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Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai
Public Seminar - NAGADORO: Rural Life after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Out of Step - Artist talk by contact Gonzo
Japan Foundation at Alcon
Public Seminar - Always on and connected: young people and their mobile social media use in Japan, the US, and the UK
Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme – September 2014 Training Day for Volunteers
Public Seminar: Economic Policy and the Welfare State in Japan and the UK new
Japan Foundation/JGap Japanese Language Teachers' Seminar: Self-Expressing Activities and Elementary Japanese Language Education
LDF Digital Design Weekend: Magnetic Field Record, Kouichi Okamoto new
Art Meets Design -
Talk: Yuri Suzuki x Kouichi Okamoto with Alex Coles
Talk: An Introduction to Sake new
Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2014
Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2014
Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara new
Artist talk: Shinro Ohtake new
Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
new
The Japan Foundation & SOAS Language and Culture Course (Beginner Level) - Term 1 new
Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Headteachers
J-Basic Online for Teachers
NOW OPEN! The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools 2014-15
Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace: Call for Participation!
Book Launch: The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972 new
Journal
Botech Compositions: New Work by Macoto Murayama
It’s a Wrap: Japanese furoshiki past and present

Double Bill: Films by Makoto Shinkai   org

The Japan Foundation 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 animations which are full of stunning scenes and visuals, combined with beautiful stories. The programme will included two of Shinkai’s films; his early film Voices of a Distant Star and his 2013 production,The Garden of Words.

To download the flyer for this event, please click here.


Date: 30 August 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

**Both screenings are now fully booked** To register for the waiting list, please click here. (This booking form uses Google Drive and is subject to Google's Terms & Conditions.)

Image: 'The Garden of Words', © Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films

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Public Seminar - NAGADORO: Rural Life after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster   org

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 2011, Prof Tom Gill (Meiji Gakuin University) has made some 26 field trips to Nagadoro, a tiny hamlet that has absorbed some of the highest levels of radiation in Fukushima prefecture.  During the course of these field trips Prof Gill has got to know the people of Nagadoro as they undergo an agonizing series of trials and tribulations.  In this special public seminar he tells their story and offers a glimpse of what life is really like for the residents of the nuclear disaster zone.  Joining Prof Gill in discussion will be Prof Ian Neary from the University of Oxford.

 

Abstract

The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 will continue to affect millions of people for decades to come. The tremendous scale and complexity of this catastrophic event make it almost impossible to comprehend what is really going on in Fukushima. Any researcher must contend with the widely varying levels of radiation, the differing conditions for return to evacuated zones, the mixed fortunes of the decontamination programmes, the massive variation in compensation payments and many other challenges. I long since realized that my only hope of keeping abreast of events was to focus very tightly on a single small community that I could get to know reasonably well through a long series of field trips. That community is Nagadoro. Nagadoro is a tiny hamlet of 71 households, on the southern edge of Iitate village. After 3.11, it absorbed more radiation than any other hamlet in the village, and it is currently totally evacuated and barricaded with locked gates and sentries on all the four roads that lead into it. In three years and 26 field trips, I have slowly got to know the people of Nagadoro as they undergo an agonizing series of trials and tribulations. By telling their story, I hope to offer a glimpse of what life is really like for the residents of the nuclear disaster zone.


Date: 4 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

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Out of Step - Artist talk by contact Gonzo   org

Contact Gonzo is an improvisational performance group from Osaka, Japan that disregard the framework of the prevailing definition and code of dance. Their pioneering style is a balance of elements from contemporary dance, performance art and urban culture mixed with influences from martial arts. The collective of four members with different backgrounds - Yuya Tsukahara, Keigo Mikajiri, Takuya Matsumi and Masakazu Kobayashi – use physical strength and agility to create experimental encounters with attacks of movement. Earning numerous invitations to perform at exhibitions and festivals worldwide, including MoMA in New York and the Sydney Biennale in Australia, they present their works not only through performances but also by means of art installations wherein photo and film is used. 

