Contact Us Sitemap Privacy Policy Communication Policy Social Media Policy

What's On

Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival: Bodies (In partnership with the Japan Foundation) new
[Online Talk] Japanese Book Cover Designs that Broke the Mould new
Koji Yamamura: In The Studio Where Japan's Leading Animation is Born new
Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK - September 2021 Applications OPEN new
[Online Event] Kaga Yuzen: Colours of Japanese Elegance - A Talk with MAIDA Hitoshi new
Rakugo and Kobanashi – Demonstration, Talk, Performance Event new
The Second "Course on the Application of ICT for Teachers - Learning ICT Through Practice" new

Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival: Bodies (In partnership with the Japan Foundation)   org


JAEFF is Back in September!


The Japan Foundation is proud to be a partner for this year's Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival


JAEFF 2021: Bodies explores how we interact with other beings, spaces around us, and how expressions of the unutterable become vital means of communication and connection.

This third edition of the Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival, organised in partnership with the Japan Foundation London, considers the body and sensation, and features work from directors Kon Ichikawa, Toshio Matsumoto, Susumu Hani, Chiaki Nagano, Takahiko Iimura, Tatsumi Kumashiro, Shuji Terayama, among others.

Inspired by the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the lockdown, and a loss of "truth," JAEFF 2021: Bodies presents a line-up of features and shorts that examine the body triumphant, and the body in crisis – through dance, performance, sport, exercise, and more.


Programme line-up:




Nanami: The Inferno of First Love + A.I. Mama

Thursday, 16 September from 18:00 (BST)

Barbican Cinema


Portrait of Mr O + Anma + Rose Color Dance + In Passing


Friday, 17 September from 18:00 (BST)


Barbican Cinema and on-demand





Mr O’s Book of the Dead + Navel and A-Bomb + Dual Enframe

Saturday, 18 September from 15:00 (BST)

Barbican Cinema and on-demand



Boxer + Transparent, the world is.

Saturday, 18 September from 17:50 (BST)

Barbican Cinema and on-demand



Lovers are Wet

Saturday, 18 September from 20:30 (BST)

Barbican Cinema



Panel Discussion: Japan’s Cinematic Body

Sunday, 19 September from 11:00 (BST)

Barbican Cinema



Nippon Express Carries the Olympics to Tokyo + Record of a Marathon Runner + Tokyo Story

Sunday, 19 September from 13:20 (BST)

Barbican Cinema and on-demand



Tokyo Olympiad

Sunday, 19 September from 16:00 (BST)

Barbican Cinema and on-demand


Date: 16 September 2021 - 30 September 2021

16 – 19 September 2021 at the Barbican;
20 – 30 September 2021 (online)

For more information, please click here.

Organised by JAEFF:

Back to Top

[Online Talk] Japanese Book Cover Designs that Broke the Mould   org


Though you may be inclined to follow the famous adage of “Never judge a book by its cover,” for many centuries true bibliophiles and collectors have happily ignored these words, putting great value on publications with unique designs and special editions. Inevitably, what you see on the cover may be a decisive factor in choosing a book.

In Japan too, the importance of eye-catching designs that push the boundaries of the publishing world and defy pre-set standards is tangible. Prevailing market demands encourage continuing developments in graphic design as well as typography with certain designs standing as artistic milestones that have influenced new generations of designers up to present day. Certainly, some book cover designs are not merely an accessory to the content but stand alone as artistic endeavours.

In time for the Cheltenham Literature Festival, we have invited former editor-in-chief of the renowned Japanese design magazine IDEA, MUROGA Kiyonori, to trace the history of Japanese book cover design since the post-war period. As a writer and curator of graphic design and typography, MUROGA will select a handful of models and discuss why he thinks these symbolised new approaches in the field, considering points from both an aesthetic and technical view.



