a multicultural performing arts project.


Date: 7 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Japan Foundation, London


Image credits: Left: The Opportunity of Efficiency, production by National Theatre Wales produced by New National Theatre Tokyo. Right: Shun-kin, production by Complicite, performed at the Barbican Centre, London. Photo by Sarah Ainslie

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Public Seminar - NAGADORO: Rural Life after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster   org

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011, Prof Tom Gill (Meiji Gakuin University) has made some 26 field trips to Nagadoro, a tiny hamlet that has absorbed some of the highest levels of radiation in Fukushima prefecture.  During the course of these field trips Prof Gill has got to know the people of Nagadoro as they undergo an agonizing series of trials and tribulations.  In this special public seminar he tells their story and offers a glimpse of what life is really like for the residents of the nuclear disaster zone.  Joining Prof Gill in discussion will be Prof Ian Neary from the University of Oxford.

 

Abstract

The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 will continue to affect millions of people for decades to come. The tremendous scale and complexity of this catastrophic event make it almost impossible to comprehend what is really going on in Fukushima. Any researcher must contend with the widely varying levels of radiation, the differing conditions for return to evacuated zones, the mixed fortunes of the decontamination programmes, the massive variation in compensation payments and many other challenges. I long since realized that my only hope of keeping abreast of events was to focus very tightly on a single small community that I could get to know reasonably well through a long series of field trips. That community is Nagadoro. Nagadoro is a tiny hamlet of 71 households, on the southern edge of Iitate village. After 3.11, it absorbed more radiation than any other hamlet in the village, and it is currently totally evacuated and barricaded with locked gates and sentries on all the four roads that lead into it. In three years and 26 field trips, I have slowly got to know the people of Nagadoro as they undergo an agonizing series of trials and tribulations. By telling their story, I hope to offer a glimpse of what life is really like for the residents of the nuclear disaster zone.


Date: 4 September 2014 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

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Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai   org

The Japan Foundation is pleased to present a double bill of films by Makoto Shinkai, one of the most exciting animation filmmakers in Japan today. Often cited as ‘the next Miyazaki’, Shinkai produces animations which are full of stunning scenes and visuals, combined with beautiful stories. The programme will included two of Shinkai’s films; his early film Voices of a Distant Star and his 2013 production,The Garden of Words.

To download the flyer for this event, please click here.


Date: 30 August 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Image: 'The Garden of Words', © Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

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Public Seminar: 50 Years of the Shinkansen   org

The Japan Foundation is delighted to present this special public seminar marking the 50th anniversary of the Tokaido Shinkansen.  Joining us will be Yoshinori Hatta, General Manager of JR Tokai London Office, who will chart the history of the Tokaido Shinkansen, highlighting its strengths and achievements, while also looking to the future and the development of the new Chuō Shinkansen. Also joining us will be Dr Christopher Hood, Reader in Japanese Studies, Cardiff University, who will examine the regional differences in design and usage of the Shinkansen and how this in turn reflects the diversity of Japanese cultures. 


Date: 31 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Images: Top Left: Daylight9899; Centre/Top Right/Bottom Right: Dr Christopher Hood

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Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga   org

The gritty genre of “Gekiga” was named by Yoshihiro Tatsumi in 1957. Based on “Komaga”, previously proposed by Masahiko Matsumoto, it aimed to differentiate itself from mainstream Manga and depict realism in daily life while pursuing a more systematic induction of the reader’s gaze.

The development of this visual expression by Tatsumi resulted not only in the growth of the comic rental market in Osaka, but once it had been picked up by publishers in Tokyo, it represented a new wave of Manga in late 1960’s Japan.

By rejecting the over simplistic, fantasy-based narratives of stereotypical Manga, Matsumoto and Tatsumi’s realistic mode created work from the viewpoint of the everyday man and minorities. Why did these artists move away from moralistic tales where good always defeated evil, and how did their experimental storylines and unique visual language evolve?

Mitsuhiro Asakawa, an award winning historian of Gekiga, will introduce some of Japan’s most influential Gekiga artists and reflect on his personal encounters with them, as well as explore the original source of creativity in Gekiga expression and the social circumstances that resulted in this style. Following the talk, Paul Gravett, a journalist and author specialising in comics publishing and promotion, will join the conversation.

This event will provide an intriguing and insightful scope into Gekiga and alternative comics to Manga in Japan.

**This event has been cancelled**


Date: 25 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Public Seminar: Economic Policy and the Welfare State in Japan and the UK   org

In this public seminar political scientists Prof Nobuhiro Hiwatari and Prof Junko Kato from the University of Tokyo join us to discuss their latest research into social policy reforms during financial crises, and tax politics and the welfare state.

 

Abstracts

Are Neo-Liberal Reforms Undemocratic? Evidence from the OECD and cases from the UK and Japan  

Prof Nobuhiro Hiwatari, University of Tokyo

In this paper I provide a new way of addressing whether spending cuts and social policy reforms are undemocratic.  Although measures that weaken market protection and social safety nets are opposed by organized interests and are unpopular with the voters, what if they reflect the position of the democratically elected legislature and not just the incumbent government? To show this is a possibility, I hypothesize that, when faced with global recessions, party leaders competing for power must show that they have viable plans to revive the economy, and as such, they have strong incentives to persuade the median voter that such reforms are unavoidable in order to stabilize the economy and assure international investors.  Evidence from 20 OECD countries shows that the major left and right parties tend to move rightward during global recessions, but not so much leftward during economic recoveries with the rise of economic inequality. In addition, I show that spending cuts do represent the policy position of the legislative centre rather than the government centre. The validity of the argument is further demonstrated by examining the cases of Japan and the UK.

 

Taxation and the Welfare State: Japan in a Comparative Perspective   

Prof Junko Kato, University of Tokyo

Since the 1980s, the institutionalization of regressive taxes for effective revenue-raising during a period of high growth has helped industrial democracies resist welfare state backlash. Building on this observation, I argue that the funding capacity of a welfare state is path-dependent on a revenue shift from progressive to regressive taxation. Tax politics is a critical intervening factor. Japan has been regarded as a proto-typical example in which the government failed to introduce a strong revenue-raising machine during a period of high economic growth. Today, Japan has again accumulated a massive government debt that is greater than twice its GDP and recently managed to increase consumption tax rates (from 5 to 8 %) for the first time in seventeen years. Strong opposition to tax increases in Japan appears puzzling considering its relatively low tax level and extremely high debt compared with other industrial democracies. Yet, it is consistent with a comparative analysis of tax politics in mature welfare states. I will explain the current situation in Japanese tax politics in comparison with other industrial democracies, focusing especially on European countries. 


Date: 17 September 2014 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Image: ©Asher Isbrucker 

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Art Meets Design -
Talk: Yuri Suzuki x Kouichi Okamoto with Alex Coles
  org

Today, the names Yuri Suzuki and Kouichi Okamoto have become synonymous as fusion artists who can freely cross the boundary between design and art. While both have worked in product design creating functional objects, each has been involved in music and sound projects and their practices have started leaning towards the pursuit of creative expression in the field of art.

Bridging the gap between the two distinct domains, their work has been displayed in a number of institutions: UK-based Suzuki has collaborated with pop artist will.i.am on Barbican show Digital Revolution and Tate Britain for the exhibition JUKE BOX Meets TATE BRITAIN, whilst Japan-based Okamoto has exhibited at the V&A London as part of London Design Week 2012 and 2014.

In this special talk, Suzuki and Okamoto, joined in conversation with Alex Coles, art critic and editor specialising in the interface between art, design and architecture, will discuss the reason behind their move beyond the design parameters of utilitarian products, reflecting on their own experiences within the creative industry. They will also expand on the differences in practice, approach and mindset between design and art, and how this unique aspect of visual arts integration will evolve in the future.


Date: 22 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

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Public Seminar - Maths-As-It-Could-Be: The life and philosophy of Kiyoshi Oka   org

 

Kiyoshi Oka (1901-1978) was one of the greatest Japanese mathematicians of the 20th century. His contribution to mathematics was such that Carl Siegel mistakenly believed ‘Oka’ to be the name of a group of mathematicians. In Japan, Oka is known not only for his tremendous contribution to maths, but also as a great thinker and philosopher.  His thoughts were shaped through the prisms of the Japanese language and culture and he was greatly influenced by traditional Zen Buddhist philosophy (in particular, that of Dōgen) and Japanese literature such as Matsuo Bashō and Natsume Soseki.  
In this talk, independent scholar Masao Morita, will introduce Oka’s unique philosophy of mathematics, and the Japanese traditional thoughts underlying his ideas.  He will also shed light on Oka’s life and thinking as a mathematician while examining how Oka pursued a "maths as it could be".  Joining Morita in discussion will be Professor Tadashi Tokieda from the University of Cambridge.

Kiyoshi Oka was one of the greatest Japanese mathematicians of the 20th century. His contribution to mathematics was such that Carl Siegel mistakenly believed ‘Oka’ to be the name of a group of mathematicians. In Japan, Oka is known not only for his tremendous contribution to maths, but also as a great thinker and philosopher.  His thoughts were shaped through the prisms of the Japanese language and culture and he was greatly influenced by traditional Zen Buddhist philosophy (in particular, that of Dōgen) and Japanese literature such as Matsuo Bashō and Natsume Soseki.  


In this public seminar, independent scholar Masao Morita will introduce Oka’s unique philosophy of mathematics and the Japanese traditional thoughts underlying his ideas.  He will also shed light on Oka’s life and thinking as a mathematician while examining how Oka pursued a "maths as it could be".  Joining Morita in discussion will be Professor Tadashi Tokieda from the University of Cambridge.


Date: 17 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Public Seminar: The Real Story Behind Japan's Marriage Crisis   org

In this special public seminar, sociologist and opinion-maker, Professor Masahiro Yamada (Chuo University) joins us to examine the reasons behind Japan’s falling marriage rate and what the future holds for the country's ‘parasite singles’.

Joining Prof Yamada in discussion will be Professor Joy Hendry, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Oxford Brookes University.

 

ABSTRACT
It is not just that the rate of marriage per se is declining in Japan, relationships between men and women are not actively developing in toto. The reasons for this are 1) the expectation that men ought to shoulder the burden of paying for household expenses after marriage continues to be strong, 2) the incomes of young men have become increasingly unstable, and 3) almost all unmarried people continue to live in with their parents.  In short, although people would like to form ‘traditional families’ (nuclear families) of their own, the economic circumstances will not allow this and the number of unmarrieds who continue to live in their parent’s home as ‘parasite singles’ is increasing instead. One consequence of this is that young people are increasingly attracted to ‘virtual romance’ in anime and with idols.

ABSTRACT

It is not just that the rate of marriage per se is declining in Japan, relationships between men and women are not actively developing in toto. The reasons for this are 1) the expectation that men ought to shoulder the burden of paying for household expenses after marriage continues to be strong, 2) the incomes of young men have become increasingly unstable, and 3) almost all unmarried people continue to live with their parents.  In short, although people would like to form ‘traditional families’ (nuclear families) of their own, the economic circumstances will not allow this and the number of unmarrieds who continue to live in their parents' home as ‘parasite singles’ is increasing instead. One consequence of this is that young people are increasingly attracted to ‘virtual romance’ in anime and with idols.


Date: 6 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

**Prof Yamada will also be speaking at Manchester University on 4 November, 2014.  Click here for more information

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JF-BATJ Japanese Language Teachers' Seminar: Assessing Japanese with JF Standard - with Mayumi Mitsuya   org

[日本語]

A seminar for Japanese language teachers to learn more about using JF Standard for Japanese Language Education to enhance their teaching skills, organised by the Japan Foundation London and the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a foreign language (BATJ).

Part 1 (14:00-15:00): Lecture
JF Standard places emphasis on promoting competence in accomplishing tasks. But what is the best way to measure this? In this lecture, we will look at different tests for assessing competence in accomplishing tasks and examine what we should assess and by what criteria.  
  Part 1 of this seminar will be broadcast live on Ustream  www.ustream.tv/channel/japan-foundation-london-language
Part 2 (15:20-17:00): Workshop: 
Using JF standard, we will consider simple exam questions for measuring competence in accomplishing tasks and create a rubric to assess them. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss what kinds of assessment can be used in their own classes and what form this assessment can take.

Part 1 (14:00-15:00): Lecture
JF Standard places emphasis on promoting competence in accomplishing tasks. But what is the best way to measure this? In this lecture, we will look at different tests for assessing competence in accomplishing tasks and examine what we should assess and by what criteria. Part 1 of this seminar will be broadcast live on Japan Foundation's Ustream channel

Part 2 (15:20-17:00): Workshop
Using JF standard, we will consider simple exam questions for measuring competence in accomplishing tasks and create a rubric to assess them. Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss what kinds of assessment can be used in their own classes and what form this assessment can take.

Participation fee: £5.00 for both BATJ members and non-members.
This seminar will be held in Japanese.

About the presenter - Mayumi Mitsuya, Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japan Foundation Rome

Graduate of the Japanese Language section of the Foreign Language Department of Nanzan University Graduate School. Lectured at University of Marburg in Germany and Western Washington University in the USA and was a Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Cologne before assuming her current role in 2012

Click here to apply online via the BATJ website

Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Rome
Graduate of the Japanese Language section of the Foreign Language Department of Nanzan University Graduate School. Lectured at University of Marburg in Germany and Western Washington University in the USA and was a Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Cologne before assuming her current role in 2012.Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation RomeGraduate of the Japanese Language section of the Foreign Language Department of Nanzan University Graduate School. Lectured at University of Marburg in Germany and Western Washington University in the USA and was a Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Cologne before assuming her current role in 2012.
Mayumi Mitsuya
Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Rome
Graduate of the Japanese Language section of the Foreign Language Department of Nanzan University Graduate School. Lectured at University of Marburg in Germany and Western Washington University in the USA and was a Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Cologne before assuming her current role in 2012.Mayumi MitsuyaJapanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation RomeGraduate of the Japanese Language section of the Foreign Language Department of Nanzan University Graduate School. Lectured at University of Marburg in Germany and Western Washington University in the USA and was a Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Cologne before assuming her current role in 2012.:
Mayumi Mitsuya
Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Rome
Graduate of the Japanese Language section of the Foreign Language Department of Nanzan University Graduate School. Lectured at University of Marburg in Germany and Western Washington University in the USA and was a Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Cologne before assuming her current role in 2012.Mayumi MitsuyaJapanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation RomeGraduate of the Japanese Language section of the Foreign Language Department of Nanzan University Graduate School. Lectured at University of Marburg in Germany and Western Washington University in the USA and was a Japanese Language Senior Specialist at Japanese Cultural Institute, the Japan Foundation Cologne before assuming her current role in 2012.

Date: 29 November 2014 from 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


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Talk: Building Blocks: Curating Architecture   org

Despite the complexity and difficult curatorial challenge in exhibiting architecture as a medium, a number of such exhibitions have been held in a variety of settings. Often involving installations, sketches, photos and models, we are able to gain an insight into the minds, worlds and inspirations of architects and the environments they create, but what can be truly understood about architecture through such exhibitions?

Contemplating this question, the Japan Foundation has invited Kayoko Ota, a curator and editor specialising in architecture, to discuss the purpose of architecture exhibitions and how this format can help foster our understanding. Having been the commissioner for this year’s Japan Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale and with long and established career overseas, Ota will draw on her global experience to explore various issues involved in curating architecture exhibitions both on a practical and theoretical level, while looking into what aspects in Japanese architecture have been and can be examined keeping its history, characteristics and current state in mind.

Following Kayoko Ota's presentation, she will be joined for a discussion by Catherine Ince, Curator at Barbican Art Gallery.


Date: 20 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Japan Foundation, London


Image credits: Clockwise from top left: Overview of the exhibition at the Japan Pavilion 2014, "In the Real World", Photo by Keigo Kobayashi; Entrance to the Japan Pavilion 2014, "In the Real World", Photo by Keigo Kobayashi;  Digital installation "Blurring Architecture" as part of Toyo Ito's exhibition "Vision and Reality" at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2000

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LDF Digital Design Weekend: Magnetic Field Record, Kouichi Okamoto   org

The LDF Digital Design Weekend is a weekend of events celebrating collaborations in digital art, design and science, coinciding with the London Design Festival at the V&A. As part of this year’s programme, ICN Gallery and the Japan Foundation will present Magnetic Field Record by designer Kouichi Okamoto, a suspended device recording and visualising the earth’s magnetic and gravitational forces into drawings.


Date: 20 September 2014 - 21 September 2014 from 10.30am - 5.00pm
Venue:

V&A Museum, London


For more information, please click here.

Image: Magnetic Field Record, Kouichi Okamoto, 2013.

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Artist's Talk: Fujiko Nakaya   org

Artist Fujiko Nakaya is a pioneer of installation and video art in Japan. As a member of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) that promoted a new interdisciplinary approach towards art, technology and the environment,  she opened Japan’s first video art gallery in Tokyo in 1980 and has since collaborated with renowned choreographers and artists including Trisha Brown, Robert Rauschenberg and Bill Viola. In 1970 she created the world’s first fog sculpture at the Pepsi Pavilion, Expo ‘70 in Osaka and subsequently developed her unique immersive installations around the world.

This talk is a unique opportunity to learn about Nakaya’s practice and influential explorations of nature and technology throughout her forty year career, coinciding with Nakaya’s Fog Bridge installation presented by In Between Time running from 13 to 22 February 2015 in Bristol.


Date: 17 February 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

Starr Auditorium, Tate Modern, London


For more information, please click here.

Organised in association with Tate.

Image: Fog Bridge #72496 Exploratorium, San Francisco, 2013 Photo: Gayle Laird Ⓒ Exploratorium

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Talk: An Introduction to Sake   org

Sake, or nihonshu, is one of Japan’s most famous exports and is an increasingly popular fixture on menus 
at bars and restaurants across the UK.  But with such a dizzying array of classifications and often confusing 
terminology it’s not easy for the uninitiated to know where to start.  

Sake, or nihonshu, is one of Japan’s most famous exports and is an increasingly popular fixture on menus at bars and restaurants across the UK.  But with such a dizzying array of classifications and often confusing terminology it’s not easy for the uninitiated to know where to start.  

In this special talk, sake specialist Oliver Hilton-Johnson (Tengu Sake) joins us to demystify this ancient drink covering everything from the history of sake, how sake is made and its main classifications, to different flavours and suitable food pairings.  Also joining us will be Rie Yoshitake who will discuss the recent fortunes of Japan’s sake industry, while also introducing the activities of the Sake Samurai Association, an organisation formed by young sake brewers in Japan that works to promote sake in overseas markets.

Following the talk, guests will have the opportunity to sample some of the varieties of sake discussed by our experts.  

Following the talk, guests will have the opportunity to sample some of the varieties of sake discussed by our experts.  


Date: 24 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking

**This event is now fully booked** 

If you would like to be added to the waiting list please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Supported by:

     

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Teacher Training: WJEC Japanese Language Units (QCF)   org
Enhance your Japanese language lessons by giving your pupils the opportunity to gain formal recognition for their learning. The WJEC Language Units are small bite-sized qualifications which enable learners to demonstrate their competence and progress by producing evidence in the classroom. 
The Benefits :
Internally assessed by you in the classroom.
Each qualification requires approximately 10 hours to deliver and complete. (20 hours for written Japanese)
Ideal for building confidence – pupils can gain recognition in a positive “can-do” setting at a pace to suit them.
Flexibility to adapt the context and focus of the evidence to fit in with your curriculum.
Can be offered in lunchtime and afterschool Japanese clubs.
Enhances the foreign language teaching in primary schools.   
This workshop will be held in Japanese and English.

Enhance your Japanese language lessons by giving your pupils the opportunity to gain formal recognition for their learning. The WJEC Language Units are small bite-sized qualifications which enable learners to demonstrate their competence and progress by producing evidence in the classroom. 

The Benefits :

  • Internally assessed by you in the classroom.
  • Each qualification requires approximately 10 hours to deliver and complete. (20 hours for written Japanese)
  • Ideal for building confidence – pupils can gain recognition in a positive “can-do” setting at a pace to suit them.
  • Flexibility to adapt the context and focus of the evidence to fit in with your curriculum.
  • Can be offered in lunchtime and afterschool Japanese clubs.
  • Enhances the foreign language teaching in primary schools.   

This workshop will be held in Japanese and English.

Schedule:
10.00   Arrival and Refreshments
10.30   Welcome & Introductions
             Japanese Language Teaching in the UK and support available from the Japan Foundation
11.00   Introduction to WJEC’s QCF Qualification in Japanese
12.30   Lunch and Networking
13.30   Continue Main training session and introduce free resources  
16:45   Final Questions, Summary, Evaluation Sheet
17:00 Close
For forthcoming FREE CPD sessions in other areas of the UK, please see WJEC Website Language Units CPD Sessions or contact Claire Parry Claire.parry@wjec.co.uk

Schedule:
- 10.00   Arrival and Refreshments
- 10.30   Welcome & Introductions           
      Japanese Language Teaching in the UK and support available from the Japan Foundation
- 11.00   Introduction to WJEC’s QCF Qualification in Japanese
- 12.30   Lunch and Networking
- 13.30   Continue Main training session and introduce free resources  
- 16:45   Final Questions, Summary, Evaluation Sheet
- 17:00   Close

To register for this event, please click here

Schedule:
10.00   Arrival and Refreshments
10.30   Welcome & Introductions
             Japanese Language Teaching in the UK and support available from the Japan Foundation
11.00   Introduction to WJEC’s QCF Qualification in Japanese
12.30   Lunch and Networking
13.30   Continue Main training session and introduce free resources  
16:45   Final Questions, Summary, Evaluation Sheet
17:00 Close
For forthcoming FREE CPD sessions in other areas of the UK, please see WJEC Website Language Units CPD Sessions or contact Claire Parry Claire.parry@wjec.co.uk

Date: 22 October 2014
Venue:

Japan Foundation, London


To register for this event, please click here

For forthcoming FREE CPD sessions in other areas of the UK, please see WJEC Website Language Units CPD Sessions or contact Claire Parry Claire.parry@wjec.co.uk

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Public Seminar: WORLD LITERATURE, Japanese perspectives   org

In recent years, there has been a growing trend to read literary texts as “world literature.” Some Japanese writers and critics welcome this trend as an opportunity to gain a larger readership beyond national and linguistic borders, yet others are wary of it. While these diverse responses today are symptoms of the increasing globalization of cultures, it is also important to take a historical look.

In this public seminar, Dr Shion Kono (Sophia University) will situate the current Japanese debates on world literature in the global circulation and reception of Japanese literature over the past century.  He will also discuss the prospects of Japanese literature as world literature.  Joining Kono to explore these issues further will be Dr Irena Hayter from the University of Leeds. 


Date: 9 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

*Shion Kono will also deliver a lecture in Durham on Firday 10th October as part of Durham University's 'Celebration of Japan Week'.  Click here for more details. 

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Shinjuku Culture in the 1960s -
Talk by Go Hirasawa and Jelena Stojković
  org

The 1960s marks a crucial turning point culturally, socially and politically. When it comes to Japan, there were lots of countercultural activities at the time in the town of Shinjuku in Tokyo. This emblematic site was a hotbed of avant-garde art, involving such artists as Nagisa Oshima, Daido Moriyama and Shuji Terayama, to name but a few.

Reflecting the current resurgence of attention towards the arts and social expression of the 1960s, as well as the attempts at their critical evaluation, this talk event will explore how the town of Shinjuku played a significant role in the birth of the new wave movement, and why it still influences and interests us today.

Go Hirasawa, researcher at Meiji Gakuin University who specialises in political cinema, will delve into the various new activities that were created for and taking place both inside and outside of the various cultural venues in Shinjuku, and will analyse the artistic expression that was produced within such a chaotic urban space in the 1960s.

Jelena Stojković, an art historian, writer and curator based in London, will examine the role of photography in 1960s Japan while introducing some of the photographic projects that evolved from the vibrant Shinjuku cultural 'scene' at that time.  She will also discuss the chief practitioners, their main subjects of interest and a wide range of images that they produced.

Presenting the new cultural forms, within and across disciplines, which emerged from Shinjuku, this talk will discuss the relationship between the town, art and the expression of creativity in the 1960s in Japan.


Date: 27 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Images: Left: Ecstasy of the Angels, 1972, Dir. Koji Wakamatsu. Right: Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, 1969, Dir. Nagisa Oshima.

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Artist talk by Satoshi Kitamura
in conversation with Nicolette Jones
  org

Satoshi Kitamura is an award-winning children’s author and illustrator whose work includes over 20 of his own books, and many more collaborations. Using a glass dip pen that produces his individual, slightly uneven line, Kitamura is skilled in finding the delicate balance between words and pictures, and creating visual depictions of abstract concepts such as music and art. His aesthetic style, along with memorable narratives, has earned him numerous awards including the Mother Goose Award for the Most Exciting Newcomer to Illustration in 1983 for his involvement in Angry Arthur by Hiawyn Oram. Kitamura also works as a translator on projects such as Elmer the Patchwork Elephant by British author David McKee, and has collaborated with poets like Roger McGough and John Agard for their poetry collections and anthologies. In The Carnival of Animals he illustrated the poems of a dozen distinguished British poets who were inspired by Saint Saens' orchestral music with the same title.

In conjunction with The Children’s Bookshow, a national tour of writers and illustrators of children’s literature in which Kitamura has been selected to appear, this special talk event will highlight his innovative, varied, and long career. Having recently returned to live in Japan after spending many years nurturing his career in the U.K., Kitamura, in conversation with Nicolette Jones, will discuss the development of his style, whether or not working in a different environment has had any impact upon his work, all while exploring the appreciation of children’s literature in the markets of both the U.K. and Japan. Jones is a writer, critic and broadcaster specialising in literary and arts journalism. She has been the Children's Books Editor of The Sunday Times for more than two decades.


Date: 14 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

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Public Seminar: The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country   org

In this special public seminar, Japan’s leading young sociologist and author of the controversial book The Happy Youth of a Desperate Country’ Noritoshi Furuichi (Tokyo University), joins us to explain why, despite fewer opportunities for long-term stable employment, the majority of Japan’s youth are in fact satisfied with their lives, and how this contentment challenges the dominant media discourse which portrays young adults as a disappointed and unhappy generation.   Furuichi will also examine why young Japanese seem to be politically apathetic even in the face of rising social inequalities and an uncertain future.  

Joining Furuichi in discussion following his presentation will be Dr Tuukka Toivonen from SOAS, University of London.  


Date: 12 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Rm642, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, WC1H OAL 

http://20bedfordway.com/how-to-find-us/


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

**Noritoshi Furuichi will also be speaking at SEAS, University of Sheffield on Tuesday 11 November, 2014.  Click here for more information


Image: masaru minoya 

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Bigakko: Anti-Academy - Talk by Alice Maude-Roxby   org

The alternative art school Bigakko was established in 1969 in the Jimbocho district of Tokyo by the publishers Gendaishicho-sha. Involving some of the most radical artists of the time and developed in opposition to the mainstream academy system, students at Bigakko experienced unorthodox teaching and workshops by Genpei Akasegawa, Natsuyuki Nakanishi, Hiroshi Nakamura and Mokuma Kikuhata, and the programme involved diverse approaches, ranging from vociferous political conferences to quiet meditation.

In this talk, Alice Maude-Roxby, Head of Photography at Falmouth University, will provide an overview of the activities of Bigakko students and artists, and its impact and influence upon the contemporary visual art world. Reflecting on the recent exhibition Anti-Academy at the John Hansard Gallery for which Maude-Roxby was the curator, she will analyse the activities of Bigakko within the context of the comparative unorthodox art education models in Iowa, USA and Copenhagen, Denmark while raising questions in consideration of contemporary development of fine art education in UK.


Date: 5 December 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Image: Students in the class of Nakanishi Natsuyuki, Bigakko, Tokyo, 1970. Photograph by Morinago Jun.

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Artist Talk by Aiko Miyanaga   org

Japanese artist Aiko Miyanaga creates sculptural pieces that are associated with transformation. Winning the Nissan Art Award 2013 Grand Prize, Miyanaga is most well known for her use of naphthalene to produce moulds of everyday items such as clocks and keys, which are then encased in clear resin. Recent successful international exhibitions, including at the Sapporo International Art Festival 2014 where her latest ceramic works were displayed,  have reiterated the artist’s commitment to the idea of balance between weakness and strength, absence and presence, as well as the reflection of the impact of time on her work.

In this special artist talk, Miyanaga will discuss her object-orientated work and the concept behind her attempts and the medium she chooses to express her ethos as an artist. In discussion with Mark Rappolt, editor of ArtReview, she will also reflect on where the value lies in her art considering the form may change but the material and weight never do.


Date: 19 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is organised in association with White Rainbow gallery.

Aiko Miyanaga’s first solo U.K. show, Strata: Origins, is currently at White Rainbow gallery until 22nd November 2014.

For more information, please visit www.white-rainbow.co.uk

Image: Courtesy of the artist

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JF@London Anime & Gaming Con   org

The Japan Foundation will be at London Anime & Gaming Con on 7th and 8th February 2015.

Visit our stand for information about studying Japanese, freebies and the chance to enter our quiz and win some great prizes!

What's more, we will be giving a short Japanese taster session and a presentation on the resources and support available for Japanese language learners. This will take place on the Saturday from 5pm on the Downstairs Stage.

Booking details and more information about the convention, which is organised by Anime League, can be found on the official website, www.londonanimecon.com


Date: 7 February 2015 - 8 February 2015 from 10.30am
Venue:

London Metropolitan University, 166-220 Holloway Road, London N7 8DB

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Japan Conference for Schools 2015   org

This one-day conference is organised by the Japan Society, the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan. The conference is free to attend, and open to schools or local authorities that are new to Japan work, schools implementing Japanese into the curriculum, those involved with partnerships in Japan and schools looking to enhance or develop an existing programme of Japan-related study. The aim is for people to network and share practical ideas about introducing Japan and Japanese in their schools. It also aims to give experienced schools ideas on taking their Japanese activities further.

To provisionally book your place on the course please click here

Fee: Free (Registration required)
Lunch will be provided on the day

Draft Schedule:
10.00 – 10.30      Arrival, registration and coffee
10.30 – 10.40      Welcome message from the Embassy of Japan
10.40 – 11.30      Key Note Speech: Lorraine Cooper, Deputy Headteacher, Maryland Primary School
11.30 – 11.40      Break- Tea and Coffee
11.40 – 12.30      Workshop 1 (workshops will be practical sessions about Japan/Japanese culture)
12.30 – 13.20      Lunch and Networking - A buffet lunch will be provided
13.20 – 14.10      Workshop 2       
14.15 – 15.05      Group discussion – Session one (each group will discuss a specific topic)
15.10 – 16.00      Group discussion – Session two
16.00 – 16.15      Closing remarks 

Workshops:

  1. Stephen Schwab- who will look at Japan and its place in the curriculum especially Geography (KS2/KS3). 
  2. Kamishibai- Japan Foundation
  3. Flipped Learning, how to help improve GCSE results – Anne Rajakuma
  4. Origami- Japan Society.

