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Creativity and Designing JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Games) new
The Art of the Pinch: A Lecture and Demonstration on Tsumami Zaiku new
A Story in Four Frames - Japanese Yonkoma Manga new
Game + Culture: Co-evolution of Japanese Video Games and Society new
Kobanashi Workshop for Educators – Kobanashi Performance Instruction Methods to Teach Japanese Language Learners new
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk Exhibition at the V&A
Japan Society Sixth Form Japan Week 2020 - Japan Foundation Online Japanese Language Workshop for Students new
The 16th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students new

Creativity and Designing JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Games)   org

 

RPG, or the Role-Playing Game, is a widely known computer game genre. Though it did not originate in Japan, for decades the passion for RPGs has been strong among its nationals. Japanese computer game creators have developed an abundance of unique RPG content which subsequently and uniquely have evolved into JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game). Among these are the ever-popular Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy titles which secured their stable fanbase with the concepts of ongoing character growth and the evolution of storylines through battles. Games like these have managed to push Japan’s computer RPG industry to global success and continue attracting avid players. Interconnected with other media products such as anime and manga, JRPGs are also a source of drive in Japan’s commercial market. However, as the technology and user demands have shifted, Japanese creators may find themselves at crossroads and be compelled to revise the definition and existence of JRPGs in the 21st century where change is constant.

In this very special talk, the Japan Foundation has invited TOKITA Takashi, computer game creator and producer from Square Enix to talk about the position of Japanese RPGs. Based on his own experience of being involved in the creation of many JRPGs, including Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger, he will explain the philosophies that he believes are fundamental in creating an interactive game world where users feel themselves becoming the main character as they play, while revealing the creative processes of Japanese RPGs and how the games can stand the test of time.

 

About the speaker

TOKITA Takashi is a producer in the computer game industry. Since joining Square Enix (Square) in 1986, after working on Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Legend etc. as a graphic designer, he developed Final Fantasy IV as a game designer. TOKITA has worked as a director on various titles including Chrono Trigger and Parasite Eve.

 

Special thanks to Square Enix and Kayoko Tezuka, Tuning for the Future (TFF) in Japan.

http://www.npo-tff.org

 

Image credit: ©1991, 2017 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved.
LOGO & IMAGE ILLUSTRATION: © 1991, 2007 YOSHITAKA AMANO

 

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.


Date: 18 November 2020 from 12.00pm

For more information, please click here.
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The Art of the Pinch: A Lecture and Demonstration on Tsumami Zaiku   org

 

Tsumami zaiku is a traditional Japanese craft that enjoys a long history of some 200 years. By folding and pinching colourful pieces of cloth, the technique enables you to create day-to-day accessories, including ornamental combs and hairpins (kanzashi), with elaborate and intricate designs such as delicate flowers and birds. It is believed that the wife of a daimyo (lord) and her lady-in-waiting started tsumami zaiku as a hobby. Over the years, however, the craft has been adopted into the lives of society at large with many women matching a variety of these handmade accessories to their ceremonial kimono worn at annual festivals or on special occasions. Furthermore, in recently years, tsumami zaiku has become stylish in popular culture, appealing to followers of contemporary fashion in and outside Japan.

With this in mind, we have invited YAMASHITA Tomomi, an official instructor of the technique, to lead a lecture on brief history of the artistry, describing how this handmade technique can be applied to and is enjoyed in modern times. She will then demonstrate the tsumami-making method, introducing the range of tools, techniques, fabrics, and explain the basics of fixing and assembling the piece so that you can create your very own design at home.

Joining YAMASHITA is Cora Fung, a practitioner of tsumami zaiku based in the UK who has been fascinated by the craft. She will define her own attraction to the craft, displaying examples of her own work as a way to show you how inclusive this hobby is of creators outside of Japan.

If you wish to craft alongside with us in real-time, we suggest you prepare for the session with the necessary materials listed below.

Join us and bring your own tsumami zaiku idea to life, be it an ornamental hairpin or an early Christmas decoration! All ages and skill levels welcome.