Supported through the Japan Foundation’s Performing Arts Programme (PAJ), Contact Gonzo drops into the UK on their way home from a residency in Italy and Latvia to talk about the unique performance method and body expression that they have developed. Reflecting on the current state of performing arts and performance art in Japan, they will also discuss how important it is to be responsive to the environment they encounter in order to fulfil their artistic creed.

The group will be joined for a discussion by Prof Anna Furse, Head of Department of Theatre and Performance, Goldsmiths, University of London and founder member of Transitional Identity in the early 1980s, the UK's first Contact Improvisation touring company.

There will be a short performance by Contact Gonzo after the talk.


Date: 5 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Performances:

In addition to the talk and mini performance at the Japan Foundation, contact Gonzo will perform twice in London on Saturday, 6 September. Come to Russell Square Gardens (Russell Square, London) at 12:45pm and again at Cafe OTO (Dalston, London) at 4:30pm to see their exciting work! (No booking required for either performance.)

Image credit: OKA-Z

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Japan Foundation at Alcon   org

The Japan Foundation will be at Alcon (Leicester's convention for anime, gaming and cosplay) on 6th and 7th September.

Visit our stand for information about studying Japanese, freebies and the chance to enter our quiz and win some great prizes!

What's more, we will be giving a short Japanese taster session and a presentation on the resources and support available for Japanese language learners on Saturday 6th, 15:30 - 16:00.

More information about Alcon, which is organised by Anime League, can be found on the official website, www.alcon.org.uk


Date: 6 September 2014 - 7 September 2014 from 10.00am
Venue:

De Montfort University, Leicester

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Public Seminar - Always on and connected: young people and their mobile social media use in Japan, the US, and the UK   org

Smartphone use has seen a meteoric rise in the past few years. Indeed, it is now hard for most of us, especially young people living in cosmopolitan urban centres, to imagine a world without the smartphone – and, for that matter, without the social media apps it supports such as Twitter, Facebook and LINE. But how do people in different parts of the world use their smartphones? What do they share cross-culturally – and what do they choose not to share? Do cultural differences really matter when the technology is the same?

In this public seminar, Professor Toshie Takahashi (Waseda University) will present findings from a comparative study of digital media use amongst young people in Japan, the US and the UK, focusing on their practices of connectivity with intimate and distant others through social media on smartphones. Joining Takahashi to discuss these findings will be Dr Chris Davies, joint convenor of the Learning and New Technologies Research Group at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. 


Date: 11 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Image by Lee Chapman

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Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme – September 2014 Training Day for Volunteers   org

The next Volunteer Training Day for our Japanese Taster for Schools (JTS) Programme will take place on Friday, September 12th 2014.

Our regular Training Days at our London office are a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, get teaching ideas, and ask any questions you may have.  We ask our volunteers who live within travelling distance to London to attend at least one Training Day before making a school visit), in order to get a full understanding of the JTS Programme.  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 June 2014, here.

Provisional Timetable: The day will begin with an induction for new attendees at 12:30 (registration starts from 12:15). Those who have been to a JTS Training Day before may attend from 13:00. 

How to apply

To register, please click here to use our online application form.

The registration form uses Google Documents and is subject to Google's standard terms and conditions of use. If you would prefer to register in a different way or have difficulty in accessing the form, please email us at info.language@jpf.org.uk and we will send you a Word/ PDF 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. 

For more information about the JTS programme, please click here.

Click here to apply for our September 2014 (London) Training Day


Date: 12 September 2014 from 12.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

Download JTS 09-2014 Training Day Programme
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Public Seminar: Economic Policy and the Welfare State in Japan and the UK   org

In this public seminar political scientists Prof Nobuhiro Hiwatari and Prof Junko Kato from the University of Tokyo join us to discuss their latest research into social policy reforms during financial crises, and tax politics and the welfare state.