Discussions:

  1. Helen Morris (Madley Primary School)- School linking/linking activities and projects
  2. Japan Society, Japan Foundation, Embassy support 
  3. Secndary Japanese Language
    Session 1- Sharing teaching ideas 
    Session 2- Teaching Japanese to dyslexic students
  4. Primary Japanese Language
    Session 1- New primary scheme of work – Makoto Netsu
    Session 2- Sharing teaching ideas

Date: 3 March 2015
Venue:

Venue: The Embassy of Japan
101-104 Piccadilly
London W1J 7JT 


To provisionally book your place on the course please click here

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Potential of Japanese language education in primary schools   org

Date: 20 January 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL


Click here to apply online or e-mail event.language@jpf.org.uk to reserve your place. 

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Contemporary Art History: Japan - A Book Talk by Hideki Nakazawa   org

Hideki Nakazawa's Contemporary Art History: Japan, is a foundational text in the international understanding of post-war art in Japan. First published in 2008 as part of an exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, it offered a bi-lingual panorama of the diverse trends, movements and personalities in Japanese art from the 1950s to the present day, stressing their originality in relation to global discourses on Dada, Surrealism, Art Informel, Neo-Pop, Conceptualism and Neo-Expressionism, as well as introducing key works of Japanese art criticism. While the avant garde of the 1950s to 70s is beginning to be well mapped out by international art historians, later periods - of which Nakazawa has intimate autobiographical knowledge - remain less well known.

On the occasion of the re-publication by ART DIVER (artdiver.moo.jp) late last year of a fully revised, updated and re-translated version of this unique work, we are pleased to welcome Hideki Nakazawa to SOAS as part of his first ever visit to London. He will present his original explanation of Japanese contemporary art trends in terms of periodisation and cyclical history, in the company of three experts on Japanese art and culture.

To download the full flyer, please click here.


Date: 26 January 2015 from 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Venue:

Venue update: This event will now take place in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

The Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG


Images: Main images: The cover of the new edition of the book, which features a Baka CG work by Nakazawa with Tsuyoshi Ozawa "jizoing" on the forehead of performance artist Nakao Ikemiya during the Nakamura to Murakami exhibition in Seoul, 1992; Baka CG icon of Nakazawa. Bottom: Portrait of Hideki Nakazawa. All images courtesy of the author.

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Japanese Studies Post-Graduate Workshop, 2015   org

We are delighted to announce that the annual Japan Foundation / BAJS Post-Graduate Workshop will be held on Wednesday 11th March, 2015.

This workshop aims to assist the development of the next generation of Japanese specialists here in the UK, and to further strengthen the Japanese Studies community in this country.  It is a great opportunity to receive some practical advice on your research from senior colleagues, and to get to know fellow post-graduate students and others in the Japanese Studies community.

This year’s workshop will include practical sessions on the following topics:
‘Getting Access to Interviewees’                                                                             
Dr Peter Cave (University of Manchester)      
                                                             
‘Post-doctoral Career Development in Japan and the UK’                               
Dr Peter Matanle (University of Sheffield)
‘Funding your Research’                                                                         
Representatives from the Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Japan Foundation will give short presentations on their funding programmes.

This year’s workshop will include practical sessions on the following topics:

This year’s workshop will include practical sessions on the following topics:
‘Getting Access to Interviewees’                                                                             
Dr Peter Cave (University of Manchester)      
                                                             
‘Post-doctoral Career Development in Japan and the UK’                               
Dr Peter Matanle (University of Sheffield)
‘Funding your Research’                                                                         
Representatives from the Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Japan Foundation will give short presentations on their funding programmes.

‘Getting Access to Interviewees’                                                                                          

Dr Peter Cave (University of Manchester)                                                                

 ‘Post-doctoral Career Development in Japan and the UK’                                                        

Dr Peter Matanle (University of Sheffield)

‘Funding your Research’                                                                         

Representatives from the Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Japan Foundation will give short presentations on their funding programmes.


Date: 11 March 2015 from 11.00am - 6.00pm
Venue:

University of Leeds


The event will be followed by a dinner reception.

Eligibility: This workshop is open to PhD candidates in Japanese Studies/Japan-related disciplines. Japanese Studies Masters students who are thinking of doing a PhD are also welcome to attend.

Booking: E-mail Julie Anne Robb at  julieanne.robb@jpf.org.uk to register your interest in attending or if you have any enquiries. The last event was over-subscribed so please get in touch as soon as possible if you would like to come along.

**Please note, travel expenses of up to £40 will be available to all participants**

This year’s workshop will include practical sessions on the following topics:
‘Getting Access to Interviewees’                                                                             
Dr Peter Cave (University of Manchester)      
                                                             
‘Post-doctoral Career Development in Japan and the UK’                               
Dr Peter Matanle (University of Sheffield)
‘Funding your Research’                                                                         
Representatives from the Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Japan Foundation will give short presentations on their funding programmes.
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Make Your Own Japanese Teaching Resources with PowerPoint   org

Learn how to bring your Japanese classes to life with Microsoft PowerPoint!

In this hands-on workshop, Hisaka Bunting (teacher of GCSE and A-level Japanese at Newstead Wood School and Teacher of Japanese at several other schools) will demonstrate how you can use Microsoft PowerPoint to enhance your beginner-level Japanese classes. Giving real life examples from her own classes, Bunting-sensei will provide step-by-step instruction on making effective and entertaining presentations, games and activities with PowerPoint. Participants will not only be able to make their own PowerPoint resources in the session, but will also have the opportunity to share their resources with each other.

PowerPoint for Absolute Beginners Session: 19th February 2015 (Thur) 12:45 – 16:30
PowerPoint for Post Beginners Session: 20th February 2015 (Fri) 12:45 – 16:30 (Please note: Friday session is now fully booked. All further bookings for Friday will be placed on a waiting list).

Attendance fee: Free. Advanced booking is essentialIt is open to all teachers of Japanese.
使用言語:日本語   This seminar will be held in Japanese.

Participants MUST bring their own laptop, iPad or other device with Microsoft PowerPoint installed. The Japan Foundation is unable to provide laptops or other devices.

Timetable:

  • 12:45 - 13:00            Welcome
  • 13:00 - 13:15            Start (Greetings)
  • 13:15 - 14:15            Introduction
  • 14:15 - 14:30            Break
  • 14:30 - 16:00            Workshop
  • 16:00 - 16:30            Q&A

Capacity: 16 participants per day – first come, first served. Participants may register for both days if they wish.  Application deadline: 17th February

Please click here to register your place


Date: 19 February 2015 - 20 February 2015 from 12.45pm - 4.30pm
Venue:

Japan Foundation London. Lion Court, 25 Procter Street, London. WC1V 6NY 

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Worn with Pride -- Textiles, Kimono, and Propaganda in Japan, 1925-1945   org

Japan has a rich tradition of textile production, crafting remarkable fabrics that reveal the country’s considered aesthetics. From century to century, decorative fabrics have been used to adorn the body and bring pleasure not only to those who wore them, but also to all who saw them. One period of history, however, highlights a remarkable change in the visual design of Japanese textiles.

Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, The Japan Foundation, London has invited Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins, to give a special illustrated talk on the capacity of cloth to communicate the persuasive power of Japanese propaganda of the time. While presenting various examples of the striking designs used in garments from children’s kimonos to adult attire, Dr Atkins will map the evolution in pattern design during a time of conflict that produced a new look in fashion. She will also discuss the meanings behind the distinct graphics represented in the textiles, and why these unique visual references symbolised the social, cultural, and even political interest and patriotism of this period in Japanese history.

Dr Atkins will be introduced, and later joined for a discussion by Anna Jackson, Keeper of the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins, a textile historian, was Chief Curator and the Kate Fowler Merle-Smith Curator of Textiles for the Allentown Art Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She has lectured extensively on Japanese modern textiles, Japanese and American quilts, and American folk art. Her publications include Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States, 1931–1945, based on her exhibition of the same name, and “Japanese Novelty Textiles” in The Brittle Decade: Visualizing Japan in the 1930s. She holds a Ph.D. from Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.


Date: 14 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Swedenborg Society
20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Entrance on Barter Street) London WC1A 2TH

For further details of the location, please visit: www.swedenborg.org.uk/contact


Image: Child’s kimono, Searchlights, Tanaka Yoku Collection. Photo: Nakagawa Taadaki, Artec Studio

To download the flyer please click here

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Workshop: Rethinking 'Japanese' Pop Culture: A Topic for Academic Study?   org

We are delighted to announce that leading  Japanese media and cultural studies scholar Professor Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University), will be visiting Newcastle University in April to lead this special Japanese Studies workshop.

Recent years have seen an explosion of English language scholarship on the subject of Japanese pop culture such as manga, anime and video games. In this workshop, Professor Iwabuchi will encourage participants to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by this study. Can the study of Japanese popular culture lead to a deeper understanding of the diversity of  Japanese society in an increasingly globalised world?

This workshop will seek to answer questions like this  through a series of interactive and dynamic group discussions.

Professor Iwabuchi will be joined by Dr Gitte Hansen, Lecturer in Japanese Studies at Newcastle University, who will be on hand to facilitate the discussion.

This workshop is designed for any students with an interest in Japanese Studies.


Date: 15 April 2015 from 1.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue:

Old Library Building, Room 3.14 (Pybus room), Newcastle University

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Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students 2015   org

Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students, is accepting applications across three categories: Key Stage 3, Pre-GCSE Key Stage 4/5, and Post GCSE Key Stage 4 and 5. Please download the attached documents below for full details.

You can read about the previous Nihongo Cup here.

Deadline to enter:  10th April 2015 (please note that this is an extended deadline; the former deadline is included in the application documents can be ignored)

Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) with support from the Japan Foundation London.


Date: 19 March 2015 - 10 April 2015
Download Nihongo Cup Information and Application Forms
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Reality Check: Artist talk by Chim↑Pom   org

Chim↑Pom, the six-strong artist collective known as the enfant terrible of Japan's art scene, create distinctive works that challenge contemporary social problems, and the realities that we choose not to see. Formed in Tokyo in 2005, the group's approach is underscored by the use of found objects, mass media, and chance. Chim↑Pom work mainly in video but their many mixed medium creations look beyond traditional aesthetic standards to construct coded narratives that drive compelling messages about limitations and boundaries, both literally and figuratively. Through critical thinking and creativity they tackle themes including urbanisation, celebrity, and more recently, the tsunami and nuclear incidents of 3/11.

Fresh off their success at this year’s Prudential Eye Awards, where they won not only “Best Emerging Artist Using Digital/Video” but were also named “Best Emerging Artist of the Year”, two members of this provocative collective, Ryuta Ushiro and Ellie, have been invited to map Chim↑Pom’s diverse career. Preluding their first group exhibition in London, by the mountain path held at the White Rainbow Gallery, they will explore how they came to be and why their work pushes the limits of contemporary Japanese art and the Japanese art scene.

After their presentation, Ushiro and Ellie will be joined in conversation by Dr Sook-Kyung Lee, Research Curator of Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific. 


Date: 29 April 2015 from 6.45pm
Venue:

Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA


Booking

This event is ticketed. To buy tickets please visit the Free Word website.

To download the flyer please click here

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Post 3.11: What Can Art Do? Four Years On: Art and the Disaster   org

Post 3.11 is a series of talks showcasing the activities of artists who through various ways, have been engaged with the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region of Japan. The series aims to re-examine the role of artists and art in the aftermath of such unprecedented events.

Four years have now passed since 3.11 and despite a new phase beginning in the areas affected, there are still a great number of problems to overcome. Marking the fourth anniversary of the disaster, the fourth session of this talk series will look into artists’ interactions with the affected areas a few years on, as opposed to the immediate response. Considering particularly the context of the ‘post’ aftermath, what does it mean for artists and cultural sectors to be involved at this stage, and what can they achieve themselves?

Broadening the focal point from specifically 3.11 to more global and historical events, the event will also explore how artists can be engaged once time has passed and the dust has settled, fundamentally questioning  ‘what can art do’.

Panellists:

Yoi Kawakubo is an emerging artist and photographer, who has been tracing the social and historical impact of the disaster and subsequent nuclear meltdown through his artistic practice. Kawakubo’s interests lie in the themes of the ontology of photography and the boundaries of the medium. Kawakubo was selected as the Art Action UK residency artist for 2015 and will exhibit his work at the solo exhibition To Tell a (hi)Story at the Husk Gallery, Limehouse, London from 16 -30 May 2015.

Prof David Alexander is Professor at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London, and teaches emergency planning and management. Prof Alexander’s research interests include the relationship between the culture and the disaster in the aftermath, focusing on how cultural activities have contributed to the recovery of the disaster. Prof Alexander has conducted research into the Tohoku area and other global areas where disasters have struck.

Eiko Honda is a curator and Fellow of Overseas Study Programme for Artists, Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. Her recent projects include Noodles Against the Machine: the Politics of Food and Artists’ Resistance in Contemporary Japan (2014), Unlocking the Diary: The Archiving of Nameless Memories (2014) and NOW&FUTURE: JAPAN (2012). She is currently working on Meiji-era naturalist Minakata Kumagusu and his relation to ecological thought today.

Dr Majella Munro is a writer and consultant with expertise on modern and contemporary Asian art. Dr Munro is currently completing a research monograph ‘Close to Nature? Japanese Artists and the Environment from Hiroshima to Fukushima’ focusing on Japanese contemporary artists’ response to 3.11.

Kaori Homma (chair) is Associate Lecturer at University of Arts London a coordinator of Art Action UK, a collection of artists, curators, gallerists and writers who are exploring various means to show solidarity and support for people who have been affected by disasters. The 2011 Japanese earthquake, tsunami and subsequent Fukushima nuclear fallout has been the catalyst for AAUK's activities.


Date: 28 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA


Image: When the mist takes off the suns, 2014 © Yoi Kawakubo

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Public Seminar: People Make Places: Empowering Locals through Community Design   org

Ryo Yamazaki defines community design as 'the empowerment of locals through design to make them happy'. He is one of the speakers at this special seminar, which will discuss the principles behind community design and how they have been applied in projects in both Japan and the UK.

As CEO of community design company studio-L, and Professor and Director of the Department of Community Design at the Tohoku University of Art and Design,  Ryo Yamazaki  is  involved in  wide ranging activities throughout Japan which aim to facilitate local communities to not only create and improve  public spaces, but also to seek their own solutions for the social problems that they are facing. Starting with the development of Japan’s first park managed through citizen participation, more recent  projects have ranged from  developing  new ways to use open space in a department store, to helping an island community promote tourism.

At this public seminar Ryo Yamazaki will be joined by Sophia de Sousa, Chief Executive of The Glass-House, an independent charitable organisation which plays a leading role in the promotion of community led design in the UK. Sophia de Sousa will introduce the aims and activities of the Glass-House, which strives to put local people at the heart of making changes to their neighbourhoods. She will also join Ryo Yamazaki to discuss the development of  community  design in both Japan and the UK, and what can be learned from each other’s experiences.


Date: 7 May 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL


The event will be followed by a drinks reception.

For more information:

studio-L  

The Glass-House, Community Led Design

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Screen Translation and the Benshi Tradition in Japan   org

Join the eminent Japanese Benshi Ichiro Kataoka as he discusses with Professor Markus Nornes, some of the issues surrounding screen translation in Japan. Through a series of short films and extracts in English and Japanese, Professor Nornes and Ichiro Kataoka will illustrate the challenges of translating both silent and sound film, and how Benshi, as performers, were an important part of the film viewing experience in their own right.

Speakers:

Markus Nornes is Professor of Asian Cinema at the University of Michigan.
Ichiro Kataoka is one of the top professional Benshi in Japan. He tours globally and accompanies Japanese silent films.

With live piano accompaniment by Cyrus Gabrysch.


Date: 21 May 2015 from 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Venue:

The British Academy
10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH


Organised by the British Academy

Image: © Ichiro Kataoka

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Artist talk by SHIMURAbros   org

SHIMURAbros are the sister and brother artist duo of Yuka and Kentaro Shimura, currently researchers at Studio Olafur Eliasson and exemplifying a new breed of Japanese contemporary artists. Working and exhibiting internationally, SHIMURAbros are known for incorporating elements of sculpture, installation and avant-garde filmmaking in their work. Film is the catalyst to all their creations and the artists employ different techniques to each work. As an exploration of the history of moving images approached from a fundamentally different perspective extending film beyond its two-dimensional limit - their installations are an intricate and playful re-working of film and cinematic language.

Programmed in partnership with Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, home to the British ArtistsFilm & Video Study Collection which holds a large amount of material for academic research in artists' moving image, this talk will highlight SHIMURAbros’ film and moving image installations, with a focus on the artistic content, formalistic qualities and contexts at play in working within the canon. The talk will be followed by discussion with Keith Whittle, researcher and Japan Foundation Fellow, exploring the role technology, cinematic history and popular culture has on the aesthetic and conceptual approach the artists' have to their work, in terms of research and exhibition.

SHIMURAbros have exhibited widely including at Art Basel Hong Kong; 798 Art Factory; The National Art Centre, Tokyo; NUS Museum Singapore; MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei); PICA(the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts Museum), Australia; Museums Quartier, Vienna. "SEKILALA" received the Excellence Prize (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Prize) at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival.


Date: 5 June 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

LVMH Lecture Theatre (E003), Central Saint Martins
Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, King's Cross, London N1C 4AA


Image: SHIMURAbros, X-RAY TRAIN, 2007-2009, Installation, Image (black and white / X-Ray CT), Special liquid crystal film, Iron, Wire, PC, Control board, Projector, Railroad tie, Dimension variable. Courtesy of the artist and Tokyo Gallery+BTAP

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Public Seminar: STEMming the Gender Gap: A New Era for Japanese Women in Science and Engineering?   org

In January 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that ‘Japan should be the place that gives women the opportunity to shine. Thirty per cent of leadership positions should be occupied by women by 2020’. This promise seemed to herald a new era for women in the workplace in Japan.

30 years ago, the Equal Employment Opportunity Law was introduced in Japan which was intended to enable companies to fully utilise human resources regardless of gender. Despite this, even in 2013, the proportion of female leaders in large corporations was only 10.2 percent. 

Although the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) does vary greatly from country to country, the number of Japanese women in these fields remains particularly low, and the proportion of female researchers in science and technology is still one of the lowest (14.4 percent) among OECD countries.

Why so few? In this seminar, Dr Naonori Kodate (University College Dublin) will try to answer this question, by shedding light on historical developments and the current gender equality situation in Japan through the lens of women in STEM. He will explore how gender equality policy in science has been intertwined with social norms, family and individual life decisions and other policies. He will also look into measures the government, universities and research institutes are taking to address this issue, and explore whether these measures have led to an increase in female representation in these fields.

During this special seminar, we are also delighted to welcome Dr Ekaterina Hertog (University of Oxford), an expert on Japanese family trends, who will join Dr Kodate in conversation to explore the effect of changes in Japanese family structure on the position of Japanese women in STEM. 

Contributors:

Dr Naonori Kodate is a Lecturer in Social Policy at University College Dublin, Ireland. His main research area is comparative social policy, particularly in health care. His book, Japanese Women in Science and Engineering: History and Policy Change (co-authored by Professor Emeritus Kashiko Kodate) will be published in July 2015 by Routledge.

Dr Ekaterina Hertog is a family sociologist in the Department of Sociology and the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at the University of Oxford. Her current research interests include contemporary Japanese society, marriage and childbearing trends in industrialised countries, and marriage partner selection. 

Image: Peter Close/Shutterstock.com


Date: 1 July 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue:

The Swedenborg Society, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2TH

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Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan Festival July 2015   org

The Japan Foundation are once again delighted to be exhibiting this July at HYPER JAPAN- the UK’s biggest J-Culture event.

Come and visit our stand to learn how the Japan Foundation can help you learn about Japanese language and culture, get Japanese language started at your school, or simply get involved in events and activities related to Japan.

We’ll also be giving away some exclusive free gifts, as well as holding a Japan Quiz with some fantastic prizes!

For more information and to buy a ticket, please click here to visit the official Hyper Japan website. Tickets on sale now!


Date: 10 July 2015 - 12 July 2015
Venue:

The O2, London

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Nihongo Cup: The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK FINALS DAY!   org

Come and see the UK’s most talented young students of Japanese language at the Finals Day of the Nihongo Cup – the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students!

Students from all levels of secondary education – Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 – will showcase their amazing talent and hard work in their Japanese language studies while competing for some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

For the first time, the Finals Day is fully open to the public, so don’t miss out this chance to see the UK’s biggest Japanese speech contest for secondary school students. The contest will be followed by a reception, giving you a chance to meet the students.

Free entry, no booking required (seating first come, first served). The venue will open from 12:00 for a prompt 12:30 start, and early arrival is advised.


Date: 20 June 2015 from 12.30pm - 4.45pm
Venue:

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. WC1R 4RL


Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) with support from the Japan Foundation London and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. 

 

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Japanese Study Seminar in Alsace 2015: Call for Participation!   org

The deadline for applications has been extended until July 15 2015.

The Japan Foundation and Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA) are now accepting applications for participation in Japanese Study Seminar: Everyday Life and Culture (日常生活文化) scheduled for 21st and 22nd September, 2015 at CEEJA, in Kientzheim, France. The official language of the seminar will be JAPANESE.

This seminar aims to encourage networking among young researchers on Japan in Europe and further promote Japanese Studies in Europe.

Participants will join a two-day intensive workshop in the cozy and intimate atmosphere of CEEJA's facility in Kientzheim where they will present and discuss their current research projects with fellow participants and guest mentors from Japan.

The theme of this year’s seminar will be “Everyday Life and Culture (日常生活文化).”  We are calling for applications from young researchers in Europe specialising in politics, history, sociology, literature, arts, language, philosophy, economics, architecture, religion, etc. 

Please note that the deadlnie for applications has been extended to 15th July, 2015.

For further details including eligibility and application procedures, please visit the Japan Foundation Tokyo website here.


Date: 21 September 2015 - 22 September 2015
Venue:

Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA), Kientzheim, France


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ENDO Shuhei | Architect for a New Era   org

Influenced by and interacting with landscapes, many modern Japanese architectural structures are characterised by an acute awareness of flows. Renowned Japanese architect Endo Shuhei is one such professional championing this concept. Endo treats materials as a fluid gesture to create distinctive, innovative, and appealing arrangements with a continuous interaction between form, material, and design. It is this creative interplay that has won him prestigious awards such as the ‘Surfaces’ title at the International Architecture Exhibition at the 2004 Venice Biennale, and has seen him publish numerous books including 2012’s 5-1 Design Peak: Shuhei Endo. Despite the playful qualities that his buildings invoke, Endo’s work reflects deeper levels of meaning and addresses ideas of sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

On the occasion of his first solo exhibition in the UK as part of London Festival of Architecture, as well as the 25th anniversary of the establishment of his studio, the Endo Shuhei Architect Institute, Endo will give a special talk hosted by the Japan Foundation to contextualise his work within the contemporary architectural scene. Together with Frédéric Migayrou, Chair and Bartlett Professor of Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, and Deputy Director of the National Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Endo will also discuss his design concept and reflect on the interrogative relationship concerning ideas of modernism, while questioning the potential balance between architecture and the environment.


Date: 25 June 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Building Centre
26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT 

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Japanese Refresher Course for Teachers 2015   org

This is a free, intensive language course for teachers who want to improve their Japanese language teaching skills, as well as their own language ability.

The theme for the 2015 course is 「日本の最新事情」- "The Latest from Japan." The aim of the course will be to update your knowledge about Japanese society and culture, while at the same time brushing up your own Japanese language ability. We will also explore various classroom activities and ideas for teaching Japanese.

This course will be held at two levels: Intermediate (approx. JLPT N3) and Advanced (approx. JLPT N2 & N1), which will both be held simultaneously in the same classroom, divided into two groups. If you have never passed the JLPT for N3 or above, you will need to take an online placement test within 1 week applying in order to determine which group will be best suited for you; those who cannot take the test online will have the opportunity to take it on the first day of the course before the lessons start.

  • When: 28th, 29th & 30th July 2015, 10:30 - 16:00, with a lunch break between 12:45 - 13:45
  • Where: River Room, King’s College London, Strand Campus, Strand, London. WC2R 2LS
  • Participation Fee: This course is free, but participants must cover their own travel, accommodation and lunch costs.
  • Open to: This course is for non-native speaking teachers of approximately JLPT N3 level (or JF Standard B1 level) Japanese and above, as well as teachers and PGCE students who have the chance to offer Japanese in future. All the lectures and discussions will be held in Japanese. Please note that spaces are limited. Priority will be given to teachers based at UK schools.

Feedback from last year's participants:

“Very useful practice. Excellent tips from JF staff, especially on grammar and very resourceful participants.” (Olga Saburova, Rochester Grammar School)

“Very good balance of activities: song/dance/manga/grammar etc, targeting a wide range of age groups and abilities.” (Forum Mithani, Westminster Kingsway College)

“Overall, this was an excellent course. I would recommend it to all teachers of Japanese.”
(Robert Fox, Aston University)

>>> Click here to apply <<<


Date: 28 July 2015 - 30 July 2015 from 10.30am - 4.00pm
Venue:

River Room, King’s College London, Strand Campus, Strand, London. WC2R 2LS

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Central and Local Governance in Japan and the UK: Lessons from Okinawa and Scotland   org

The coral reefs, white sand beaches and sub-tropical rainforests of Okinawa, a chain of islands stretching over 600 miles of ocean between Southwest Japan and Taiwan, seem a distant world from the misty mountains and lochs of Scotland, but recent political developments in Scotland have brought to light some surprising parallels.

The corareefs, white sand beaches and sub-tropical rainforests of Okinawa, a chain of islands stretching over 600 miles of ocean between Southwest Japan and Taiwan, seem a distant world from the misty mountains and lochs of Scotland, but recent political developments in Scotland have brought to light some surprising parallels.
Likes Scotland, Okinawa is a smaller, once independent, area incorporated within a far larger entity, which possesses its own distinct history, culture and  political outlook. Debate on the balance between central and local governance has recently taken prominence in political discussion in Okinawa, and last September, intrigued by recent events in Scotland, several Okinawan journalists and researchers, including the founding member of a small but growing Okinawa independence movement, flew to Edinburgh to observe the independence  referendum.
Professor Takayoshi Egami (Waseda University), is an expert in regional policy in Okinawa, having worked as a lecturer and researcher at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa for over 26 years. Since last September, he has spent one year as a visiting researcher at the University of Edinburgh to draw lessons from developments in devolution in Scotland post referendum.
In this seminar Professor Egami will discuss the complex historical and political background of Okinawa prefecture, which lies behind recent interest in devolution in the region.
After his talk he will be joined for a comparative discussion on devolution in the UK and Japan by Professor Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling, an expert in both Scottish politics and UK-wide comparative public policy.
Recent discussion on devolution and regionalisation in the UK and Japan has not been confined to Scotland and Okinawa of course. Recent hot topics in the UK have included devolving more powers to Wales, ‘The Northern Powerhouse’ and the development of London as a city state, while in Japan,  debate was recently ignited  over  plans to devolve more powers to Osaka City. Through exploring some of these issues, Prof Cairney and Prof Egami will discuss what can be learned from the experience of each country and how regionalisation may develop in future years.
The seminar will be followed by an opportunity to pose your own devolution-related questions to the experts, and a drinks reception.The coral reefs, white sand beaches and sub-tropical rainforests of Okinawa, a chain of islands stretching over 600 miles of ocean between Southwest Japan and Taiwan, seem a distant world from the misty mountains and lochs of Scotland, but recent political developments in Scotland have brought to light some surprising parallels.

Like Scotland, Okinawa is a smaller, once independent, area incorporated within a far larger entity, which possesses its own distinct history, culture and  political outlook. Debate on the balance between central and local governance has recently taken prominence in political discussion in Okinawa, and last September, intrigued by recent events in Scotland, several Okinawan journalists and researchers, including the founding member of an Okinawa independence movement, flew to Edinburgh to observe the independence  referendum.

Professor Takayoshi Egami (Waseda University), is an expert in regional policy in Okinawa, having worked as a lecturer and researcher at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa for over 26 years. Since last September, he has spent one year as a visiting researcher at the University of Edinburgh to draw lessons from developments in devolution in Scotland post referendum.

In this seminar Professor Egami will discuss the complex historical and political background of Okinawa prefecture, which lies behind recent interest in devolution in the region.

After his talk he will be joined for a comparative discussion on devolution in the UK and Japan by Professor Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling, an expert in both Scottish politics and UK-wide comparative public policy.

Recent discussion on devolution and regionalism in the UK and Japan has not been confined to Scotland and Okinawa of course. Recent hot topics in the UK have included devolving more powers to Wales, the 'Northern Powerhouse’ and even the development of London as a city state, while in Japan, debate was recently ignited  over  plans to devolve more powers to Osaka City. Through exploring some of these issues, Professor Cairney and Professor Egami will discuss what can be learned from the experience of each country and how regionalism may develop in future years.

The seminar will be followed by an opportunity to pose your own devolution-related questions to the experts, and a drinks reception.

Image (left): Martin M303/Shutterstock.com

Image (right): (c)Tomo.Yun (http://www.yunphoto.net)


Date: 22 July 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

The Swedenborg Society, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2TH

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Riding the Current - Japanese Contemporary Art and its Curatorial Views   org

With the turn of the millennium being a tipping point for some, contentious questions have been raised in the direction of Japanese contemporary art. While borderless activities by Japanese artists - both in the media they work with and places they choose to live – are globally identified, it is also a truth that there are some whose interest it is to explore, rather introvertedly, their immediate surroundings as a contrast. One connecting factor is however that in the wake of the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake, artists and the art from Japan are for the first time in a long time regarded as being more politicised than before. Has contemporary Japanese art managed to re-set the existing framework, and are artists able to act as a tool to shift the paradigm of Japan? Where are the latest currents pulling Japanese art?

Hinted at by the most recent edition of the Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Take me to the River which examines the current of contemporary art as influenced by the ancient Heraclitus quote “everything flows, nothing stands still”, the Japan Foundation has invited two distinguished art professionals, Tom Trevor, the Artistic Director of this year’s Dojima River Biennale as well as the former Director of Arnolfini, Bristol, and  Mizuki Takahashi, Chief Curator of Art Tower Mito in Japan, to explore what they have observed is happening with this new era of Japanese contemporary art and artists through a series of presentations and conversation. These two established curators will also discuss how contemporary Japanese art is seen from both Japanese and British perspectives, examine the curatorial issues in presenting Japanese art, and explore what is to come in the Japanese art world flowing forward.


Date: 30 September 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Lecture Theatre, the Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN
Nearest tube stations: Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment


Image The Play, IE: The Play Have a House, 1972, © The Play.

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BUKATSUDŌ: Teaching Character in Japanese School Clubs   org

The bell rings for the end of the school day, but for children in schools across Japan it only signals the start of the next stage of their daily education.

