Contact Us Sitemap Privacy Policy Communication Policy Social Media Policy

What's On

Click to see what's on in these sections

Primary Japanese - resources sharing workshop
The Lie of the Land - Rethinking Landscape Painting
BUKATSUDŌ: Teaching Character in Japanese School Clubs new
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2015
Join the Club! Fandom in Japanese Theatre: Kabuki & Takarazuka
Shinya Tsukamoto: Filmmaker Talk new
Riding the Current - Japanese Contemporary Art and its Curatorial Views new
Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2015 new
J-Basic Online for Teachers 2015
Japan Foundation at Animeleague Conventions
Japanese from Scratch: All About Bento!
Japan Group Tour Programme for UK Head Teachers 2015
Shojo manga: Girls' Comics from Japan
Current Location (Fellswoop Theatre)
Takehisa Kosugi: SPACINGS
Sensoria 2015 new
Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival new

Primary Japanese - resources 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 4s.  This will help give teachers of Japanese information and ideas to continue teaching Japanese for the second year.

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 and Year 4 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. We would also love to hear what you think of the Scheme of work so far. Please click here to tell us more!

Timetable (provisional and subject to change):
10:00 – 10:10  Introduction, greetings
10:10 – 11:40  Resource Sharing - Catherine Duke and Yoko Leedham
11:40 – 12:10  Differentiation in Primary Japanese lessons - Marina Sereda-Linley
12:10 – 13:10  Lunch
13:10 – 14:10  Introducing the JF Scheme of Work for Year 4 - Makoto Netsu
14:10 – 14:40  Introduction to support from Japan Foundation - Josephine Austin
14:40 – 15:00  Q&A, Evaluation and extra time to share ideas

Cost of your travel to London: 
We are keen to include primary teachers of Japanese from all over the UK, so we will be able to make a contribution to help cover the costs of your travel to London for this event. We will cover the costs of second class train tickets over £15, upto £80. You will need to cover the first £15, but we will cover the rest. For example, if your ticket costs £69, we will cover £54 of the costs. Please ask for a receipt when you book your ticket and bring it with you to this event.

Date: 8 September 2015 from 10.00am

UCL Institute of Education 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

To sign up for this event click 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. 

Back to Top

The Lie of the Land - Rethinking Landscape Painting   org

Considered to be a category of art that is an objective and concrete representation of specific sites, landscape painting might be seen as quite a traditional art practice. The question of the relevance and necessity of the expression of the land and landscape paintings is however of pressing interest to many modern artists and critics. With the golden age of English landscape painting led by Turner and Constable and the heyday of Japanese ukiyo-e wood blocks prints representing nature now being seen in a nostalgic light, how can contemporary subjects and techniques associated with landscape art highlight modern society’s relationship with our environment? Has the all-important artist’s gaze towards their surroundings been devalued? Should landscape art just be deemed passé or be allowed to reconstruct itself?

Bearing these issues in mind, The Japan Foundation has invited artists from both Japan and the United Kingdom to discuss the current practices related to landscape art, and look at the legacy of this considered medium and its place in contemporary art history. Referring to the invited artists’ works and the concepts behind them, this event will raise questions about the way that landscape painting is appreciated by present audiences and artists, taking stock of how this genre has evolved, as opposed to other painting styles, as well as examine what the future may hold.


Andrew Gifford is recognised as one of the most innovative British landscape painters working today. His paintings and light installations have been widely exhibited, including solo public shows at Leeds City Art Gallery (2004), Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh (2001) and Middlesbrough Art Gallery (2000). Collections include the New Art Gallery, Walsall and Chatsworth House and in private collections in Europe, USA and Japan. A monograph on the artist was published in 2005. This depth of interest in the natural world is also reflected in his painting style.

Masakatsu Kondo is an artist whose paintings draw on the natural world and symbolic imagery of contemporary media. Born in Nagoya, Japan in 1962, he graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1993 and has continued to live and work in London. He has exhibited internationally, both solo and as part of group shows.

