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London Design Biennale 2016
Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016
Ninagawa x Shakespeare - Talk by Yuriko Akishima
Talk by author Miri Yu
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2016
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2016 new
JF Supported: Joint East Asian Studies Conference 2016
Koki Tanaka: Liverpool Biennial 2016

London Design Biennale 2016   org

The Japan Foundation will represent Japan at the first London Design Biennale, which takes place this September at Somerset House and features over 30 countries taking part from all over the world. The inaugural Biennale will feature artist Yasuhiro Suzuki, whose installation titled A Journey Around the Neighbourhood Globe will invite visitors to change the way they look at everyday things.

Date: 7 September 2016 - 27 September 2016

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

For more information, please visit the London Design Biennale website.

Image: Large-sized Aerial Being © Yasuhiro Suzuki Installation view at Musashino Art University, 2016

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Winds of Change: Staged Readings 2016   org

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Yellow Earth and StoneCrabs Theatre Company present a new 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 One


Written by Atsuto Suzuki
Translated by Sayaka Rui
Directed by Kumiko Mendl

Synopsis: Sunako is fast approaching 40 and pressure is mounting for her to find a husband. A marriage is arranged with Junichi and it's not long before a baby is on the way but tragedy strikes and Sunako is forced to undergo a hysterectomy. Devastated, she seeks surrogacy in India, where the 'rent a womb' business is thriving. But, what does that mean for the renter and the rented? Atsuto Suzuki's surreal satire takes a look at what happens when two very different worlds collide in the search for life and survival.

The reading will be followed by a Q&A with playwright Atsuto Suzuki.

"Some fabulous theatre writing from Japan"
★★★★ London Theatre 1 for Suzuki's 'The Bite' seen at Yellow Earth's Typhoon Festival at Rich Mix

Image: Tsukasa Aoki

Date: 1 September 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 click here.

Upcoming events as part of the Staged Readings 2016 series:

Written by Ai Nagai
Written by Toshinobu Kojo
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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Ninagawa x Shakespeare - Talk by Yuriko Akishima   org

Yukio Ninagawa was an internationally renowned Japanese theatre director best known for his stylish and innovative stage interpretation. Throughout his vast career, Ninagawa was particularly drawn to William Shakespeare's work and presented his fresh take on 26 of the Bard's 37 plays. Ninagawa strove to foster intercultural communication through his visually stunning adaptations and helped audiences both in the UK and around the world rediscover Shakespeare's classics from a new perspective.

Following his recent death in May this year, Yuriko Akishima, a freelance journalist and dramaturg that had worked closely with Ninagawa for decades, will explore the director's achievements in this illustrated talk, drawing on a selection of climatic examples of his Shakespeare productions. With 2016 marking 400 years since the death of Shakespeare, Akishima will examine how this globally well-known literature has been reinvented and illustrated on the stage through Ninagawa's visionary and challenging work that earned him numerous awards, honours, and fans.

Date: 21 September 2016 from 6.30pm

Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s College London
Strand Campus, London WC2R 2LS


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

Image: Cymbeline © Takahiro Watanabe

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Talk by author Miri Yu   org

Miri Yu is a multi award-winning Japanese author of Korean descent from Yokohama, Japan. Although now known foremost for prose, Yu's artist life started as an actress in the Tokyo Kid Brothers theatre troupe, before her attentions turned to playwriting, and literary works of both fiction and non-fiction. Through Yu's (semi)autobiographical literary endeavours, Yu found catharsis for the turbulent childhood she lived through. Yu's works cover a range of real-life topics, such as Japan's high suicide rate, the neglect of children, and the troubles faced by those of arguably ambiguous national identity, such as the zainichi kankokujin group (ethnic Koreans born and raised in Japan), a number of which Yu has first-hand experience of. Yu has won numerous awards for her works, including the coveted Akutagawa Prize in 1997 for Kazoku Shinema ("Family Cinema"), and has a vast readership in both Japan and South Korea, with her works being translated into several other languages, including Gold Rush which was translated into English in 2002 by Stephen Snyder. Tilted Axis Press will be releasing the English translation of Yu's 2014 JR Ueno-eki koen-guchi (“JR Ueno Station Park Entrance”) in 2018.

In anticipation of her new translation, the Japan Foundation is proud to host a special talk with Miri Yu, who will discuss her works and colourful life in conversation with Tilted Axis Press Founder Deborah Smith. Together they will explore various topics, such as the blurry boundary between fiction and real life experiences in Yu's works, and how her works echo modern Japan's issues and resonate with her readership.

Date: 23 September 2016 from 7.00pm

Impact Hub King's Cross, 34B York Way, London N1 9AB


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

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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2016   org

Japan Foundation will be exhibiting at Japan Matsuri, London's annual festival of Japanese culture. Come to our stand to try our Japan Quiz, get information about learning more Japanese language and culture, or just to say "konnichiwa!"

For more information, please go to the Japan Matsuri website.

Date: 25 September 2016 from 10.00am to 8.00pm

Trafalgar Square, London

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2016   org

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday December 4th. It will be held at SOAS University of London, the University of Edinburgh and (for the first time) Cardiff University.

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

The deadline for applications will be Wednesday 5th October or when the test centre has reached its maximum capacity.

For more information about the JLPT, please see the official JLPT website.

Date: 23 August 2016 - 5 October 2016
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JF Supported: Joint East Asian Studies Conference 2016   JPsupported


The Japan Foundation are delighted to support the Joint East Asian Studies (JEAS) Conference 2016, a triennial meeting held by the three academic associations representing East Asian Studies in the UK: The British Association for Chinese Studies (BACS), The British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS), and the British Association for Korean Studies (BAKS). This conference provides a major venue for the dissemination of research on East Asian Studies in various disciplines for academics from both the UK and abroad.

Date: 7 September 2016 - 9 September 2016

SOAS, University of London

For more details and to register please visit the website of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London 

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Koki Tanaka: Liverpool Biennial 2016   JPsupported

Koki Tanaka is an artist based in Los Angeles and Kyoto whose diverse practice spans video, photography, site-specific installation and interventional projects. For his Liverpool Biennial 2016 commission, Tanaka will revisit the scene of a huge protest in Liverpool in 1985. Tanaka’s work as a result of this project will be on display at the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

Date: 9 July 2016 - 16 October 2016

Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool
More details:

For more information, please click here.

Image: Koki Tanaka, Provisional Studies Action #6, 1985 School Students’ Strike, 2016. Installation view at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool Biennial 2016. Photo: Mark McNulty

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