About the speaker

MUROGA Kiyonori was born in 1975, Niigata, Japan. Former editor-in-chief of IDEA magazine. He has been editing books on graphic design, typography, and visual culture since 1999. His recent editorial works include Sakuji Hyakkei and Pixel Hyakkei (Graphic-sha, 2019). He is also an international critic, educator, and lecturer on graphic design. He has contributed texts to various publications and periodicals including JAGDA’s Graphic Design in Japan 2013 (Rikuyosha, 2013), Japan—Nippon: Poster Collection 26 (Lars Müller Publishers, 2014), Nihon bijutsu zenshu (Shogakukan, 2016), ggg books 124: Yoshihisa Shirai (DNP, 2017), Encyclopedia of East Asian Design (Sydney, Bloomsbury, forthcoming). He co-curated “The Study Room” of the 27th Brno Biennial (2016) and “Fragments of Graphism” (Creation Gallery G8, 2018).


Image credit: Photo by So Hashizume from Paper and Dummy Books exhibition at TAKEO MIHONCHO HONTEN, 2011


This online event is free to attend but registration is essential.

To reserve your space, please book your ticket here.



Date: 12 October 2021 from 1.00pm

For more information, please click here.
Back to Top

Koji Yamamura: In The Studio Where Japan's Leading Animation is Born   org


Koji Yamamura, leading creator of Japanese animation (such as the Oscar-nominated Mt.Head, 2002) and regular contributor to the UK animation scene, including the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival, returns to discuss his stellar career spanning over three decades.

In a unique opportunity for our audience, and a first for the animator, he will guide us virtually through his studio in real time, showcasing his creative processes and methods. He will also acquaint the audience more closely with his body of work, introducing his newest films which will be accompanied by a full-length screening of his short animation film, Polar Bear Bears Boredom (7mins), and the trailer of his newest feature length work, Dozens of Norths, ahead of its world premiere in November.

In conversation with film critic, filmmaker, and visual artist, Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, this event will be an unmissable opportunity for lovers and aspiring makers of animated work to gain a first-hand practical insight into the workings of a successful animation studio.


About the speakers

Koji Yamamura was born in 1964. During the 1990s, he was making films for children such as Pacusi, Bavel's Book and so on. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short, Mt. Head (2002) won 6 grand prizes and was selected for the 100 Films for a Century of Animation. Franz Kafka's A Country Doctor (2007) won 6 grand prizes; in total, his films were awarded more than 100 prizes. In 2021, he has placed 2nd in the 25 top short animated film directors from the last 25 years. He is also active as a picture book author for Viva Vegetables (Oyaoya Oyasai), Parade and so on. He was awarded the Kawakita Prize and Education Award for Fine Arts in Japan and received the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2019. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a sub-chairman of the Japan Animation Association and a member of the board of directors of ASIFA.

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi is a film critic, culture and sustainability reporter, screenwriter, filmmaker and visual artist. Chiara’s Material Puns use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. Chiara works for online, print, radio and television and has been a jury member and collaborator of several film festivals. She is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.


This online event is free to attend but registration is essential.

To reserve your space, please book your ticket here.


Date: 15 October 2021 from 1.00pm

For more information, please click here.
Back to Top

Funding for Japanese Language Education Projects held in the UK - September 2021 Applications OPEN   org

Japanese Language Local Project Support Programme 2021-2022

September 2021 Applications

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. We prioritise projects that fit into one of the five following categories:

  • Category 1 - Newly Introducing Japanese into the curriculum

Up to £3,000 for projects that promote the introduction of Japanese into the curriculum (or onto the main school timetable) at primary and secondary schools. This grant covers staff costs and the cost of Japanese language books. Projects may take place online or offline.

  • Category 2 - Supporting GCSE or A-level courses

Up to £3,000 for projects that support GCSE or A-level courses. Particularly, if schools/organisations require support to ensure a large number of candidates are able to take formal qualifications in Japanese, they will be able to maintain their project by re-applying the following year. This means organisations will be able to apply for up to a total of £6,000 over two years. (Please note that we do not supplement the salary of teacher(s) already hired by the applying organisation.) Covers staff costs and costs of Japanese language books. Projects may take place online or offline.