Miyuki Tsugami is a Japanese artist living and working in Japan who uses a combination of colours and forms, rather than narrative or sentiment. In 2013, she won the 24th Gotoh Cultural Award Fine Arts Division, which led her to relocate to the United Kingdom where she was able to work on internalising landscapes through sketches of European scenery, drawing influence from notable British landscape artists and revisiting the actual sites that they depicted in their art.  While Tsugami’s works are subjective renderings symbolic of a vague atmosphere, she is meticulous in her research of each location, observing all aspects of the spaces in order to create work that conveys a sense of connection and engagement.

The discussion will be chaired by Alastair Gordon, practising artist and part time lecturer at the Leith School of Art in Edinburgh, as well as founder/director of Morphē Arts and founder of Husk Gallery, London.

Date: 11 September 2015 from 6.30pm

The Art Workers Guild
6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

Booking: The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event to

Image: Miyuki Tsugami, View-trees on the uphill, Nov.12-Jan.13, 2013, 218.2×333.3cm, pigment, glue, acrylic, and others on canvas, © TSUGAMI Miyuki, courtesy of HASHIMOTO ART OFFICE, photo by Tamotsu Kido, Private Collection

Back to Top

BUKATSUDŌ: Teaching Character in Japanese School Clubs   org

The bell rings for the end of the school day, but for children in schools across Japan it only signals the start of the next stage of their daily education.

Bukatsudō (extracurricular sports or cultural  clubs), have played a formative role in the  secondary school experience for school children around Japan for generations. On entry to junior high school, children are encouraged to pick a club, and stick with it though the rest of their time at school. Clubs demand huge time, effort and commitment from students, and from the teachers who take part as coaches.   Practices at some schools can be held for up to two or three hours a day, up to six or seven days a week, after school, during weekends, and even school holidays, and are characterised by strict routine and ritual, group spirit, and hierarchical relationships between juniors and seniors.

In this special seminar, Dr Peter Cave, Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester, an anthropologist and Japanese education expert who has conducted extensive fieldwork and research in schools in Japan, will discuss the practice and origins of bukatsudō (including their surprising link to Victorian Britain), and the role they play in the Japanese school system today.

While Japanese educators have diverse views about clubs and their purposes, the practice of  bukatsudō reflect the broad view that the Japanese school system is responsible not only for intellectual development of students but also for social and moral development, by teaching children basic values and social skills.

In the UK, 'character education' has been a subject of much recent debate with the Department for Education championing the idea that schools should not just focus on student’s academic achievement but also take responsibility for cultivating good character.

In this context, Dr Cave will consider what Britain might learn from Japanese school clubs, arguing that Britain could learn a lot from their example, but would need to adapt rather than copy them.

Following his talk, to continue to explore these themes, Dr Cave will be joined for a comparative discussion on education for character development in the UK and Japan by leading character education expert Professor James Arthur, Head of the School of Education and Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham. 

Chairing the discussion will be Professor Takehiko Kariya, Professor in the Sociology of Japanese Society at the University of Oxford, an expert in the sociology of education, social stratification, and Japanese educational policies.

Date: 16 September 2015 from 6.45pm

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

Booking: The event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event to

Back to Top

Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2015   org

Japan Foundation will be exhibiting at Japan Matsuri, London's annual festival of Japanese culture.

Come to our stand for freebies, our Japan Quiz, information about learning more Japanese language and culture, or just to say "konnichiwa!"

More information about the event can be found here.

Date: 19 September 2015 from 10.00am

Trafalgar Square, London

Back to Top

Join the Club! Fandom in Japanese Theatre: Kabuki & Takarazuka   org

The Takarazuka Revue Company is a theatre company with a 100 year history in Japan and is well-known for its stylised musicals performed by an all-female cast. The lavish stage productions have been enthusiastically appreciated by tens of thousands of devoted fans who dedicate their time, money and energy to the company, and who make the tickets to Takarazuka notoriously difficult to obtain.