 

Abstracts

Are Neo-Liberal Reforms Undemocratic? Evidence from the OECD and cases from the UK and Japan  

Prof Nobuhiro Hiwatari, University of Tokyo

In this paper I provide a new way of addressing whether spending cuts and social policy reforms are undemocratic.  Although measures that weaken market protection and social safety nets are opposed by organized interests and are unpopular with the voters, what if they reflect the position of the democratically elected legislature and not just the incumbent government? To show this is a possibility, I hypothesize that, when faced with global recessions, party leaders competing for power must show that they have viable plans to revive the economy, and as such, they have strong incentives to persuade the median voter that such reforms are unavoidable in order to stabilize the economy and assure international investors.  Evidence from 20 OECD countries shows that the major left and right parties tend to move rightward during global recessions, but not so much leftward during economic recoveries with the rise of economic inequality. In addition, I show that spending cuts do represent the policy position of the legislative centre rather than the government centre. The validity of the argument is further demonstrated by examining the cases of Japan and the UK.

 

Taxation and the Welfare State: Japan in a Comparative Perspective   

Prof Junko Kato, University of Tokyo

Since the 1980s, the institutionalization of regressive taxes for effective revenue-raising during a period of high growth has helped industrial democracies resist welfare state backlash. Building on this observation, I argue that the funding capacity of a welfare state is path-dependent on a revenue shift from progressive to regressive taxation. Tax politics is a critical intervening factor. Japan has been regarded as a proto-typical example in which the government failed to introduce a strong revenue-raising machine during a period of high economic growth. Today, Japan has again accumulated a massive government debt that is greater than twice its GDP and recently managed to increase consumption tax rates (from 5 to 8 %) for the first time in seventeen years. Strong opposition to tax increases in Japan appears puzzling considering its relatively low tax level and extremely high debt compared with other industrial democracies. Yet, it is consistent with a comparative analysis of tax politics in mature welfare states. I will explain the current situation in Japanese tax politics in comparison with other industrial democracies, focusing especially on European countries. 


Date: 17 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Image: ©Asher Isbrucker 

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Japan Foundation/JGap Japanese Language Teachers' Seminar: Self-Expressing Activities and Elementary Japanese Language Education   org

[日本語]

What does it mean to be able to function in Japanese? Up to now, language educators have been focusing on functional language activities such as asking for things or inviting someone to do something. But in addition to this kind of communication for practical purposes, there is also communication for social purposes.  It is through social communication that speakers are able to mutually convey and understand a sense of “self.” If we adopt self-expressing activities as the basis for elementary Japanese language curricula, students will be able to acquire proficiency in practical Japanese language use as well as basic knowledge of Japanese.

In this seminar, we will explore "Self-expression-based elementary Japanese language education," which is based on these ideas, with Prof. Koichi Nishiguchi, Center for International Education and Exchange, Osaka University.

Prof. Koichi Nishiguchi
Center for International Education and Exchange, Osaka University

Prof. Koichi Nishiguchi
Center for International Education and Exchange, Osaka University

Published the textbook NEJ – A New Approach to Elementary Japanese(Kuroshio) in 2012. Other publications include Kiso nihongo bunpou kyouhon (Aruku), Perfect Master Kanji N2 (Boninsha) and its iPhone app (NOW PRODUCTION), Minna no nihongo shokyuu kanji (3A Network), Understanding Basic Grammar (ALC) and Reibun de manabu kanji to kotoba N2 (3A Network). Within the fields of psycholinguistics and second language education, he has also published a large number of books and papers including Daini gengo kyouiku ni okeru bafuchin teki shiten (Kuroshio).

This seminar is part of the Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe e.V.'s project, co-organised by the Japan Foundation London, to investigate articulation problems and possible measures within Japanese language education, using the UK as a model.

Click here to book your place


Date: 20 September 2014 from 11.00am
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

Download JGap09-14-Flyer

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LDF Digital Design Weekend: Magnetic Field Record, Kouichi Okamoto   org

The LDF Digital Design Weekend is a weekend of events celebrating collaborations in digital art, design and science, coinciding with the London Design Festival at the V&A. As part of this year’s programme, ICN Gallery and the Japan Foundation will present Magnetic Field Record by designer Kouichi Okamoto, a suspended device recording and visualising the earth’s magnetic and gravitational forces into drawings.