  • Category 3 - Japanese clubs

Up to £2,000 for organisations that newly introduce Japanese as an extracurricular activity or enrichment subject. In the case of schools, this is even if this is not within the school timetable. Covers staff cost, Japanese language book cost, origami cost and calligraphy cost. Clubs may take place online or offline.

  • Category 4 - Projects that enable links between primary/secondary institutions and institutions of higher education

Up to £3,000 for projects that strengthen connections between secondary institutions and institutions of higher education and create and/or strengthen networks among pupils, students, and teachers for the purpose of helping to promote Japanese language education in the UK. These projects can be aimed at both potential learners of Japanese and people who already are learning Japanese. This is a recently added category, so please contact us if you have any questions or would like to apply but are unsure as to whether your project is suitable. These projects may take place online or offline.

  • Category 5- Purchasing Japanese language teaching materials and/or books related to Japan

New/Special Category for This Application Period

Up to £2000 for the purchase of Japanese language teaching materials and/or books, DVDs etc. that serve the purpose of teaching about Japan, Japanese language and/or Japanese culture. Please note that this Category is for applicants who ONLY wish to apply for these materials. If you are applying for teaching materials as part of a larger project (such as a club, or curriculum teaching), please select the relevant category 1-4.

Applicants who successfully applied for funding for the 28th May 2021 deadline are able to reapply to this category. Applicants are able to apply to this category in addition to categories 1 to 4, with the maximum total amount eligible for both categories combined being £5000. 

Materials purchased as part of projects in this category must not be given to students, however loans are permissible. Ideally, we would like these materials to be placed in the library of the organisation.

Please note that to apply for this category you must fill out “Grant Application Form (September 2021) – Category 5”.

The deadline for applicants for this Category is 31st October 2021 (Sunday). Please note that this is a different deadline than for projects in Categories 1-4/Other. All purchases and payments made for these projects must be completed by 31st January 2022 (Sunday) and Final Reports submitted by the end of February 2022.


For this September 2021 application period, please note that there are two different deadlines depending on project category:

  • The application deadline for Categories 1-4/Other of the September 2021-22 programme is 30th September 2021.
  • The application deadline for Category 5 of the September 2021-22 programme is 31st October 2021.

Download general information about the programme

Download the Grant Application Form (September 2021) – Categories 1-4/Other

Download the Grant Application Form (September 2021) – Category 5

You can also download the LPSP 2021-2022 Grant Flowchart below:

 LPSP 2021-2022 Grant Flowchart.

Date: 1 September 2021 - 31 October 2021
Download 2021-22 General Information (Sept)
Download 2021-22 Application Form Categories 1-4
Download 2021-22 Application Form Category 5
Download 2021-22 Flowchart (Sept)
Back to Top

[Online Event] Kaga Yuzen: Colours of Japanese Elegance - A Talk with MAIDA Hitoshi   org


Kaga Yuzen is the traditional technique of dyeing preserved in the Kaga area (Ishikawa prefecture) of Japan. Diverging from the original version born in Kyoto and developed in its own unique way, Kaga Yuzen’s characteristic style is well represented by an elaborative creative process – mainly used in kimono textiles – from designing the exquisite pattern to hand-dyeing by skilled craftsmen for the last half a millennium. The application of the distinctive colours as well as the sophisticated dyeing techniques make Kaga Yuzen textiles exceptionally desirable art pieces and thus prized as a luxurious brand in Japan.


In this special talk, the Japan Foundation has invited MAIDA Hitoshi, a descendant of Maida Senga Kogei, to guide us through the intricate creation process of Kaga Yuzen by showcasing the work and the captivating workmanship of his workshop. In 21st century society, kimono may no longer be the prime attire for Japanese people, but MAIDA will also discuss how he, representing a new generation within the long-standing traditional artform, believes this beautiful craft could be sustained and evolve alongside modern life. The talk will be followed by a discussion moderated by Marjolein de Raat, a Japan Foundation Assistant Curator at National Museum of Scotland.