 

Materials for a simple one petal demonstration:

  • Woodworking glue
  • 2-3 pieces of square cloth (about 4 cm). Fabric with bonds such as thin cotton is best.
  • If you have some, tapered long tweezers. If not, there may be alternative instructions on folding by hand.
  • Something flat to lay underneath the materials (for those who want to use starch glue). You can find out how to make starch glue by clicking here.

 

About the speakers

YAMASHITA Tomomi is a Certified Instructor of the Tsumami Zaiku Association. She has hosted workshops for some 500 visitors from over 30 countries around the world. In 2019, she has also launched the ‘Tsumami kanzashi’ website to pass on the traditions of and information on tsumami zaiku. So far, the website has been visited by people from over 50 countries and can be found here: tsumami-kanzashi.com/

Cora Fung is a self-taught tsumami zaiku artist based in Sheffield. She has been practising the craft for three and a half years and has created a wide range of accessories and artwork. Apart from traditional subjects such as chrysanthemum and crane, she also creates modern patterns and objects such as angel wings, ocean waves, and umbrellas. She trades under the trade name Takara Crafts and her crafts have been showcased in various craft fairs and exhibitions in the Yorkshire area and Manchester.

 

This talk has been made possible with the kind assistance of Kayoko Tezuka, Tuning for the Future (TFF) in Japan.

http://www.npo-tff.org

 

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.


Date: 28 November 2020 from 11.00am

For more information, please click here.
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A Story in Four Frames - Japanese Yonkoma Manga   org

 

Yonkoma manga is one of a range of manga formats produced in Japan. As the direct translation of the name suggests, it comprises of just 4 frames in which a story starts, develops and ends. Although it may be relatively unknown overseas, this manga style has a long-standing history. Primarily associated with daily printed newspapers for many years, the characters featured in specific yonkoma often could become household names while the storylines tend to develop while reflecting social and political trends. In recent years, there has been a rise in more variation of content but the simplicity and conciseness in telling a story, reminiscent of Japanese haiku, remains the same.

Following the yonkoma manga workshop we held in May 2020, the Japan Foundation has invited SAIKA Tadahiro of Kyoto Seika University to explain the characteristics of yonkoma manga and trace its history to date. SAIKA will also examine the way this classic format, which is embedded in Japanese culture, has evolved over time and in the context of changes in Japanese society, while introducing some of the new wave seen in the world of contemporary yonkoma manga.

 

About the speaker

SAIKA Tadahiro was born in Wakayama, Japan in 1980. He completed his PhD at the Graduate School of Cultural Studies, Kobe University. SAIKA is currently a research fellow at the International Manga Research Center, Kyoto Seika University. His research interests include the social context in which manga is produced and the way in which the gaze towards manga artists has shifted with time. In addition to carrying out his research, he translates and writes articles on manga and also teaches at various universities in Japan.

 

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.


Date: 26 November 2020 from 12.00pm

For more information, please click here.
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Game + Culture: Co-evolution of Japanese Video Games and Society   org

 

From the likes of the Super Mario series to the more recent Animal Crossing and e-sports, Japanese video games have been widely acknowledged as some of the best in business, attracting evangelical fans all over the world. Though ostensibly created with borderless content and universal characters, it is argued by some that Japanese video games are deeply embedded in and reflective of Japanese society. Their palpable spirit and philosophies may be understood as being sourced from Japan’s old traditions, even from well-known art forms such as haiku and the practice of tea ceremony. However, it is difficult to perceive at a glance how these seemingly unrelated pretechnological art forms and culture have influenced 21st century digital content.

Inviting HIRABAYASHI Hisakazu, a video game journalist and analyst, this special talk aims to identify ‘Japaneseness’ in digital game content, analysing to what degree it has rooted from Japanese cultural as well as social history and to what extent it is indebted to old Japanese traditions. While illustrating some characteristics of leading game companies such as Nintendo, HIRABAYASHI also explains the future visions of these companies and game creators against a background of the recent evidence of a decline in the global share of Japanese games. 

A brief conversation with Culture Director of the BGI, Iain Simons, will follow HIRABAYASHI’s lecture.

