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Japan Foundation at Language Show Live 2015
D.I.Y. Japanese Club! Extra-Curricular Japanese Resources & Ideas Sharing Workshop new
Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai (Gateshead, Anime Attacks)
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme 2015 Training Day for Volunteers
The Eleventh Japanese Speech Contest for University Students
Shojo manga: Girls' Comics from Japan
Artist talk by Oyama Enrico Isamu Letter
Hatsune Miku - The Metamorphosis of Music and Technology
Can a Freeter Buy a House? Contemporary Housing Issues in Japan from the 'Lost Generation' to 'Generation Rent' new
J-Basic Online for Teachers 2015
Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Head Teachers 2015
Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival
TUSK Festival 2015

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).  

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

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

For more information, please click here.
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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

Brockway Room, Conway Hall, London WC1R 4RL

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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.



The film screenings are free to attend, but booking is essential.

To reserve a place, please click here

Places are very limited - book now to avoid disappointment!

Date: 24 October 2015 from 12.00pm

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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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

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

Download JTS 11-2015 Training Day Programme
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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
Click here to download application form 

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
Click here to download application form 

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-Individual_Presentation_Category
Download 2015_ApplicationForm-Group_Presentation_Category
Download 2015_FAQ
Download 2015_ApplicationForm-Speech_Category
Download Rules and guidance - Speech Category
Download speech_students2016_A3poster_final
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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

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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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

Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Arts
16 John Islip Street, London SW1P 4JU
Nearest tube station: Pimlico


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


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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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:

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:
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

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.

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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.

Date: 27 November 2015 from 6.45pm

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

Image (right): Payless Images/

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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

Date: 3 February 2014 - 23 January 2015
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Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Head Teachers 2015   org

As part of the Japan Foundation’s Primary Japanese Campaign to support and encourage primary schools teaching Japanese language, we will be giving 20 primary head teachers the opportunity to take a study trip to Japan from Saturday 24th October to Saturday 31st October on the Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Head Teachers 2015. 

The programme will include Japanese cultural experiences to help deepen your understanding of Japan, as well as visits to Japanese school to observe the Japanese education system first-hand. It will also provide an excellent opportunity to network with teachers in Japan, as well as with other head teachers in the UK whose schools are enthusiastic about Japanese. The Japan Foundation will cover all travel, accommodation and meal expenses. You can see a report about last year’s tour here and you can see photos of the tour here.

We are looking for sign-ups from headteachers in primary schools that fit any one of the criteria below (1-3.) If your school’s head teacher is unable to join us on this tour, we can accept applications to send deputy headteachers in their place.  However, please ask your headteacher to fill in the application for you as we will only accept applications through headteachers. The Japan Foundation reserves the right to choose which schools will participate in this programme.

  1. Primary schools that are interested in introducing Japanese onto their main curriculum. 
  2. Primary schools that are interesting in providing extracurricular activities (Japanese clubs)
  3. Primary schools that already teach Japanese that would like to share their ideas with other schools in their area and spread the teaching of Japanese to other schools.  

We are no longer accepting applications for this programme. We will invite participants within the next week.

Date: 24 October 2015 - 31 October 2015

Please click here to register your interest. Deadline for applications is 15th July 2015.

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Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival   JPsupported

The Japan Foundation will be supporting this year's Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival, a festival screening the best in Japanese animation and culture. This year the festival will be taking place in two locations in Wales and will feature a number of films including A Letter to Momo (dir. Hiroyuki Okiura, 2011) and Tiger & Bunny: The Rising (dir. Yoshitomo Yonetani, 2014).

For details of the full programme, please visit the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival website.

Date: 26 September 2015 - 10 October 2015

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff (26 September 2015) and Aberystwyth Arts Centre (10 October 2015)

Image: © 2012 "A Letter to Momo" Film Partners

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TUSK Festival 2015   JPsupported

The Japan Foundation is pleased to support this year’s TUSK Festival, a festival featuring 3 days of music, films, talks, workshops, exhibitions and more. Continuing its dedication to showcasing artists from the Japanese avant-garde music scene, the festival has invited Reizen, a musician said to be part of a new generation of Japanese artists barely outside their native country and Sax Ruins, a continuation of the legendary group Ruins, featuring the duo’s drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and saxophone player Ryoko Ono. Both artists will be performing in the UK for the very first time.

Date: 9 October 2015 - 11 October 2015

Gateshead Old Town Hall, Gateshead

For more information, please click here.
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