About the speakers

MAIDA Hitoshi was born in 1974 in Kanazawa, Kaga Prefecture, Japan. As the third generation of a Kaga Yuzen dyeing family, Maida Senga Kobo (Maida Dyeing Studio established in 1932), MAIDA started learning the dyeing technique from his father in 1998 after studying architecture at Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo. Since then, MAIDA has received numerous awards including the Japan Kogei Association award in 2018. While preserving the traditional Kaga Yuzen skills, he has challenged the development of the tradition and has been pushing Kaga Yuzen to a new stage, by displaying his works in hotels and fashion retail outlets such as Uniqlo in Disney World in Florida, U.S.A. Award-wining MAIDA is one of the most active craftsmen as well as a safe-keeper of Kaga Yuzen of the younger generation.


Marjolein de Raat is the Japan Foundation Assistant Curator at the National Museum of Scotland. She has an MA in East Asian Studies with a specialisation in Japanese Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands. Her research focuses on cultural exchange between Europe and Japan in the early modern and modern period. In particular, she is interested in how this exchange is expressed in material culture, art, and fashion. In her current role, she works (amongst others) with the National Museum of Scotland’s collection of Japanese garments and textiles, studying the mutual exchange between Japanese and European fashion in the late 19th and early 20th century (Meiji and Taishō periods)."


In collaboration with IndigoRose Project


This online event is free to attend but registration is essential.

To reserve your space, please book your ticket here


Date: 21 September 2021 from 1.00pm

For more information, please click here.
Back to Top

Rakugo and Kobanashi – Demonstration, Talk, Performance Event   org

A rakugo event is happening! This event includes performances by two rakugo masters: Medal of Honour with Purple Ribbon receiver Yanagiya Sankyō, and Ryūtei Saryū, Yanagiya Sankyō’s apprentice and a master. There will be a lecture on rakugo traveling across cultures, an introduction to Japanese language education through kobanashi, and a kobanashi presentation by Japanese language learners. We hope you will enjoy rakugo and kobanashi during these two precious days!

Why not download our event flyers

Event Details

  • Schedule (planned):

25th September (Saturday)

15:00 to 17:40 (BST)

Rakugo Explanation (English)

Professor Kazumi Hatasa (Purdue University)

Lecture: "Can rakugo be funny for any audience?" (tentative title) (English)

Professor Matilde Mastrangelo (Sapienza University of Rome)

Demonstration Commentary "God of Death" (English)

Professor Kazumi Hatasa (Purdue University)

Rakugo "God of Death" (Japanese with English subtitles)

Yanagiya Sankyō

26th September (Sunday)

Part One: 10:30 to 11:30 (BST)

Dialogue: "The Utilisation of Kobanashi in Japanese Language Education and its Practice" (Japanese)

Professor Kazumi Hatasa (Purdue University)

Marco Di Francesco (DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford)

Part Two: 11:40 to 13:05

Kobanashi Performance Event (Japanese with English subtitles)

Japanese Language Students

Demonstration Commentary "Kanjou Box" (English)

Professor Kazumi Hatasa (Purdue University)

Rakugo "Kanjou Box" (English)

Ryūtei Saryū

Rakugo Question Corner (Japanese with English translation)

Yanagiya Sankyō     Ryūtei Saryū


Speakers and Performers

  • Rakugo “God of Death”

Yanagiya Sankyō

Rakugo Performer

Yanagiya Sankyō (stage name) is a Rakugo Master from Tokyo. He has been a Rakugo performer since 1967 and achieved Shin’Uchi Rakugo Storyteller Master status (the highest Rakugo rank) in 1981. Currently, he is the Permanent Director of the Rakugo Association. Yanagiya Sankyō was a recipient of the Japan Foundation Award in 2014, for his work incorporating Rakugo in the field of Japanese language education. In 2017 he was given the Medal of Honour with Purple Ribbon by Japan. He has performed Rakugo all over the world, including in the USA, Europe and Asia.