 

About the speakers

HIRABAYASHI Hisakazu (Interact Co., Ltd. CEO / Game analyst) In 1985, after graduating from Aoyama Gakuin University, he joined the publishing company Takarajima where he worked as editor of a game specialty magazine. In 1991, he established Interact Co., Ltd., a consulting company specializing in the game industry, and started supporting companies entering the game industry. He currently works as a consultant of the game industry, a journalist, and a commentator on television and radio programs. HIRABAYASHI’s works include the book Gemū no daigaku (The University of Gaming) and Gemū no jiji mondai (Current Issues in Gaming). He is an editorial board member of Digital content white paper of Japan, as well as a board member of the Japan Game Culture Foundation.

Iain Simons makes, writes and talks about videogames and culture across many popular and specialist media. He has written numerous books and papers and regularly contributes to conferences and events around the world. In 2005 he curated the first videogame festival at London’s SouthBank Centre, after which he founded GameCity in 2006. In 2008, this project led to co-founding the first National Videogame Archive, with the National Media Museum. In 2015 he co-founded the National Videogame Arcade, the acclaimed cultural centre for games, which following a merger with the BGI relaunched as the National Videogame Museum. He has worked as a creative consultant with many organisations including the BBC, ArtsDepot, British Film Institute, Barbican Centre, NHS and sits on the heritage advisory board of BAFTA.

Image credit: Partial photo of retro Nintendo games by Nick Hamze on Unsplash

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.


Date: 12 November 2020 from 12.00pm

For more information, please click here.
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Kobanashi Workshop for Educators – Kobanashi Performance Instruction Methods to Teach Japanese Language Learners   org

The Japan Foundation, London

 

Kobanashi Workshop for Educators – Kobanashi Performance Instruction Methods to Teach Japanese Language Learners

Workshop Format:Online(Zoom software)

Dates

Time

Number of Participants

30th October 2020 (Fri)

17:00 - 19:00(GMT Greenwich Meantime)

15

31st October 2020 (Sat)

15:00 - 17:00(GMT Greenwich Meantime)

15

Instructor:Dr. Kazumi Hatasa(Purdue University, United States of America; Chair, Dept. of East Asian Language and Cultures, SLC, Asian Studies Faculty).

Guidelines for Prospective Participants:PDF Sign-Up Guidelines

The application form link is included on the Sign-Up Guidelines PDF. We would like to ask prospective participants to read the guidelines carefully and then fill out the application form. 

※Sign-Up Deadline: 5th October (Monday), 17:00 (BST)


Date: 30 October 2020 - 31 October 2020
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Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk Exhibition at the V&A   JPsupported
Fashionable brocade patterns of the Imperial Palace, woodblock print, made by Utagawa Kunisada, 1847-1852, Japan. Museum no. Circ.636 to Circ. 638– 1962. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Fashionable brocade patterns of the Imperial Palace, woodblock print, made by Utagawa Kunisada, 1847-1852, Japan. Museum no. Circ.636 to Circ. 638– 1962. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Stunning 17th-century Japanese garments, international haute couture and costumes from Star Wars come together in a major V&A exhibition on kimono fashion.

The V&A has created Europe’s first major exhibition on kimono. The ultimate symbol of Japan, the kimono is often perceived as traditional, timeless and unchanging. Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk will counter this conception, presenting the garment as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion.

The exhibition will reveal the sartorial and social significance of the kimono from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and in the rest of the world. Rare 17th and 18thcentury kimono will be displayed for the first time in the UK, together with fashions by major designers and iconic film and performance costumes. The kimono’s recent reinvention on the streets of Japan will also be explored through work by an exciting new wave of contemporary designers and stylists.

Highlights of the exhibition include a kimono created by Living National Treasure Kunihiko Moriguchi, the dress designed for Björk by Alexander McQueen and worn on the album cover Homogenic, and original Star Wars costumes modelled on kimono by John Mollo and Trisha Biggar. Designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Rei Kawakubo and John Galliano will reveal the kimono’s role as a constant source of inspiration for fashion designers. Paintings, prints, film, dress accessories and other objects will feature throughout the exhibition, providing additional context to the fascinating story of the style, appeal and influence of the kimono. Over 315 works will be featured, including kimono especially made for the show, half drawn from the V&A’s superlative collections and the rest generously lent by museums and private collections in Britain, Europe, America and Japan.

Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk begins in the mid-17th century when a vibrant fashion culture emerged in Japan. The increasingly wealthy merchant classes demanded the latest styles to express their affluence, confidence and taste, while leading actors and famous courtesans were the trend-setters of the day. The simple structure of the kimono focussed attention on the surface, allowing for the creation of sumptuous patterns using sophisticated techniques. The first section of the exhibition will explore these designs and shine a light on a fashion-conscious society not dissimilar to today’s, in which desire for the latest look was fed by a cult of celebrity and encouraged by makers, sellers and publishers.

Kimono were first exported to Europe in the mid-17th century, where they had an immediate impact on clothing styles. Foreign fabrics were also brought to Japan and incorporated into kimono. Rare survivors from this early period of cultural exchange, including garments made in Japan for the Dutch and kimono tailored from French brocade and Indian chintz, will be displayed to reveal the fluid fashion relationship between East and West that resulted from the global trade network.

The late 19th century saw a world-wide craze for Japanese art and design. Kimono bought from department stores such as Liberty & Co. in London were worn by those wishing to express their artistic flair. Japan responded by making boldly embroidered ‘kimono for foreigners’, while the domestic market was transformed by the use of European textile technology and chemical dyes. The kimono’s biggest impact on western fashion came in the early 20th century, when designers such as Paul Poiret, Mariano Fortuny and Madeleine Vionnet abandoned tightly-corseted styles in favour of loose layers of fabric that draped the body.

The final section of the exhibition will show how the kimono has continued to inspire fashion designers around the world. The potential of the garment to be translated and transformed is seen in designs by Thom Browne, Duro Olowu and Yohji Yamamoto. The kimono’s timeless, universal quality has also made it the ideal costume for film and performance. The display will include the outfit worn by Toshirō Mifune in Sanjūrō, Oscar-winning costumes from Memoirs of a Geisha, and the Jean Paul Gautier ensemble worn by Madonna in her video Nothing Really Matters. Japan itself is currently witnessing a resurgence of interest in kimono. Jōtarō Saitō designs kimono couture for the catwalk, Hiroko Takahashi seeks to bridge the divide between art and fashion, and more casual styles are created by small, independent studios such as Rumi Rock and Modern Antenna.

Anna Jackson, curator of Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk at the V&A, said: ‘From the sophisticated culture of 17th -century Kyoto to the creativity of the contemporary catwalk, the kimono is unique in its aesthetic importance and cultural impact giving it a fascinating place within the story of fashion.’

 

Captured just before the V&A museum closed it's doors for lockdown, follow the Japan Foundation supported exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk as its curator Anna Jackson leads an intimate 5-part tour through the exhibition spaces, providing a behind the scene look at the show, star exhibits and the history of the kimono.

Take a deeper look at all five parts by following the links below:

Part 1    Part 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5


Date: 27 August 2020 - 25 October 2020

For more information, please click here.
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Japan Society Sixth Form Japan Week 2020 - Japan Foundation Online Japanese Language Workshop for Students  

We are honoured this year to be participating once again in Japan Society’s Sixth Form Japan event. This is a yearly event for sixth form students who attend to learn all about Japan and its language and culture.

Please note that this event will take place online and that it is open to Sixth Form students.

If you have any questions, please contact The Japan Society directly. You can find out how using this link.

The Japan Foundation, London will be running a language session on Japanese onomatopoeia.

---

Dokidoki! Express yourself using Japanese sounds.

Date: Tuesday 1st December 2020

Just as in English, the Japanese language has many onomatopoeia, and thousands more to choose from! Japanese speakers use them regularly in their daily conversation to express and also bring to life, not only the sounds, but also emotions and actions of any given scene or situation. In this interactive workshop, led by the Japan Foundation, London, you will be introduced to the rich variety of Japanese onomatopoeia and the Japanese visual language, manpu, frequently used in Manga to convey emotions through signs and symbols alone.