Bukatsudō (extracurricular sports or cultural  clubs), have played a formative role in the  secondary school experience for school children around Japan for generations. On entry to junior high school, children are encouraged to pick a club, and stick with it though the rest of their time at school. Clubs demand huge time, effort and commitment from students, and from the teachers who take part as coaches.   Practices at some schools can be held for up to two or three hours a day, up to six or seven days a week, after school, during weekends, and even school holidays, and are characterised by strict routine and ritual, group spirit, and hierarchical relationships between juniors and seniors.

In this special seminar, Dr Peter Cave, Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester, an anthropologist and Japanese education expert who has conducted extensive fieldwork and research in schools in Japan, will discuss the practice and origins of bukatsudō (including their surprising link to Victorian Britain), and the role they play in the Japanese school system today.

While Japanese educators have diverse views about clubs and their purposes, the practice of  bukatsudō reflect the broad view that the Japanese school system is responsible not only for intellectual development of students but also for social and moral development, by teaching children basic values and social skills.

In the UK, 'character education' has been a subject of much recent debate with the Department for Education championing the idea that schools should not just focus on student’s academic achievement but also take responsibility for cultivating good character.

In this context, Dr Cave will consider what Britain might learn from Japanese school clubs, arguing that Britain could learn a lot from their example, but would need to adapt rather than copy them.

Following his talk, to continue to explore these themes, Dr Cave will be joined for a comparative discussion on education for character development in the UK and Japan by leading character education expert Professor James Arthur, Head of the School of Education and Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham. 

Chairing the discussion will be Professor Takehiko Kariya, Professor in the Sociology of Japanese Society at the University of Oxford, an expert in the sociology of education, social stratification, and Japanese educational policies.


Date: 16 September 2015 from 6.45pm - 8.15pm
Venue:

Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD (Close to Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations)

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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2015   org

Japan Foundation will be exhibiting at Japan Matsuri, London's annual festival of Japanese culture.

Come to our stand for freebies, our Japan Quiz, information about learning more Japanese language and culture, or just to say "konnichiwa!"

More information about the event can be found here.


Date: 19 September 2015 from 10.00am
Venue:

Trafalgar Square, London

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Artist Talk by Hideyuki Katsumata   org

Hideyuki Katsumata is multi-disciplinary artist who creates murals, prints, and videos featuring way out characters and forms saturated with vivid colours. Whether he is producing a real time visual performance (VJing) synced to songs live in front of an energetic crowd or painting over a piece of sheet music paper, his almost irrational compositions where forms are placed around, in between, and in front of each other, highlight his brisk line work and freeform approach to image-making. Exhibiting worldwide since 2002, Katsumata's collection of loud, unashamed, and sometimes slightly indecent images reveal a glimpse into the inner workings and private imagination of this modern Japanese artist.

On the occasion of his largest exhibition to date, USO de HONTOU at Dundee Contemporary Arts, the Japan Foundation has invited Katsumata to discuss his impressive variety of work and his design practices. With a portfolio that includes commissioned artwork like designing album covers, or producing motion video works with over 800,000 hits on YouTube, this talk will provide a rare insight into the artist's fresh and spontaneous style; reveal his sources of inspiration as well as the trace the journey from idea to final execution.

Following his presentation, Katsumata will be joined in conversation by John O’Reilly, editor of Varoom illustration magazine.


Date: 5 October 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

LVMH Lecture Theatre (E003), Central Saint Martins, Granary Building, King's Cross, 1 Granary Square, London NC1 4AA


EXHIBITION: 

The exhibition USO de HONTOU will be held at Dundee Contemporary Arts from 3 October to 15 November 2015, supported by the Japan Foundation. For more information, please visit: www.dca.org.uk/whats-on/event/hideyuki-katsumata

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Primary Japanese - resources sharing workshop   org

In this free workshop, primary school teachers at all levels of Japanese proficiency will share teaching materials and ideas that can inspire their pupils.

Resource Sharing:
This event will bring together primary teachers of Japanese to share their ideas about what went well with their Japanese teaching over the last year. There will be information about how teachers have used the scheme of work, how they improved the resources, what worked best, as well as introduce other useful resources or ideas that they have tried in their classes.

The Japan Foundation Scheme of Work for Primary Schools:
This event will also introduce new resources that can be used alongside the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2 – for Year 4s.  This will help give teachers of Japanese information and ideas to continue teaching Japanese for the second year.

The resources follow the Japan Foundation Japanese Scheme of Work for Primary Schools, which is packed full of lesson plans, resources and exciting and fun ideas for teaching primary-level Japanese to Year 3 and Year 4 pupils. These teaching materials have been created by the Japan Foundation’s Chief Language Advisor Makoto Netsu, and have been tested with two classes of Year 4 pupils at Southfield Primary School. Participants will additionally have access to exclusive draft versions of the resources, and Mr Netsu will give explanations about how he has used them, and how they might be adapted for other primary Japanese classes. The resources themselves include worksheets, plans, activities, games etc. We would also love to hear what you think of the Scheme of work so far. Please click here to tell us more!

Timetable (provisional and subject to change):
10:00 – 10:10  Introduction, greetings
10:10 – 11:40  Resource Sharing - Catherine Duke, Yoko Leedham and Helen Morris
11:40 – 12:10  Differentiation in Primary Japanese lessons - Marina Sereda-Linley
12:10 – 13:10  Lunch
13:10 – 14:10  Introducing the JF Scheme of Work for Year 4 - Makoto Netsu
14:10 – 14:40  Introduction to support from Japan Foundation - Josephine Austin
14:40 – 15:00  Q&A, Evaluation and extra time to share ideas

Cost of your travel to London: 
We are keen to include primary teachers of Japanese from all over the UK, so we will be able to make a contribution to help cover the costs of your travel to London for this event. We will cover the costs of second class train tickets over £15, upto £80. You will need to cover the first £15, but we will cover the rest. For example, if your ticket costs £69, we will cover £54 of the costs. Please ask for a receipt when you book your ticket and bring it with you to this event.


Date: 8 September 2015 from 10.00am - 3.00pm
Venue:

UCL Institute of Education 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL


To sign up for this event click here. 

This course is for teachers of any level of Japanese that would like some hints about how to get started and how to use the Japan Foundation Scheme of work for Key Stage 2 Japanese language lessons.

Spaces on this course are limited. Priority will be given to teachers or trainee teachers employed by a primary school. 

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Join the Club! Fandom in Japanese Theatre: Kabuki & Takarazuka   org

The Takarazuka Revue Company is a theatre company with a 100 year history in Japan and is well-known for its stylised musicals performed by an all-female cast. The lavish stage productions have been enthusiastically appreciated by tens of thousands of devoted fans who dedicate their time, money and energy to the company, and who make the tickets to Takarazuka notoriously difficult to obtain.

Reflecting on the fever pitch of Takarazuka fandom, Prof Naomi Miyamoto, Lecturer at Ritsumeikan University and author of the book Sociology of Takarazuka Fans will explore the characteristics of Takarazuka fans and the role that fandom has played in Takarazuka theatre, considering how vital its fan culture may be to its ongoing popularity.

As a comparison, Dr Alan Cummings, Senior Teaching Fellow in Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies will look into the nature of Kabuki's aficionados, examining fandom in Japan’s traditional, similarly stylised yet all-male theatre.

Offering an often unexplored aspect, this event is to provide an opportunity to compare and contrast how these distinct theatres keep attracting enthusiastic audiences for many decades, through social changes facing Japan.


Date: 25 September 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Impact Hub Westminster
1st Floor New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE
Nearest tube stations: Charring Cross and Piccadilly Circus

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The Lie of the Land - Rethinking Landscape Painting   org

Considered to be a category of art that is an objective and concrete representation of specific sites, landscape painting might be seen as quite a traditional art practice. The question of the relevance and necessity of the expression of the land and landscape paintings is however of pressing interest to many modern artists and critics. With the golden age of English landscape painting led by Turner and Constable and the heyday of Japanese ukiyo-e wood blocks prints representing nature now being seen in a nostalgic light, how can contemporary subjects and techniques associated with landscape art highlight modern society’s relationship with our environment? Has the all-important artist’s gaze towards their surroundings been devalued? Should landscape art just be deemed passé or be allowed to reconstruct itself?

Bearing these issues in mind, The Japan Foundation has invited artists from both Japan and the United Kingdom to discuss the current practices related to landscape art, and look at the legacy of this considered medium and its place in contemporary art history. Referring to the invited artists’ works and the concepts behind them, this event will raise questions about the way that landscape painting is appreciated by present audiences and artists, taking stock of how this genre has evolved, as opposed to other painting styles, as well as examine what the future may hold.

Artists:

Andrew Gifford is recognised as one of the most innovative British landscape painters working today. His paintings and light installations have been widely exhibited, including solo public shows at Leeds City Art Gallery (2004), Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh (2001) and Middlesbrough Art Gallery (2000). Collections include the New Art Gallery, Walsall and Chatsworth House and in private collections in Europe, USA and Japan. A monograph on the artist was published in 2005. This depth of interest in the natural world is also reflected in his painting style.

Masakatsu Kondo is an artist whose paintings draw on the natural world and symbolic imagery of contemporary media. Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1962, he graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1993 and has continued to live and work in London. He has exhibited internationally, both solo and as part of group shows.

Miyuki Tsugami is a Japanese artist living and working in Japan who uses a combination of colours and forms, rather than narrative or sentiment. In 2013, she won the 24th Gotoh Cultural Award Fine Arts Division, which led her to relocate to the United Kingdom where she was able to work on internalising landscapes through sketches of European scenery, drawing influence from notable British landscape artists and revisiting the actual sites that they depicted in their art.  While Tsugami’s works are subjective renderings symbolic of a vague atmosphere, she is meticulous in her research of each location, observing all aspects of the spaces in order to create work that conveys a sense of connection and engagement.

The discussion will be chaired by Alastair Gordon, practising artist and part time lecturer at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh, as well as founder/director of Morphē Arts and founder of Husk Gallery, London.


Date: 11 September 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Art Workers Guild
6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT


Image: Miyuki Tsugami, View-trees on the uphill, Nov.12-Jan.13, 2013, 218.2×333.3cm, pigment, glue, acrylic, and others on canvas, © TSUGAMI Miyuki, courtesy of HASHIMOTO ART OFFICE, photo by Tamotsu Kido, Private Collection

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Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme 2015 Training Day for Volunteers   org

We are delighted to announce that our next Training Day for existing and prospective volunteers of our Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme will take place this November!

About the JTS Programme

Can you speak Japanese? Are you keen to promote the language to young people around the UK? If so, the Japan Foundation needs YOU!

JTS volunteers carry out school visits across the UK to introduce students at any level to the Japanese language. One of the main purposes of JTS is to give schools that do not teach Japanese the opportunity to find out what it is like to learn the language and to provide them with further information should they wish to start offering Japanese.

By joining the JTS Programme you will be a member of a UK-wide network of over 300 Japanese speakers who are keen to visit schools on a one-shot basis to carry out Japanese language tasters. JTS is as big a time commitment as you want it to be. If you are have time to spare, are keen and enthusiastic, it is a great opportunity to get some teaching experience.

You can read more about the JTS Programme here.

JTS Volunteer Training Day

Our JTS Volunteer Training Days are a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, get teaching ideas, and ask any questions you may have.  Those who are not yet members of JTS but are interested in joining are also welcome to sign up for the training day.  You can read about our last Training Day, held in September 2014, here.

You can download the provisional timetable for this November Training Day below.

How to apply for the Training Day

To register, please click here to use our online application form.

If you are not yet a member of JTS, please click here for more information about the programme and to complete a membership application form.

Please note that this is event is free, but prior booking for this event is essential for all attendees. 

The training day will be held in both Japanese and English. A good understanding of both Japanese and English is required to take part in the Training Day and the JTS Programme.


Date: 16 November 2015 from 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue:

Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. WC1R 4RL

Download JTS 11-2015 Training Day Programme
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Shojo manga: Girls' Comics from Japan   org

Date: 20 October 2015 from 1.15pm - 2.00pm

This event is part of the exhibition Shojo: The World of Girls’ Manga, to held at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal.

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Shojo manga: Girls' Comics from Japan   org

The Japan Foundation will co-present a gallery talk at the British Museum by Japanese shojo manga artist Akiko Hatsu and historian, critic and curator Paul Gravett. For further details about the event, please click here.


Date: 20 October 2015 from 1.15pm - 2.00pm
Venue:

Room 92, The British Museum
Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG 


This event is part of the exhibition Shojo: The World of Girls’ Manga, to held at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal.

Art by and © Akiko Hatsu

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Japan Foundation at Language Show Live 2015   org

Come and see the Japan Foundation at Language Show Live 2015!

Language Show Live is the UK’s largest language event and the show for those who offer products and services to language teachers, learners, translators, linguists, language professionals and businesses. This year, the Japan Foundation are giving visitors more chances than ever before to learn about Japanese language and culture. Our attractions will include:

The Japan Foundation Information Stand 
When: 16th – 18th October (Fri-Sun) 2015
Where: Olympia Central, Hammersmith Road, London (Stand no. 709)   
Packed full of information about studying and teaching Japanese in the UK, our stand will be staffed with members of Japan Foundation who would be delighted to give you advice on your Japanese studies. Our stand will also include:

  • A Japan Quiz, with the chance to win a goody bag full of Japan Foundation exclusive gifts
  • A name-writing corner – make your own Japanese name sticker!
  • Free little gifts to take home with you
  • The stand will be shared with JP Books, a supplier of Japanese books including learning resources for Japanese language.

Seminar: “How teaching Japanese can enrich a multi-lingual approach in primary school” with Catherine Rodrigues 
When: Friday 16 October, 10.30 - 11.15
A case study of a UK primary school's mission to embed global learning into the curriculum by introducing a multi-lingual approach including Japanese. A language graduate, Catherine Rodrigues worked in the travel industry before becoming a primary school teacher eight years ago.  She has recently introduced a multi-lingual approach at her primary school in Berkshire.  She was awarded Primary Language Teacher of the Year 2015 by the Association for Language Learning (ALL). You can read a case study about her school here

Japanese Language taster 
When:  Saturday 17 October 13:30-14:00
Experience Japanese language first hand by taking a taster lesson!

Presentation: “Teaching Primary Languages & Culture through Kami-shibai – Traditional Japanese Storytelling”
When:  Sunday 18 October 13.15 to 13.45
Kami-shibai (“paper drama”) is a traditional form of storytelling in Japan, in which the storyteller uses large pictures to engage the audience and aid their understanding. In this presentation, we will demonstrate how kami-shibai can be used to make the learning of any language fun and effective, in addition to inspiring pupils’ creativity and cultural awareness. The presentation will include examples of how kami-shibai has been used to teach language and other subjects in UK schools, as well as a bilingual kami-shibai performance that we hope all audience members, young and old, can enjoy!

Don’t miss out on the UK’s biggest languages event – click here for more information and to book your place (entrance is free if registered in advance)!


Date: 16 October 2015 - 18 October 2015 from 10.00am - 6.00pm
Venue:

Olympia Central – Level 2, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX (Stand No. 709) 

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What Girls Want - The World of Shojo Manga (Girls' Comics)   org

Image: © Eiko Hanamura

Shojo Manga – often translated as ‘comics for girls’ – is a genre of Japanese comic books which has a history spanning many decades in Japan. Contrary to its male counterpart ‘Shonen Manga’, Shojo Manga features narratives of sweet love stories, anguished romances and even real-life issues facing women across a vastly broad range of genres. Whether a sci-fi, fantasy or even period drama, the stories reflect the desires and dreams of its mainly female readership, showing truly what girls want.

In this talk Nozomi Masuda, Associate Professor, Konan Women’s University, Japan, will trace the origins of Shojo Manga from its beginnings in girls’ magazine through to its more recent transformations today, questioning what significance the genre has in Japanese society, and what it has been expressing over its diverse and complex themes.

Following the presentation, Manga artist Eiko Hanamura, one of the pioneers of Shojo Manga, will have a conversation with curator and writer on comics Paul Gravett and Masuda. Together they will look into Hanamura’s work, reflecting on her illustrious career of over half a century in the Manga industry, as well as discussing the phenomenon of Shojo Manga and the impact it has had upon Japanese culture and beyond.


Date: 14 December 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DT


For more information about Eiko Hanamura, please visit: www.eiko-hanamura.com

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D.I.Y. Japanese Club! Extra-Curricular Japanese Resources & Ideas Sharing Workshop   org

Have you ever thought of starting up extra-curricular Japanese lessons but weren’t sure where to start?

Or are you running a Japanese Club and are looking for new ideas to inspire your pupils?

At this workshop, the Japan Foundation will give teachers the opportunity to learn more about developing extra-curricular Japanese lessons and Japan Clubs, by hearing directly from school teachers who are running their own successful extra-curricular Japanese language and culture lessons. You will also be able to receive resources that they can use themselves in their lessons, as well as take part in fun demonstrations of teaching plans and activities created by the Japan Foundation in order to inspire your own ideas for creating or enhancing your Japanese club.

This event will be held in English.

Click here to book your place


Date: 29 October 2015 from 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Venue:

Brockway Room, Conway Hall, London WC1R 4RL

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Hatsune Miku - The Metamorphosis of Music and Technology   org

This October, the Japan Foundation will present a day of events exploring the musical phenomenon of Hatsune Miku, Japan’s most iconic and globally-recognised singer. Featuring in over 500,000 songs worldwide and appearing in some 170,000 uploaded YouTube music videos, what separates Miku from her contemporaries is that she is in fact a ‘virtual’ singer and the face of the music production software created by Crypton Future Media, software anyone can buy and use to make her music. As a character “singing” through vocal synthesizer technology, Hatsune Miku became a huge hit since the software’s launch in 2007 and inspired collaborations as diverse as Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams. With Miku’s popularity continuing to skyrocket, she continues to change the course of music production, paving a new way for the future of pop music.

Immerse yourself in the world of Hatsune Miku by attending any of the following programmes:

Programme 1: Lecture by Hatsune Miku creator, Hiroyuki Itoh (2pm)

Hiroyuki Itoh, CEO of Crypton Future Media, the parent company of Hatsune Miku and maker of her software, will chart its rise in success, reflecting on how it came to be a worldwide phenomenon. Itoh will be joined in conversation with Dr Rebecca Fiebrink, Lecturer, Department of Computing, Goldsmiths University of London to discuss how music and technology can be integrated and what role a recording and performing artist like Hatsune Miku can play in pop music in the 21st century.

Booking Essential! To book your free place for this event, please visit: hatsune-miku-programme1.eventbrite.co.uk

 
Programme 2: Hatsune Miku Live Concert Screening (4pm)

Hatsune Miku is not only a recording artist but has performed live to audiences around the world, and as part of the day of events we will screen a digest recording of some of Miku’s most iconic performances to her devoted fans all around the world. (Running time approx. 60mins)

Booking Essential! To book your free place for this event, please visit: hatsune-miku-programme2.eventbrite.co.uk
 
Programme 3: Hatsune Miku Workshops for Everyone! (Anytime between 1:30pm and 5:30pm)
Test your creativity by folding your very own Hatsune Miku origami, and colouring figures in!
Drop in Anytime! The workshops are free and suitable for all ages. No booking is required – please feel free just to drop in!

Date: 24 October 2015
Venue:

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA
Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street (Overground), Liverpool Street (Central, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Metropolitan Lines)


Image: Illustration by KEI © Crypton Future Media, INC. www.piapro.net

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Film screening and discussion: Samurai Warrior Queens   org

The Japan Foundation presents a special film screening of Samurai Warrior Queens followed by a Q&A featuring Urban Canyons Executive Producer, Sebastian Peiter.

The legends of the Samurai appear to be an all-male affair; but contrary to popular belief, Samurai women stood their ground in countless battles and castle sieges. Academic research from battlefield excavations in Japan confirms that almost 30% of uncovered fighters were female; proving the existence of the Samurai warrior women, whose dedication and suffering remains one of the world's great untold stories.

This film screening will tell the story of heroic female Samurai Takeko Nakano and her fight for her clans' independence in the final battle marking the end of the Samurai era. Through interviews, dramatic re-enactments, CG animation, original costumers and historical locations, the film will bring Takeko's amazing story of courage, tragedy and endurance back to life.

Directed by John Wate, 2015, 52min


Date: 21 November 2015 from 2.00pm
Venue:

Courthouse Cinema, London
Courthouse Hotel, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL


Image © Urban Canyons Ltd.

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Temple Tastes - Talk by Rev. Kakuho Aoe   org

Japanese cuisine, Washoku, may be famous for items such as sushi, tempura, and miso soup, and is one of only two national cuisines to be recognised by the United Nations as an Intangible Cultural World Heritage. There is however a lesser known style of food home-grown in Japan that centres on vegetable-based dishes. With its origins in Buddhist temples, and passed down from generation to generation otera gohan or temple food, uses fresh seasonal ingredients to create perfectly balanced meals that are a feast for all the senses.

In this illustrated talk the Rev. Kakuho Aoe, a monk at Ryokusenji Temple in Tokyo, Japan will discuss the characteristics and history of this ancient cooking philosophy that forms the backbone of modern Japanese food culture, and also introduce the everyday ingredients and cooking techniques used to create these nutritious dishes. With recipes that are simple and have minimal seasoning, Aoe will explore the benefits, new developments, and applications this cooking style has in the modern world, and show how these Japanese recipes can be adapted in the West.


Date: 27 January 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DT


Additionally, Rev. Aoe will be taking part in some further events around Europe, as below:

[Rome, Italy]
Date: 25 January 2016 (Monday) from 18.30pm
Venue: Istituto Giapponese di Cultura in Roma
For more information, please click here

[Madrid, Spain]
Date: 30 January 2016 (Saturday) from 12.00pm
Venue: Biblioteca Pública Municipal Eugenio Trías
For more information, please click here

[Lisbon, Portugal]
Date: 31 January 2016 (Sunday) from 15:00pm
Venue: Museo do Oriente
For more information, please click here

[Barcelona, Spain]
Date: 2 February 2016 (Tuesday) from 19:00pm
Venue: Casa Asia Barcelona
For more information, please click here

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JAPAN NOW   org

Japan Now is a day of talks and debate presenting literature, politics and wider culture of contemporary Japan and featuring writers and critics including Ian Buruma, Kyoko Yoshida, Takashi Hiraide, Fuminori Nakamura and Richard Lloyd Parry.  

From the nation’s response to the Tsunami to writers’ fascination with crime and mystery, Japan Now will take the pulse of the contemporary nation, exploring its recent past and immediate future.

The Japan Foundation forms partnership with Modern Culture for the contemporary literature strand as part of the event.


Date: 27 February 2016 from 11.00am - 5.00pm
Venue:

British Library, Conference Centre
96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB


For more information, please click here.
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Japan Conference for schools 2016   org

A free one-day conference for networking and sharing ideas about bringing Japan and Japanese into schools. 

The Japan Conference for Schools is open to schools or local authorities that are new to Japan work, schools implementing Japanese into the curriculum and those involved with partnerships in Japan, and schools looking to enhance or develop an existing programme of Japan-related study.

The day will include a series of speeches and workshops on Japan-related topics. This will include a message from Baroness Coussins, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Modern Languages Group in the house of Lords. The day will also include topics ranging from information from Pearson about the new GCSE exams for Japanese, to calligraphy and sushi workshops, and even a demonstration of shamisen music. You can find out more about the schedule here

This conference aims to provide useful CPD for teachers of Japanese in both primary and secondary schools, as well as teachers who are interested in introducing Japan- related studies.

Open to: All teachers and local authority advisors
Fee: There is no charge for attendance, but prior registration is essential
You can sign up for the conference here.
Lunch will also be provided. 
Please note the deadline for signups is Monday 29th of February 

Schedule:

10:00-10:30

Arrival, registration and coffee

10:30-10:40

Welcome message

10:40-10:50

Message  from Baroness Coussins

10:55-11:10

Shamisen demonstration

11:15-12:05

Workshop 1 (practical sessions about Japan/Japanese culture) 

12:10-12:50

Group discussion – Session one (each group will discuss a specific topic)

12:50-13:40

Lunch and Networking- A buffet lunch will be provided

13:40- 14:30

Workshop 2 

14:35-15:15

Group discussion – Session two

15:20-16:00

Talk from Head Teachers about Japanese at their school 

16:00-16:15

Closing remarks 

Workshop 1:
1. Sushi workshop 
2. Origami Workshop 
3. Kamishibai workshop 
4. Changes to the GCSE workshop  
Workshop 2:
1. Primary Resources workshop 
2. Calligraphy 
3. How to make flipped learning videos 
Group Discussion 1:
1. School linking 
2. Clifton Scientific trust and their science exchanges 
3. How to introduce Japanese to your school 
4. Q&A about grants (teachers can sign up for a 10 min grant slot)
Group Discussion 2
1. Sharing resources 
2. ORJAC- Online Resource for Japanese Archaeology and Cultural Heritage 
3. How to prepare for exams 
4. Q&A about grants (teachers can sign up for a 10 min grant slot)

When you sign up, you will need to choose 2 workshops and 2 group discussions. Information about this is available here


Date: 7 March 2016 from 10.00am - 4.15pm
Venue:

The British Council 10 Spring Gardens, London, SW1A 2BN

Download Japan Conference for Schools 2016 workshops
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Public Seminar: Female Entrepreneurship in Japan   org

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Kobe University, is delighted to present this special seminar exploring the rise of female entrepreneurship in Japan.

As part of recent economic revitalisation measures, the Japanese government has hoped to encourage business and career aspirations of women through a series of policies including promoting leadership roles for women in traditional business models, and also offering funding and support to nurture young female entrepreneurs.

Despite this, some reports indicate that the number of female entrepreneurs in Japan is still less than half that of men, and the 2015 Female Entrepreneurship Index, which assesses  favourable conditions for women entrepreneurs, ranks Japan in forty-fourth place, substantially lower than other comparable economies. Why so low?

To explore the challenges facing emerging female entrepreneurs in Japan the seminar will feature a diverse panel including Professor Kazufumi Yugami (Kobe University)  a specialist in  labour economics who will explore contemporary  employment and management practices and policies to explain why growing numbers of women may be more attracted to advancing their careers outwith the typical  corporate environment; sociologist Professor Itsuko Kamoto (Kyoto Women’s University) who will explore the impact of changing family structure in Japan on the social advancement of women; and Mr Tatsuya Imoto, a representative of  Ladies’ Entrepreneur Discussions (LED) Kansai, a new government led network which supports and promotes emerging female entrepreneurs.

Drawing from their extensive range of expertise the panel will explore how Japanese culture, society, and economy has encouraged - or discouraged - the growth of female entrepreneurship, and consider how best emerging female entrepreneurs can be supported in future to maximise their potential.

Joining the discussion will be Professor Ute Stephan, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School who will offer some comparative comments from a UK/European perspective; and chairing the seminar will be sociologist Professor Kiyomitsu Yui, Executive Director of the Centre for EU Studies at Kobe University.


Date: 22 February 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD (Close to Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations)


Image (left): takayuki/Shutterstock.com 

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International Dialogues - Shigeru Ban   org

RIBA, in partnership with the Japan Foundation, will host a lecture by the 2014 Pritzker Prize Laureate Shigeru Ban. Speaking for the first time in the UK for seven years, Shigeru Ban will discuss his work with disaster relief projects through the NGO, Voluntary Architects’ Network (VAN), established by the architect in 1995 and other projects built worldwide.

His 2015 Nepal Project is currently on display in the 'Creation from Catastrophe' exhibition. The project demonstrates Ban’s unique approach to rebuilding after disasters using sustainable and vernacular building techniques and materials such as paper tubes, bamboo and brick rubble.

Born in Tokyo in 1957, Shigeru Ban graduated from the Cooper Union and started working for Arata Isozaki & Associates in 1982. He founded Shigeru Ban Architects in 1985 and became consultant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1995.


Date: 23 February 2016 from 7.00pm - 8.40pm
Venue:

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)
66 Portland Place London W1B 1AD


For more information and for details of how to book tickets, please click here

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PARO - The Therapeutic Robot: Robotics for an Ageing Society   org

Cute, cuddly and resembling a baby seal, PARO is actually an advanced interactive robot designed to provide physical and emotional support to the sick and elderly.

Through a variety of sensors which react to touch, light and temperature, PARO can interact with people and respond as if it were alive, moving its head and legs, making seal like sounds, recognising names, and learning actions that generate a favourable reaction from the user.

Development on PARO began in 1993 and since then 4,000 PAROs have been used in hospitals and care facilities in more than 30 countries, and it has even been recognised as the 'World's Most Therapeutic Robot' by the Guinness World Records.

In this seminar, Prof Takanori Shibata, the creator of PARO, and Chief Senior Research Scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan, will discuss the development of PARO and its practical applications through live demonstration. He will also look at the wider cultural impact of robotics in Japan's rapidly ageing society where every year there are more elderly people who need care and fewer working age people to provide it.

In the UK too, with dementia affecting approximately 800, 000 people and numbers estimated to double over the next 20 years, robotics have been identified as a possible strategy to deal with increasing pressures on the health and care services.

To explore the possibilities of robotics in the UK's ageing society, following his talk Prof Shibata will be joined in conversation with Dr Penny Dodds and Dr Kathy Martyn (University of Brighton) who are working in collaboration with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to understand the impact of introducing PARO into the everyday care of patients with dementia in the UK.

After the seminar guests will have the chance to interact with PARO!


Date: 9 March 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Paget Room, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP


The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception.

Booking: The seminar in London on March 9 is now fully booked.

**Prof Shibata and PARO will also be visiting Sheffield Hallam University for a public seminar on the evening of Thursday 10 March 2016. Click here to view our EventBrite page for more information and to book your place. (booking now closed)

 

Attendees of this event may also be interested in a seminar to be held by the Japan Local Government Centre on 16 March 2016 entitled ‘Better Ageing in Japan-UK City Regions'. Please click here for more information

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Artist Talk by Shun Ito   org

Japanese artist Shun Ito is a multi-hyphenate artist whose career spans from performing arts to moving images. His meticulously constructed kinetic sculptures projected by light or the power of gravity, produce complex colours, shapes, and sound though dynamic energy. As a former dancer and technical director of KARAS (founded by Saburo Teshigawara), Ito’s interest in theatrical art and physical expression has seemingly played a strong role in his body of work.

With Ito’s first major UK show Cosmic Birds premiering in Birmingham this May, the Japan Foundation has invited him to give a special talk about his work and his colourful career to date, as well as the uncover the source of inspiration in the creative process of constructing these dramatic installations.

Following his presentation, Ito will be joined in conversation by Prof Ravi Deepres, Film and Photographic artist and Professor in Moving Image and Photography, School of Visual Communication, ADM, Birmingham City University.


Date: 19 May 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

October Gallery, Theatre Showroom
24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL


This talk is organised in collaboration with DanceXchange, producer of International Dance Festival Birmingham.