Date: 20 September 2014 - 21 September 2014 from 10.30am
Venue:

V&A Museum, London


For more information, please click here.

Image: Magnetic Field Record, Kouichi Okamoto, 2013.

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Art Meets Design -
Talk: Yuri Suzuki x Kouichi Okamoto with Alex Coles
  org

Today, the names Yuri Suzuki and Kouichi Okamoto have become synonymous as fusion artists who can freely cross the boundary between design and art. While both have worked in product design creating functional objects, each has been involved in music and sound projects and their practices have started leaning towards the pursuit of creative expression in the field of art.

Bridging the gap between the two distinct domains, their work has been displayed in a number of institutions: UK-based Suzuki has collaborated with pop artist will.i.am on Barbican show Digital Revolution and Tate Britain for the exhibition JUKE BOX Meets TATE BRITAIN, whilst Japan-based Okamoto has exhibited at the V&A London as part of London Design Week 2012 and 2014.

In this special talk, Suzuki and Okamoto, joined in conversation with Alex Coles, art critic and editor specialising in the interface between art, design and architecture, will discuss the reason behind their move beyond the design parameters of utilitarian products, reflecting on their own experiences within the creative industry. They will also expand on the differences in practice, approach and mindset between design and art, and how this unique aspect of visual arts integration will evolve in the future.


Date: 22 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Talk: An Introduction to Sake   org

Sake, or nihonshu, is one of Japan’s most famous exports and is an increasingly popular fixture on menus 
at bars and restaurants across the UK.  But with such a dizzying array of classifications and often confusing 
terminology it’s not easy for the uninitiated to know where to start.  

Sake, or nihonshu, is one of Japan’s most famous exports and is an increasingly popular fixture on menus at bars and restaurants across the UK.  But with such a dizzying array of classifications and often confusing terminology it’s not easy for the uninitiated to know where to start.  

In this special talk, sake specialist Oliver Hilton-Johnson (Tengu Sake) joins us to demystify this ancient drink covering everything from the history of sake, how sake is made and its main classifications, to different flavours and suitable food pairings.  Also joining us will be Rie Yoshitake who will discuss the recent fortunes of Japan’s sake industry, while also introducing the activities of the Sake Samurai Association, an organisation formed by young sake brewers in Japan that works to promote sake in overseas markets.

Following the talk, guests will have the opportunity to sample some of the varieties of sake discussed by our experts.  

Following the talk, guests will have the opportunity to sample some of the varieties of sake discussed by our experts.  


Date: 24 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Supported by:

     

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Talk - Gekiga: The Evolution of Alternative Manga   org

The gritty genre of “Gekiga” was named by Yoshihiro Tatsumi in 1957. Based on “Komaga”, previously proposed by Masahiko Matsumoto, it aimed to differentiate itself from mainstream Manga and depict realism in daily life while pursuing a more systematic induction of the reader’s gaze.

The development of this visual expression by Tatsumi resulted not only in the growth of the comic rental market in Osaka, but once it had been picked up by publishers in Tokyo, it represented a new wave of Manga in late 1960’s Japan.

By rejecting the over simplistic, fantasy-based narratives of stereotypical Manga, Matsumoto and Tatsumi’s realistic mode created work from the viewpoint of the everyday man and minorities. Why did these artists move away from moralistic tales where good always defeated evil, and how did their experimental storylines and unique visual language evolve?

Mitsuhiro Asakawa, an award winning historian of Gekiga, will introduce some of Japan’s most influential Gekiga artists and reflect on his personal encounters with them, as well as explore the original source of creativity in Gekiga expression and the social circumstances that resulted in this style. Following the talk, Paul Gravett, a journalist and author specialising in comics publishing and promotion, will join the conversation.

This event will provide an intriguing and insightful scope into Gekiga and alternative comics to Manga in Japan.


Date: 25 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2014   org

The Japan Foundation will be exhibiting at Japan Matsuri 2014, at Trafalgar Square in London. This dynamic annual event brings people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, family activities and much, much more.

Visit our stand for information about studying Japanese, freebies and the chance to enter our quiz and win some great prizes!