  • Rakugo “Kanjou Box”

Ryūtei Saryū

Rakugo Performer

Ryūtei Saryū (stage name) is a Rakugo Master from Kashiwa City in Chiba Prefecture. He was an apprentice of Yanagiya Sankyō from 1993 and began performing Rakugo. He was promoted to Shin’Uchi Rakugo Master Storyteller status (the highest Rakugo rank) in 2006.  He has performed Rakugo all over the world, including in Europe. From 2013 he has been working as a part-time lecturer at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, teaching about Edo culture and Rakugo.

  • Lecture “Can rakugo be funny for any audience?" (Tentative title)

Matilde Mastrangelo

Sapienza University of Rome          

Full Professor of Japanese Language and Literature

Matilde Mastrangelo is full professor of Japanese Language and Literature at the Sapienza University in Rome. After graduating from the Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples, she spent five years completing her studies at the University of Tokyo. In 1996 she was awarded a PhD in Far East Asian Civilisation by the Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples. Since 2001, when she obtained a Fellowship from the Japan Foundation, she has studied storyteller San'yutei Encho, and especially his ghost stories, translating Botandōrō (The Peony Lantern) into Italian.

  • Dialogue “The Utilisation of Kobanashi in Japanese Education and its Practice”

Kazumi Hatasa

Purdue University           

Professor at the School of Languages and Culture

Kazumi Hatasa received his Ph.D. in Education from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1989. He started teaching at Purdue University in 1988, and is currently a professor in School of Languages and Cultures. He was Director of the School of Japanese at Middlebury College from 2004 to 2018. He has received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2020. He has been working with professional performers to introduce students to Rakugo and Yose and to incorporate Rakugo and Kobanashi into Japanese Language education.

Marco Di Francesco

University of Oxford        

DPhil Candidate, Area Studies (Japan)

Marco di Francesco is currently studying for a DPhil at the University of Oxford in the School of Global and Area Studies, focusing on Japan. As part of his degree in Japanese Language and Culture at the University of Venice, he studied abroad at Waseda University and joined the university’s Rakugo research circle, where he discovered his interest in Rakugo. He is currently living in Tokyo for one year from December 2020 for fieldwork, exploring the state of contemporary Rakugo from a social anthropological perspective. 

  • Rakugo Explanation and Demonstration Commentary

Kazumi Hatasa

Purdue University          

Professor at the School of Languages and Culture

  • Kobanashi Performance Event

Japanese Language Students

Performers: Students of Japanese from Around the World 

With: The Organising Team of the International Kobanashi FestivalKKGH

Global students are challenging themselves with kobanashi!


  • “What is Rakugo?”

The traditional art of one-man story-telling in Japan. A single figure sits in the traditional seiza style on stage and ensnares his audience only using a fan (Sensu), a cloth (Tenugui) and his own voice. Although many Rakugo stories are comedic, there are many types of dramatic stories.

  • “What is Kobanashi?”

A short, witty story. They are often told just before the main rakugo performance. Both beginners and advanced learners can enjoy learning Japanese while experiencing Japanese culture through the practice and presentation of short kobanashi.

Date: 25 September 2021 - 26 September 2021

Online event.

Download Rakugo and Kobanashi Flyer (Japanese)
Download Rakugo and Kobanashi Flyer (English)

This event is organized with the cooperation of: The Organising Team of the International Kobanashi FestivalKKGH



Back to Top

The Second "Course on the Application of ICT for Teachers - Learning ICT Through Practice"  

At the Japan Foundation, London, we create and offer quality professional development programmes for educators in Japanese language education. This online course aims to help teachers to improve and update their ICT literacy skills. Participants will be invited to be a member of our safe and friendly online learning community to work on carefully selected tasks at their own pace. There will also be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and receive guidance and feedback.