The exhibition Cosmic Birds will run from 2 - 20 May 2016 at International Dance Festival Birmingham 2016. For more information, please click here.

In A Landscape, a performance piece by Kei Miyata and incorporating Ito’s installation Cells, takes place from 12 - 14 May 2016. For more information, and to book tickets, please click here.

Image credit: Cosmic Birds Courtesy of the Artist (www.shunmetalworks.com)

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Talk & Demonstration: Exploring the Music of Noh   org

Comprising drama, music and dance, Noh is Japan’s oldest surviving form of theatre with a history going back over 600 years. Among its performative elements, the music of Noh is considered an equally integral piece to the art and its ensemble of four musicians, known as the hayashi, create an atmosphere which gives Noh its distinguished dramatic power. Consisting of the nohkan (traverse flute) player and three percussionists, the highly trained musicians individually use their traditional instruments to evoke moods, expressions and enhance the performance on stage.

In this special talk, the Japan Foundation have invited three performers of classical Noh repertoire to introduce the pivotal sounds of this theatrical art. Featuring introductions and small demonstrations by Yukihiro Isso (nohkan flute), Tatsushi Narita (kotsuzumi shoulder drum) and Mitsuhiro Kakihara (otsuzumi hip drum), the performers will demonstrate the roles of their individual instruments and the vast array of expressions the music can convey in the performance.

Due to Noh’s symbolic and highly stylised nature, it can often be considered something difficult to appreciate or follow, but this event will give you an understanding through which to enjoy this traditional theatrical art, and will immerse you within the fascinating world of Noh.


Date: 15 May 2016 from 2.00pm
Venue:

20 BEDFORD WAY (Drama Studio, Level 1) 
20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL


This event is organised with mu:arts.

The speakers will also be taking part in Noh Reimagined - The Contemporary Art of Classical Japanese Theatre, a two-day festival taking place at Kings Place, London from 13-14 May 2016 supported by The Japan Foundation. For more information, and booking details, please click here.

Image credit: Know-Noh Office

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Japanese Show & Tell! Online Resource Workshop for Independent Learners of Japanese   org

Are you studying Japanese on your own and don’t have time to go to regular Japanese classes?
Have you tried to study Japanese in the past and want to re-kindle your studies?
Do you want to learn more about free resources to help you?
This event is for you!

This workshop will give participants the opportunity to explore the wide range of online resources available for Japanese language learning, and to share information and ideas with each other. The workshop will include an in-depth explanation of Marugoto Plus A2, a free website created by the Japan Foundation designed for learning Japanese independently and following the same content as the Marugoto textbook series.

Following this, participants will be able to share ideas with each other and exchange tips regarding other useful websites and apps they have used to support their Japanese studies. A great way to gain really useful information for your learning, and network with fellow enthusiasts of Japanese language and culture!

  • When: Tuesday 26th April or Thursday 28th April, 18:30 – 20:30
  • Where: Language Resource Centre, King’s College London
  • Fee: £5.00
  • Open to: Speakers of beginner (A1) level Japanese of CEFR / JF standard

Click here to book your place!


Date: 26 April 2016 - 28 April 2016 from 6.30pm - 8.23pm
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Into the River: Artist talk by O JUN   org

O JUN is considered to be both a leading and subversive voice in contemporary Japanese art and has had several major solo shows, including: MANMANCHAN AN, Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (2016); DaDa-co, Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery, Tokyo, and Sannojyo’s Dream at Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo. His work features a wide repertoire of characters, everyday objects, clothing and nostalgic motifs of Japan, such as crests, flags, pine trees and distant mountains. Detail and narrative, while clearly evident through his bold graphic and visual fluency, are somewhat undermined, destabilised, enriched, and bothered. Wistful, poignant, poised but also confusing us with a contemporary brashness, O JUN’s work appears to view Japanese culture (and humanity in general) deeply and gently from the inside, and with amused sympathy from the outside. 

As a prelude to his first exhibition in in the UK, 14 days 119 years later at Danielle Arnaud Gallery in London, O JUN will share his thoughts on the evolution of his work and how this has been influenced by his time living and working in Japan and abroad. He will also discuss his recent project made ‘in dialogue’ with the Meiji era (1868-1912) woodblock artist Toyohara Chikanobu for the upcoming exhibition. After his presentation, O JUN will be joined by Tamiko O’Brien, curator of 14 days 119 years later, and Reece Jones, artist, curator and lecturer on the BA and MA Fine Art courses at City & Guilds of London Art School for further discussion.


Date: 7 June 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) Studio
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

For details of how to reach the venue, please visit: www.ica.org.uk/visit


The exhibition, O JUN Chikanobu Ishida 14 days, 119 years later: will be held at Danielle Arnaud Gallery from 11 June to 11 July 2016. For information about the exhibition and accompanying events please visit: http://www.daniellearnaud.com/exhibitions/exhibition-ojun-chikanobu-ishida.html

Image: O JUN, Dear Sir, I would like to explain it briefly.   2006   pigment, pencil, Japanese pigment on paper   119 x 171 cm   courtesy the artist and Mizuma Art Gallery

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Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools 2016 Finals Day   org

Come and see the UK’s most talented young students of Japanese language at the Finals Day of the Nihongo Cup – the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students!

Students from all levels of secondary education – Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 – will showcase their amazing talent and hard work in their Japanese language studies while competing for some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Don’t miss out this chance to see the UK’s biggest Japanese speech contest for secondary school students. The contest will be followed by a reception, giving you a chance to meet the students.

Free entry, no booking required (seating first come, first served).

Provisional schedule: Audience will be admitted from 12:00. The event will begin promptly at 12:30.


Date: 18 June 2016 from 12.30pm
Venue:

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. WC1R 4RL


        

Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the Japan Foundation London with support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

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Japanese for Juniors: All About Japanese Dolls!   org

Have you or your children ever wanted to study Japanese but were unsure where to start? Why not learn a little Japanese together while learning all about Japanese dolls...and even make dolls of your own!

From simple wooden kokeshi to elaborate and beautiful hina-ningyō, Japanese dolls have been celebrated worldwide since ancient times as cute toys and as works of art.

In this workshop especially for children, you can learn all about the many different kinds of Japanese dolls, and what they all mean to Japanese people. You can also learn some useful Japanese language to help you talk about dolls and other things you might see in Japan. Finally, you will have the chance to make your own origami dolls yourself!    

This workshop is aimed at adults and children (age 6-12) who have not studied Japanese language. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and all adults must be accompanied by a child! The exception applies to school teachers - if you are a teacher at a UK primary or secondary school, you will be able to attend without any children accompanying you.

Date: Saturday 28th May 2016, 10:30-12:30 or 14:00-16:00
Fee: £5.00 per child (Accompanying adults are free!)

Click here to book your place 


Date: 28 May 2016 from 10.30am - 12.30pm
Venue:

Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

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Summer Explorers! 2 - Japanese Anime Screenings   org

Following the popularity of last year’s Summer Explorers,
we have come back with many more anime films to brighten your summer days!

Part One: Saturday, 30 July: BAFTA - 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN

11:00am: Hanakappa: Adventure in the Butterfly Kingdom
Hanakappa discovers that his and his friends’ mothers have all been kidnapped and sets off on a journey to the “Butterfly Kingdom” to rescue them.
Recommended for ages 8+ (English subtitles), (Kazumi Nonaka, 2013, 60min)

12:30pm: Princess Arete (featuring intro by Helen McCarthy)
Kept in a castle by her father, Princess Arete spends her days watching the world go by. One day a wizard offers to marry her and take her away - will Princess Arete finally be free?
Recommended for ages 8+ (English subtitles) (Sunao Katabuchi, 2001, 105min)

3:00pm: Tamako Love Story (FULLY BOOKED!)
A light-hearted depiction of the ordinary but fun life of Tamako, the daughter of a mochi (Japanese rice cake) shop owner, and her blossoming romance with a childhood friend, Mochizo.
Recommended for ages 12+ (English subtitles) (Naoko Yamada, 2014, 83min)

Part Two: Saturday, 6 August 2016: Rich Mix - 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA 

12:45pm: After School Midnighters
Kunstlijk, a school's anatomical model who comes to life at night, plots a plan for revenge after three naughty students decide to vandalise and dress him up in silly clothes.
Classification: PG. (English subtitles) (Hitoshi Takekiyo, 2012, 95min)

2:40pm: Mind Game (FULLY BOOKED!)
A typical love story it may seem, but things take a strange turn when wannabe cartoonist Nishi, who is given a second chance at life, is reunited with his high school crush, Myon.
Recommended for ages 18+ (English subtitles)  (Masaaki Yuasa, 2004, 103min)


Date: 30 July 2016 - 6 August 2016

 

  To download the flyer, the please click here.  


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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2016   org

Japan Foundation will be exhibiting at Japan Matsuri, London's annual festival of Japanese culture. Come to our stand to try our Japan Quiz, get information about learning more Japanese language and culture, or just to say "konnichiwa!"

For more information, please go to the Japan Matsuri website.


Date: 25 September 2016 from 10.00am - 8.00pm
Venue:

Trafalgar Square, London

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The Twelfth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students   org

We are delighted to announce that the 12th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 4th March 2017 at King’s College London.

:: Contest Aims
The main purpose of the event is to improve the speaking and presentation skills of students studying Japanese as a foreign language. Through this event, we hope to promote Japanese language learning at higher education level in the UK and Ireland. The contest is organised by the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation, London.

:: Who can apply?
The contest is aimed at undergraduate students who are currently studying Japanese as a foreign language at a university in the UK or Ireland. Postgraduate students are not eligible. Candidates with Japanese parents are welcome to apply. Please see our websites for full eligibility criteria. Please note that First Prize winners from previous years will not be able to enter the same category again this year. There are three different categories:

1. Speech Category: Students take part in this category as individuals, and are free to choose their speech topic. The Speech Category is for those who are studying Japanese as either a degree or non-degree course at a including an elective, optional or other university-based language course.
Application Deadline: Thursday 10th November 2016
View videos of past finalists from this category: Mark Garratt, Tim Joris Lameris

2. Individual Presentation Category: Students take part in this category as individuals. The Individual Presentation Category is aimed at those studying Japanese at post beginner level. Participants will give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese.
Application Deadline: Thursday 24th November 2016
View videos of past finalists in this category: Danny Wray, Kelan Davis

3. Group Presentation Category: Aimed at those studying Japanese at beginner level. Participants will take part in groups of two to four students and give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese.
Application Deadline: Thursday 1st December 2016
View videos of past finalists in this category: Team "Chocolate Mania,"  Team "Yuko's Ninjas" 

Please see the files below for contest poster, FAQ and application forms for each category.


Date: 31 August 2016 - 1 December 2016
Download ApplicationForm-Speech_Category(12)
Download ApplicationForm-Individual_Presentation_Category(12)
Download ApplicationForm-Group_Presentation_Category(12)
Download FAQ(12)
Download Rules and guidance - Speech Category
Download 12thSpeechContest

“I decided to enter the contest to give myself a challenge. Having been to Japan on exchange visits, I’d become more or less comfortable speaking Japanese casually among friends, so I wanted to take that a step further and practice my formal public speaking skills...On the day I was impressed not just by everyone’s level of Japanese but also by the genuinely fascinating contents of their various speeches and presentations.”
- Dennis Sung, 1st Prize, Individual Presentation Category (11thSpeech Contest Finals Day, 2016)

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London Design Biennale   org

The Japan Foundation will represent Japan at the first London Design Biennale, which takes place this September at Somerset House and features over 30 countries taking part from all over the world. The inaugural Biennale will feature artist Yasuhiro Suzuki, whose installation titled A Journey Around the Neighbourhood Globe will invite visitors to change the way they look at everyday things.


Date: 7 September 2016 - 27 September 2016
Venue:

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA


For more information, please visit the London Design Biennale website.

Image: Large-sized Aerial Being © Yasuhiro Suzuki Installation view at Musashino Art University, 2016

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2016   org

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday December 4th. It will be held at SOAS University of London, the University of Edinburgh and (for the first time) Cardiff University.

Please make sure you apply directly at the university where you wish to take the test.

The deadline for applications will be Wednesday 5th October or when the test centre has reached its maximum capacity.

For more information about the JLPT, please see the official JLPT website.


Date: 23 August 2016 - 5 October 2016
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Talk by author Mitsuyo Kakuta   org

Mitsuyo Kakuta is an award-winning, prolific Japanese author whose works have earned her countless devoted readers. Kakuta started her serious writing career while she was still a university student, and her debut book won her the prestigious literature prize, the Kaien Prize for New Writers in 1990. Kakuta’s works, together with tapping into the more popular “entertainment” end of the literary spectrum, which enabled her to broaden her readership, centre around what resonated with her: the perpetual themes of mother-child relationships, and gauging the mind of ordinary people in society and the occurrences of our everyday life. Not only a household name in Japanese literature, her works have been televised and made into successful films, such as Hanging Gardens and The Eighth Day, both of which the Japan Foundation has had the pleasure of screening as part of their annual Touring Film Programme. In addition to her writing pursuits, she is a monthly supporter of Plan International Japan, for which she underwent the task of translating Because I am a Girl, a short story collection about girls in developing countries, into Japanese.

In light of the upcoming translation of Woman on the Other Shore into Spanish, the Japan Foundation is proud to invite Mitsuyo Kakuta to explore her writing career, style, and gaze towards the contemporary Japanese society. Joined in conversation by Megan Bradshaw, Editor at Large, Asymptote Journal, Kakuta will also discuss issues such as the lives of women in Japan as well as trends in the Japanese literature world.


Date: 26 October 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Please note the change in venue to The Bloomsbury (located within a 6 minute walk from the original venue, Foyles Bookshop): 
The Tavistock Room, The Bloomsbury, 16-22 Great Russell St,
London WC1B 3NN

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Manga: The New Generation - Talk by Ken Niimura and Miki Yamamoto   org

Manga has a deep root in the history of Japanese culture. A medium constantly evolving, Manga reflects the interest of readers as well as creating trends in Japanese society. Lately, there have been stirrings within the artistic world to suggest that the medium is on the verge of a new era of creativity. This change comes in the form of the latest generation of artists who continue to redefine Manga and the result is some of the most experimental and expressive material in decades.

This October, the Japan Foundation welcomes two promising artists, Ken Niimura and Miki Yamamoto, to illustrate their works in this talk event as well as to discuss their influences and new trends within the current world of Manga. It coincides with their first exhibition at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal till November 7th, organised in association with the Japan Foundation. Together with Paul Gravett, curator, writer on comics and co-director of Comica.London, they will also explore the diversity and power of Manga and the innovations which young talented Manga artists from Japan may produce.

Ken Niimura
Ken Niimura is a Manga artist and winner of the Golden Prize in the 5th International Manga Award. His work I Kill Giants has been confirmed for film adaptation following its international success.

Miki Yamamoto

Miki Yamamoto is Assistant Professor of Art and Design at the University of Tsukuba, Manga artist and researcher. Her works include Sunny Sunny Ann which received the 17th Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize Creative Award. 


Date: 17 October 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Browns Covent Garden
82-84 St. Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AG


The fourth Lakes International Comic Art Festival will run from 14-16 October 2016 in Kendal, Cumbria. For more information, please visit: comicartfestival.com

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Contact Points Talk and Lecture   org

As part of Tate Research Centre: Asia’s Visiting Fellowship Programme 2016, and in association with the Japan Foundation, Eva Bentcheva and Yohko Watanabe present the culmination of their research, promising to deepen awareness and understanding of the challenge that Asian art presents to the UK.

The seminar will focus on two international ‘contact points’ between artists in the twentieth century: the 1970 Tokyo Biennale and David Medalla's
 performance practice in London and the Philippines. The event will comprise of two panels:

Panel One: A Stitch in Time? Situating David Medalla’s ‘Participation-Performance’ between British and Philippine Performance Art History 

​Chair: Eva Bentcheva
Speakers: David Medalla and Adam Nankervis

Panel Two: Tokyo Biennale 1970 as Contact Point

Chair: Yohko Watanabe
Speakers: Toshiaki Minemura and Susumu Koshimizu 

To find out more, please visit:  http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/talk-and-lecture/contact-points



Date: 21 November 2016 from 2.00pm - 6.00pm
Venue:

Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, SE1 9TG


Image: Susumu Koshimizu From Surface to Surface 1971, remade 1986, wood, 3000 x 8100 x 100 mm. Tate collection, purchased with funds provided by the Asia Pacific Acquisitions Committee 2008. © Susumu Koshimizu

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Silence is Golden? Classroom Silence in Universities in Japan and the UK   org

As Japan and the UK continue to make strides to globalise their university campuses, leading to increasingly culturally diverse classrooms, understanding factors which could lead to communication problems between teachers and students is of increasing importance.

In this seminar Dr Jim King, Lecturer in Education at the University of Leicester, will focus on one aspect of student behaviour which is considered to be particularly prevalent in the Japanese classroom - silence. Silence does not always merely represent an absence of noise, but can carry different meanings and have various functions, which, particularly in intercultural contexts, can often be misunderstood or misinterpreted. Dr King will discuss his recent Japan Foundation sponsored investigation into silence in second language and mainstream university settings in Japan and in the UK. While his research offers useful guidance for non-Japanese educators who would like to better navigate the silences of Japanese students, it also uncovers some surprising similarities in how UK and Japanese students react to classroom silence, providing important lessons in not making assumptions about student behaviour based purely on cultural trends.

Following his talk, Dr King will be joined in conversation by second language acquisition expert Dr Kazuya Saito (Birkbeck, University of London), to continue to explore other communication related challenges occurring within cross-cultural teaching in the UK and Japan.


Date: 16 November 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD (Close to Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations)

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Using Drama to Enrich Japanese Language Education   org

An event for teachers of Japanese to show how to use play-readings within language lessons.

The first half will be a workshop about play-readings and a talk by the Japanese playwright, Toshinobu Kojo. This will be followed by a discussion about how teachers could use these kind of readings in their own classes.

As this event is co-organised by the Japan Foundation London, we will look at excerpts from PIGHEAD Inspired by William Golding's "The Lord of the Flies" by Toshinobu Kojo. This will be a exciting opportunity to be directed by Toshinobu Kojo himself in this play reading workshop. We welcome advanced learners of Japanese who are interested in theatre to join this section.

The second half of the event will be about how teachers can use drama to enrich their Japanese language classes. Participants will be able to use their experiences from the previous workshop and work out how they could use this in their own Japanese language classes. This section will be led by Suzuko Anai from Oxford Brookes University.

If you’d like to find out more about staged readings and the performance of PIGHEAD there is further information on the Japan Foundation website here.

The event is aimed at teachers of Japanese as well as advanced learners of Japanese who are interested in theatre. It is possible to only attend the first half of the event.

Cost: £5 (for both BATJ members and non-members)
Speakers: The playwright, Toshinobu Kojo  and Suzuko Anai from Oxford Brookes University. 
Sign ups: Online registration now open  CLICK HERE to register


Date: 6 November 2016 from 1.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue:

SOAS, University of London, Brunei Gallery B111 click here for directions

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Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 3: Pighead
  org

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Yellow Earth and StoneCrabs Theatre Company present a monthly series of events, to introduce to UK audiences the work of some of Japan’s most outstanding playwrights, all of which will be heard in English for the first time.

Part 3

PIGHEAD

Written by Toshinobu Kojo, Translated by Sayuri Suzuki, Directed by Kwong Loke

Synopsis: When a group of Tokyo office workers are faced with the re-structuring of their company, what begins as a civilised and normal set of negotiations quickly descends into a savage struggle for survival.

In this dark comic world verging on the absurd, office and gender politics collide with firings, organisational reshuffles and cancelled strategies as playwright Toshinobu Kojo draws us into a menacingly unethical and sinister world of broken rules and anarchy.

Inspired by William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Kojo’s thrilling descent into horror tackles issues confronted by many living in modern Japanese society today

The reading will be followed by a Q&A with Toshinobu Kojo.

Date: 12 November 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

The Studio Theatre, RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)
16 Chenies St, London WC1E 7EX

For details of how to reach the venue please visit: www.rada.ac.uk/contact/location-map


This series is organised by the Japan Foundation, StoneCrabs Theatre Company and Yellow Earth Theatre. The project was instigated by StoneCrabs Theatre Company and Yellow Earth Theatre.

Main image: PIGHEAD Inspired by William Golding's "The Lord of the Flies" by Toshinobu Kojo

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Game Changer - talk by Hisakazu Hirabayashi   org

With the recent release of Pokemon Go! the popularity of video gaming has never been stronger. From chess to Final Fantasy, games have been played for generations – no matter the form, the desire to master a game has always been universal. The trailblazer during the golden age of video gaming, Japan remains a key player on the international scene. The Japanese Prime Minister’s appearance as Super Mario at the Olympics earlier this year was testament to the ongoing legacy of Japanese gaming.

As part of November’s game series, the Japan Foundation is proud to invite expert Hisakazu Hirabayashi to discuss the characteristics of Japanese digital gaming – from immersive role-playing games to casual smartphone affairs. In his illustrative talk, he will also compare and contrast Japanese digital games with their Western counterparts, drawing upon Japan’s unique history of gaming.

After his presentation, Hirabayashi will be joined for a discussion by James Newman, Professor in the Digital Academy at Bath Spa University.


Hisakazu Hirabayashi
Hirabayashi is president of Interact Corp and a games analyst. He served with remarkable success as first editor in chief of a video game magazine and is widely recognised as an authority on game analysis. His works include Gemū no daigaku (The University of Gaming) and Gemū no jiji mondai (Current Issues in Gaming).


Date: 24 November 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Impact Hub King's Cross, 34B York Way, London N1 9AB
Nearest tube station: King's Cross St. Pancras


Hirabayashi will also be delivering a talk in Newcastle upon Tyne as part of Japan Culture Day. To find out more please visit: www.life.org.uk/whats-on/japanese-culture-day

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NIHONGO CUP | The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK   org

We are delighted to announce that the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK is open for applications!

This contest is open to students in the UK studying Japanese language. There are three categories: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4&5 Pre-GCSE, and Key Stage 4&5 Post GCSE. Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

KS3 applicants should prepare a speech with the title “My Ideal Holiday”. The theme may be interpreted in any way, and creativity is encouraged. 

Applicants in the KS4 &KS5 pre-GCSE and KS4 & KS5 post-GCSE categories are free to choose their own theme.  

Closing date for entries: Fri 24th March 2017
Finals Day: Sat 24th June 2017

Download the Application Pack below for more information, application forms and a poster that you can use to promote the contest within your school.


Date: 15 December 2016 - 24 March 2017
Download Nihongo Cup -Application Pack

Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the Japan Foundation London.

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Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level) | TERM 2   org

Term 2 of the Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level) is now open for enrolment!  

This course is based on communicative approaches to learning, rather than traditional methods of language education that focus purely on grammar and sentence structure. It uses the Marugoto Coursebooks for Activities textbook series published by the Japan Foundation.

This course is suitable for those who may wish to learn basic Japanese conversation, such as those going to Japan on holiday or for business purposes, or those who want to learn it just for fun! You can view the course syllabus here.

The aim of this course is to use Japanese language skills to get to know people, order in Japanese restaurants and gain knowledge about Japanese customs. During the course, participants will be able to perform specific, practical tasks in Japanese. The course will not focus on language alone: learning about Japanese culture will also be an important element. More details of the course can be found here.

This course is perfect for beginners of Japanese who would like to use their new language skills in practical situations, and to really connect with Japanese society.

Term 2 Dates: 17 Jan 2017 - 21 Mar 2017 (every Tuesday), 19:00 - 21:00

Course Fee: £330 per ten-week term, including course textbook and materials

HOW TO ENROL: Email japanese@soas.ac.uk to arrange assessments


Date: 17 January 2017 - 21 March 2017 from 7.00pm - 9.00pm
Venue:

[TBC] SOAS Language Centre, 22 Russell Square, London. WC1H 0XG

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Giving Choice And Connecting People: Expanding Ideas For Japanese Language Study With Minato   org

「日本語を学びたいけど、近くに教室がない。」「仕事や家事で忙しくて、決まった時間がとれない。」「興味はあるけど、気軽に学べないかな?」国際交流基金関西国際センター(KC)は、地理的、時間的制約によって、日本語の教室に通うことができない学習者や、これから学習を始めたいという世界中の人々に日本語を学ぶ機会を提供するため、日本語学習プラットフォーム「JFにほんごeラーニング みなと」(以下、「みなと」)を2016年7月に公開しました。

“I want to study Japanese but there are no classes near me.”
“I am really busy with work and home life so I don’t have time to take a class.”
“I’m interested in Japanese, but I just want to study it casually.”

In July 2016, The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai launched the Japanese language learning platform JF Japanese e-Learning Minato for learners who cannot attend Japanese classes due to geographical or time constraints to give people from all over the world the chance to study Japanese language and culture.

本セミナーでは、「みなと」が「学びが選べる」「人とつながる」というコンセプトをどのように実現しているか、「日本語コース」「コミュニティ」「JF日本語学習ウェブサイト&アプリ」といった機能の紹介を通してお話しします。「JF日本語学習ウェブサイト&アプリ」の紹介では、2016年に公開されたウェブサイト「ひろがる もっといろんな日本と日本語」「みんなで聞こう 日本の歌」、文字が楽しく学べるアプリ「Hiragana Memory Hint」「Katakana Memory Hint」「Kanji Memory Hint」を中心にご紹介します。また、これらのサイトの活用法や教師としての関わり方について、参加者の皆さんと考えます。

In this seminar, we will look at how Minato enables learners to choose their learning method and bring people together through its Japanese Course, Community and Japan Foundation Website & Apps features. The websites and apps that we will focus on will include Hirogaru, get more of Japan and Japanese, "Listen Together : The Songs of Japan" 「みんなで聞こう 日本の歌」 and the Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji Memory Hint apps. We will also consider how these sites can be put to use from a teacher’s perspective.

Participation fee: Free.   Language: Japanese 日本語

CLICK HERE to book your place!

略歴:笠井陽介(国際交流基金関西国際センター日本語教育専門員) 

About the Lecturer, Yosuke Kasai | Language Education Specialist, The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai

中国、ミャンマー、ネパール、ベナン(西アフリカ)の日本語学校で日本語教育に従事。2015年より現職。日本語学習プラットフォーム「JFにほんごeラーニング みなと」上の日本語オンラインコース開発、新規ウェブサイト・アプリ開発に携わる。

Has worked in Japanese language education at schools in China, Myanmar, Nepal, and Benin (West Africa) and assumed current position in 2015. Involved in the development of the online Japanese course within the e-learning platform JF Japanese e-Learning Minato and other new websites and apps.


Date: 20 February 2017 from 5.00pm - 7.00pm
Venue:

York St John University Fountains Learning Centre (Room 216).
Click here for access to York St John University (Campus Map)


Co-organised by the Japan Foundation London and York St John University. 

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Language Education for Social Future: Language, Community, and Identity   org

Historically, the role of foreign or second language education was simply to serve the needs of a nation or community. But can language education bring about change within the community itself?

Shinji Sato, Director of the Japanese Language Programme at Princeton University, views the goal of language education as not merely to introduce a country’s standard language and culture, but also to encourage active participation as a full member of the community using the target language. Active participation involves critically examining cultural and societal rules, making an effort to succeed within these rules or even change the rules if necessary while negotiating with others, and taking responsibility as a member of the community. Critical thinking is an indispensable component of this process because it enables individuals to question existing frameworks and change them as needed, allowing us to create our own futures for ourselves and our communities.

In this talk, Sato will demonstrate examples of how to realise this vision by incorporating project-based activities such as the Social Issue Project and the Community Involvement Project into the existing curriculum, or creating a new curriculum such as Life and Careers. He will examine how foreign or second language education can influence the sociocultural and historical context in which it is located by analysing actual student works, students’ final reports, and survey about the projects. 

Participation fee: Free.   Language: English 英語

CLICK HERE to book your place!

About the speaker: SHINJI SATO
Director of the Japanese Language Programme, Princeton University.

Sato completed his Ph.D. in anthropology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University. His works critically examine self-evident notions in Japanese language education including learning, culture, communication, competence, and creativity. He also proposes alternative classroom practices. Sato is the co-author of several publications, including Rethinking Language and Culture in Japanese Education (2014), Syakaisanka o mezasu nihongo kyoiku [Japanese Language Education for the Global Citizens] (2012), and Mirai o tsukuru kotoba no kyoiku o mezashite [Language Education for Social Future: Critical Content-Based Instruction] (CCBI, 2015).

Date: 2 February 2017 from 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue:

Language Resources Centre, King's College London

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12th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students FINALS DAY   org

Come along and listen to what university students studying Japanese in the UK have to say! The finalists will give their speeches and presentations in Japanese to an audience of fellow students, teachers, parents, key figures from the UK-Japan world and a panel of judges. The contest will be followed by a reception.

The Twelfth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is organised by the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation London in joint partnership. The event provides an opportunity for students from the UK and Ireland to demonstrate their Japanese speaking skills.

Free entry, no booking required!

Thinking of going? Let others know through our Facebook Event page.


Date: 4 March 2017 from 1.00pm - 6.00pm
Venue:

King’s College London, Strand Campus, Strand, London. WC2R 2LS.

Download SpC12-FinalsProgram

The 12th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is generously supported by:

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Sport and Diplomacy: Past Reflections and Looking Towards 2020   org

Japan is due to host two sporting ‘mega-events’ in the next few years: The Rugby World Cup 2019 and The Summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020.

The build up to these events provides an opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future role of sport as an opportunity for diplomacy. This symposium, organised by the Japan Foundation London in collaboration with the Japan Sport Council London and SOAS Japan Research Centre, focuses on mega-sporting events as a public diplomatic platform, and how they create legacies for the global community.

Sport Diplomacy is a relatively new and flourishing field in academia building upon the heritage of studies in sport and history, politics and sociology. With the 2019 and 2020 events on the horizon, this event will examine the role of sports throughout history in Japan since the hosting of the Olympics in 1964 in Tokyo.

We are pleased to welcome Mr Tetsuya Kimura, the Director General of Japan Sports Agency, the extra-ministerial bureau of Japanese sports, as a key speaker to talk about the nation’s government led initiative 'Sport for Tomorrow'. Sport for Tomorrow is an international project to implement changes on a national and international scale in time for and beyond 2020, which consists of three pillars: international cooperation through sports, academy for future sports leaders, and promotion of sport integrity through global anti-doping activities.

[Sport for Tomorrow]

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The symposium looks at sports’ versatility as a diplomatic communication medium, and how Japan approaches the unique opportunity of hosting mega-sporting events to leverage the power of sport in this time of globalization.

Keynote Speakers

  • Tetsuya Kimura ( Director-General, Japan Sports Agency)
  • Richard Caborn (former Minister of Sport 2001-7)
  • Dr Helen Macnaughtan (Chair, SOAS Japan Research Centre)
  • Dr J Simon Rofe (SOAS University of London)

Organisers: Japan Foundation London with Japan Sport Council, London and SOAS Japan Research Centre

Logos

The event is also supported by JSPS London and is followed by a reception sponsored by Sake Samurai.