For more information about Japan Matsuri, please visit the official Japan Matsuri website at JapanMatsuri.com.


Date: 27 September 2014 from 11.00am
Venue:

Trafalgar Square, London

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2014   org

NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS AT BOTH SITES!

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday 7th December 2014. It will be held at SOAS, University of London, and the University of Edinburgh.

  • If you wish to take the test at SOAS in London, please click here to apply via the SOAS website. 
  • If you wish to take the test at the University of Edinburgh, please click here to apply via the University of Edinburgh website. 

Online application will be open from mid August 2014 and the deadline is on Thursday 2nd October 2014, or when the test centre has reached its maximum capacity.

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


Date: 2 October 2014
Venue:

SOAS University of London and the University of Edinburgh

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Artist talk: Yoshitomo Nara   org

Yoshitomo Nara is one of the most influential and internationally renowned contemporary artists from Japan, best known for his paintings of cartoon-like wide-eyed children and animals. The characters in Nara’s works often sport fiendish expressions and provocative stances; appearing ‘cute’ at first, but also convey underlying tones of adult anxiety, isolation and rebellion. Adored by legions of fans and critics, Nara’s works, ranging from paintings, sculptures, ceramics and large-scale installations have been displayed in museums and galleries around the world, and his iconic images have also graced t-shirts, CD covers, skateboards and even yo-yos.

On the occasion of his major solo exhibition taking place at Dairy Arts Centre, London, Nara will introduce his artistic development over his 30-year career as well as the ethos behind his iconic works.

This is a very rare opportunity to gain a further insight into one of Japan’s most legendary artists who seldom makes public appearances, whilst surrounded by his paintings, drawings and sculptures on display.


Date: 3 October 2014 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Dairy Art Centre
7a Wakefield St, London WC1N 1PG


Booking:

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

The exhibition Yoshitomo Nara will be at Dairy Arts Centre from 3 October to 14 December 2014.  For more information, please visit: dairyartcentre.org.uk

Image: Yoshitomo Nara, Can’t wait ’til the Night Comes, 2012, Photo: Keizo Kioku © Yoshitomo Nara

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Artist talk: Shinro Ohtake   org

Constantly exploring the act of creating, Shinro Ohtake is a distinguished Japanese contemporary artist whose career spans over 35 years. His work is truly borderless with his main medium being painting but also expands into sculpture, design, installation, and even experimental music.

Ohtake’s subject and complex style has earned him numerous invitations to exhibitions worldwide including dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, the Venice Biennale in 2013 and this year’s Yokohama Triennale. Additionally, he was recently awarded one of Japan’s most prominent art accolades, The Agency for Cultural Affairs Minister’s Award for the Fine Arts 2013-2014. 

In conjunction with the largest U.K. exhibition of his work at Parasol unit foundation of contemporary art in London, The Japan Foundation has invited Ohtake to explore the characteristics of both his past and recent work, and the unprecedented approach he uses for his own brand of accumulation. In discussion with Mark Rappolt, editor of ArtReview, this talk will also examine the meaning of expression in his interdisciplinary style, reflecting how his approach and characteristics have developed over time in response to the changing worldwide and Japanese art scene


Date: 10 October 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Image: Shinro Ohtake, Scrapbook #66, 2010-2012. Mixed media artist book, 72 x 96 x 129 cm, 27.2 kg, 830 pages. Courtesy of the artist and Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, photo by Kei Okano

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Workshop: Let's Catch the Lion -
Dobutsu Shogi (Animal Shogi) instructed by Madoka Kitao
  org

Shogi is a traditional Japanese board game, similar to Western Chess. Played by two players, the different ways in which the pieces can move arguably makes Shogi strategically more interesting and exciting to play through to the end. However, the downside of Shogi is that it takes some time to master…

In order to encourage those who have always wanted to play Shogi but didn’t know where to start, the Japan Foundation has invited Madoka Kitao, one of Japan’s most distinguished Shogi players to teach you ‘Dobutsu Shogi’ (‘Animal Shogi’), a simplified version of Shogi, invented by Kitao herself.