  • Instructor: Dr. Tomohisa Yamada, SEINAN GAKUIN University Professor
  • Course Type: Online (using Zoom and Slack software)
  • Course Period: mid-October 2021 to late-January 2022 (approx. 3 months)
  • Applicant Criteria: Japanese language educators in the United Kingdom and Europe. Please note that this course content is based on the previous course which was held between November 2020 and March 2021 - therefore, new applicants will be prioritised.
  • Participation Requirements: Participants must have no issues with online learning and be able to participate actively in topic discussions. They are also required to grant permission for the Japan Foundation, London to use images, recordings, surveys, interviews etc for activity reports, evaluations, and future publicity.
  • Course Language: The course will mainly be conducted in Japanese, but there will be English language support when necessary.
  • Participant Capacity: 15 (approx.)

Download Guidelines for Applicants (English)

Download Guidelines for Applicants (Japanese)

If you would like to apply, please fill out the online form below:

Application Form

Application Deadline: 20th September 2021 (Monday)

Please be aware that this course is designed to take place with a small number of participants. The Japan Fiundation, London will evaluate applications to decide on who will participate. Please understand that we cannot answer questions regarding success or failure of your application.

Schedule (planned):

20th September 2021 (Mon) Application deadline
27th September 2021 (Mon) Notification of application results; Request for readiness survey
4th October 2021 (Mon) Readiness survey submission deadline
15th Oct 2021 (Fri) Course orientation
Mid-November 2021 Assignment 1 submission deadline
Mid-December 2021 Assignment 2 submission deadline
Mid-January 2022 Assignment 3 submission deadline
Late-January 2022 Reflection and evaluations; End of course ceremony


  •  Course Instructor: Dr. Tomohisa Yamada

Professor at SEINAN GAKUIN University (Department of Foreign Language Studies・Division of Foreign Language Studies)

Dr Yamada has an MA from the Institute of Education, University of London, and Ph.D. in Education from Hokkaido University. After working with the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies Language Centre and Saga University Exchange Student Centre and Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education/ Graduate School of International Media-Communication and Tourism Studies at Hokkaido University, he assumed his present post in April 2021. His area of research is educational technology and teacher education. As well as his research activities, he is actively involved in giving lectures and professional development programmes aimed at increasing ICT literacy for teachers of Japanese. He was awarded the Hokkaido University Excellent Teachers award (2014 to 2019). Among his key publications are “Practical Use of ICT (Second Edition)”, “Active Learning for Teachers of Japanese” and “Exploring and Reflecting on Classes in an Online Setting - ICT literacy for teachers of Japanese” (Kuroshio Shuppan).

  • Message from the Instructor:

Since 2020, due to Covid-19, our lives and our classroom classes have become limited, and I believe your classes have also been deeply affected. The upcoming course content is based on the previous course organised in 2020 and we will continue to focus on improving the efficiency of administration and teaching results. This online course approaches ICT literacy development from the following three perspectives:

  1. Making and Organising: A lesson on the efficacy of the creation of teaching materials, managing student grades and data management.
  2. Presentation: A lesson on what ICT literacy is necessary to present teaching materials to learners.
  3. Linking: A lesson on how to create a space outside of the classroom for teachers and learners to make connections, and how to use that space effectively.

We aim to have participants in this course learn these points together and create a learning community which promote/value collaborative collegiality. I hope that through this network, the number of colleagues to whom you can express your “how do I do this?” will grow, and this network will spread from the United Kingdom to Europe.

Date: 7 September 2021 - 20 September 2021
Download 第2回 ICTリテラシー講座応募要項_English
Download 第2回 ICTリテラシー講座応募要項_Japanese
Back to Top
Text Size: | A | A | A | A

Sign up here for our monthly e-bulletin.