Image: courtesy of the Japan Sport Council


Date: 15 May 2017 from 5.30pm - 9.00pm
Venue:

Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London, WC1H 0XG

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NIHONGO CUP | The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools in the UK FINALS DAY   org

Come and see the UK’s most talented young students of Japanese language at the Finals Day of the Nihongo Cup – the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary Schools!

Students from all levels of secondary education – Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 – will showcase their amazing talent and hard work in their Japanese language studies while competing for some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Don’t miss out this chance to see the UK’s biggest Japanese speech contest for secondary school students. The contest will be followed by a reception, giving you a chance to meet the students.

Free entry, no booking required (seating first come, first served)

The contest will begin promptly at 12:30. Audience members will be admitted into the hall from 12:00. The contest will end at 15:45, with refreshments served until 16:30. 


Date: 24 June 2017 from 12.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue:

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. WC1R 4RL

Download DRAFT Nihongo Cup Programme

Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the Japan Foundation London, supported by the Embassy of Japan.

     

 

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Vegalta: Soccer, Tsunami and the Hope of a Nation -
Documentary screening and discussion
  org

Six years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011, the Japan Foundation presents a screening of Vegalta: Soccer, Tsunami and the Hope of a Nation, a documentary telling the story of how a Japanese football club and their legendary fans set out on the long road to rebuild their hometown.

On 5 March 2011, Vegalta Sendai, a professional football team based in the north-eastern region of Japan, opened their 2011 campaign. Still newly promoted to the top flight of Japanese football, the team's focus was very much on survival. Six days later, the word took on a distinctly different meaning.

British filmmakers Douglas Hurcombe and Geoff Trodd travelled to Sendai to capture this remarkable story, following the response of both the team and its supporters in the aftermath of the disaster. Featuring interviews with the team's staff, players and supporters, as well as former Japanese league player Gary Lineker OBE, the film demonstrates how the team's activities both on and off the pitch not only helped give the city renewed hope, but would capture the imagination of the footballing world. In the run up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, this film illustrates how sports can be close to people’s hearts and be instrumental in bringing communities together.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film's producer Ben Timlett and co-director Geoff Trodd.

Directed by Douglas Hurcombe and Geoff Trodd, 2017, 64 min


Date: 5 April 2017 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BY


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The Old Puppet Joruri: The Tale of High Priest Kochi   org

Old Joruri, a form of traditional Japanese puppet theatre which originated in the 17th century, is rarely performed outside Japan. However the rediscovery of a 300 year old text at the British Library has inspired a very special performance.

It is with great pleasure that the Japan Foundation, in collaboration with the British Library, present The Tale of High Priest Kochi. Featuring realistic puppets with lifelike features and beautifully embroidered Japanese costumes, this unique production tells the story of Buddhist monk Kochi Hoin.

The performance will be accompanied by a complementary talk on the play and the remarkable tale of its discovery.

This work was specially commissioned by The Japan Foundation to The London Performance Implementation Committee at the British Library.  

Photo by Eiji Shimakura


Date: 2 June 2017 - 3 June 2017
Venue:

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London 


Booking:
To purchase tickets for either performance, please visit the British Library website:
Fri 2 June, 19:00 (Sold Out) | Sat 3 June, 14:00 (Sold Out)

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Japanese Taster for Schools Programme Volunteer Training Day 2017   org

We are delighted to announce that the next Training Day for existing and prospective volunteers of our Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme will take place this September!

About the JTS Programme

Can you speak Japanese? Are you keen to promote the language to young people around the UK? If so, the Japan Foundation needs YOU!

JTS volunteers carry out school visits across the UK to introduce students at any level to the Japanese language. One of the main purposes of JTS is to give schools that do not teach Japanese the opportunity to find out what it is like to learn the language and to provide them with further information should they wish to start offering Japanese.

By joining the JTS Programme you will be a member of a UK-wide network of over 300 Japanese speakers who are keen to visit schools on a one-shot basis to carry out Japanese language tasters. JTS is as big a time commitment as you want it to be. If you are have time to spare, are keen and enthusiastic, it is a great opportunity to get some teaching experience.

You can read more about the JTS Programme here.

JTS Volunteer Training Day

Our JTS Volunteer Training Days are a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, get teaching ideas, and ask any questions you may have. Those who are not yet members of JTS but are interested in joining are also welcome to sign up for the training day. You can read about our last Training Day, held in November 2016, here.

You can download a timetable, including details about guest speakers, below.

BOOK YOUR PLACE HERE!


Date: 12 September 2017 from 2.30pm - 4.40pm
Venue:

Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London.  WC1R 4RL (nearest station: Holborn)

Download JTS2017-Timetable
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How to become a Benshi! Silent Cinema and the Art of Live Narration   org

Silent cinema was never truly silent. In Japan, silent films were accompanied not only by live music but also by Katsudo-Benshi. Providing live narration, on-screen voice acting and original commentary, Benshi became an influential and integral part of Japanese silent cinema.

In conjunction with the Barbican's screening of Yasujiro Ozu's I was Born, But... organised as part of The Japanese House exhibition, the Japan Foundation is delighted to present a special evening exploring the art of Benshi. Following an introductory talk by silent cinema specialist Pamela Hutchinson, Katsudo-Benshi Hideyuki Yamashiro and Silent Film Pianist Mie Yanashita will perform a clip from Orochi (1925) recreating an authentic Benshi experience. As part of his illustrated talk, Yamashiro will discuss Benshi as a contemporary occupation as well as the unique appeal of Japanese silent cinema.

This fascinating event will also offer a few audience members the chance to take to the stage and perform the role of Benshi under instruction from Yamashiro himself!


Date: 23 June 2017 from 6.00pm
Venue:

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DT


This event is organised by in association with Shindofuji Ireland

Special thanks to Matsuda Film Productions

For more details about the Barbican’s The Japanese House: I was Born, But…, supported by The Japan Foundation please click here

For more details about the Barbican’s The Japanese House exhibition, co-organised by the Japan Foundation, please click here

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The Life and Work of Jiro Takamatsu - Talk by Yumiko Chiba   org

An influential artist, theorist and teacher in the 1960s and 1970s, Jiro Takamatsu (1936-98) is central to the development of sculpture in Japan and is considered to be one of the most important Japanese artists of the post-war era. A founding member of the legendary collective Hi Red Center and key figure of the Mono-ha (School of Things) movement, Takamatsu, over the four decades of his career, sought to explore the boundaries of reality and relationships with the physical world through a diverse body of work including sculpture, photography, painting, drawing and performance art. Takamatsu took part in landmark international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale (1968) and documenta 6 (1977), but in recent years has received an increasing amount of critical acclaim, with many seeking to revisit Takamatsu’s challenging but undoubtedly influential work.

In celebration of the first institutional exhibition outside his home country, Jiro Takamatsu: The Temperature of Sculpture at the Henry Moore Institute (13 July - 22 October 2017), Yumiko Chiba, founder of Yumiko Chiba Associates and representative for the Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, will explore Takamatsu’s diverse career, providing a personal insight into the man behind such ground-breaking and diverse work. Drawing on her experience in organising a vast number of exhibitions focusing on the artist, Chiba will also discuss the significance of Takamatsu’s work and the undeniable influence he has had upon the art world in Japan and worldwide.

Preceded by an introduction by Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute, Chiba’s talk will be followed by an informal discussion chaired by writer and curator Ellen Mara De Wachter.


Date: 13 July 2017 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT
For details of how to reach the venue, please click here


The exhibition Jiro Takamatsu: The Temperature of Sculpture will be held at the Henry Moore Institute from 13 July to 22 October 2017, supported by the Japan Foundation. For more information, please visit: www.henry-moore.org/whats-on/henry-moore-institute

Image: 'Smashing of Everything', 1972, Mixed media and wooden boxes, 15.0 x 55.0 x 35.0cm
© The Estate of Jiro Takamatsu, Courtesy of Yumiko Chiba Associates, Stephen Friedman Gallery and Fergus McCaffrey.

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Summer Explorers 3: A special free film programme all about food   org

Satisfy your appetite for Japanese cinema with this free series of mouth-watering movies
all about food, exploring various aspects of food production through to consumption!

Part One: Saturday, 15 July 2017
Prince Charles Cinema, London - 7 Leicester Place, London WC2H 7BY

12:00pm: Oyster Factory 牡蠣工場

Located in the remote town of Ushimado in Okayama, where oyster shucking has traditionally been a job for local men and women, this documentary observes the Hirano oyster factory upon their decision to bring in two workers from China.

Dir. Kazuhiro Soda, 2015, 145 min | Image: © Laboratory X, Inc.

2:45pm: Akanezora - Beyond the Crimson Sky あかね空

Eikichi, a young tofu maker, ventures from Kyoto to Edo (present-day Tokyo) to open a tofu shop. Years later with the rock-solid business still going strong, Eikichi and his family are thrown into a critical situation that threatens to pull them apart. FULLY BOOKED

Dir. Masaki Hamamoto, 2006, 120 min | Image: © 2006 Akanezora Beyond the Crimson Sky LLP

Part Two: Saturday, 22 July 2017
BAFTA, London - 195 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN

11:00am: Silver Spoon 銀の匙

At a vocational high school for dairy farming in Hokkaido, where students can try their hands at farming, city boy Yugo, whose decision to enrol was an attempt to avoid his parents and classmates, is struggling to adapt to his new “nature-oriented” surroundings.

Dir. Keisuke Yoshida, 2014, 111 min  | © 2014 "Silver Spoon" Movie Project, © H.A./S

1:10pm: There Is No Lid on the Sea 海のふた

In an adaptation of a story by Banana Yoshimoto, Mari, tired of city life, returns to her hometown of Nishiizu to open a shop selling her favourite childhood treat: kakigori (shaved ice dessert). As Mari finds that the nostalgic flavours help soothe the emotional wounds of her customers, she begins to come to terms with her own.

Dir. Keisuke Toyoshima, 2015, 84 min | © 2015 Banana Yoshimoto / “There Is No Lid Sea” Production Committee

2:55pm: A Drop of the Grapevine ぶどうのなみだ

In a film about soul food set in the picturesque Sorachi region of Hokkaido, anti-social farmer Ao tends a vineyard and dreams of making the perfect pinot noir, while his younger brother Roku grows wheat to make bread. One day, out of the blue, a friendly traveller appears and breathes new life into their days.

Dir. Yukiko Mishima, 2014, 117 min | © 2014 「A Drop of the Grapevine」Film's Partners

Japanese Language Activities

On Saturday, 22 July at BAFTA, join us for drop-in food-themed Japanese language activities between the films. The workshops are free and suitable for all ages. No booking is required – please feel free just to drop in!

 

Main image (Clockwise, left to right): There is No Lid on the Sea, Akanezora - Beyond the Crimson Sky, A Drop of the Grapevine


Date: 15 July 2017 - 22 July 2017
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Ryoji Ikeda - Test Pattern Live   org

Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda will perform Test Pattern, an audiovisual work presenting intense flickering black and white imagery synchronised to a powerful soundtrack. Exploring the relationship between art and sound by orchestrating sound, images, materials, physical phenomena and mathematical notions, Ikeda’s latest material is the result of almost 20 years of research.

Performances times: Thursday, 28 September 2017: 7:30pm and 9:30pm.

The Japan Foundation is pleased to present this project in partnership with Thirty Three Thirty Three, The Barbican and Selfridges.


Date: 28 September 2017
Venue:

The Selfridges Old Hotel at Selfridges Oxford Street, London


For more information, please click here.
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Culinary Culture & Gastronomy in Japanese Cinema   org

Back by popular demand, join us for a delectable selection of Japanese films exploring how cuisine is an important part of not only Japan's culture, but also its cinema. Make sure you don't come hungry!

 Wed, 23 Aug | Courthouse Cinema, London

A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story,  6.30pm (Fully Booked)

Great cook Haru marries into a family of legendary "Kitchen Samurai", who have served the lords of Kaga for many generations with their wonderful cuisine. While her new husband and successor to the family is a master of the sword, his kitchen-knife skills leave a lot to be desired. Haru vows to make her husband a superb samurai chef and starts to teach him the art of cuisine. Based on a true story.

Dir. Yuzo Asahara, 2013, 122 min, English subtitles, (U)

 Thu, 24 Aug | Courthouse Cinema, London

The Chef of the South Polar, 6.30pm (Fully Booked)

At a research facility located in Antarctica, it's Chef Nishimura's job to dish up delicious meals for his colleagues using limited ingredients available - soon enough the much-anticipated meals become the only thing keeping them from going crazy! Based on the autobiographical essays by Jun Nishimura, Shuichi Okita serves up a visual feast for the eyes, combining elements of comedy and pathos.

Dir. Shuichi Okita, 2009, 125 min, English subtitles, (12A)

  Sat, 26 Aug | Rich Mix, London

Extra screening: A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story,  12.00pm

Due to extremely popular demand, we've added a repeat screening of A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story at Rich Mix on Saturday, 26 August 2017 at 12:00pm. Tickets were quickly snapped up for the film's first showing - book now to avoid disappointment!

Dir. Yuzo Asahara, 2013, 122 min, English subtitles, (U)

Sweet Bean [An], 12.45pm (Fully Booked)

Struggling food vendor Sentaro finds himself confronted with Tokue, an odd but sympathetic elderly lady looking for work. After reluctantly accepting, it's not long before Tokue proves to have an extraordinary gift when it comes to making "an" - the sweet red bean paste filling used in his dorayaki pancakes. A tale of culinary redemption by acclaimed director Naomi Kawase.

Dir. Naomi Kawase, 2015, 113 min, English subtitles, (PG)

Tampopo, 3.15pm (Fully Booked)

Juzo Itami's rapturous "ramen western" follows an eccentric band of culinary ronin who guide the widow of a noodle-shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe. Serving up a bowl of adventure seasoned with offbeat comedy sketches and the exploits of a gastronome gangster, Tampopo remains one of the most mouthwatering examples of food on film.

Dir. Juzo Itami, 1985, 109 min, English subtitles, (15)

 Booking: These screenings are free to attend but booking is essential. For details of how to book your place, please click here


Date: 23 August 2017 - 26 August 2017
Venue:

23 & 24 August: Courthouse Cinema, 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HL
26 August: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

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Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2017   org

The 2017 edition of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival, organised in partnership with the Japan Foundation, will showcase the best in both mainstream and independent anime and feature a host of Welsh premieres including Masaaki Yuasa's The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (pictured) and Shukou Murase's SF thriller Genocidal Organ – a real treat for fans of all kinds of animation!

Following the festival’s opening weekend at Chapter in Cardiff, a selection of the films will then be shown at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.


Date: 29 September 2017 - 28 October 2017
Venue:

Chapter, Cardiff: 29 September 2017 – 1 October 2017
Aberystwyth Arts Centre: 28 October 2017


For more information, please click here.

Image: The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (dir. Masaaki Yuasa, 2017)

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The Children's Bookshow   org

For the 2017 edition of the Children’s Bookshow, an annual tour aiming to inspire children with books, the Japan Foundation is delighted to be a partner in bringing Japanese author Megumi Iwasa and illustrator Jun Takabatake to the UK for two special events.

Iwasa and Takabatake will appear alongside translator Cathy Hirano at Foyles, London on 25 September 2017 and Stafford Gatehouse on 27 September 2017, providing a fascinating insight into the life and work of an author, an illustrator and a translator. The event in Stafford will also feature live drawings and readings by the speakers.

For more information and booking details for the event at Foyles (25 September 2017) please click here

For more details about the event at Stafford Gatehouse (27 September 2017) please click here


Date: 25 September 2017 - 27 September 2017

The Children’s Bookshow 2017 nationwide tour will run from 22 September to 24 November 2017 visiting a number of local theatre venues around the UK. For more details, please visit the Children Bookshow website.

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Transnational Cities: Tokyo and London   org

Transnational Cities is an international symposium, hosted by Tate Research Centre: Asia together with TrAIN Research Centre, UAL, and in association with the Japan Foundation, examining the historical interconnectedness of cultures in Tokyo and London.

The first day explores Tokyo’s transnational histories and futures. The second day looks at the intersections and points of contact among multiple cultures and diverse artistic legacies in London. Keynote lectures will be delivered by Sonia Boyce, Reiko Tomii and Lee Ufan.


Date: 29 September 2017 - 30 September 2017 from 10.00am - 6.00pm
Venue:

The Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG


To find out more, please visit:  http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/conference/transnational-cities

Image: Lee Ufan, From Line 1978. Tate. © Lee Ufan

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The World’s a Stage: Yukio Ninagawa’s Work, Career and His Legacy   org

Yukio Ninagawa was Japan’s best-known stage director, whose work was marked by its astonishing interpretation and visual imagination. Continually drawn to staging works of literary greats, Ninagawa often harmonised theatre traditions of the east and west through productions of Greek tragedies, Shakespearean plays and much more. Creating worlds of wonder and beauty, Ninagawa’s work transcended language barriers and received widespread critical acclaim internationally including in the UK.

On the occasion of the commemorative performances of Macbeth at Barbican and Theatre Royal Plymouth, co-produced by the Japan Foundation, and in celebration of Ninagawa’s longstanding relationship with the UK, Hiroko Yamaguchi, theatre critic for the Asahi Shimbun newspaper will draw on her vast knowledge and experience of the masterful director’s great body of work. Co-author of the book Ninagawa Yukio no shigoto (“The Work of Yukio Ninagawa”) who has observed Ninagawa’s epic productions both inside and outside of Japan, Yamaguchi will examine Ninagawa’s style and creativity in the past and consider his influence on the global stage. Joined in conversation by Conor Hanratty, a theatre and opera director who also had the opportunity to attend Ninagawa’s rehearsals in Japan, they will discuss where Ninagawa’s legacy lies and consider his unparalleled contribution to not only Japanese performing arts but also the theatre world as a whole.


Date: 7 October 2017 from 3.00pm
Venue:

Bush House (King’s College London, Lecture Theatre One), 30 Aldwych, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please visit: yukio-ninagawa.eventbrite.co.uk

 

Ninagawa Company’s Macbeth will be performed at Barbican Centre (5-8 October 2017) and Theatre Royal Plymouth (13-14 October 2017). Both performances are co-produced by the Japan Foundation.

Special thanks to the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University

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Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama   org

BFI presents, in partnership with the Japan Foundation, a season highlighting the female stars that shone in the melodrama of Japanese cinema's 'Golden Age'. The season features titles rarely screened in the UK, spotlighting the magnificent actors who starred in them - figures such as Kinuyo Tanaka, Setsuko Hara, Machiko Kyo, Isuzu Yamada and Hideko Takamine, who endure as beloved icons of Japanese cinema. 


Date: 16 October 2017 - 29 November 2017
Venue:

BFI Southbank, London


For full details of the programme and booking information, please visit the BFI website.

Public booking opens on 3 October 2017.

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Seminar: One Place After Another - What can periodical international contemporary art projects actually share?   org

The last 15 years has seen a proliferation of large-scale international recurrent exhibitions of contemporary art across the globe. Looking at UK only, 2014 sees the presentation of the Liverpool Biennial, third Folkestone Triennial, and in Japan the fifth Yokohama Triennial and inaugural Sapporo International Art Festival. The latest edition to the growing number of periodic arts projects and international exhibitions of contemporary art, Sapporo triennial joins over 150 such projects currently operating internationally. They often share similar objectives, practices and considerations, from curatorial and artistic strategies to political and economic agendas. Many of the exhibitions are focused on the encouragement of public engagement, in the local context to create a site of public participation that is not only periodical, but also permanent.

Questioning and reflecting on the circumstances that inform recurrent international exhibitions, Keith Whittle, researcher and Japan Foundation Fellow, will explore and highlight some key strands of a number of periodic exhibitions through specific examples informed by research in Japan and the UK. Followed by a panel discussion to further examine issues related to the projects, Whittle will be joined by two internationally recognised curators, Yuko Hasegawa and Lewis Biggs, both responsible for curating a number of major exhibitions, including in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and Aichi, Japan respectively, Mark Rappolt, Editor at ArtReview, and Koki Tanaka representative artist, Japan Pavilion, 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale.

The talk and discussion will also explore amongst other questions, if these arts projects and international exhibitions can expand and democratise access to culture, for a diversified public, creating a meaningful cultural social space for a general public and tourist majority generally less directly engaged with Art?


Date: 23 June 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

 

Images: Right: Tadashi Kawamata "Nakahara Yusuke Cosmology"; Left: Carsten Höller "Rolling Cylinder, 2012"; Photography: Osamu Nakamura; Courtesy:Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale

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Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme – September 2014 Training Day for Volunteers   org

The next Volunteer Training Day for our Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme will take place on Friday, September 12th 2014.

Our regular Training Days at our London office are a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, get teaching ideas, and ask any questions you may have.  We ask our volunteers who live within travelling distance to London to attend at least one Training Day before making a school visit), in order to get a full understanding of the JTS Programme.  Those who are not yet members of JTS but are interested in joining are also welcome to sign up for the training day.  You can read about our last Training Day, held in June 2014, here.

Provisional Timetable: The day will begin with an induction for new attendees at 12:30 (registration starts from 12:15). Those who have been to a JTS Training Day before may attend from 13:00. 

How to apply

To register, please click here to use our online application form.

The registration form uses Google Documents and is subject to Google's standard terms and conditions of use. If you would prefer to register in a different way or have difficulty in accessing the form, please email us at info.language@jpf.org.uk and we will send you a Word/ PDF application form.

If you are not yet a member of JTS, please click here for more information about the programme and to complete a membership application form.

Please note that this is event is free, but prior booking for this event is essential for all attendees. 

For more information about the JTS programme, please click here.

Click here to apply for our September 2014 (London) Training Day


Date: 12 September 2014 from 12.30pm - 3.15pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

Download JTS 09-2014 Training Day Programme
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Japan Foundation at Language Show Live 2014   org

Come and see the Japan Foundation at Language Show Live 2014!

Language Show Live is the UK’s largest language event and the show for those who offer products and services to language teachers, learners, translators, linguists, language professionals and businesses. This year, the Japan Foundation are giving visitors more chances than ever before to learn about Japanese language and culture. Our attractions will include:

The Japan Foundation Information Stand
When:
17th, 18th, 19th October  
Where: Olympia Central, Hammersmith Road, London (Stand no. 709)  
Packed full of information about studying and teaching Japanese in the UK, our stand will be staffed with members of Japan Foundation who would be delighted to give you advice on your Japanese studies. Our stand will also include:

  • A Japan Quiz, with the chance to win a goody bag full of Japan Foundation exclusive gifts
  • A name-writing corner – make your own Japanese name sticker!
  • Free little gifts to take home with you
  • The stand will be shared with JP Books, a supplier of Japanese books including learning resources for Japanese language.

Presentation: “Teaching Primary Languages & Culture through Kami-shibai – Traditional Japanese Storytelling”
When:  Friday 17 October, 16.00 – 16.45
Kami-shibai (“paper drama”) is a traditional form of storytelling in Japan, in which the storyteller uses large pictures to engage the audience and aid their understanding. In this presentation, we will demonstrate how kami-shibai can be used to make the learning of any language fun and effective, in addition to inspiring pupils’ creativity and cultural awareness. The presentation will include examples of how kami-shibai has been used to teach language and other subjects in UK schools, as well as a bilingual kami-shibai performance that we hope all audience members, young and old, can enjoy!

Japanese Language taster
When:  Saturday 18 October, 13.30- 14.00
Experience Japanese language first hand by taking a taster lesson!

Seminar: “Going beyond Europe: A case study of success in teaching Japanese language in a UK School” with Crispin Chambers
When:
Sunday 19th, 11.45 - 12.30
Crispin Chambers, 2013 winner of Pearson Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, will share his success story of raising enthusiasm and achievement among the students at Tavistock School, by teaching them a more unusual language: Japanese.

Don’t miss out on the UK’s biggest languages event – click here for more information and to book your place (entrance is free if registered in advance)!


Date: 17 October 2014 - 19 October 2014 from 10.18am
Venue:

Olympia Central, London

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Japan Foundation at Alcon   org

The Japan Foundation will be at Alcon (Leicester's convention for anime, gaming and cosplay) on 6th and 7th September.

Visit our stand for information about studying Japanese, freebies and the chance to enter our quiz and win some great prizes!

What's more, we will be giving a short Japanese taster session and a presentation on the resources and support available for Japanese language learners on Saturday 6th, 15:30 - 16:00.

More information about Alcon, which is organised by Anime League, can be found on the official website, www.alcon.org.uk


Date: 6 September 2014 - 7 September 2014 from 10.00am
Venue:

De Montfort University, Leicester

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Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara   org

Yoshitomo Nara is one of the most influential and internationally renowned contemporary artists from Japan, best known for his impressionable paintings depicting children and animals. His painterly expression and use of colour are strongly influenced by Western and Japanese modern paintings. That, along with living in a rapidly changing post-war Japan, and being exposed and aware to various cultures – visual arts, literature, and music – that transcend borders, have culminated into forming his current artistic expression. 

On the occasion of his solo exhibition, Greetings from a Place in My Heart, taking place at Dairy Art Centre, London, Nara will speak about his day-to-day creative practice, and what lies at the basis of his expression and artistic sensibility. 

This is a very rare opportunity to gain a further insight into one of Japan’s most legendary artists who seldom makes public appearances, whilst surrounded by his paintings, drawings and sculptures on display.


Date: 3 October 2014 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Dairy Art Centre
7a Wakefield St, London WC1N 1PG


The exhibition Greetings from a Place in My Heart will be at Dairy Art Centre from 3 October to 7 December 2014.  For more information, please visit: dairyartcentre.org.uk

Images: Left:  Yoshitomo Nara, Can’t wait ’til the Night Comes, 2012, © Yoshitomo Nara. Courtesy Blum & Poe, LA.; Yoshitomo Nara, Wicked Looking, 2012, Photo: Joshua White, © Yoshitomo Nara. Courtesy Blum & Poe, LA. (part). Portrait: © Yoshitomo Nara, Photo: Minami Tsukamoto.

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The Tenth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students FINALS DAY   org

Come along and listen to what young people studying Japanese in the UK have to say! The finalists will give their speeches and presentations in Japanese to an audience of fellow students, teachers, parents, key figures from theUK-Japan world and a panel of judges.

Please come to the Finals Day to give the finalists your support! No booking is required - simply turn up on the day (but please note that seats will be assigned on a first come, first served basis)

About the contest

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes including a return air ticket to Japan! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 28th February 2015 at Regent’s University London

:: Contest Aims
The main purpose of the event is to improve the speaking and presentation skills of students studying Japanese as a foreign language. Through this event, we hope to promote Japanese language learning at higher education level in the UK and Ireland. The contest is organised by the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation, London.

:: Prizes
Just some of the fantastic prizes awarded at this contest include a digital camera, a PC, and a return air ticket to Japan plus a Japan Rail Pass! Download the contest flyer below for full details on the prizes

This contest is generously sponsored by:
Baker & McKenzie LLP ・Bloomberg L.P.・Central Japan Railway Company・Eikoku News Digest ・Gendai Travel・ The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation ・Japan Airlines・Japan Centre・JP-Books (JPT Europe) Ltd.・ Oxford Brookes University・ Regent's University, London・Ricoh UK Ltd・Toshiba of Europe Ltd 


Date: 28 February 2015 from 1.00pm - 7.00pm
Venue:

Regent's University London. Inner Circle, Regent's Park,London NW1 4NS

Download FinalsDayFlyer
Download 2014_FAQ
Download Rules and guidance - Speech Category
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Special Film Screening: Ninja Shadow Warriors   org

Ninja Shadow Warriors is a drama documentary unearthing the true history, unique military skills and ancient traditions behind the infamous Ninja, a small band of rebellious mountain villagers, who were a constant thorn in the side of the Samurai warrior clans.

The film tells the intriguing story of Ninja boy Tanba who was trained by his grandfather to become one of the most feared warriors in ancient Japan.

Featured experts include British and Japanese historians as well as Master Jinichi Kawakami, one of the last (if not only) surviving Ninja masters, who demonstrates the unrivalled tricks the Ninja used to fool their enemies.

After the screening, the film’s Executive Producer Sebastian Peiter will be present for a Q&A with the audience.

Directed by John Wate, 2012, 52min, Japanese and English, supported by the Japan Foundation


Date: 21 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Images © Urban Canyons Ltd.

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Introduction to "flipped learning" for GCSE Japanese   org

How video tutorials might improve Japanese lessons at your school

An exclusive opportunity to learn more about “flipped learning” and how you can use Anne Rajakuma’s free online video tutorials to support your GCSE-level students.

The Head of Japanese at Hockerill Anglo-European College, Anne Rajakumar, has used the Japan Foundation’s Local Project Support Programme to create a series of short video tutorials to accompany the series of workshops entitled “Everything you ever wanted to know about the GCSE-level Japanese course.”

These videos allow “flipped learning” as students are able to pre-learn vocab and grammatical patterns prior to using them in class, consolidate their learning through watching the video after the relevant lesson, or even complete the GCSE course online if there is no specialist Japanese teacher available. The videos are freely accessible at:  www.youtube.com/channel/UC023lHYF_-heyjOjhejXWAQ  

This seminar will introduce these video resources and show how they have been used in the classroom to improve exam results at Hockerill Anglo-European College.

Cost: Free
Aimed at: Secondary school class teachers, with students aiming at GCSE level Japanese
Language: This seminar will be held in English.
Click here to book your place

Timetable:
12:30-12:45      Arrival and extra chance for networking
12:45 -13:10  Welcome
13:10 -14:40  Main Seminar (Anne Rajakumar)and Q&A
14:40 - 15:00    Break
15:00 -15:20  Support for Japanese language learning in UK Schools (Megan Manson)
15:20 -15:50  Introducing the Primary Scheme of Work (Seiji Fukushima)
15:50 -16:00  Introducing the new Japanese Taster Package (Hiroko Tanaka)
16:00 -     Q&A and Evaluation form

Speakers:
Anne Rajakumar:  Head of Japanese, at Hockerill Anglo-European College
Seiji Fukushima:  Chief Japanese language Advisor,  Japan Foundation, London
Hiroko Tanaka:
Japanese language Advisor,  Japan Foundation, London
Megan Manson: Programme Officer,  Japan Foundation, London


Date: 29 October 2014 from 12.30pm
Venue:

Japan Foundation, London


Click here to book your place

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The Truth About...Ninjas - Talk and Demonstration   org

Ninjas are widely-known across the world and through modern depictions from Hollywood movies to anime such as Naruto, they have become an important and iconic part of Japanese history and culture. However looking beyond these cultural representations, how much do we know about the reality of these mysterious and elusive historical figures?