Having much less pieces on the board, Dobutsu Shogi may seem an easy game at first, but once you experience it, you will soon be drawn into the dazzling labyrinthine world of Shogi. The game is suitable for all ages (as long as you can recognize the animal pictures on the pawns!) and even those who consider themselves a Shogi master will also be fascinated to play this wild variation!

At the beginning of workshop, Madoka Kitao will also talk about the culture and history of Shogi in Japan.

Come and enjoy Dobutsu Shogi and meet the master and inventor of this cute board game!

For ages 8 to 108! (Children under 11 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.)

Workshop Times:

11:00am - 12:30pm (for adults and independent children)
2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families) 

2:00pm - 3:30pm (for families)

Date: 11 October 2014
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


The workshops are free to attend but booking is essential. To register, please email your name and the session you would like to attend to: event@jpf.org.uk

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The Japan Foundation & SOAS Language and Culture Course (Beginner Level) - Term 1   org

Our popular Japanese language & culture course returns for 2014-15!

The Japan Foundation & SOAS Language and Culture Course (Beginner Level) is a new kind of course for absolute beginners (JF Standard for Japanese Language Education A1 Breakthrough) of Japanese. It is based on the JF Standard for Japanese Language Education, rather than traditional methods of language education that focus on grammar and sentence structure. The aim of the course will be to use Japanese language skills to get to know people, visit restaurants and take part in many other Japan-related events. At the end of every lesson, participants will be able to perform specific, practical tasks in Japanese.

The course will not focus on language alone; learning Japanese culture will also be an important element in the lessons. The course will incorporate videos, games and media that will help you to learn about Japan and to give you the opportunity to use your new Japanese skills outside of the classroom. You will also have access to the supplementary MARUGOTO+ Japanese Learning website. Participants of this course will even be eligible for temporary full membership of the Japan Foundation London Library for the duration of the term they are enrolled in and will be able to borrow resources from its collection of approx. 10,000 Japanese language education textbooks and other learning materials. This course is perfect for absolute beginners of Japanese who would like to use their new language skills in practical situations and really connect with Japanese society.

  • Term 1 Dates: 9th October 2014 – 11th December 2014 (every Thursday)19:00 - 21:00
  • Course Leader: Mr Shinichiro Okajima, SOAS Language Centre
  • Venue: SOAS, University of London 
  • Course Fee: £330 per term, including course textbook and materials 

I liked the pace of the course and was surprised we learned hiragana and katakana [Japanese writing] so quickly. As it was an introductory course, I felt the balance was right for people who were complete beginners  and self-studying students like myself who had a little bit of language under my belt already. I certainly feel, after learning about ordering food, that I would be able to do this in Japan.” - JP Rutter, former course participant.

For more information to book your place please click here to visit the SOAS website.

For full information about the course timetable, future term dates etc. please download the flier below.


Date: 9 October 2014 - 11 December 2014 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Download JpLangCult 2014-2015
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Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Headteachers   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 head teachers the opportunity to take a study trip to Japan at the end of October 2014 on the Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Head Teachers.

The programme will include Japanese cultural experiences to help deepen your understanding of Japan, as well as a visit to a 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.

*Registration for this programme has now closed.* 

Priority will be given to head teachers based at primary schools that are teaching, or planning to teach, Japanese language within the curriculum.

 

Tentative Itinerary (to be confirmed...)
25th Oct (Saturday)
Afternoon: Pre-departure session over lunch at the Japan Foundation London
Evening: Flight to Tokyo
26th Oct (Sunday)
Arrival in Tokyo – No scheduled events so you can rest and avoid jetlag. 
27th Oct (Monday)
- Introductory session at the Japan Foundation Head Office
- Visit Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
28th Oct (Tuesday)
- Visit Elementary School in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
- Visiting British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
29th Oct (Wednesday)
- Go to Kyoto via Shin-kansen (Bullet train) 
- Cultural experience (Visiting old shrines and temples)
- Group Dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant
30th Oct (Thursday)
- Elementary School visit in Kyoto
- Return to Tokyo
31st Oct (Friday)
- Morning: free time
- From 15:00 Wrap-up session at the Japan Foundation
- Farewell reception hosted by the Executive Vice President, Japan Foundation
1st Nov (Saturday)
Flight back to London Heathrow. We will arrive in the afternoon. 

