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Talk by author Mitsuyo Kakuta
Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 2016
Speaking Out: Actor-Director Talk Kaori Momoi
Contact Points Talk and Lecture
Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 3: Pighead
Save the Date: Illustrated Talk by Obi Impresario Genbei Yamaguchi X new
Here and Now

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 The Eighth Day 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

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


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please click here

Kakuta’s feature stories such as The Eighth Day and Hanging Gardens are available in English through the British Library’s database, and her short stories can be purchased on Amazon’s Kindle if you wish to read her books in anticipation of this event.

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Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 2016   org

In partnership with Japan Foundation, the Lakes International Comic Arts Festival returns with an exciting line-up of some of the most innovative authors of the new generation of manga artists.

In his exhibition Making a Scene, internationally acclaimed comic artist Ken Niimura provides a glimpse into his diverse portfolio including I Kill Giants, Henshin and unreleased works. These are brought to life through annotations and additional sketches on the Gallery walls.

Ken Niimura also provides a platform for his contemporaries in handpicking five distinct voices for Five Rising Stars from Japan. This exhibition sees upcoming authors Est Em, Takehito Moriizumi, Tsuchika Nishimura, Keigo Shinzo and Miki Yamamoto bringing their artwork to the UK for the first time. 

Whilst these exhibitions are on display exclusively over the weekend, events at Lakes International Comic Arts Festival continue until 7th November.

Find out more at: 

Date: 14 October 2016 - 16 October 2016

Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

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Speaking Out: Actor-Director Talk Kaori Momoi   org

Kaori Momoi is a cinematic icon. Internationally, Momoi is renowned for her role in Memoirs of a Geisha and her role alongside Quentin Tarantino in Sukiyaki Western Django. Within Japan, she is one of the most highly respected and controversial actresses of her time. Her individualism and ambitious film choices make her an indisputable authority on Japanese cinema. Moreover, her vast repertoire of work with distinguished Japanese directors (such as Akira Kurosawa and Yoshimitsu Morita) provides a solid foundation for her own efforts. Having recently turned her hand to directing, Momoi's highly acclaimed Hee is testament to her versatility as both an actor and director.

In the wake of Hee's UK premiere as part of London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF) Japan Foundation, in partnership with LEAFF, are proud to invite Momoi to explore her filmmaking experiences and directing works as well as reflect on issues within contemporary Japanese film. Momoi will be joined in conversation by curator and writer Jasper Sharp.

Date: 29 October 2016 from 3.30pm

Screening Room 1, The Soho Hotel, 4 Richard Mews, London W1D 3DH


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please visit:

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Contact Points Talk and Lecture   org

In association with the Japan Foundation, the Tate Research Centre will host an evening of artistic exploration. As part of Tate Research Centre: Asia’s Visiting Fellowship Programme 2016, 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 

Booking: Full price - £8
               Concessions - £5

Group bookings for students are available, please email for more details.

To find out more, please visit:

Date: 21 November 2016 from 2.00pm to 6.00pm

Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, SE1 9TG

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Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 3: Pighead

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


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

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:

Booking: Coming Soon

Upcoming events as part of the Staged Readings 2016 series:

12 December 2016, from 7:00pm
Written by Tomohiro Maekawa


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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Save the Date: Illustrated Talk by Obi Impresario Genbei Yamaguchi X   org

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with V&A, are proud to invite Genbei Yamaguchi X to deliver an illustrated talk on the art of obi (sashes worn with kimono), on Wednesday, 9 November 2016 at Asia House. The tenth-generation head of a Kyoto family that specialises in making obi, Yamaguchi will discuss his career and collaborations with artists, architects, actors, fashion designers and clothing manufacturers.

Date: 9 November 2016 from 7.00pm

Asia House, Fine Room 1
63 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 7LP 


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please visit:

Image (left): Sash (obi) for a kimono; In Search of Proof that you are being Treated Kindly; Conceived by Genbei Yamaguchi X after a painting by Fuyuko Matsui (b.1974); 2014; Silk, paper, gold and silver; FE.78-2016; Given by Genbei Yamaguchi X; 440 x 31 cm (length x width)

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Here and Now   JPsupported

Here & Now is the first major curated exhibition of contemporary tapestry in England for over 20 years, showcasing international talent and innovative approaches to the medium. Alongside work of British tapestry weavers, the exhibition features over 20 international artists including a selection from Japan: Ayako Matsumura, Misao Watanabe, Yasuko Fujino, Saori Sakai and Ai Ito. Placing the works by Japanese artists in an international context, the exhibition will show the vigor and new aesthetic sensibility of contemporary tapestry in Japan.

Date: 1 October 2016 - 15 January 2017

The National Centre for Craft & Design
Navigation Wharf, Carre St, Sleaford NG34 7TW

For more information, please click here.

Image by Yasuko Fujino

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