In this special talk, Prof Yuji Yamada, Mie University, Japan, will talk about the origin and history of the ninja, or shinobi as they are more accurately known, based on unpublished research he has conducted. Looking into the true duty of shinobi he will explain how this profession transformed according to changes in circumstances in Japan.

After the presentation, Jinichi Kawakami, considered to be one of the very last ninjas, will demonstrate what is needed to become a ninja, including some of the poses, moves and also the rigorous physical and mental training involved.

This event will be a fun and informative session for those interested in the history of the true ninja and those who want to know more about this enigmatic profession!


Date: 17 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

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Public Seminar: Online Election Campaigns and Digital Democracy in Japan   org

 

In April 2013 Japan’s Public Offices Election Law was revised and a ban on using the Internet for election campaigns was lifted. Prior to the revision, there were hopes that this would stimulate greater political debate and lead to increased voter turnout, particularly among younger voters. Contrary to expectations, however, the introduction of web-based electioneering appears to have had little influence on voting patterns and election results.

In this special public seminar, Ryosuke Nishida (Ritsumeikan University) joins us to chart the rise of web-based election campaigns in Japan and to examine the current debates surrounding this new form of electioneering.  With reference to the recent Upper House and Tokyo gubernatorial elections, Nishida will also explain why Internet election campaigns have thus far failed to attract more young voters to the polls.    

Joining Nishida in discussion following his presentation will be Dr Andy Williamson, an internationally recognised expert in digital democracy, online campaigning and citizen engagement. 


Date: 10 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

**Dr Nishida will also be speaking at SEAS, University of Sheffield on Tuesday 11 November, 2014.  Click here for more information


Image: Satoko Kawasaki

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Artist Talk by Riusuke Fukahori   org

Riusuke Fukahori is a talented Japanese artist who is renowned for developing a unique technique whereby layers of resin are successively poured and painted on to produce hyper realistic representations of goldfish swimming in water. His meticulous work recently burst into popular culture after a video of his process went viral, racking up almost three and a half million views on YouTube. As a result he received critical acclaim and has exhibited worldwide.

In this talk Fukahori, who sits in the distinct position of applying scrupulous techniques to portray the intentions of an aesthetically conscious artist, will introduce his complex production methods and explain the motivation behind the use of goldfish as a recurrent motif in his work. Considering his aims as an artist, Fukahori will also talk about how he has developed skills needed for his impeccably crafted and extremely lifelike work over the years, and has continued to try and capture the ephemeral beauty of the goldfish.

After his talk, Fukahori will do a live painting demonstration of his intricate practice. 


Date: 9 December 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


The exhibition Goldfish Salvation 2 by Riusuke Fukahori will be held from 11 – 21 December 2014 at 93-95 Sclater Street, London E1 6HR, organised by ICN.

For more information, please visit: www.icn-global.com

Image: "Kingyo-sake Asumaru" size 85×85×H55mm, Sake cup, High quality epoxy resin, Acrylic, 2014.

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Public Seminar: The Role of Education in Disaster Risk Reduction: Lessons from Kobe and Tohoku   org

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Kobe University and Miyagi University of Education, is delighted to present this special public seminar looking at the role of education in disaster risk reduction.  We will be joined by scholars from both universities who will introduce their projects for promoting disaster risk reduction and creating more resilient societies.  

 

Presentations:

Risk Communication after Severe Earthquakes, Prof Tsuyoshi Matsuda, Kobe University

Disaster Risk Reduction and Education for Sustainable Development, Dr Takashi Oda, Miyagi University of Education

Education for Disaster and Recovery in Sendai and Kesennuma, Dr Takaaki Koganezawa, Miyagi University of Education

 

Chair: Prof Kiyomitsu Yui, Kobe University

Discussant: Prof Ros Wade, London South Bank University


Date: 13 November 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

      

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Potential of Japanese Language Education in Primary Schools - Public Seminar   org



Dr. Seiji Fukushima
, Chief Language Advisor, Japan Foundation London will talk about the possibilities of Japanese language education, which integrates cultural education, intercultural citizenship education and cross-curricular education, based on education practice at a primary school in West London. Making good use of the differences between Japan and the UK, it is possible to encourage children to keep learning and to create positive attitudes towards learning itself, which is crucial for citizens in a knowledge-based society. 

Joining Fukushima in discussion will be Dr. Lid King, Director, The Languages Company 

This will be Dr Fukushima’s final event in the UK after his last 4 years researching and teaching in London. We hope you will join us for the reception after the event to give you the chance to say goodbye.

Admission: free
Date: 20th January 2015
Time: 6:30- 8:00 followed by a drinks reception
Venue: 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL
Apply: Click here to apply online or e-mail event.language@jpf.org.uk to reserve your place. 


Date: 20 January 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue:

The Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL


Click here to apply online or e-mail event.language@jpf.org.uk to reserve your place. 

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Artist talk by Chu Enoki: "Scrap Heap Hero"   org

Chu Enoki is a seminal figure in Japanese contemporary art renowned for his varied artistic practice, ranging from avant-garde public performances through to controversial and compelling sculptural works. Enoki’s first notable works were events he staged, including his 1977 pioneering performance and long-term project Going to Hungary with HANGARI, a piece reacting to the societal upheavals in Japan at the time in which Enoki, playing on the Japanese term hangari meaning ‘half-shaved’, removed all the hair from one side of his body. Much of Enoki’s more recent sculpture and installation works have been created from found objects such as deactivated weapons, ammunition and scrap metal. Using these materials he has produced sculptures of Kalashnikov and Colt guns, stunning futuristic cityscapes, and a series of functional cannons which he fires at performances to commemorate openings of exhibitions.

Despite having no formal art education, Enoki has continued to receive increasing attention from his work, albeit both from media and authorities, and his practice has inspired other prominent artists, such as Takashi Murakami who cites Enoki as a great influence. Although Enoki’s reputation was already established, there has been a recent resurgence of exhibitions evaluating Enoki’s contribution, consolidating his presence as a significant figure in contemporary Japanese art, including Roppongi Crossing, Mori Art Museum (2007) and Enoki Chu: Unleashing the Museum, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art (2011).

On the special occasion of his first solo show in Europe, Chu Enoki: Enoki Chu held at the White Rainbow Gallery, London, Enoki has been invited to explain his artistic career and expression identified in his work often described as iconic and employing dark motifs.  Drawing on his experience as an artist coming out of postwar Japan and living through drastic social changes over time, Enoki will also reflect on how such surroundings may have made an impact upon his practice and helped mould the artist he is today.

Enoki will be joined in conversation by Simon Grant, editor of TATE ETC. art magazine published by Tate and co-founder of the art quarterly Picpus.


Date: 9 February 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Banqueting Hall, Chelsea College of Arts, London SW1P 4JU

Entrance: Please use the entrance by the Henry Moore Courtyard, located on Atterbury Street and opposite Tate Britain. To see a map of this location, please click here (via Google Maps). Please note, the venue is not accessible from any other entrance to Chelsea College of Arts.


Image: SALUTE C2H2, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, 2012-2013, © Chu Enoki, photo by Seiji Toyonaga (SANDWICH GRAPHIC) (part)

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The Metamorphosis of Japan After the War
Postwar Japanese Photography - Talk by Marc Feustel
  org

In conjunction with the current Japan Foundation exhibition Metamorphosis of Japan After the War at Open Eye Gallery, Marc Feustel the co-curator, will provide an overview of the dramatic evolution in Japanese documentary photography produced during the incredibly significant and turbulent 20 year period between the end of World War II and the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964.

Capturing both the historical and social perspective of the period, he will expand on why he chose to create this poignant exhibition, the philosophy behind it, and discuss some of 11 accomplished Japanese photographers included in the retrospective and why their images were chosen. Telling this story through photographs, Feustel will also examine the impact that these works and photographers have made upon contemporary artists, and what elements may be connected to the current state of Japanese photography.

Marc Feustel
Marc Feustel has curated several photographic exhibitions and edited both fine art and photographic publications including the anthology of postwar Japanese photography, Japan: a self-portrait, Photographs 1945-1964, published in 2004 by Flammarion. He writes regularly on photography for print and online publications and is co-director of Studio Equis.

The exhibition Metamorphosis of Japan After the War includes works from Japanese photographers such as Yasuhiro Ishimoto, Shomei Tomatsu, Eikoh Hosoe, and Ken Domon. It is currently running until the 26 April 2015 at 19 Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, L3 1BP, organised by Open Eye Gallery. For more information, please visit: www.openeye.org.uk


Date: 27 February 2015 from 6.45pm
Venue:

The Swedenborg Society
20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Entrance on Barter Street)
London WC1A 2TH
For further details of the location, please visit: www.swedenborg.org.uk/contact


Image: Ken Domon, Children looking at a picture-card show, Tokyo 1953

Talk at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool

Prior to this event, Marc Feustel will also be giving at talk at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, entitled Towards a New Japan and taking place on 25 February 2015 at 6pm. For further information, please click here to visit the Open Eye Gallery website.

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A Lost Art Revived: Tsujigahana, Itchiku Tsujigahana and Itchiku Kubota -- A talk by Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins   org

Translated literally as “flowers at the crossroads”, tsujigahana refers to a sophisticated stitched- and tied-resist dyeing technique that was especially popular from the late Muromachi (1338–1573) to early Edo (1603-1868) period. This complicated and time-consuming decorative process was a way of creating magnificent visual imagery and resulted in fabrics that were exceptionally beautiful, very expensive, and highly revered.

In this illustrated talk, Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins, will introduce the history of this very special design technique and expand on its development and subsequent mysterious disappearance around a hundred years after its inception. Dr Atkins’ discussion of Itchiku Tsujigahana, a rejuvenated contemporary version of this ancient art created by kimono artist Itchiku Kubota as he sought to replicate the technique’s elusive beauty, will also focus on Kubota’s documented style and reflect on how his methods encouraged an evolution in the traditional tsujigahana processes for application in the 20th century.

Dr Atkins curated the exhibition Kimono Transformed: The Textile Artistry of Itchiku Kubota that travelled to Moscow and St. Petersburg last year and is now a consultant for the museum in Japan named after the artist. She recently completed The Textile Artistry of Itchiku Kubota, a volume featuring many of the most important kimono designed by Kubota, who died in 2003.


Date: 15 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Art Workers' Guild
6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

For further details of the location, please visit: www.artworkersguild.org/contact/


Image: Three sequential kimono from Symphony of Light, The Kubota Collection. © The International Chodiev Foundation 2015

To download the flyer please click here

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Public Seminar: INEMURI: The Art of Napping in Japan   org

Japan is known for long working hours and a strong work ethic, and recent polls have shown that Japanese workers enjoy less sleep at night than workers in any other country. Yet, one thing that surprises many foreign visitors to Japan is the number of people in public that can be seen napping during the day, whether in the train or in a restaurant, in the classroom or in the office, or even in a TV broadcast from parliament.

This practice of sleeping in a situation not meant for sleep is known as inemuri in Japanese, which literally translates as ‘to be asleep while present’.

In a society that prizes dedication to hard work, and where many people seem to sacrifice nocturnal sleep for work and study, why is sleeping on the job tolerated?

This is a question that puzzled Dr Brigitte Steger, Senior Lecturer in Modern Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge, which led her to write a book on the topic which entered the bestseller charts in Japan.

In this seminar Dr Steger will explore the phenomenon of inemuri  in Japanese society, as well as the unwritten  social rules that govern the practice. Far from being a sign of laziness, inemuri  has even been linked to better productivity. Dr Steger will be joined in discussion with sleep expert Dr Robert Meadows (University of Surrey) to compare attitudes to sleep in the UK and Japan and discuss whether anything can be learned from the custom in the UK where the demands of modern life have led to an increase in sleep deprivation.

Image: Stéphane Bidouze


Date: 4 June 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue:

Nunn Hall, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London,  WC1H 0AL

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Artist talk by Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter   org

Japanese-Italian Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter is a unique visual artist whose creative practice overlaps and blurs the borders between contemporary art and street art. Part of a new generation of alternative Japanese artists, Oyama emerged from the Tokyo underground art scene in the mid-2000s with his signature style, Quick Turn Structure which consists of black and white, jagged, repetitive patterns that was developed from the visual language of graffiti culture. With striking and detailed compositions, he has been involved in exhibitions including at Aichi Triennale 2010 (Nagoya City, Japan), and Padiglione Italia nel Mondo: Biennale di Venezia 2011  (Italian Cultural Council Tokyo), and has collaborated with brands such as fashion house Comme des Garçons, and cosmetics company Shu Uemura.

Oyama is also a regarded critic with the viewpoint of dismantling the conflict between street and fine art, and published his first book this year, Against Literacy: On Graffiti Culture, which questions the rigid framework of contemporary visual language.

In this special talk, Oyama, showcasing his works to date, will discuss his recognisable aesthetic style and the significance in re-examining the contact point between high art and urban culture. With art benefiting from the convenience of technology, and itself becoming ever-increasingly accessible through online virtual experiences, Oyama will explore the concept of coming face to face with canvases and the deed of interacting in urban sites with his tangible mural paintings and installations.

As a critical writer, Oyama will also cast an analytical eye on street art from New York, whilst also touching upon the scenes in Tokyo and London. Given the recent popularity of street artists such as Banksy and Rammellzee, this trend may be rewriting art history as we know it.

Following his presentation, Oyama will be joined in conversation by Mark Rappolt, editor of ArtReview.

After the event there will be a preview of Oyama’s exhibition in the same venue, for which all are welcome to attend.


Date: 20 October 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue:

Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Arts
16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
Nearest tube station: Pimlico


This event is organised in collaboration with Chelsea College of Arts. Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter is currently artist in residence at Chelsea College of Arts (August to October 2015) supported by Tokyo Wonder Site. The exhibition will be held at the Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Arts from 21-22 October 2015.

Images, Main: Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter, FFIGURATI #51, Acrylic-based aerosol on floor and wall, (H)2.95m x (W)3.6m x (D)9.5m (overall), 2013, Clocktower Gallery, New York, United States, Artwork  © Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter, Photo ©  Atelier Mole.

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2015   org

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday, 6th December 2015. It will be held at SOAS, University of London, and the University of Edinburgh.

  • If you wish to take the test at SOAS in London, please click here to apply via the SOAS website.  

  • If you wish to take the test at the University of Edinburgh, please click here to apply via the University of Edinburgh website.  

The deadline for applications will be Thursday October 1st at 17:00 or when the test centre has reached its maximum capacity.

For more information about the JLPT please click here to visit the official JLPT website.


Date: 15 August 2015 - 1 October 2015
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Can a Freeter Buy a House? Contemporary Housing Issues in Japan from the 'Lost Generation' to 'Generation Rent'   org

Since the collapse of its speculative asset bubble in the early 1990s and the onset of Japan’s first ‘lost decade’, it has become evident that younger adults have been finding it increasingly difficult to adopt standard life courses, inhibited, in particular, by shifts in economic and labour market conditions. One issue that has seemed to symbolise this shift is the emergence of so called freeters, young casual workers who seemingly reject the Japanese traditional life-course in favour of flexible work and personal goals.

Tapping into these contemporary social concerns,  the  2010 Fuji Television drama ‘Furita, ie o kau’ (Freeter, buy a house) followed the life of Seiji, a recent college graduate who quits his secure office job but resolves to work as a part time labourer to buy a house for his family. But, can a freeter really buy a house in contemporary Japan? And to what extent is Seiji’s dream of home ownership still a key life goal for new generations of Japanese young adults today?

This seminar will approach the various issues thrown up by Japan’s changing social and economic environment through the lens provided by housing.  Drawing on a range of sources, including examples from television drama, art, and architecture, Dr Chris Perkins (University of Edinburgh) will investigate the role of housing in post-war Japan, examining ways in which housing has been used to mobilise the workforce, and how some activists in Japan are now radically reconceptualising housing.

Professor Richard Ronald (The University of Amsterdam/The University of Birmingham) will then place this media and cultural reaction into the broader context of shifts in housing markets and the household careers of young people in Japan, exploring recent trends such as a rise in one person-households, a surge of younger people residing in private rental sector rather than purchasing a family home, and also recent data which suggests that the latest generation of Japanese millennials may be readapting ideas of home and household around various forms of shared living.

This seminar will provide an opportunity for reflection and debate on the role of housing in advanced industrial economies: an issue that, in an age of austerity and increasing income inequality, is as pertinent as ever.

Speakers:

Dr Chris Perkins is  Lecturer in Japanese at The University of Edinburgh, a position initially funded by a Japan Foundation Staff Expansion grant. He completed his  PhD thesis entitled ‘National Thinking and the Politics of Belonging in Contemporary Japan’  at Royal Holloway University of London and has since published on a range of subjects including television and film, memory, nationalism and borders. His most recent publication is The United Red Army on Screen: Cinema, Aesthetics, and the Politics of Memory (Palgrave).

Professor Richard Ronald is Associate Professor at the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Professor in the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, UK. His work focuses on housing in relation to social, economic and urban transformations in Europe and Pacific Asia, with his latest research project (HOUWEL: Housing Markets and Welfare State Transformations) supported by a European Research Council StG grant. He has previously held Japan Foundation as well as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships at Kobe University in Japan.


Date: 27 November 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD (Close to Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations)


Image (right): Payless Images/Shutterstock.com


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Bite-sized Bunraku: A Little Flavour of Japanese Traditional Puppetry   org

Bunraku is widely thought to be the most sophisticated form of puppetry in the world. Originating in the 17th century in Osaka Japan, the complex performance involves the very delicate and intricate movement of puppets exacted by skilled puppeteers, beside the live music of the shamisen-kata (shamisen player), and overseen by the tayu (narrator), who recites the parts of distinct multiple characters. This classical tradition is one of Japan’s main traditional performing art forms alongside Kabuki and Noh, and was designated a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003.

Due to the refined arrangement and complex staging of this serious art form, Bunraku is rarely performed in full outside Japan, nonetheless The Japan Foundation has invited Kanjuro Kiritake III, one of the most revered modern Bunraku puppeteers, and a select few professionals from Japan’s Bunraku world performers to present the performance skills that they have spent a lifetime acquiring.

Including two excerpts of well-known Bunraku titles “Hadesugata Onna Maiginu : Sakaya no dan ‘Osono’” and “Honcho Nijushiko : Okuniwa Kitsunebi no dan”, this event will also featuring a complementary talk explaining the three roles in Bunraku plays to give attendees a delicious flavour of this high-level stage art with exquisite dolls. 


Date: 7 March 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio
Rosebery Ave, London EC1R 4TN

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Japan Foundation / BAJS Japanese Studies Post-graduate Workshop 2016   org

We are delighted to announce that the annual Japan Foundation/BAJS Post-graduate Workshop will be held on Thursday 4th February 2016 in London.

This workshop aims to assist the development of the next generation of Japanese specialists here in the UK, and to further strengthen the Japanese studies community in this country. It is a great opportunity to receive some practical advice on your research from senior colleagues, and to get to know fellow post-graduate students and others in the Japanese Studies community.

This year's workshop will include practical sessions on the following topics:

'Academic Opportunities outside East Asian Studies'

Professor Susan Townsend (University of Nottingham)

'Japanese for Academia: Culturally Convincing Japanese Academic Presentations using Social Media'

Dr Thomas McAuley (University of Sheffield) and Dr Luli van der Does-Ishikawa

'Panel Discussion: Early Career Development'

Panel of early career researchers and lecturers to answer your questions and give tips on post doctoral career development. Panellists include Dr Gitte Hansen (Newcastle University),  Dr Jonathan Service (University of Oxford) and Dr Ruselle Meade (Cardiff University).

'Funding your Research'

Representatives from Japanese Studies related funding bodies will give short presentations on their funding programmes.

The workshop will also provide opportunities for a small number of participants to give a 15 minute presentation on their research and receive feedback from each other and senior academics. Applications to make a presentation at the workshop are now closed.

Eligibility: This workshop is open to postgraduate students in Japanese Studies or postgraduate students who are undertaking Japan related research in other disciplines. 

Lunch will be provided on the day, and the workshop will be followed by a dinner reception.

**Please note that travel expenses of up to £40 will be available to all participants**

Image: donatas1205/Shutterstock.com


Date: 4 February 2016 from 10.30am - 6.00pm
Venue:

Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Coram Street, London, WC1N 1HT

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Shinya Tsukamoto: Filmmaker Talk   org

Iconoclastic auteur Shinya Tsukamoto is considered to be one of the most important filmmakers to emerge from Japan in recent decades. Achieving cult status from the release of his low-budget cyberpunk masterpiece Tetsuo: The Iron Man in 1989, Tsukamoto's films have since, regardless of setting or theme, retained his trademark experimental and brutal style, capturing nightmarish visions of human existence. Often compared to Hollywood directors David Lynch and David Cronenberg, Tsukamoto has influenced many more (including Quentin Tarantino and David Fincher) and helped pave the way for many other contemporary Japanese filmmakers exhibiting their films overseas.

In this special talk, Tsukamoto will be joined by film critic Anton Bitel to journey through his filmmaking career, looking at his ground-breaking body of work up until his most recent film, the anti-war epic Fires on the Plain, to be screened at this year's Raindance Film Festival. Reflecting on the current state of the Japanese film industry, he will also reveal his decision to remain independent as a director, and his creative aspirations in taking multiple roles in his films; directing, writing, producing and often acting in his own productions.

This talk will explore Tsukamoto's unique cinematic vision and offer an insight into the mind of Japan's most exciting and uncompromising director.


Date: 26 September 2015 from 2.30pm
Venue:

Impact Hub Westminster, 1st Floor New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE


SCREENINGS:

Shinya Tsukamoto's Fires on the Plain will be screened on 25 and 27 September as part of this year's Raindance Film Festival. For details and the full line-up, please visit www.raindance.org

This event is organised in association with Raindance Film Festival. This year's Way Out East strand at Raindance Film Festival is supported by the Japan Foundation.

Special thanks to Kiyomi Nakazaki

 

Image: Bullet Ballet, © 1998 TSUKAMOTO SHINYA/ KAIJYU THEATER
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Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai (Gateshead, Anime Attacks)   org

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with the Gateshead Council, is pleased to present a double bill of films by Makoto Shinkai, one of the most exciting animation filmmakers in Japan today. Often cited as ‘the next Miyazaki’, Shinkai produces animation films full of stunning scenes and visuals combined with beautiful stories. The programme will include two of Shinkai’s films, his early film Voices of a Distant Star and his 2013 production, The Garden of Words.


Date: 24 October 2015 from 12.00pm
Venue:

Caedmon Hall, Central Library, Prince Consort Road, Gateshead NE8 4LN


*****

Voices of a Distant Star (ほしのこえ) Dir. Makoto Shinkai, 2002, 25min, English subtitles

In the year 2046, middle school students and close friends Mikako and Noboru find they will go their separate ways when Mikako is chosen to be a member of the United Nations Space Army. Separated by space, the two keep in touch through e-mail, only to find that the ever-increasing distance between them makes keeping their friendship more difficult.

 

The Garden of Words (言の葉の庭) Dir. Makoto Shinkai, 2013, 46min, English subtitles

When Takao, a high school student dreaming of becoming a shoemaker, skips school one day in favour of sketching shoes in a rainy garden, he has no idea how much his life will change when he encounters the mysterious Yukino. Older, but perhaps not much wiser, she seems adrift in the world. The two strike up an unusual relationship through chance meetings in the same garden on each rainy day. But the rainy season is coming to a close, leaving many things left unshared between them.

*****

 

Images: © Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films; Main image: THE GARDEN OF WORDS.

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Kawaii as a Button! Cuteness in Contemporary Craft Practice   org

Kawaii, in simple terms, is a Japanese concept denoting a quality of cuteness. Its signature vibrant colour pallet and infantilised characterisation can be found almost everywhere and has arguably become synonymous with contemporary Japanese culture. Ubiquitous worldwide in haute couture, anime, manga, and even applied in fine art practice, kawaii has an ever-increasing influence across all creative industries. Yet, how do contemporary Japanese artists working with concepts of craft – normally regarded on the opposite end of the spectrum of cute as they are quite often associated with traditional skills and ideas – perceive and respond to this global phenomenon? 

In this special talk hosted by the Japan Foundation, Japanese practitioners who use media and techniques close to craft production will challenge the standard concept of cute. Through presentation and discussion with Professor Simon Olding, Director of Crafts Study Centre, the artists will explore how their artisan pieces are influenced by kawaii culture including expressing their views towards the complex notion. They will also examine their expertise from both an ideological and practical basis, as well as consider how their handmade creations push the boundaries and elevate traditional Japanese craftsmanship and skills, blurring the line between visual art and craft utilitarian objects.

Participating artists:

Gendai Bijutsu Nitouhei is a two-man art unit made up of Shane Kagotani and Katsuhito Fujiwara. Their work features a variety of paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces that they call "da-bijutsu" (cheap art), and often is made up to look like candy, or something similarly commonplace.

Minako Nishiyama started her artistic career with a group of works which dealt with social implications in "pink" and "Kawaii (cute)" in Japan. Using mixed media, her work has also close connotations with Japanese concepts like otaku and maid cafes.

Mitsuo Toyazaki is a textile artist who is interested in finding the beauty and humour in the mundane and ordinary. With a passion for colour, he has previously produced installations using everyday objects such as buttons or safety pins to create patterns and motifs across the space.


Date: 30 October 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Small Hall, Kensington Conference Centre, The Town Hall
Hornton Street, London W8 7NX (Nearest tube station: High Street Kensington)

For a map, please click here


Image: Mitsuo Toyazaki, Toucan Bonsai (part)

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Safe as Houses? Housing and Welfare in an Ageing Society: Japan and UK Perspectives   org

In both Japan and the UK, housing policy has largely fixated on the goal of widening access to home ownership, underpinned to some extent with the ideology of asset-based welfare, or that home ownership can play a role as a supplement or alternative to state welfare by allowing families from all walks of life to accumulate wealth, and provide social security to ageing home owners.

In Japan the promotion of home ownership has long been embedded in welfare provision, however recent social and economic changes have exposed weaknesses in this ideology.

Two decades of post-bubble recession and housing price volatility have highlighted the vulnerability of housing asset values, creating barriers to turning real estate into cash to fund welfare needs. A construction based approach to housing has further devalued existing stock resulting in a huge surplus of 'akiya' or abandoned decaying housing, scattered across Japan. Widening social inequality, as a result of economic recession and neo-liberal policy reform has also limited accessibility to home ownership for some.

In this special public seminar, Dr Misa Izuhara (University of Bristol) will critically explore the focus on home ownership in housing policy in Japan, and will consider the future of home ownership in Japan's ageing society, especially the challenges arising around using housing assets in later life in the existing social and market systems.

Later Dr Izuhara will be joined in discussion by UK housing expert Dr Beverley Searle (University of Dundee) to take a look at the future of home ownership in Japan and the UK, and consider whether anything can be learnt from how the situation is developing in each country, both of which are facing challenges arising from ageing populations, economic recession, housing price volatility and the effects of neo-liberal policy reforms.

Can promotion of home ownership be an egalitarian and inclusionary policy and provide social security for the elderly in later life? Or should alternative policies be promoted to make housing more accessible and affordable and a better fit to meet the changing demands of our rapidly ageing populations?


Date: 10 November 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London, WC1H 9BD (Close to Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations)

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Nihongo Cup – The Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK   org

We are delighted to announce that the Nihongo Cup Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School Students in the UK is open for applications!

This contest is open to students in the UK studying Japanese language. There are three categories: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4&5 Pre-GCSE, and Key Stage 4&5 Post GCSE. Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at Conway Hall in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Closing date for entries: 31st March 2016 
Finals Day: 18th June 2016 at Conway Hall, London

Please find files for the application forms, rules and information, and poster for Nihongo Cup below. 


Date: 10 December 2015 - 31 March 2016
Download Nihongo Cup 2016 -Poster
Download Nihongo Cup 2016 - Application Form
Download Nihongo Cup 2016 - Information and Rules

Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the Japan Foundation London.

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The 11th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students FINALS DAY   org

Come along and listen to what university students studying Japanese in the UK have to say! The finalists will give their speeches and presentations in Japanese to an audience of fellow students, teachers, parents, key figures from the UK-Japan world and a panel of judges. 

This event is free to attend, and no booking is required.

This event is organised by the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation London in joint partnership. The event provides an opportunity for students from the UK and Ireland to demonstrate their Japanese speaking skills.

For more information, including a map to the venue, please download the flier below


Date: 27 February 2016 from 1.00pm - 7.00pm
Venue:

Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London. WC1H 0XG

Download SpCFinalsDay
Download Draft Schedule 2016

This event is supported by

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Japan Foundation at Language Show Live Scotland   org

Come and see the Japan Foundation at Language Show Live Scotland!

Following the continued success of Europe’s longest running premier language event, hosted in London for the past 27 years, Language Show Live will be opening its doors to Glasgow this 11-12 March for two inspirational days packed with free educational seminars, language classes, live forums and cultural performances in an incredible celebration of languages.

Packed full of information about studying and teaching Japanese in the UK, our Japan Foundation Information Stand   will be staffed with members of Japan Foundation who would be delighted to give you advice on your Japanese language studies. Our stand will also include a prize draw to win our Goody Bag!

Additionally, we’ll be holding a free Japanese Language Taster on Saturday 12th March, 13:30-14:00, giving you the chance to experience Japanese language first hand. Don’t miss it!

For more information and to register for free entry, see the Language Show Live Scotland website here.


Date: 11 March 2016 - 12 March 2016 from 10.00am - 6.00pm
Venue:

 

Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC)
Exhibition Way
Finnieston
Glasgow
G3 8YW 

Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Exhibition Way, Finnieston, Glasgow. G3 8YW 

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Japanese Noir - Author Fuminori Nakamura in conversation   org

Japan’s rich literary history may be traced back to the 11th century with the masterpiece The Tale of Genji, a story considered to be the world’s earliest full-length novel. Ever since, many high calibre authors, such as Yukio Mishima, Junichiro Tanizaki, Yasunari Kawabata and most recently Haruki Murakami, have helped increase the presence of Japanese literature in the world. Amidst the success of such literary greats, a new, younger generation of Japanese of authors is also starting to gain international recognition and award-winning author Fuminori Nakamura is without doubt at the front of this movement.

On the occasion of the Japan Now, an event focusing on contemporary writing, politics and culture in Japan (the British Library, 27 February 2016) the Japan Foundation is delighted to host this special talk by Nakamura.

In conversation with journalist Paul Blezard, Nakamura will reflect on his rise into the literary world and introduce his work which has led him to be called the new master of ‘Japanese Noir’. Often featuring marginalised protagonists on the fringes of society, Nakamura will discuss his inspirations and process of creation, as well as overview the current situation of Japanese literature.

With now four of his novels translated to English garnering praise internationally, as well as awards and film adaptations, Nakamura looks set to follow in the footsteps of many literary greats and this event will be great opportunity for booklovers to discover a new voice of Japanese literature.