Tentative Itinerary (to be confirmed...)

25th Oct (Saturday)
- 12:00: Pre-departure session over lunch at the Japan Foundation London
- Evening: Flight to Tokyo
26th Oct (Sunday)
- Arrival in Tokyo – No scheduled events so you can rest and avoid jetlag. 
27th Oct (Monday)
- 10:00 Introductory session at the Japan Foundation Head Office
- 14:00 Visit Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs
28th Oct (Tuesday)
- 10:00 Visit Elementary School in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
- 14:00 Visit British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
29th Oct (Wednesday)
- 8:30 Go to Kyoto via Shin-kansen (Bullet train) 
- Cultural experience (Visiting old shrines and temples)
- Group Dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant
30th Oct (Thursday)
- Elementary School visit in Kyoto
- Return to Tokyo in the afternoon
31st Oct (Friday)
- Morning: free time
- 15:00 Wrap-up session at the Japan Foundation
- 18:00 Farewell reception hosted by the Executive Vice President, Japan Foundation
1st Nov (Saturday)
- Flight back to London Heathrow. We will arrive in the afternoon. 


Date: 25 October 2014 - 1 November 2014

*Registration for this programme has now closed.* 

   

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J-Basic Online for Teachers   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: approx. £75 - £120 (Depending on language level and exchange rate)

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!”

Remaining 2014-15 Dates 

  • Session 4: 28 July – 19 September
  • Session 5: 21 September – 14 November
  • Holiday Session: 24 November – 23 January 2015.
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 http://www.jpf.org.au/jbasic


Date: 3 February 2014 - 23 January 2015
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NOW OPEN! The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools 2014-15   org

The Japan Webpage Contest for Schools will be running again in 2014-15, and is now open for applications!

We know that many schools are teaching Japanese or doing other projects about Japan, and we want to hear more about it.

This contest is open to any UK school that is teaching Japanese or doing any kind of project related to Japan. Your school does not need to be teaching Japanese to enter the contest.

To enter the contest, all you need to do is make a simple webpage about the work that your school is doing with Japanese or Japan. This could be a blog, a wiki, or a page that's part of your school's website.

The tentative schedule for the webpage contest is as follows:

  • Deadline to enter the contest January 12th 2015
  • Short-listed schools announced Mid January 2015 
  • Online public voting February 2015
  • Announcement of contest winners Monday 2nd March 2015
  • Presentation Evening and Award Ceremony March 2015

NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS! For details on how to apply please visit the official Japan Webpage Contest for Schools website at www.japanwebpagecontest.org.uk . It's also full of tips, hints and entries from previous contests.

To subscribe for updates about the contest, please submit a “Register Your Interest” form here. By registering your interest, you will be the first to know about all the updates and latest information about the contest. 


Date: 15 May 2014 - 31 March 2015
Download JWCS14-Flyer2sides(lowres)

This contest is supported by the Association for Language Learning (ALL), the British Council, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, and the Japan Society.

 

                

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Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace: Call for Participation!   org

Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA) and the Japan Foundation are now accepting applications for participation in Japanese Studies Seminar: Tokyo(東京) scheduled for 22 and 23 September, 2014 at CEEJA, in Kientzheim, France. The official language of the seminar will be JAPANESE.

This seminar aims to encourage networking among young researchers on Japan in Europe and further promote Japanese Studies in Europe.

Participants will join a two-day intensive workshop in the cozy and intimate atmosphere of CEEJA's facility in Kientzheim where they will present and discuss their current research projects with fellow participants and guest mentors from Japan and the USA.

The theme of this year’s seminar will be “Tokyo (東京).”  We are calling for applications from young researchers in Europe specializing in politics, history, sociology, literature, the arts, language, philosophy, economics, architecture, religion, etc. 

