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Tears and Laughter: Women in Japanese Melodrama
Archipelago: Exploring the Landscape of Contemporary Japanese Women Filmmakers new
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2017
The 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2017
HYPER JAPAN presents: Illuminight – Magical ‘akari’ lanterns installation new
Conference: At the Roots of Visual Japan. Word-text dynamics in early-modern Japan

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

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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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

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

To book your free place via Eventbrite, please click here

Friday, 1 December | Courthouse Cinema, London


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

To book your free place via Eventbrite, please click here

Saturday, 2 December | Rich Mix, London

WILD BERRIES | Director: Miwa Nishikawa

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

To book your free place via Eventbrite, please click here



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.

To book your free place via Eventbrite, please click here

Date: 30 November 2017 - 2 December 2017

Booking: These events are free to attend but booking is essential. To book your place, please click the above links for the specific event you would like to book.

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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Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2017   org

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday December 3rd 2017. It will be held at SOAS University of London, the University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University.

The application deadline has passed. Applications are now closed. The next JLPT will take place summer 2017.

Deadline to apply: Thursday, 5th October for all 3 test sites. Sites will close earlier when the number of applicants reach the maximum. We highly recommend you to submit the application as early as possible to secure your place at your preferred site.

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

1. SOAS University of London   Registration start: Late August
If you require special arrangements, please contact the university before applying by mid September

> CLICK HERE for more information and to apply at SOAS. 

As the maximum number of applicants has been reached, applications to take the test at SOAS are now closed.

2. University of Edinburgh    Registration start: 21 August 2017, 10am
If you require special arrangements, please contact the university before applying by 8th September, 4pm

> CLICK HERE for more information and to apply at the University of Edinburgh

3. Cardiff University    Registration start: 21st August 2017

Applicants requiring special arrangements should contact the university by email stating 'special arrangements' in the subject line before making an application by 8th September.

> CLICK HERE for more information and to apply at Cardiff University

For more information about the JLPT please click here to visit the official JLPT website.

Date: 3 December 2017
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The 13th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students   org

We are delighted to announce that the 13th 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 24th February 2018 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.

:: 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.

There are three different categories:

1. Speech Category: The Speech Category is for those who are studying Japanese as either a degree or non-degree course at a university in the UK or Ireland including as an elective, optional or other university-based language course.
Application Deadline: 9th November 2017

2. Individual Presentation Category: The Individual Presentation Category is aimed at those studying Japanese at post beginner/intermediate level. Participants will give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese.
Application Deadline: 1st December 2017

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: 8th December 2017

Videos from the 12th Contest Finals Day can be viewed here

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

Date: 21 August 2017 - 8 December 2017
Download FAQ(13)
Download ApplicationForm-Speech_Category(13)
Download Rules and guidance - Speech Category
Download ApplicationForm-Individual_Presentation_Category(13)
Download ApplicationForm-Group_Presentation_Category(13)
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Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2017   JPsupported

The Experience Japan Exhibition will be back in London this November for the seventh time, bringing information on the growing range of exciting study and research opportunities available in Japan to a UK audience. 

The event which is hosted by Keio University and co-hosted by the British Council will allow participants to meet representatives of Japanese universities and receive information on the various programmes of study offered for international students. There will also be a chance to find out about the variety of scholarships and research funding available to enable students to take advantage of these learning opportunities.

The seminar line-up offers participants the chance to learn about the basics of life in Japan and hear directly from people with experience of studying and researching there. Guest speakers will also be delivering presentations that provide insights into Japanese language and a new field of sports known as "superhuman sports". There will also be a special seminar on the ever-popular Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

This year’s seminar line-up also includes a talk by the Japan Foundation’s own Chief Japanese Language Advisor Makoto Netsu who will be discussing ‘Insights into Japanese culture through language’.

Throughout the day the Japan Foundation will also be introducing our support programmes and resources for Japanese Studies and Japanese language learning at an information stand at the exhibition, so do come and visit us for advice on your Japanese studies!

Date: 18 November 2017 from 12.00pm

The Royal Society, Wellcome Trust Lecture Hall, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG

Further details on pre-registration and more can be found on the Experience Japan Exhibition official website:

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HYPER JAPAN presents: Illuminight – Magical ‘akari’ lanterns installation   JPsupported

HYPER JAPAN Christmas will bring a festival of light to London this November, presenting an exhibition of lighting installations which blend traditional and modern aspects of Japanese culture. Featuring illuminations often seen at Japanese “matsuri” festivals, the installations will include the stunning work of contemporary Japanese artists Tadaharu Kawamura and Teppei Hayakawa.

Date: 24 November 2017 - 26 November 2017

Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, London E1W 2SF

For more information, please click here.
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Conference: At the Roots of Visual Japan. Word-text dynamics in early-modern Japan   JPsupported

This two-day international conference, organised by the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, brings together scholars in the field of Japanese early-modern literature with a specific remit: to examine the interaction of text(s) and image(s) in a systematic manner across the main genres of early-modern popular prose and poetry in print. This is done in dialogue with scholars who work on comics, graphic prose and manga.

Building on the methodology developed in influential works on Western illustrated texts each presentation discusses selected case studies from Japanese early-modern sources, in order to offer preliminary answers to specific research questions.

Presentations are closed each day by a wrap-up session with a view to sum up the answers emerged during the day, to highlight new research questions, and to offer points of discussion for the roundtable. A roundtable closes the conference, featuring scholars of comics, graphic prose and manga. The goal is to position early-modern Japan in a continuum with contemporary Japan and to view its visual culture as an integral part of visual cultures around the World and across time.

Date: 14 December 2017 - 15 December 2017

Venue:   Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA

Booking Information

For more information and to register please visit the conference website. 

The deadline for conference registration is 8 December 2017.

This workshop is supported by the Japan Foundation London Grant Programme for Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange. For more information about this programme please click here.

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