Fuminori Nakamura

Fuminori Nakamura was born in 1977 and graduated from Fukushima University in 2000. Nakamura’s first novel The Gun was awarded the coveted Noma Literary Prize for New Writers in 2002 and his short story collection Child in the Ground won the Akutagawa prize in 2005. The Thief, winner of the 2010 Oe Prize, Japan’s most prestigious literary award, was his first book to be translated into English (translated from the Japanese by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates) and was a finalist for the 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Since The Thief, three further of his works have been translated to English, including The Gun (translated by Allison Markin Powell), Evil and the Mask (translated by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates) and Last Winter, We Parted (translated by Allison Markin Powell).


Date: 28 February 2016 from 2.30pm
Venue:

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DT 


Organised in association with Modern Culture

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Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level) - Term 3   org

There are a few spaces available on Term 3 of our popular Marugoto Japanese Language & Culture Course (Starter A1 Level)!

This course is based on communicative approaches to learning, rather than traditional methods of language education that focus purely on grammar and sentence structure. It uses the Marugoto Coursebooks for Activities textbook series published by the Japan Foundation.

This course is suitable for those who may wish to learn basic Japanese conversation, such as those going to Japan on holiday or for business purposes, or those who want to learn it just for fun! You can view the course syllabus here.

The aim of this course is to use Japanese language skills to get to know people, order in Japanese restaurants and gain knowledge about Japanese customs. During the course, participants will be able to perform specific, practical tasks in Japanese. The course will not focus on language alone: learning about Japanese culture will also be an important element. Additionally, participants will be given special access to the book loan service of the Japan Foundation London Library for the duration of the term for which they are enrolled, as well as access to the supplementary MARUGOTO Plus Japanese Learning website. More details of the course can be found here.

This course is perfect for beginners of Japanese who would like to use their new language skills in practical situations, and to really connect with Japanese society.

  • Term 3 Dates: 19 April – 21 June 2016 (every Tuesday), 19:00 - 21:00
  • Venue: [TBC] SOAS Language Centre, 22 Russell Square, London. WC1H 0XG
  • Course Fee: £330 per ten-week term, including course textbook and materials

HOW TO ENROL: Email japanese@soas.ac.uk to arrange assessments.


Date: 19 April 2016 - 21 June 2016 from 7.00pm - 9.00pm
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Common Thread: Artist talk by Satoru Aoyama   org

Building up layer upon layer of intricate coloured thread, Japanese contemporary artist Satoru Aoyama creates photo-realistic interpretations of his subject matter entirely constructed through the art of embroidery. Like pixels on a monitor, Aoyama reproduces modern media images through an assemblage of fine stitches to disguise his craft and any evidence that his efforts are handmade and thus tricking the eye. After graduating from university in both London and Chicago, Aoyama explores and re-values craft art forms and technology rendered archaic in modern art with his highly original ideas and methods.

In conjunction with his latest solo exhibition in London, Aoyama will give an illustrated talk about his medium and method. He will discuss the relationship between the life of the modern world and technology, issues of gender and labour which are motifs in the foreground of his pieces, and how the creativity of his work invokes the sensibility of human beings.

Following the talk, Aoyama will be joined in conversation by Dr Caterina Albano, Reader in Visual Culture and Science at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.


Date: 25 April 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) Studio
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

For details of how to reach the venue, please visit: www.ica.org.uk/visit

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Japanese Gardens: Talk by Kei Ishikawa   org

Traditional Japanese gardens utilise elements such as vegetation, ponds, islands and hills to make miniature idealised landscapes that mirror the geography of the archipelago. Different styles of gardens were created throughout history to reflect in a highly abstract and stylised way, cultural and religious characteristics of Japanese life at that specific period. Whether for contemplation and meditation or recreation and aesthetic pleasure, the exquisite environments have long captured the imagination of the West, influencing landscape designers and gardeners in abundance.

With gardening season having blossomed, The Japan Foundation has invited Kei Ishikawa, a professional gardener from the younger generation who has extensive training and expertise in Japanese temple gardens in Kyoto, to give an illustrated overview of Japanese gardens and what makes the style so unique and attractive. As a master practitioner, he will also give some technical tips on gardening skills as well as discuss the evolution of the aesthetics of Japanese garden florae and features, and the social positioning of gardeners in Japan. Whether or not you have green fingers, this talk promises to be a fascinating insight on landscaping in Japan from a specialist who is very well practiced in the topic.

Following his presentation, Ishikawa will be joined in conversation by Dr Jill Raggett, a Reader in Gardens and Designed Landscapes at Writtle College.


Date: 24 May 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DT

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Japan Foundation/BATJ Early Summer Conference: Teaching Japanese with Technology Within and Beyond the Classroom   org

The next Japan Foundation/BATJ Early Summer Conference on the utilisation of ICT, blended learning and language pedagogy is taking place on 4th June. Online booking is now open.

The speaker will be Mr Mourad Diouri, University of Edinburgh. Mr Mourad Diouri is an author and e-learning programme organiser in Arabic language studies at the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Dpt at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He is also a teacher-trainer and staff developer in technology-enhanced language teaching. He runs regular training workshops and courses within the UK and worldwide to help teachers maximise their use of existing and emerging technologies to create engaging language learning resources and interactive classroom experiences.

He is also the author of (1) Teach Yourself: Essential Arabic Vocabulary: A Handbook of Core Terms, (2) Internet Arabic: Essential Middle Eastern Vocabulary and (3) Teach Yourself: Read & Write Arabic Script. In 2011, he was awarded the e-Assessment Innovation Award and the Formative e-Assessment Award (Highly Commended) by the Scottish e-Assessment Association.He is also the author of (1) Teach Yourself: Essential Arabic Vocabulary: A Handbook of Core Terms, (2) Internet Arabic: Essential Middle Eastern Vocabulary and (3) Teach Yourself: Read & Write Arabic Script. In 2011, he was awarded the e-Assessment Innovation Award and the Formative e-Assessment Award (Highly Commended) by the Scottish e-Assessment Association.

Click here for more information and to book online


Date: 4 June 2016 from 9.00am - 5.00pm
Venue:

King's College London (directions here)


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Japan Foundation at Hyper Japan Festival   org

The Japan Foundation are once again delighted to be exhibiting this July at the Hyper Japan Festival- the UK’s biggest J-Culture event!

Come and visit our stand to learn how the Japan Foundation, where you can:

  • Learn about Japanese language and culture,
  • Get information about Japanese language classes
  • Take part in our Japan Quiz
  • Make a wish on our “Tanabata” bamboo
  • Get a free little gift!

For more information about Hyper Japan and to buy a ticket, please click here to visit the official Hyper Japan website. Tickets on sale now!


Date: 15 July 2016 - 17 July 2016
Venue:

Olympia, London

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Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker: Talk by Toco Nikaido   org

Toco Nikaido is a celebrated Japanese theatre director, actress, singer, and choreographer. With her extensive knowledge of Japanese subculture, Nikaido started Banana Gakuen Junjo Otome-gumi (Banana Academy Pure-hearted Girls Group) and moulded her unique creative style that mixes perspectives from her own generation and those of 1960s and 1970s Japanese student movements. In 2013, Banana Gakuen Junjo Otome-gumi disbanded and reformed under the new name Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker. Enthusiastically received by audiences around the world, Nikaido continues to produce theatre with a frenzied combination of dance, music, and video that feature elements from pop, anime, idol live performance, and more.

Celebrating the group’s first performance as part of LIFT (22 June - 2 July 2016), Nikaido will talk about the unprecedented approach applied in her own brand of performance, as well as discuss the formation of her companies, presented in both Banana Gakuen Junjo Otome-gumi, and Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker. This talk will also examine where this unique troupe’s performance style and subject matter fit in the context of the current state of Japanese theatre and Japanese pop culture scene, and explore what the future could bring.

Nikaido will be joined in conversation by Dr Nobuko Anan, Birkbeck, University of London.


Date: 25 June 2016 from 4.30pm
Venue:

Frobisher Auditorium 2, Barbican Centre
Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS


This talk is organised by the Japan Foundation in association with LIFT and the Barbican.


Performances of Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker will be held at the Barbican - The Pit between 22 June and 2 July 2016 (6:30pm and 9:30pm). For more details, please visit: liftfestival.com @LIFTfestival #LIFT2016  

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Shining Stars: Idols in Japanese Cinema in the 1980s and 1990s   org


‘Idol’ is a term which has become a ubiquitous feature of Japanese culture. Packaged as cute, adolescent starlets, idols appear in both film and TV and are known for their singing and acting in often equal measure. While the trend has continued since the 1960s, this film season focuses on the paramount period of the 1980s, an era considered the ‘Heyday of Japanese Idol Films’ when idols regularly graced the silver screen and simultaneously topped the pop charts, as well as the following decade of the 1990s as a comparison. The stars in the selected films were all household names in Japan, but how many can you recognise?

Saturday, 20 August 2016
11:00am The Tragedy of “W”
  Directed by Shinichiro Sawai / 1984 / 108 mins / Colour / English subtitles
1:10pm
Four Sisters
  Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi / 1985 / 100 mins / Colour / English subtitles
3:10pm
Miss Lonely
  Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi / 1985 / 112 mins / Colour / English subtitles  
5:20pm
Young Girls in Love
  Directed by Kazuki Omori / 1986 / 98 mins / Colour / English subtitles
Monday, 22 August 2016
7:00pm Memories of You
  Directed by Shinichiro Sawai / 1988 / 104 min / English Subtitles
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
7:00pm The Pale Hand
  Directed by Seijiro Koyama / 1990 / 100 mins / Colour / English subtitles
Saturday, 27 August 2016
11:00am Tokyo Heaven
  Directed by Shinji Somai / 1990 / 108 mins / Colour / English subtitles 
1:10pm
Swimming Upstream
  Directed by Joji Matsuoka / 1990 / 95 mins / Colour / English subtitles
4:50pm
Summer Holiday Everyday
  Directed by Shusuke Kaneko / 1994 / 94 mins / Colour / English subtitles 
6:45pm
Good-bye for Tomorrow
  Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi / 1995 / 140 mins / Colour / English subtitles 


Special Talk by Dr Kate Taylor-Jones, University of Sheffield

Saturday, 27 August 2016, 3:30pm

Dr Taylor-Jones will give an overview of idol cinema in Japan from a historical
point of view, charting the genre’s significance, its surge in popularity in the 1980s
and 1990s, while reflecting on the Japanese film industry as a whole. This talk will
complement the films in the programme and will shed light on this often-overlooked
genre and era of Japanese cinema.


Date: 20 August 2016 - 27 August 2016
Venue:

Goethe-Institut London
50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2PH

For details of how to reach the venue, please click here


Main image: Miss Lonely (dir. Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1985)

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London Design Biennale 2016   org

The Japan Foundation will represent Japan at the first London Design Biennale, which takes place this September at Somerset House and features over 30 countries taking part from all over the world. The inaugural Biennale will feature artist Yasuhiro Suzuki, whose installation titled A Journey Around the Neighbourhood Globe will invite visitors to change the way they look at everyday things.

Talk: During the London Design Biennale, invited artist Yasuhiro Suzuki will give a talk at Somerset House on Saturday, 10 September at 6pm, providing attendees with an opportunity to find out more about the ideas and concepts behind his installation. Tickets for the talk are £8 (plus booking fee). 


Date: 7 September 2016 - 27 September 2016
Venue:

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA


For more information, please visit the London Design Biennale website.

Image: Large-sized Aerial Being © Yasuhiro Suzuki Installation view at Musashino Art University, 2016

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Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 2: Got to Make Them Sing!
  org

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Yellow Earth and StoneCrabs Theatre Company present a new monthly series of events, to introduce to UK audiences the work of some of Japan’s most outstanding playwrights, all of which will be heard in English for the first time.

Part 2

GOT TO MAKE THEM SING!

Written by Ai Nagai, Translated by Mari Boyd, Directed by Kim Pearce

Synopsis: At a public high school in Tokyo, a few hours before the annual graduation ceremony, former chanson singer, Michiru, now music teacher and school pianist has lost her contact lens putting at risk her ability to play the national anthem.  As the high school’s principal and his colleagues try to find a solution, they also have to deal with Haijima, the social studies teacher, who threatens to bring the whole school into disrepute. 

Hilariously dark and using the Tokyo Board of Education’s decision to punish teachers who fail to comply with the ruling to raise the flag and sing the national anthem at graduation ceremonies, Ai Nagai’s contemporary social comedy Got To Make Them Sing calls in to question the very nature of freedom of thought and conscience, and just how far we are prepared to fight for it.

Ai Nagai is one of Japan's foremost playwrights of her generation. Got To Make Them Sing is one of her most popular plays, first staged in 2005 by the Nitosha Theatre Company.

The reading will be followed by a Q&A with Ai Nagai.

Date: 12 October 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

The Studio Theatre, RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art)
16 Chenies St, London WC1E 7EX

For details of how to reach the venue please visit: www.rada.ac.uk/contact/location-map


This series is organised by the Japan Foundation, StoneCrabs Theatre Company and Yellow Earth Theatre. The project was instigated by StoneCrabs Theatre Company and Yellow Earth Theatre.

Main image: Photo by Keisen Rin

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Japan Foundation at Language Show Live London 2016   org

Come and see the Japan Foundation at Language Show Live London 2016!

Language Show Live is the UK’s largest language event and the show for those who offer products and services to language teachers, learners, translators, linguists, language professionals and businesses. This year, the Japan Foundation are giving visitors more chances than ever before to learn about Japanese language and culture.. The Language Show Live London will be held at the Olympia.

Our attractions will include:

The Japan Foundation Information Stand (stand 709)

Packed full of information about studying and teaching Japanese in the UK, our stand will be staffed with members of Japan Foundation who would be delighted to give you advice on your Japanese studies. You can also:

• Write your name in Japanese with the help of our volunteers and make your own name sticker!

• Have a go at simple origami

• Complete a Japan Questionnaire, giving you the opportunity to contribute to Japan Foundation’s research in Japanese language education in the UK, as well as having the chance to win a goody bag full of Japan Foundation exclusive gifts

• Take a free little gift home with you

The stand will be shared with JP Books, a supplier of Japanese books including learning resources for Japanese language.

Japanese Language taster 

Experience Japanese language first hand by taking a taster lesson, led by Japan Foundation’s Assistant Language Advisor Kanako Ukai

Friday October 14th   15:45 - 16:15
& Saturday  October 15th 1.15 – 11:45, Language Taster classroom

 

 

Seminar:  Learning Language Through Problem-Solving: A Case Study of UK-Japan Young Scientists with Mary-Grace Browning MBE, Chair of Examiners for Edexcel GCSE Japanese

A case study of UK-Japan Young Scientists partnerships, which involve exchanges between school students in the UK and Japan to experience science as a cultural bridge where by working together they learn to value each other’s languages and way of life.

Mary-Grace Browning MBE has taught Japanese for over 40 years. She has conducted exchange programmes through the UK-Japan Young Scientists Programme, which fosters partnerships between students of science in the UK in Japan. In 2016 she was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun for her contribution to Japan-UK relations

Saturday October 15th 10.30 – 11.15, Seminar Room 4

 

Piazza Performance: Learn Japanese with Radio Exercises! With Paralympian Gold Medallist Noel Thatcher MBE 

Rajio taisoo (Radio Exercises) were started in 1928 in Japan.

They were a form of calisthenics that anyone from children to the elderly could do and they were broadcast on the radio and spread throughout Japan. Now, people do them at elementary schools or at their work places and some people even make Radio Exercise groups and get together at parks.

In this session, you can enjoy trying this healthy and fun exercise together with Paralympian Noel Thatcher! Noel represented the United Kingdom at six Paralympic Games between 1984 and 2004, collecting a total of five gold medals. He also studied Japanese at SOAS University of London and speaks fluent Japanese.

Join in our Radio Exercises and keep your body and mind fit and well!

Saturday October 15th 12.45-13.15 at the Piazza 

 

Don’t miss out on the UK’s biggest languages event – click here for more information and to book your place (entrance is free if registered in advance)!


Date: 14 October 2016 - 16 October 2016 from 10.00am - 6.00pm
Venue:

Olympia Central – Level 2, Hammersmith Road, London, W14 8UX 


Don’t miss out on the UK’s biggest languages event – click here for more information and to book your place (entrance is free if registered in advance)!

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Voices from the Japanese Avant-garde Music Scene:
Talk and Performance by Musician and Vocalist Koichi Makigami
  org

Koichi Makigami is an internationally acclaimed musician and avant-garde vocalist with a very distinct voice. Also the leader and vocalist of the now legendary band Hikashu, Makigami regularly performs and records solo vocal experiments, combining elements of Japanese theatre traditions and presenting an exciting and energetic array of vocal acrobatics and personalities. Makigami’s compositions and improvisations have gained him numerous fans around the world and have inspired collaborations both within and beyond the field of music.

A musician with a colourful and eclectic career, Makigami will talk about his inspirations, the basis of his work and his career as a solo artist as well as the leader of Hikashu, while reflecting on Tokyo’s underground music scene in the late 70s through to today.

Joined in conversation by Dr Alan Cummings, music journalist and lecturer at SOAS, Makigami will talk about his international collaborations, discussing the potential of these practices and suggesting how music can be a connecting force between different cultures and disciplines.

During the event, there will be a short performance by Koichi Makigami.


Date: 3 December 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD
(Nearest tube station: Russell Square)

For details of how to reach the venue, please visit: www.thehorsehospital.com/about/visiting/ 

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The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2017   org

Odd Obsessions - Desires, Hopes and Impulses in Japanese Cinema
Experience Japan through Cinema 

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme returns this year with 14 fantastic Japanese films, offering an all-encompassing introduction to Japanese cinema through the prism of "desires, hopes and impulses".

Presenting films by established and up-and-coming directors, animation, documentary and classics, this year’s programme promises to not only entertain but also provide a vivid insight into what drives human action.

For full details of the lineup and participating venues, please visit the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme website.


Date: 3 February 2017 - 29 March 2017
Venue:

Nationwide

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The Many Faces of Noh - Talk and Demonstration by Hideta Kitazawa   org

Noh is a traditional form of Japanese theatre characterised by its use of masks. A key element of the performance, Noh masks are both highly detailed and deeply expressive. Originating from just 60 basic designs, today there are believed to be over 200 different kinds in use.

Following the success of his talk in 2009 and as a precursor to the Noh performance ‘Noh time like the present…’ A Tribute to Akira Matsui, the Japan Foundation are delighted to welcome back second-generation Noh mask carver Hideta Kitazawa. With Kitazawa, this illustrated talk will briefly explore the history of Noh masks and their role in Noh theatre, and will feature a live demonstration of the carving techniques used to create these distinctive pieces.

Kitazawa will also discuss the different types of Noh masks and will examine how the creation and carving process has evolved since 14th century. Drawing on his personal experiences as both a Shinto temple carver and mask maker, Kitazawa’s talk will provide an invaluable insight into this ancient art.


Date: 21 February 2017 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DT


This event was organised in partnership with Unanico Group, Richard Emmert & Jannette Cheong who are presenting: 'Noh time like the present...' A Tribute to Akira Matsui at LSO St Luke’s on 24 & 25 February. You can see three of Kitazawa's masks in action in these performances. To purchase tickets, please visit the LSO website.

Hideta Kitazawa’s lecture is part of a series of lectures/demonstration workshop on the making and role of Noh masks at the following locations:

17 February:  Sainsbury Institute for Japan Arts and Cultures, Norwich 
18-20 February:  Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford 
21 February: Foyles Bookshop, London
22 February:  Durham University Oriental Museum
23 February:  East 15 Acting School (Drama students only), Southend 
24 February:  Dublin City University, Dublin         
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Filmmaker Talk: Naotaro Endo, director of Tsukiji Wonderland   org

Naotaro Endo is a Japan-based filmmaker and director of Tsukiji Wonderland, a documentary featured in this year's Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme. Following the film's sell-out screening at the ICA in early February 2017, Endo will join us for a special talk to discuss his filmmaking style and the themes explored in Tsukiji Wonderland.

For those who were able to see the film at ICA and even those who have not, it will be a great opportunity to hear about documentary filmmaking in Japan as well as more about Tsukiji, the world's largest fish market that is currently facing closure -- the topic which inspired this remarkable film.

Endo began shooting at Tsukiji in spring 2014 when speculation of the market's closure began. Shot over the course of an entire year, Endo captures the extraordinary operations of this iconic fish market. Although the future of Tsukiji still hangs in the balance, Endo has ensured that its legacy will never be forgotten.

Endo will be joined in conversation by Dr Mitchell W Sedgwick, Senior Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics.


Date: 17 March 2017 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Screening Room 1, The Soho Hotel, 4 Richard Mews, London W1D 3DH


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please click here


Tsukiji Wonderland will be shown at Broadway, Nottingham (18 March 2017), Filmhouse, Edinburgh (20 March 2017) and Exeter Phoenix, Exeter (22 March 2017), with all three screenings followed by a Q&A by director Naotaro Endo.

For more details, please visit the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme website.

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) July 2017   org

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday July 2nd 2017. It will be held at SOAS University of London and the University of Edinburgh.

Please make sure you apply directly at the university where you wish to take the test.

1. SOAS University of London
NOW FULLY BOOKED

2. University of Edinburgh
Deadline to apply: 6th April (Thursday), 16:00
If you require special arrangements, please contact University of Edinburgh by 31st March.

> CLICK HERE for more information and to apply at the University of Edinburgh

Test centres will close before the deadlines once they have reached their maximum capacity.

For more information about the JLPT please click here to visit the official JLPT website.


Date: 14 March 2017 - 6 April 2017
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WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO CONNECT? Japanese Identity and Desire to Pass on the Language and Culture among Japanese Diaspora   org

概要:グローバル化の中で「移動」の時代を生きる私たちと日本、日本文化、日本語とのかかわりは今後どのように変化していくのだろうか。筆者は「日系ディアスポラ研究」の一環として、1960-70年代に渡英した人々が老年期を見据えて1996年にロンドンで創設した「英国日本人会」(JA)へのアンケート調査を実施した。

前半では、こうした英国に根を下ろした日本語話者が、自らと家族の言語使用や日本語の継承、日本との関係、終の棲家、アイデンティティをどのように捉えているかを探った調査とその結果についてお話ししたい。

後半では、JAの創設メンバーの1人であるウイリアムズ・モモコ氏をゲストに迎え、ウィリアムズ氏が立ち上げた「忘れな草」プロジェクト(1950年代以降イギリスに渡って活躍した人々へのビデオインタビュー http://wasurenagusa.org.uk/ja)より、主に日本語の保持と継承に深くかかわる内容のインタビューを紹介する。その後、講演とビデオの内容を踏まえて、参加者が日本語の保持・継承や、アイデンティティなどについてグループで話し合い、共有する。

Living in the age of global mobility, the concept of being Japanese cannot be stable and remain unchanged. Identity is determined by choices and actions individuals take and current socio-political and economical flow. In search for what makes Japanese themselves feel Japanese, Kazuko Miyake has been interviewing ‘Japanese Diaspora’ who have spent most of their lives outside of Japan. Recently she conducted a survey among the members of Japan Association in the UK (JA) and obtained intriguing results. JA was formed in 1996, the core members of which came to the UK in the 1960-70s and have settled ever since. This talk is about how people living outside Japan hold the Japanese sense of identity.

In the first half of the talk, Miyake will explain briefly the background of the lives of Japanese in the UK after the Second World War, then move on to the present survey. The results of the survey reveal the complexity of determining factors, such as the age of immigration, nationality, families’ language use, retainment and inheritance of Japanese language and culture, position towards Japan, choice of place to spend last days, etc.

In the latter half of the talk, one of the founding members of JA, Momoko Williams, who now leads the Wasurena-gusa project, will speak about the project. The project's aim is to preserve a record of Japanese who have lived and made significant contributions to the Japanese community since the 1950s. Short video clips of interviews that are relevant to the maintenance and inheritance of Japanese language will be shown, followed by Williams’ explanation and Miyake’s comments. The audience will be given some time to discuss in groups and share their opinions with other participants.

参加費:無料  Free entry
言語 日本語 This lecture will be held entirely in Japanese.

参加費:無料  Free entry
言語 日本語 This lecture will be held entirely in Japanese.

Note: As this event is now fully-booked, we are no longer accepting applications. We apologise for any disappointment caused.


Date: 16 September 2017 from 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Venue:

 

SOAS, University of London. WC1H 0XG(Room B102)


Co-organised by The Japan Foundation London and SOAS.

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Archipelago: Exploring the Landscape of Contemporary Japanese Women Filmmakers   org

A special season dedicated to celebrating the diverse and exceptional work by the new generation of female directors who have emerged from the Japanese archipelago in the last fifteen years.

This programme will offer a glimpse into the distinctive voices of these screenwriter-directors, whose work remains largely undiscovered outside their home country. Each with their particular style, these filmmakers have secured themselves a unique place in the Japanese film industry by occupying a narrative space that is neither mainstream nor fully arthouse, subverting genre boundaries, and rarely adhering to a solely female-centric vision.

Thursday, 30 November | Courthouse Cinema, London
 

BARE ESSENCE OF LIFE | Director: Satoko Yokohama
6.30pm

Yojin is an energetic and troublesome young man who has his brain 'wired differently'. Working with his grandmother on their small organic vegetable farm, Yojin's eccentric lifestyle changes when he meets Machiko, a primary school teacher who arrives from Tokyo, and he becomes self-destructively determined to win her heart. Satoko Yokohama's second feature film is impossible to categorise: a bizarre hybrid between comedy and offbeat surrealism, which takes a turn into existential reveries that bend all logic with bold originality.

Directed by Satoko Yokohama, 2009, 120 min, English subtitles

Friday, 1 December | Courthouse Cinema, London
 

DEATH OF A JAPANESE SALESMAN | Director: Mami Sunada
6.30pm

Tomoaki Sunada was a Japanese typical sales representative working more than 40 years in the same company. After retiring, at 67 years old, he was diagnosed with cancer on the final stage. This was the miscalculation of life for a business soldier. In order to sum up his whole life and leave the message to his family, he laid on his last project, i.e. making an "ending note" by his own. Then, the "setup" of his departure was launched. * An "Ending note" is a memorandum for the family of the deceased, like a testament without legal force.

Directed by Mami Sunada, 2011, 90 min, English subtitles
Image: © 2011 "Death of a Japanese Salesman" Production Committee

Saturday, 2 December | Rich Mix, London
 

WILD BERRIES | Director: Miwa Nishikawa
12.00pm

The Akechi family is just an ordinary family, spending simple but peaceful days - kind mother, hardworking father, a daughter with a sense of justice and silly but cheerful grandfather. One day, the roving son returns home after ten years of silence, and that leads to unveil the hidden truth behind Akechi family. Little by little, the family bonds loosen...

Directed by Miwa Nishikawa, 2003, 108 min, English subtitles
Image: © WILD BERRIES Project Team

 

PANEL DISCUSSION
2.30pm

Following the screenings, this panel discussion will examine the proliferation of Japanese female filmmakers in the last fifteen years. In a discussion chaired by East Asia selection lead film programmer for the BFI London Film Festival, Kate Taylor, featuring Japanese cinema expert, writer and curator Jasper Sharp; film researcher Alejandra Armendáriz Hernández, and season curator Irene Silvera, the panel will bringing insight into the work of the directors as well as provide a retrospective focus on the part women have played throughout the history of the Japanese film industry. In doing so, framing debate on the current position of women behind the scenes both in Japan and across the globe.


Date: 30 November 2017 - 2 December 2017

This season has been curated by Irene Silvera Frischknecht as part of the M.A. in Film Studies Programming and Curation at the National Film and Television School in collaboration with the Japan Foundation and the Embassy of Japan in the UK.

As part of the programme, the Embassy of Japan in the UK will also screen Naoko Ogigami's Rent-a-Cat on Wednesday, 22 November 2017 at 6.30pm. For further information and booking details, please visit the Embassy of Japan website.

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Poetry in Stop Motion - New Expressions in Japanese Animation: A Talk by Prof Yuichi Ito   org

Employing clay, models and real-life objects, Prof Yuichi Ito is an animation director and creator of numerous popular TV shows, commercials and music videos known for using a variety of animation techniques to create a distinct and original aesthetic. The creator behind the beloved NHK TV show Knyacki! , Prof Ito is also a leading figure in the Japanese animation industry and teaches at the Tokyo University of the Arts where he has inspired a new generation of Japanese animators, pushing the boundaries with new expressions and promoting an experimental spirit.

In conjunction with the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2017, this special talk in London will reveal Prof Ito’s creative process in bringing his animated creations to life and his reasons for exploring many different animation approaches, from CGI through to stop motion. Drawing on his wealth of experience, world-class animator Prof Ito will cast a professional eye over the current animation industry in Japan and discuss what makes a good animator and animation.

After his presentation, Prof Ito will be joined for a discussion by Abigail Addison, co-founder and director of Animate Projects.


Date: 29 September 2017 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Curzon Soho (Screen 3), 99 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5DY


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please visit: poetry-in-stop-motion.eventbrite.co.uk


This event is organised in association with the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival.

The 2017 festival will take place at Chapter, Cardiff (29 September to 1 October 2017) and Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Abersytwyth (28 October 2017). For more details, please visit: www.kotatsufestival.com

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Ninagawa Company's Macbeth   org

The Japan Foundation is plased to co-produce Ninagawa Company's Macbeth, celebrating the work and career of the late Japanese director, Yukio Ninagawa. Taking place 30 years after the epoch-making piece first introduced the UK to the world-class work of Ninagawa, the production will be reprised at the Barbican and Theatre Royal Plymouth.


Date: 5 October 2017 - 14 October 2017
Venue:

Barbican, London: 5-8 October 2017
Click here for more information

Theatre Royal Plymouth: 13-14 October 2017
Click here for more information

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Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
  org

Shogi is a traditional Japanese board game, similar to Western Chess. Played by two players, the different ways in which the pieces can move arguably makes Shogi strategically more interesting and exciting to play through to the end. However, the downside of Shogi is that it takes some time to master…

In order to encourage those who have always wanted to play Shogi but didn’t know where to start, the Japan Foundation has invited Madoka Kitao, one of Japan’s most distinguished Shogi players to teach you ‘Dobutsu Shogi’ (‘Animal Shogi’), a simplified version of Shogi, invented by Kitao herself.

Having much less pieces on the board, Dobutsu Shogi may seem an easy game at first, but once you experience it, you will soon be drawn into the dazzling labyrinthine world of Shogi. The game is suitable for all ages (as long as you can recognize the animal pictures on the pawns!) and even those who consider themselves a Shogi master will also be fascinated to play this wild variation!

At the beginning of workshop, Madoka Kitao will also talk about the culture and history of Shogi in Japan.

Come and enjoy Dobutsu Shogi and meet the master and inventor of this cute board game!

For ages 8 to 108! (Children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.)

