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Talk by author Mitsuyo Kakuta
Lakes International Comic Arts Festival 2016
Speaking Out: Actor-Director Talk Kaori Momoi
Using Drama to Enrich Japanese Language Education new
Save the Date: Illustrated Talk by Obi Impresario Genbei Yamaguchi X new
Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Part 3: Pighead
Silence is Golden? Classroom Silence in Universities in Japan and the UK new
Contact Points Talk and Lecture
The Twelfth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
Japanese Taster for Schools Programme Volunteer Training Day 2016
Primary Japanese Resource Sharing workshop
Shinsuke Ogawa and Ogawa Pro: Collective filmmaking and the culture of dissidence
Here and Now
Dartford Grammar School - Japanese Networking Event for Head Teachers
Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2016 new

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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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 will be available soon here

Date: 6 November 2016 from 1.00pm to 4.00pm

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

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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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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:


Tickets for this event are priced at £6 (concessions £5).
To purchase tickets please visit:

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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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, and to take a practical look at how to better meet the different learning and teaching needs of Japanese and other international students within culturally diverse university classrooms, particularly foreign language settings. 

Date: 16 November 2016 from 6.30pm

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


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please send an email to

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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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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

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

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

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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Japanese Taster for Schools Programme Volunteer Training Day 2016   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 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 find out 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 2015, here.

Additionally, this Training Day will include an exclusive discussion session on supporting Japanese as a home language, especially for parents and teachers at Japanese supplementary schools and language groups who would like hints and tips on teaching Japanese to their children.

Click here to book your place!

Date: 25 November 2016 from 11.15am to 3.40pm

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

Download JTS2016-Timetable
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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.

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 to 3.30pm

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

Book your place today here.

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Shinsuke Ogawa and Ogawa Pro: Collective filmmaking and the culture of dissidence   org

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), in partnership with the Japan Foundation, present a retrospective season highlighting the essential documentaries of Shinsuke Ogawa (1936-1992) and the filmmaking collective Ogawa Pro, founded in the late 1960s under his direction. Documenting the student struggles and the Sanrizuka protests from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s, these films recorded major political and social upheavals in Japan with remarkable dedication and commitment and their influence is still felt today in Japanese and other Asian documentary filmmaking.

Date: 17 November 2016 - 11 December 2016

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London

For more information, please visit the ICA website.

Image: Sanrizuka -- Peasants of the Second Fortress, courtesy of Athénée Français Cultural Center

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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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Dartford Grammar School - Japanese Networking Event for Head Teachers   JPsupported

In association with the Japan Foundation, Dartford Grammar School for Boys would like to invite Head Teachers, school governors and members of the Senior Management team to a networking event in order to discuss and showcase the significance of the Japanese language as part of the Primary and Secondary curriculum. (Maximum of 2 free places per school)

Japanese was introduced at Dartford Grammar School in 1998 and was immediately popular. Over the next few years it became fully embedded in the curriculum and we now have 370 students throughout the school learning Japanese.  The enjoyment of Japanese learning has had a significant positive impact on the learning and success of other languages.  In 2015 Japanese became a compulsory subject for half of Year 7 (93 pupils) who will continue with Japanese until their GCSE in Year 11.  Therefore by 2020 there will be 450 Key Stage 3 and 4 Japanese learners and approximately 80 Key Stage 5 students studying Japanese at level 3.

It is a subject that is remarkably popular with our students, who are motivated by its fascinating traditions, youth culture and the artistic appeal of writing characters. As a direct result of their interest in, and commitment to Japanese, we have achieved between 96%-100% grade A*-C with our GCSE students over the last 10 years.

We would like to offer the opportunity to talk to a wider network of Head Teachers, Governors and members of senior management of schools who may be interested in taking Japanese up as an extra-curricular subject, introducing it to the curriculum, or further embedding it within the curriculum.  Therefore on the 2nd November we would like to invite you to visit our school and participate in a programme of lesson observations, discussions and sharing of practical ideas about the provision of Japanese at your school.  We will cover implications for the curriculum resources and teacher supply.

If you would like to find out more about the transformational qualities of Japanese learning in a secondary or primary school, please email to register your interest in this event.

Date: 2 November 2016 from 9.30am to 1.30pm

Venue: Dartford Grammar School for Boys
West Hill, Dartford DA1 2HW 

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Japan Foundation at Experience Japan Exhibition 2016   JPsupported

The Experience Japan Exhibition will be back in London this November for the sixth time, bringing information on the growing range of exciting study, work 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 event will introduce other programmes that allow young people in the UK to experience Japan, such as the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET). Experts on working in Japan will also be taking part in the event to provide information on the job market and the opportunities available including internships.

The seminar line-up offers participants the chance to hear directly from people with experience of studying and working in Japan. Guest speakers will also be delivering sessions that will provide insight on Japanese language and popular culture.

This year’s seminar line-up 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: 19 November 2016 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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