The deadline for applications is 30 June, 2014.

 

Please see the attached file 'Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace' for further details including eligibility and application procedures. 


Date: 22 September 2014 - 23 September 2014
Venue:

Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA), Kientzheim, France

Download Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace_

 

    

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Book Launch: The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972   JPsupported

The Japan Foundation is delighted to host the launch of The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972: analysis and assessments from John Pilcher and the British Embassy, Tokyo, compiled and edited by Sir Hugh Cortazzi. The publishers, Renaissance Books in association with the Japan Society, would like to thank the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Julia Bonas and others for their generous help towards the costs of publication.

In this volume Sir Hugh has compiled the defining reports from Sir John Pilcher’s time as ambassador to Japan from 1967 to ’72, a period in which Japan’s economy and power grew significantly and her relations with the United States became increasingly strained. Sir Hugh, who worked with Pilcher during these years and was himself Ambassador to Japan from 1980 to ’84, will open the launch with an overview of the changing character of Anglo-Japanese relations and of the first overseas visit by a Japanese Emperor. This will be followed by an open discussion led by Chairman of the Japan Society, Sir David Warren, and a drinks reception. We are delighted to announce that all attendees will receive copies of the book.

This collection of Pilcher’s reports to Whitehall provides a valuable record of Japan’s progress at this turning point in her post-war history, as well as insights into the hopes and expectations of the British Government in her dealings with Japan. Pilcher’s role during this period was that of bridge-builder between the two countries following the post-war decades of disenchantment and distrust.

Pilcher’s reports were not only unusually comprehensive but were characterised by his natural sympathy for the country and deep knowledge of its culture and religion. His writings on Japan have remained largely inaccessible, and unknown to most researchers, and The Growing Power of Japan offers readers a unique insight into the thoughts of this distinguished scholar-diplomat.


Date: 6 October 2014 from 6.45pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is organised by the Japan Society.  To reserve your place please contact the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

 

Organised by:

Supported by:

   

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Journal   JPsupported

Journal is an exhibition bringing together international artists who explore both historical events and more gradual social changes in their work. As part of the presentations and live performances taking place at the ICA Galleries and off-site, the exhibition will include Japanese artist Koki Tanaka’s new commission Precarious Tasks #9: 24hrs Gathering, in which Tanaka embarks on a series of events, which he refers to as ‘actions’, over a 24-hour period. 


Date: 25 June 2014 - 7 September 2014
Venue:

Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London


For more information, please click here.

Image: painting to the public (open-air), 2012, Collective acts, Billboard. Photography by Takashi Fujikawa; Created with Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo

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Botech Compositions: New Work by Macoto Murayama   JPsupported

For the 2014 Liverpool Biennial, Metal will be exhibiting the work of Macoto Murayama. Based in Tokyo, Murayama spent six months of 2013 living and working at Metal’s space in Southend on Sea, dissecting, recording and rendering in digital form UK indigenous flowers. The resulting works are presented at Metal’s Liverpool base, Edge Hill Station as a series of high definition, animated sequences that reveals the beauty, fragility and architectural structure of flowers. It is the first time that Macoto Murayama’s work has been exhibited in the UK.


Date: 4 July 2014 - 26 October 2014
Venue:

Metal, Edge Hill Station, Liverpool


For more information, please click here.
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It’s a Wrap: Japanese furoshiki past and present   JPsupported

The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum presents a new large scale exhibition focusing on furoshiki, a square shaped piece of cloth used for wrapping and carry different types of merchandise or gifts. Featuring loans of textiles from museum collections in the UK and pieces not seen in the UK before from collections in Japan, the exhibition explores the cultural significance and origins of furoshiki, as well as its application today as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags and expensive gift wrapping.


Date: 20 September 2014 - 10 January 2015
Venue:

Rugby Art Gallery and Museum


For more information, please click here.

Image credit: Cotton material, indigo dyed Shindigo shibori, 900 x 900. 2007. Commissioned by Brighton Museum & Art Gallery from HIROYUKI Shindo © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

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