Workshop Times:

11:00am - 12:30pm (for adults and independent children)
2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families) 

2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families)

Date: 11 October 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

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Rethinking 'Japanese' Pop Culture: Transnational media cultural connections and the question of cultural diversity   org

Since the late 1980s, Japanese consumer technologies, and subsequently pop culture exports such as Pokemon and Hello Kitty, have become increasingly familiar to many people around the world. But has our increased exposure to these cultural exports led to a greater understanding of the diversity of contemporary Japan?

Eminent Japanese media and cultural studies scholar Professor Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University, Australia) will lead this seminar, which will discuss the phenomenon of the spread of Japan’s cultural exports and consequent cross-border dialogue; and will challenge ideas and assumptions of a single ‘national’ Japanese pop culture. While many 'Japanese' cultural products are, as in most other popular cultures, not purely Japanese inventions, what has become prevalent is the re-accentuating of national cultural borders as a result of the inter-nationalized circulation and display of media cultures. This presentation will discuss in the Japanese and East Asian context how this process contains and discourages engagement with growing multicultural situations, and will suggest the need for trans-Asian perspectives and collaboration to tackle this situation.

Professor Iwabuchi will be joined in conversation with Dr Griseldis Kirsch (SOAS, University of London).


Date: 13 April 2015 from 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Venue:

Swedenborg Hall

The Swedenborg Society

20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Entrance on Barter Street)

London WC1A 2TH

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Carving the Future - Contemporary Japanese Sculpture Today
Talk with Noe Aoki and Teppei Kaneuji
  org

Sculpture continues to be a focal part of contemporary Japanese art, and many world-renowned Japanese artists employing the medium have participated in exhibitions and art festivals around the world. A medium which has globally undergone many radical transformations in past decades, Japanese artists have similarly attempted to challenge its notions, endeavouring to reinvent and redefine the practice, and employing a wider range of materials and processes to create dynamic works.

On the occasion of the exhibition Logical Emotion: Contemporary Art from Japan* taking place in Germany, the Japan Foundation London has invited two participating artists, Noe Aoki and Teppei Kaneuji – artists with vastly different styles and approaches to sculpture. Together with Mark Rappolt(chair), editor of ArtReview, and Professor Edward Allington, Slade School of Fine Art, they will explore the way artistic practice with the medium of sculpture has evolved in Japan, referring to the artists’ works and the concepts behind them, while questioning what the future may hold.

Noe Aoki
Noe Aoki is considered to be one of Japan’s most respected sculptors, renowned for making large structures from iron and steel which surround people and spaces often appearing as if they are floating in the air.

Teppei Kaneuji
Teppei Kaneuji is an artist producing sculptures, installations and collages from found objects and playful assemblages of everyday commodities, fashioned from familiar items such as helmets, scissors, and plastic toys.


Date: 18 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Asia House, Studio
63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP


Images: Left: Noe Aoki, tateyama/2012, 2012, Steel (Corten), Soap, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art (Aichi), Artist's collection, photo by Yamamoto Tadasu, courtesy of Hashimoto Art Office. Right: Teppei Kaneuji, White Discharge (Built-up Objects #7), 2010, Plastic Found Objects, Pigment, Resin, desk, 208x100x90cm, © The Artist, Courtesy of ShugoArts

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Japan Foundation at London Anime & Gaming Con July 2015   org

The Japan Foundation will be at London Anime & Gaming Con on 4th and 5th July 2015.

Visit our stand for information about studying Japanese, freebies and the chance to enter our quiz and win some great prizes!

What's more, we will be giving a short Japanese taster session and a presentation on the resources and support available for Japanese language learners at 2:30 on the Saturday, and again at 2:00 on the Sunday. 

Booking details and more information about the convention, which is organised by Anime League, can be found on the official website, www.londonanimecon.com


Date: 4 July 2015 - 5 July 2015
Venue:

London Metropolitan University, N7 8DB

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Inside the Industry: ANIME   org

Anime is one of Japan’s most popular and prolific cultural exports. Across a wide range of productions and vast number of styles and genres, it has developed to become an iconic aspect of Japanese culture, continuing to attract legions of fans and inspire animators worldwide. But where exactly do our favourite TV series and films begin before becoming domestic and international hits and what makes them successful?

This event will bring together seminal figures in the anime industry to discuss the practical aspects of their respective positions in the business, and outline the challenges which animators, writers and producers face today. The speakers will take you on a journey through the tough but fascinating world of anime production, right from the very earliest sketches to the finished product in all its animated glory.

Following on from a successful event held in 2012, this talk will provide you further with (almost!) everything you always wanted to know about the anime industry.

Hirokatsu Kihara began working at Top Craft, which produced Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, before joining Studio Ghibli in 1985, working with Hayao Miyazaki on Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. After leaving Studio Ghibli in 1990, Kihara made his writing debut with the ghost story Shin Mimi Bukuro, which went on to sell over 1,200,000 copies and has since gone on to complete 10 volumes.

Michihiko Suwa is Chief Producer at the Animation Department of Yomiuri TV and self-proclaimed manga-fanatic, and has been working as an animation producer since in 1986. His first work as a producer was the anime television series Robotan, before working on a number of hit television series and film adaptations including Detective Conan (Case Closed), City Hunter, InuYasha, Black Jack, Yawara! and Magic Knight Rayearth.

Aya Suzuki is a 2D Character/FX animator, layout artist and animation lecturer. Projects Suzuki has worked on in Japan and overseas include Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises (2013) at Studio Ghibli, The Illusionist (2010) (Dir. Sylvain Chomet, Django Films), Wolf Children (2012) (Dir. Mamoru Hosoda, Studio Chizu) and The Dreaming Machine (Dir. Satoshi Kon, Madhouse).

Stephen Cavalier (chair) has two decades experience in the animation and games industries, during which time he has worked as series director / animation director on TV series' for Disney, BBC and Channel4 and has written and directed award winning short films, music videos and TV commercials in both animation and live action. His book The World History of Animation and his animated storybook game Alph and Betty’s Topsy Turvy World were published recently and he is currently directing a CG preschool series for Disney in London.


Date: 13 July 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue:

London Metropolitan University, Moorgate Campus
Electra House, 84 Moorgate, London EC2M 6SQ

For details of how to reach the venue, please click here


Image credits (left to right): © 志水アキ/木原浩勝; © 鯛夢/ホーム社/KADOKAWA; © 武若丸/神楽坂淳/木原浩勝/ホーム社/集英社;  © 東毅/小学館・読売テレビ・A-1 Pictures 2015; © 2015青山剛昌/名探偵コナン製作委員会

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The Eleventh Japanese Speech Contest for University Students   org

We are delighted to announce that the 11th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!

This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes including a return air ticket to Japan! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 27th February 2016 at SOAS, University of London.

:: Contest Aims
The main purpose of the event is to improve the speaking and presentation skills of students studying Japanese as a foreign language. Through this event, we hope to promote Japanese language learning at higher education level in the UK and Ireland. The contest is organised by the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation, London.

:: Who can apply?
The contest is aimed at undergraduate students who are currently studying Japanese as a foreign language at a university in the UK or Ireland. Postgraduate students are not eligible. Candidates with Japanese parents are welcome to apply. Please see our websites for full eligibility criteria. Please note that First Prize winners from previous years will not be able to enter the same category again this year. There are three different categories:

1. Speech Category: Students take part in this category as individuals, and are free to choose their speech topic. The Speech Category is for those who are studying Japanese as either a degree or non-degree course at a including an elective, optional or other university-based language course.
Application Deadline: 10th November 2015

2. Individual Presentation Category: Students take part in this category as individuals. The Individual Presentation Category is aimed at those studying Japanese at post beginner level. Participants will give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese.
Application Deadline: 24th November 2015

3. Group Presentation Category: Aimed at those studying Japanese at beginner level. Participants will take part in groups of two to four students and give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese.
Application Deadline: 1st December 2015
Click here to download application form 

Please see the files below for contest poster, FAQ and application forms for each category.


Date: 15 September 2015 - 1 December 2015
Download 2015_ApplicationForm-Group_Presentation_Category
Download 2015_FAQ
Download Rules and guidance - Speech Category
Download speech_students2016_A3poster_final
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J-Basic - Last Chance EVER to enrol!   org

 

J-Basic Online for Teachers will close on 30 June 2016.
Applications for all stages will be accepted until 31 March 2016

J-Basic Online for Teachers, the online course for teachers with a basic level of Japanese will close permanently on 30 June 2016. Applications for all stages will be accepted until 31 March 2016.

About J-Basic

This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.  This course is provided by the Japan Foundation Sydney.

Course fee:  A$130 - A$190 

Who can sign up?
Any teacher residing in the UK, Australia or New Zealand who has a basic knowledge of Japanese, and can read hiragana and katakana.

What level of Japanese is it suitable for?
Four stages are available. We recommend you take the “level check test” to make sure you choose the best level for you. Stage 1 (the easiest) is suitable for those who know hiragana and katakana.  Stage 4 (the hardest) is about the same level at N5 (old Level 4) of the JLPT.

How does the course work?
Every week a new unit is uploaded. You will work through the unit at your own pace, and then complete your homework by the end of each week. Your homework will be marked and returned to you with helpful advice and comments from our Japanese Language Advisor. 

Feedback from previous participants:

“I have really enjoyed it, the course content is useful as covers all areas of the Japanese language i.e. speaking, listening, reading, writing – lots of writing practice which is a challenge but good practice!”

“I really, really like the Production task, especially as you get some prompt feedback from the Language Advisor. Brilliant!”

There are no "terms" for this year's course, you can enrol any time, but please remember that enrolment on this course will close indefinitely on March 31st, so don't miss this one final chance to join.

Click here for more information and to enrol


Date: 21 January 2016 - 31 March 2016
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Design for living with kids - talk by Shu Hagiwara   org

In a modern environment, life with a child necessitates different requirements and results. The nuclear family in contemporary Japan has seen a rise in working mothers and along with the decline of the childbirth rate, it is becoming increasingly important for a shift in perception as to what design and designers can offer in order to accommodate these sociological and localised changes. As such, Japanese product design reveals that designers are creating items not only from the viewpoint of the children that will be the direct users but also from the perspective of families living with the children.

Shu Hagiwara, design director and advocate of design for children has for the past decade been dedicated to the grass-root project “kids, Goods and things” which offers a platform for designers to explore what is needed in busy households. In this special talk, Hagiwara will introduce his long term activities while showcasing the products and ideas that have stemmed from them, including designs which facilitate the development of identity, hand-eye coordination, and the strengthening of relationships with parents, siblings, and other children. This talk will also reflect upon some essential issues in modern design and how designers can be seen to be proactive promoters of social change by creating products that are not only user-friendly but also sustainable and lovable.

Hagiwara's talk will be followed by a brief conversation with Dr Sarah Teasley, of the Royal College of Art.


Date: 2 March 2016 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Banqueting Hall, Chelsea College of Arts
16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU

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Filmmaker Talk: Aya Hanabusa   org

Aya Hanabusa is an award-wining documentary filmmaker and director of Tale of a Butcher Shop, featured in this year’s Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme. Hanabusa’s touching portrait of a family running a small butcher shop in Kaizuka City (outside Osaka) is a film which began being screened in an independent theatre in Tokyo and whose popularity grew through word-of-mouth. The documentary has now been seen by over 80,000 people worldwide.

Following the film’s UK premiere earlier in February, Hanabusa will join us for a special talk to discuss her filmmaking style and the theme of Tale of a Butcher Shop. For those who were able to see the film at ICA and even those who haven’t, it will be a great opportunity to hear about documentary filmmaking in Japan as well as Japan’s indigenous culture which is explored in the film directly from the filmmaker herself.


Date: 20 March 2016 from 2.30pm
Venue:

ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts), Studio,
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please visit: aya-hanabusa.eventbrite.co.uk

This event is organised as part of the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 ‘IKIRU: The Highs and Lows of Life in Japanese Cinema’ (5 February – 26 March 2016) www.jpf-film.org.uk

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Artist talk by Katsumi Komagata   org

Japanese graphic designer and award-winning artist Katsumi Komagata creates games, cards, and books for children. His distinctive and imaginative style uses strong geometric forms and colours that come together as visual objects and can be combined in numerous ways through movement, contrast, proportion, and touch to reinvent the traditional book format. Komagata's imaginative style means he has worked on publications for organisations such as The Museum of Modern Art (New York), and has also won numerous awards, including an International Children's Book Award (Bologna Ragazzi), and two Good Design Awards (Japan).

In conjunction with the East London Comics & Arts Festival, a festival designed to showcase exciting works in comics and illustration at which Komagata has been selected to appear, this special talk will explore his innovative and illustrious career to date. While discussing the development of his craftsmanship, he will also consider the influence that designing for children has on his work, and how he incorporates elements that encourage play and learning development into his books.


Date: 8 June 2016 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Foyles Bookshop, Level 6
107 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DT


This event is organised in association with the East London Comics & Arts Festival. Katsumi Komagata will be appearing at this year’s festival, which takes place 10 - 12 June 2016, and will be participating in the workshop One Makes Two on 11 June 2016. For more information, please visit: www.elcaf.co.uk

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Japanese Plus | Learn About Wakamiya-Maru: The Edo Ship that Sailed the World   org

Learn the fascinating story of the Wakamiya-maru...and discuss it with the children of Ishinomaki in Japanese!

During the Edo period when Japan was closed to the outside world, a group of Japanese sailors accidently took a trip around the world after being blown off course by a terrible storm. The ship they travelled in was called the Wakamiya-maru. The survivors visited Falmouth in 1803 on their journey back to Japan. If you would like to read more about their incredible journey in English, please see the third link on this webpage.

As the Wakamiya-maru departed from Ishinomaki, (Miyagi prefecture in the North East of Japan) the Children of the Ishinomaki Children’s newspaper have decided to make a kamishibai story about these historical adventures. The children plan to give a kamishibai performance at many of the locations around the world visited by the Wakamiya-maru’s crew, and London will be the second destination after a few similar events in Russia. This event will include a kamishibai performance of their story via skype. In the workshop you will learn how to discuss historical topics, ask thoughtful questions, and practice reading in Japanese. After the performance you will also have the chance to use your Japanese to interact with the children of Ishinomaki.

This event will be in two parts. The Japanese workshop will be on Wednesday and the performance on Sunday morning.

Workshop:
We will read through the kamishibai script to make sure attendees understand it, and also prepare information about what the UK was like back in 1803. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn about Japanese history and talk about British history in Japanese. The items prepared in the workshop will be shared with the children on the internet. 

Performance:
On the day of the performance you will be able to take part in a question and answer session with the children. We hope you’ll be able to tell them about the UK and have a deep cultural exchange. Lastly we will finish with a discussion about the event.

(Please note that you can attend the Workshop without the Performance)

Participation fee:  £5.00 (includes the Japanese language workshop and all course handouts.)
There is no participation fee for the performance, but workshop attendees will be prioritised.

Course Level:  This course will be held in Japanese. It is for non-native Japanese language learners with an upper-intermdiate -advanced level of Japanese (B2 level of the JF Standard or JLPT N2/level 2 and upwards). 

When:
Workshop:
Wednesday 8th June 18:30 – 20:30
(Please note that you can attend the Workshop without the Performance)
Performance: Sunday 12th June 8:45am – 11:30am (Live from Japan)

To sign up: Please fill in an application here.  


Date: 8 June 2016 - 12 June 2016
Venue:

Kings College, Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS


Click here to sign up!

About Japanese Plus

Japanese Plus is designed for adult learners of Japanese interested in updating and refreshing their knowledge about Japan whilst practising their Japanese language skills in a series of evening classes at the Japan Foundation London. The course is aimed at non-native Japanese language learners with a Japanese level of approx.  JLPT Level 2/N2 and above. For more information and to read about past Japanese Plus courses, please click here.

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Japanese Study Seminar in Alsace 2016: Call for Participation!   org

The Japan Foundation and Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA) are now accepting applications for participation in Japanese Study Seminar: Women and Men (女と男) scheduled for 26th and 27th September, 2016 at CEEJA, in Kientzheim, France. The official language of the seminar will be JAPANESE.

This seminar aims to encourage networking among young researchers in Europe specialising in Japan related topics, and further promote Japanese Studies in Europe.

Participants will join a two-day intensive workshop in the cozy and intimate atmosphere of CEEJA's facility in Kientzheim where they will present and discuss their current research projects with fellow participants and guest mentors from Japan.

The theme of this year’s seminar will be Women and Men (女と男).”  We are calling for applications from young researchers in Europe specialising in politics, history, sociology, literature, arts, language, philosophy, economics, architecture, religion, etc. 

The deadline for applications is 30 June, 2016.

For further details including eligibility and application procedures, please visit the Japan Foundation Tokyo website here.


Date: 26 September 2016 - 27 September 2016
Venue:

Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA), Kientzheim, France


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Primary Japanese Resource Sharing workshop   org

In this free workshop, primary school teachers at all levels of Japanese proficiency will share teaching materials and ideas that can inspire their pupils.

Resource Sharing:
This event will bring together primary teachers of Japanese to share their ideas about what went well with their Japanese teaching over the last year. There will be information about how teachers have used the scheme of work, how they improved the resources, what worked best, as well as introduce other useful resources or ideas that they have tried in their classes.

The Japan Foundation Scheme of Work for Primary Schools:
This event will also introduce new resources that can be used alongside the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Scheme of Work for Key Stage 2 – for Year 4 and 5s.  This will help give teachers of Japanese information and ideas to continue teaching Japanese for the second and third years.

The resources follow the Japan Foundation Japanese Scheme of Work for Primary Schools, which is packed full of lesson plans, resources and exciting and fun ideas for teaching primary-level Japanese to Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 pupils. These teaching materials have been created by the Japan Foundation’s Chief Language Advisor Makoto Netsu, and have been tested with two classes of Year 4 pupils at Southfield Primary School. Participants will additionally have access to exclusive draft versions of the resources, and Mr Netsu will give explanations about how he has used them, and how they might be adapted for other primary Japanese classes. The resources themselves include worksheets, plans, activities, games etc.

Book your place today here.

This course is for teachers of any level of Japanese that would like some hints about how to get started and how to use the Japan Foundation Scheme of work for Key Stage 2 Japanese language lessons.

 Spaces on this course are limited. Priority will be given to teachers or trainee teachers employed by a primary school.

Cost of your travel to London
We are keen to include primary teachers of Japanese from all over the UK, so we will be able to make a contribution to help cover the costs of your travel to London for this event. We will cover the costs of second class train tickets over £15, upto £80. You will need to cover the first £15, but we will try to cover the rest*. For example, if your ticket costs £69, we will cover £54 of the costs. Please ask for a receipt when you book your ticket and bring it with you to this event.

*We do have an upper limit to our budget, so if there is a very large number of attendees, we might have to reduce the top payment of £80. 

Timetable (provisional and subject to change):

 

10:00 – 10:15  Introduction, greetings
10:15 – 10:45  Helen Morris from Madley Primary School -  Momotaro Play
10:45 – 11:00  Share ideas/ discussion
11:00 – 11:30  Clare Kuroishi – Using kendo, and rajio taiso (teach parts of the body)
11:30 – 11:45  Share ideas / discussion
11:45 – 12:15  Aya Kamura Mirto - Teaching about the weather and making teru teru bozu
12:15 – 12:30  Share ideas / discussion
12:30 – 13:30  Lunch
13:30 – 14:30  Introducing the JF Scheme of Work for Year 4 – Year 5
14:30 – 15:00  Introduction to support from Japan Foundation
15:00 – 15:30  Q&A, Evaluation and extra time to share ideas 


Date: 5 December 2016 from 10.00am - 3.30pm
Venue:

Brockway Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London. WC1R 4RL


Book your place today here.

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An Ode to Toru Takemitsu   org

Announcement: 

Maestro Oliver Knussen has been taken ill and is unfortunately no longer able to participate in Sunday’s event on Toru Takemitsu.

The talk will still go ahead and we are pleased to confirm that composer Dai Fujikura has kindly agreed to take part at short notice.

If you have any enquiries, please contact the King’s Place box office.

We wish Oliver a swift and full recovery. 

In honour of this talented composer The Japan Foundation are proud to present a special talk as a prelude to NHK Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Takemitsu’s Requiem for Strings in March. Oliver Knussen CBE, a close friend of Takemitsu who has presided over many of Takemitsu’s works himself and Maki Takemitsu, Takemitsu’s daughter and music producer, will examine the significance of Takemitsu’s work and share their unique experiences reflecting on his life and legacy. They will be joined in conversation by Gillian Moore, Director of Music at Southbank Centre.Toru Takemitsu is among the most important composers in the history of Japanese music. Almost entirely self-taught, Takemitsu went on to compose several hundred independent works and score over ninety films. The first composer to be fully recognised in the West, Takemitsu achieved international renown for his distinctive style. Combining elements of the Occident and the Orient, Takemitsu created music that was sensuous yet accessible.

This event will focus not only on the music of Toru Takemitsu but also on the life that influenced such vast and intricate musicscapes


Date: 22 January 2017 from 2.30pm
Venue:

King’s Place, Hall Two, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG


This event is coproduced by the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo

NHK Symphony Orchestra perform Takemitsu’s Requiem for Strings alongside Mahler’s Symphony No.6, ‘Tragic’ at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall on Monday 6 March 2017, 7:30pm, as part of the International Orchestra Series. For further details, please click here.

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The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945   org

In an exhibition co-organised with the Japan Foundation, Barbican presents the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to now, a field which has consistently produced some of the most influential and extraordinary examples of modern and contemporary design.

Featuring over 40 architects, ranging from renowned 20th century masters and internationally celebrated contemporary architects to exciting figures little known outside of Japan, the exhibition celebrates some of the most ground-breaking architectural projects of the last 70 years.


Date: 23 March 2017 - 25 June 2017
Venue:

Barbican Art Gallery, London


For more information, please click here.

Image: Sou Fujimoto Architects, House NA, Tokyo, Japan, 2011. Photo Iwan Baan

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Architecture on Stage: Atelier Bow Wow   org

The Architecture Foundation, in association with the Barbican and The Japan Foundation London, presents a talk by one half of Atelier Bow Wow, architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto. Founded soon after the collapse of Japan’s economic bubble in the 1990’s, Atelier Bow Wow’s series of distinguished house designs include the award winning Mini House (1998) and House and Atelier Bow Wow (2005, pictured).

In this exclusive talk, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto will draw on his experiences as both a designer and observer in reflecting on Tokyo's suburban landscape.

This event is part of Architecture on Stage - a programme of talks and debates organised by The Architecture Foundation and the Barbican. 

For tickets and more information, please click here

Please note that this event has now sold out 


Date: 22 May 2017 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Frobisher Auditorium 1, Barbican, London

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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2017   org

The Japan Foundation is once again delighted to be participating in Japan Matsuri, London’s very own and much loved festival of Japanese culture held at Trafalgar Square.

Come and visit our stand to get information about the Japan Foundation and Japanese language. This year, for the first time, we'll even be holding mini tasters in Japanese throughout the day, where you can learn some useful Japanese words and phrases for travelling to Japan!

For more information about Japan Matsuri, please see their official webiste.


Date: 24 September 2017 from 10.00am - 8.00pm
Venue:

Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

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Filmmaker Naoko Ogigami in conversation   org

Naoko Ogigami is an award-winning director and scriptwriter, and is considered one of the most commercially successful female filmmakers in Japan. An auteur with a huge domestic following, Ogigami writes and directs all her films with a renowned calming cinematic approach and her films feature recurring themes of culture clashes and characters thrown into unusual circumstances, epitomised in her hit dramas Kamome Diner (2006) and Glasses (2007). Outside of Japan, Ogigami’s work has also been recognised by many international film festivals and her debut feature, Yoshino’s Barber Shop (2004) was a winner at Berlin International Film Festival, inspiring many triumphant returns to the festival since. 

In celebration of the UK premiere of her latest feature Close-Knit at the BFI London Film Festival, the Japan Foundation has invited Ogigami to reflect on her unique cinematic style and career to date. Having worked on a number of productions both in Japan and the United States, Ogigami will discuss how her experience of diaspora influenced her approach to filmmaking and the current climate for female filmmakers both in Japan and overseas. Ogigami will be joined in conversation by curator and writer Jasper Sharp.


Date: 14 October 2017 from 3.00pm
Venue:

La Médiathèque (Institut Français), 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT


Close-Knit (2017) screened as part of the BFI London Film Festival 2017, supported by the Japan Foundation, at Ciné Lumière, Institut Français on Saturday 14 October 2017 at 6.00pm and again at Rich Mix Cinema on Sunday, 15 October 2017 at 1.00pm.

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J-Basic Online for Teachers 2015   org

This online course is for teachers with a basic level of Japanese who would like to build up their language skills. Through the course, you will develop a basic working knowledge of Japanese grammatical structures and build up your confidence and skills in using Japanese effectively in your classroom.  This course is provided by the Japan Foundation Sydney.

Course fee:  A$130 - A$190 (depending on stage) 

Who can sign up?
Any teacher residing in the UK, Australia or New Zealand who has a basic knowledge of Japanese, and can read hiragana and katakana.

What level of Japanese is it suitable for?
Four stages are available. We recommend you take the “level check test” to make sure you choose the best level for you. Stage 1 (the easiest) is suitable for those who know hiragana and katakana.  Stage 4 (the hardest) is about the same level as N5 (old Level 4) of the JLPT.

How does the course work?
Every week a new unit is uploaded. You will work through the unit at your own pace, and then complete your homework by the end of each week. Your homework will be marked and returned to you with helpful advice and comments from our Japanese Language Advisor. 

Feedback from previous participants:

“I have really enjoyed it, the course content is useful as covers all areas of the Japanese language i.e. speaking, listening, reading, writing – lots of writing practice which is a challenge but good practice!”

“I really, really like the Production task, especially as you get some prompt feedback from the Language Advisor. Brilliant!”

 2015 Dates 

  • Term 1 February 2 March 27
    Term 2 May 4 June 26
    Term 3 August 3 September 25
    Term 4 19 October December 11
    Term 1 February 2 - March 27
  • Term 2 May 4- June 26
  • Term 3 August 3 - September 25
  • Term 4 19 October - December 11
Session 1: 3 February – 28 March 2014
Session 2: 31 March – 23 May 2014
Session 3: 26 May – 18 July 2014
Session 4: 21 July – 12 September 2014
Session 5: 15 September– 7 November 2014

Session 6: 24 November 2014 -23 January 2015

 

 For more information and to enrol, please go to http://www.jpf.org.au/jbasic


Date: 3 February 2014 - 23 January 2015
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Public Seminar: Prof AKIRA IRIYE - An Historian Looks at the Contemporary World   org

The Japan Foundation is delighted to present this special public seminar with Professor Akira Iriye, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University and recipient of the Japan Foundation Award 2013.  Drawing on decades of research, Prof Iriye will examine historical study today and international relations history, before discussing the defining characteristics of the contemporary world and offering his thoughts on the future.  Joining Professor Iriye in discussion will be Professor Rana Mitter, Director of the University China Centre at the University of Oxford.


Date: 13 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Art in the Age of the Global Environment   org

Far beyond the global conception of hyper-modern Tokyo and the consumer wonderland of ‘Cool Japan’, the declining local regions of Japan have, in the past two decades, seen a flowering of startlingly ambitious contemporary art festivals that offer a response to the many crises the country faces today, bringing contemporary art installations, community projects and the latest curatorial trends to the most unlikely places.

Fram Kitagawa, Director of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and visionary art producer and curator, will speak about his life’s work at the heart of this uniquely creative social movement, and its impact on contemporary art and society in Japan. Kitagawa will outline his socially engaged and environmentally conscious vision of contemporary art that has brought hundreds of Japanese and international artists to the mountains of Niigata and the islands of the Seto Inland Sea. He will be joined in discussion by the curator Jonathan Watkins, Director of Birmingham’s IKON Gallery, who has organised many pioneering shows of Japanese contemporary art in the UK. Following the discussion there will be a Q&A chaired by Adrian Favell, SISJAC and University of Leeds.


Date: 3 December 2015 from 6.00pm
Venue:

Norwich Cathedral Hostry, The Close Norwich NR1 4DH


Organised by: Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC), Norwich in association with Japan Foundation

 

Conference - 4 December 2015

The lecture is part of the international conference held the following day on Friday 4 December, examining the relation of dramatic social change in Japan to the social promise of these art movements. The conference will feature two other leading curators from Japan, Mizuki Takahashi of Art Tower Mito and Mizuki Endo of HAPS, Kyoto, as well as a range of distinguished researchers, curators and artists from the UK and Japan. More information via the weblink above.

 

Image: Two of the works from Echigo-Tsumari in Matsudai, Niigata. In front, Yayoi Kusama, Echigo in Bloom, behind the Nohbutai art centre, designed by MVRDV. Photo by Osamu Nakamura.

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Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Student Survey 2015   org

The Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Student Survey is part of the Japan Foundation’s periodic assessment of the state of Japanese Studies in the UK which has been conducted once every 3-4 years since 1996.

The Japan Foundation is Japan’s principal organisation for promoting international cultural exchange worldwide and through our funding programmes we offer support to organisations and individuals working in the field of Japanese Studies throughout the UK.

In order for us to consider future plans for the enhancement of Japanese studies, we are eager to learn the views of Japanese Studies students in the UK, both at undergraduate and postgraduate level, so that we can continue to support you and the field of Japanese Studies as effectively as possible.

Please note that the deadline for completing the survey has been extended to 30th September 2015.

Who can take part in the survey:

Any students undertaking Japan-related study at a higher education institution in the UK. Whether you are at undergraduate level or postgraduate, undertaking a single or joint honours Japanese Studies degree, or simply taking a module in a Japan related subject, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Taking the survey:

The survey can be accessed through the following link: (link removed)

We estimate that the entire survey can be completed in around 15 minutes. 

Deadline and Publication: 

Please fill out the survey before 30th September 2015.

The results of the survey will be published in late 2015, and individual answers will remain anonymous.

You can find the results of the Japanese Studies Students Survey 2010 on the Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Survey website here

Prize draw:

If you choose to provide us with your name and e-mail address, you will be entered into a prize draw, for a chance to win one of up to 10 Japan-related book tokens worth £20 each. 

If you have any questions about the survey, please email Julie Anne Robb, Programme Officer for Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange, Japan Foundation London: julieanne.robb@jpf.org.uk  

Japanese Studies Institutions Survey

As part of our overall assessment of the state of Japanese Studies in the UK, the Japan Foundation is also conducting a survey of higher education institutions in the UK which provide opportunities for Japan related study. If you are a member of staff at a higher education institution which offers Japan related study please get in touch with Julie Anne Robb to take the survey: julieanne.robb@jpf.org.uk


Date: 1 July 2015 - 30 September 2015
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The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016   org

IKIRU: The Highs and Lows of Life in Japanese Cinema

Inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s iconic 1952 film Ikiru (“To Live”), the Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2016 will provide an exciting collection of films looking at the way in which Japanese filmmakers have been observing and capturing people’s lives, and how people across the ages persevere, negotiate and reconcile with the environment and situation they live in. This year’s programme is the largest yet and wi