Date: 1 December 2020
Venue:

Online


For more information, please click here.
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The 16th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students  

 

We are delighted to announce that the 16th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!
This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finals Day will be held online, on Saturday 6th March 2021.
:: Contest Aims
The main purpose of the event is to improve the speaking and presentation skills of students studying Japanese as a foreign language. Through this event, we hope to promote Japanese language learning at higher education level in the UK and Ireland.
:: Who can apply?
The contest is aimed at undergraduate students who are currently studying Japanese as a foreign language at a university in the UK or Ireland.
 
There are three different categories:
1. Speech Category:  For those studying a Japanese course aiming for the equivalent of JF standard C1 or C2 at a university the UK or Ireland including as an elective, optional or other university-based language course. Five finalists will be selected.
Application Deadline: 9th November 2020 (15:00)
 
2. Individual Presentation Category: For those studying a Japanese course aiming for the equivalent of JF standard B1 or B2. Participants will give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese. The aim of the presentation is to introduce a particular theme to the audience, for example a region, event, custom, etc. from the UK or another country outside Japan. Five finalists will be selected.
Application Deadline: 7th December 2020 (15:00)
 
3. Group Presentation Category: For those studying a Japanese course aiming for the equivalent of JF standard A1 or A2. Participants will take part in groups of two to four students and give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese. The aim of the presentation is to introduce a particular theme to the audience, for example a region, event, custom, etc. from the UK or another country outside Japan. Five groups which are selected to present during the finals day will be given a special award.
Application Deadline: 14th December 2020
*Details of JF Standard can be found here:
http://jfstandard.jp/pdf/jfs2015_pamphlet_eng.pd
 
Videos from the 15th Contest Finals Day can be viewed here - Coming soon!
Please see the files below for contest poster, FAQ and application forms for each category.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contest Poster
- Speech Category Application Form
- Speech Category Rules and Guidance
- Individual Presentation Category Application Form
- Group Presentation Category Application Form

We are delighted to announce that the 16th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is open for applications!


This contest gives students the chance to make their voices heard in Japanese, and win some fantastic prizes! Finals Day will be held online, on Saturday 6th March 2021.


:: Contest Aims

The main purpose of the event is to improve the speaking and presentation skills of students studying Japanese as a foreign language. Through this event, we hope to promote Japanese language learning at higher education level in the UK and Ireland.


:: Who can apply?

The contest is aimed at undergraduate students who are currently studying Japanese as a foreign language at a university in the UK or Ireland.
 
There are three different categories:


1. Speech Category:  For those studying a Japanese course aiming for the equivalent of JF standard C1 or C2 at a university the UK or Ireland including as an elective, optional or other university-based language course. Five finalists will be selected.


Application Deadline: 9th November 2020 (15:00)
 
2. Individual Presentation Category: For those studying a Japanese course aiming for the equivalent of JF standard B1 or B2. Participants will give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese. The aim of the presentation is to introduce a particular theme to the audience, for example a region, event, custom, etc. from the UK or another country outside Japan. Five finalists will be selected.


Application Deadline: 7th December 2020 (15:00) 

 
3. Group Presentation Category: For those studying a Japanese course aiming for the equivalent of JF standard A1 or A2. Participants will take part in groups of two to four students and give a PowerPoint presentation using Japanese. The aim of the presentation is to introduce a particular theme to the audience, for example a region, event, custom, etc. from the UK or another country outside Japan. Five groups which are selected to present during the finals day will be given a special award.


Application Deadline: 14th December 2020

 
*Details of JF Standard can be found here:
https://jfstandard.jp/pdf/jfs2015_pamphlet_eng.pdf
 
Videos from the 15th Contest Finals Day can be viewed here


Please see the files below for contest poster, FAQ and application forms for each category.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Contest Poster
- Speech Category Application Form
- Speech Category Rules and Guidance
- Individual Presentation Category Application Form
- Group Presentation Category Application Form


Date: 17 September 2020 - 14 December 2020
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