Reflecting on the fever pitch of Takarazuka fandom, Prof Naomi Miyamoto, Lecturer at Ritsumeikan University and author of the book Sociology of Takarazuka Fans will explore the characteristics of Takarazuka fans and the role that fandom has played in Takarazuka theatre, considering how vital its fan culture may be to its ongoing popularity.

As a comparison, Dr Alan Cummings, Senior Teaching Fellow in Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies will look into the nature of Kabuki's aficionados, examining fandom in Japan’s traditional, similarly stylised yet all-male theatre.

Offering an often unexplored aspect, this event is to provide an opportunity to compare and contrast how these distinct theatres keep attracting enthusiastic audiences for many decades, through social changes facing Japan.

Date: 25 September 2015 from 6.30pm

Impact Hub Westminster
1st Floor New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE
Nearest tube stations: Charring Cross and Piccadilly Circus


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

Back to Top

Shinya Tsukamoto: Filmmaker Talk   org

Iconoclastic auteur Shinya Tsukamoto is considered to be one of the most important filmmakers to emerge from Japan in recent decades. Achieving cult status from the release of his low-budget cyberpunk masterpiece Tetsuo: The Iron Man in 1989, Tsukamoto's films have since, regardless of setting or theme, retained his trademark experimental and brutal style, capturing nightmarish visions of human existence. Often compared to Hollywood directors David Lynch and David Cronenberg, Tsukamoto has influenced many more (including Quentin Tarantino and David Fincher) and helped pave the way for many other contemporary Japanese filmmakers exhibiting their films overseas.

In this special talk, Tsukamoto will journey through his filmmaking career, looking at his ground-breaking body of work up until his most recent film, the anti-war epic Fires on the Plains, to be screened at this year's Raindance Film Festival. Reflecting on the current state of the Japanese film industry, he will also reveal his decision to remain independent as a director, and his creative aspirations in taking multiple roles in his films; directing, writing, producing and often acting in his own productions.

This talk will explore Tsukamoto's unique cinematic vision and offer an insight into the mind of Japan's most exciting and uncompromising director.

Date: 26 September 2015 from 2.30pm

Impact Hub Westminster, 1st Floor New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE

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


Back to Top

Riding the Current - Japanese Contemporary Art and its Curatorial Views   org

With the turn of the millennium being a tipping point for some, contentious questions have been raised in the direction of Japanese contemporary art. While borderless activities by Japanese artists - both in the media they work with and places they choose to live – are globally identified, it is also a truth that there are some whose interest it is to explore, rather introvertedly, their immediate surroundings as a contrast. One connecting factor is however that in the wake of the 3.11 Great East Japan Earthquake, artists and the art from Japan are for the first time in a long time regarded as being more politicised than before. Has contemporary Japanese art managed to re-set the existing framework, and are artists able to act as a tool to shift the paradigm of Japan? Where are the latest currents pulling Japanese art?

Hinted at by the most recent edition of the Dojima River Biennale in Osaka, Take me to the River which examines the current of contemporary art as influenced by the ancient Heraclitus quote “everything flows, nothing stands still”, the Japan Foundation has invited two distinguished art professionals, Tom Trevor, the Artistic Director of this year’s Dojima River Biennale as well as the former Director of Arnolfini, Bristol, and  Mizuki Takahashi, Chief Curator of Art Tower Mito in Japan, to explore what they have observed is happening with this new era of Japanese contemporary art and artists through a series of presentations and conversation. These two established curators will also discuss how contemporary Japanese art is seen from both Japanese and British perspectives, examine the curatorial issues in presenting Japanese art, and explore what is to come in the Japanese art world flowing forward.

Date: 30 September 2015 from 6.30pm

The Lecture Theatre, the Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN
Nearest tube stations: Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment


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

Image The Play, IE: The Play Have a House, 1972, © The Play.

Back to Top

Japanese Language Proficiency Test December 2015   org

The next Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) will take place on Sunday, 6th December 2015. 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.  

