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The Old Puppet Joruri: The Tale of High Priest Kochi
How to become a Benshi! Silent Cinema and the Art of Live Narration new
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
Kikagaku Moyo UK Tour
The Japanese House: I Was Born, But... + live piano and Benshi narration
Mr Potsunen's Peculiar Slice of Life by Kentaro Kobayashi
British Museum presents: Hokusai

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

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London 

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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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

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


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

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 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

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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Kikagaku Moyo UK Tour   JPsupported

This June, Tokyo’s Kikagaku Moyo will be performing at various venues across the UK as part of their world tour. Catch this Japanese psychedelic rock band and their experimental EP “Stone Garden” on the following dates:

20 June - Moth Club, London

21 June - The Deaf Institute, Manchester

22 June – The Library, Leeds

23 June – The Hope and Ruin, Brighton

Date: 20 June 2017 - 23 June 2017
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The Japanese House: I Was Born, But... + live piano and Benshi narration   JPsupported

In conjunction with the exhibition The Japanese House and Benshi event on 23 June, Barbican present a screening of Yasujiro Ozu’s early comedy I Was Born, But..., one of the few surviving examples of Ozu’s silent period filmmaking, featuring live piano accompaniment by Mie Yanashita and Benshi narration by Hideyuki Yamashiro.

Date: 25 June 2017 from 4.00pm

Barbican Centre (Cinema 1), London

For more information, please click here.

Image: I Was Born, But... (Dir. Yasujiro Ozu,1932)

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Mr Potsunen's Peculiar Slice of Life by Kentaro Kobayashi   JPsupported

The Japan Foundation is delighted to support Mr Potsunen's Peculiar Slice of Life, a one-man show by the award-winning performance artist Kentaro Kobayashi. Following the show's sold-out run in London in 2015, Kobayashi will return to the UK for a limited run of this imaginative and magical show. Following the daily existence of one man, the mysterious 'Mr Potsunen', Kobayashi playfully combines mime-based live perfomance with film and projection in a story which is touching, eccentric and wonderfully funny.

Date: 5 July 2017 - 8 July 2017

Print Room at the Coronet, London

For more information, please click here.
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British Museum presents: Hokusai  

British Museum presents: Hokusai is a groundbreaking documentary offering an exclusive private view of the forthcoming British Museum major exhibition Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave. Filmed in Japan, the US and the UK, the film focuses on Hokusai’s work, life and times in the great bustling metropolis of Edo, modern Tokyo. Using Ultra HD video technology and stunning close-ups, the film will reveal the extraordinary detail in the work of Hokusai on the big screen – a real feast for the eyes!

From Sunday, 4 June 2017, the film will be screened at a vast number of cinemas across the United Kingdom. To find your nearest venue, please visit:

Date: 4 June 2017


Image: Clear day with a southern breeze ('Red Fuji') from Thirty-Six Views of Mt Fuji. Colour woodblock, 1831. © British Museum.

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