The deadline for applications will be Thursday October 1st at 17:00 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: 15 August 2015 - 1 October 2015
Back to Top

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
Back to Top

Japan Foundation at Animeleague Conventions   org

Following our appearance at London Anime Con, Japan Foundation will be exhibiting at a number of conventions organised by Animeleague across the UK:


  • August 22nd – Cardiff Anime Con

  • September 5th – Alcon 2015 (Leicester)

  • October 3rd – Bristol Anime Con

    We'll be holding an information stand, giving Japanese language tasters and more! 

    Come and see us to find out more about studying Japanese! You can book your ticket by following the links above.

    Date: 22 August 2015 - 3 October 2015
    Back to Top

    Japanese from Scratch: All About Bento!   org

    **PLEASE NOTE: This event is now fully booked. All further applications will be placed on a waiting list**

    Japanese from Scratch workshops are held by the Japan Foundation for those who are interested in learning Japanese but haven't started yet, or those who have just started learning Japanese. In September’s workshop, you can get a taste of the Japanese language while discovering the fascinating culture of bento – Japanese boxed meals!

    The culture of making meals in bento boxes has existed for centuries in Japan, and continues to be popular in modern society. In recent years, bento have attracted worldwide attention for their practicality, creativity and attractive nature.

    In this workshop, you will have the chance to learn:

    • All about Japan’s culture of bento and the characteristics of a typical bento meal

    • How to talk about your favourite food in Japanese  

    • Essential Japanese language skills for dining in Japan

    We hope this event will give participants a taste for studying more Japanese language, and a craving to visit Japan themselves!

    When: 8th or 9th September 2015 (Content is the same each day),  19:00 – 20:30   

    Participation Fee: £5.00

    Click here to register your place

    **PLEASE NOTE: This event is now fully booked. All further applications will be placed on a waiting list**

    Date: 8 September 2015 - 9 September 2015 from 7.00pm

    Bertrand Russell Room, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 

    Photo credits: gamene (centre, bottom right), Keiichi Yas (top right), Melanie M (bottom left), via

    Back to Top

    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.

    Back to Top

    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

    This event is part of the exhibition Shojo: The World of Girls’ Manga, to held at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal.

    Back to Top

    Current Location (Fellswoop Theatre)   JPsupported

    The Japan Foundation is pleased to support performances of Japanese playwright Toshiki Okada’s Current Location, performed by the award-winning British company Fellswoop Theatre. The immersive piece of theatre written in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was originally presented by the company as a work-in-progress performance at the Japan Foundation in early 2014 and has since been performed in London, Bristol and Madrid. The play will next be presented as part at Summerhall, Edinburgh, in a series of performances developed specifically for the venue's 2015 festival.

    Date: 17 August 2015 - 30 August 2015

    Summerhall, Edinburgh

    For more information, please click here.
    Back to Top

    Takehisa Kosugi: SPACINGS   JPsupported

    The Ikon Gallery present the first major exhibition by Japanese composer and artist Takehisa Kosugi. Kosugi was a pioneer of experimental music in Japan in the early 1960s and is considered to be one of the most influential artists of his generation. The exhibition will feature three of the artist’s sound installations, involving everyday materials and radio electronics, and interacting with wind, electricity and light.

    Date: 22 July 2015 - 27 September 2015

    Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

    For more information, please click here.

    Image: Takehisa Kosugi. Interspersion for Light and Sound, 2000 (detail). Audio generator, light pulse generator, piezo transducer, LED, sugar, plastic container. Courtesy the artist.

    Back to Top

    Sensoria 2015   JPsupported

    The Japan Foundation is pleased to support Sensoria 2015, a festival of film, music and digital art taking place in Sheffield. Now in its eighth year, the festival will feature a number unique events based on the theme of ‘Altered States’, and will include a performance by the Japanese psychedelic band, Bo Ningen.

    For further details of the events, please visit:

    Date: 25 September 2015 - 3 October 2015

    Various venues in Sheffield

    Back to Top

    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

    Back to Top