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Author Talk with Kanako Nishi new
Fabula Collective - Ley Line new
Animator Talk with Takeshi Yashiro new
Unite Wales and Japan: Experience Japan and the Rugby World Cup new
Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival 2019
An Introduction to Japanese Kagura by Professor Terence Lancashire
Iwami Kagura Dance Performances come to the UK! new
UK-JAPAN Bridge Together Concert
James Taylor Quartet + Naomi Suzuki with Mari Natsuki
MODE 2019 - Performances by Yosuke Fujita and ASUNA new
The 15th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students new
Anime's Human Machines new
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2019
Okinawan Art in its Regional Context new
From the Dust of This Wretched Earth new
The Chief, The Missionary, His Wife & Her Brother
Solo Exhibition by Nobuko Tsuchiya
at Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2019

Author Talk with Kanako Nishi   org

 

Since her debut in 2004 with a collection of short stories Blue (Aoi), Kanako Nishi’s star has risen rapidly in the Japanese literary world. Born in Tehran, and raised in Cairo and Osaka, Nishi has been praised by critics for her unorthodox style and the use of language in her books which are often written using the distinctive Kansai dialect. The praise has also materialised into awards she has garnered, among them the Oda Sakunosuke Prize in 2006, the Kawai Hayao Literary Prize in 2012, and the prestigious Naoki Prize in 2015 for her novel Saraba! (2014). Notably, she is also an accomplished author of children’s books with one of her representative works, Entaku (Entaku: Kokko Hitonatsu no Imagine, 2011), having been adapted into film by Isao Yukisada in 2014. Her other novels have inspired many filmmakers as well as enthusiastic readers from different generations.

In conjunction with her much anticipated appearance at this year's Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Nishi, in conversation with literary translator Polly Barton, will talk about her work aimed at both adult and younger readerships, reflecting on the inspiration behind her stories and her writing style, including how she draws on her own international upbringing to shape her narratives. They will also discuss some of the major themes explored in Nishi’s novels such as individualism, society, power, and what the author wishes to express through her literature.

Though many of Nishi’s books are yet to be translated, this talk will provide a first insight into the creative process of one of Japan’s best-loved novelists, whose debut on a global stage has been eagerly anticipated.

A small selection of Nishi’s works translated into English:

Merry Christmas, English trans. Allison Markin Powell, fiftystorms.org https://fiftystorms.org/merry-christmas-by-kanako-nishi

Burn, English trans. Allison Markin Powell, Freeman's: Power, Fall 2018 issue https://www.amazon.com/dp/0802128203

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


このイベントは無料ですが、事前予約が必要です。お申し込みはこちらからお願いいたします。


Date: 11 October 2019 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Royal Society of Arts (RSA), Durham Auditorium, Durham House Street — off The Strand, London WC2N 6HG


This event is organised in partnership with The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. Nishi will be appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Saturday, 12 October in the morning and afternoon. For more information about the Festival, please visit their website here.


 

Celebrating:

     

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Fabula Collective - Ley Line   org

 

“Four striking works align, taking the audience on an exploration of reflection, purification, self and identity. Together we navigate an energetic path that illuminates the significance of our connection as human beings through unspoken word.

The Japan Foundation is delighted to partner with Fabula Collective on a contemporary dance production presented at Sadler’s Wells this October. A mixed bill performance choreographed by James Pett, Travis Clausen-Knight, and Japanese contemporary dance artist Kahiko Narisawa, the project emphasises the collaboration between Japanese and British dancers, bridging the cultures of the two countries and facilitating a meeting of minds to exchange skills, knowledge, technique and creative ideas.

The performance will be followed by a conversation between the dance artists and Sanjoy Roy, dance writer and critic for the Guardian.


Date: 8 October 2019 from 7.15pm
Venue:

Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio, Roseberry Avenue, London EC1R 4TN


For more information, please click here.

In Partnership with:

Celebrating:

 

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Animator Talk with Takeshi Yashiro   org

 

Takeshi Yashiro is a Japanese animator and television commercial director. Having graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1993, he helmed numerous commercials produced by Taiyo Kikaku Co. Ltd. before focusing on finessing his stop-motion animation techniques and beginning to make his own animated films. His short film Moon of a Sleepless Night (2015) was a Jury Selection at the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival and a sample of his most recent work, Gon, The Little Fox (2019) has been exhibited at the Content Tokyo 2019 as well as participating in Marché International du Film d'Animation in Annecy.

On the rare occasion of his appearance at the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival in Cardiff, the Japan Foundation is delighted to welcome Takeshi Yashiro for a special talk event this October. In this illustrative talk, Yashiro will divulge his professional transition from directing large-scale commercials to creating stop-motion films where his role varied from writer and animator to designer of sets and puppets. He will also discuss his dedication to the painstaking work of hand crafted stop-motion animation and talk us through the stages of producing an animation, from storyboard to screen.


Date: 7 October 2019 from 6.30pm
Venue:

Courthouse Hotel Cinema, 19 - 21 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7HL


For more information, please click here.

In Celebration of:

   

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Unite Wales and Japan: Experience Japan and the Rugby World Cup   org

We are working with the Old Penarthians Rugby Club and Cardiff University to run an upcoming event on 6th October celebrating the Rugby World Cup.

There will be two identical sessions taking place on the day and participants choose which one to take part in. The event is open to participants aged eight to fourteen along with their parents or guardians.

  • Session One: 2:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Session Two: 4:00pm to 5:30pm

The maximum number of participants per session is 40.

Activities planned:

-        Warm-up exercises while learning some Japanese.

-        Rugby-themed Japanese language activity.

-        Japanese culture session learning about the Welsh rugby team’s training camp in Japan, origami, and Japanese tea.

Please note: This event is open only to members of the Old Penarthians Rugby Club

Organised with:

 


Date: 6 October 2019
Venue:

Old Penarthians Rugby Club,  St Mark’s Rod, Penarth, CF64 3PF 


 

  

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Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival 2019   org

 

The Japan Foundation is proud to partner with the Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival as they bring yet another exciting line-up of Japanese film titles to the UK.

2019: NATION | 国家 

This year's edition of the festival examines national identity, cultural memory and perceptions of history in Japan with a programme of classic avant-garde cinema and contemporary experimental short form film. This weekend festival of screenings will be complemented by introductions from experts, Q&As, a free panel discussion and a filmmaker’s workshop for aspiring video artists.


Date: 20 September 2019 - 22 September 2019
Venue:

Various, please follow the link below for more information on individual screenings.


For more information, please click here.

Presented by:

Celebrating:

 

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An Introduction to Japanese Kagura by Professor Terence Lancashire   org

Join us for a lecture on kagura, given by Professor Terence Lancashire of Osaka Ohtani University.

From ancient times, various traditional entertainments have been created and evolved in Japan’s long history. These range from the court ensemble of gagaku to the theatre of noh, kabuki and puppetry and various instrumental ensembles including the three stringed shamisen and 13 stringed koto. In contrast to these urban forms there are a wide variety of folk performing arts which includes the shrine ritual entertainment of kagura.

Kagura, a ritual entertainment performed primarily in Shinto shrines, is one of the five main categories of Japanese folk performing arts as defined by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Having its origins in the mythical dance of the goddess Ame no Uzume no Mikoto before a cave in which the sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, has hidden herself, kagura has been realised in various forms of entertainment over its long history. The oldest is the dance of miko, shrine maidens. But through the course of its history, it has also developed into theatrical representations of ancient Japanese myths and historical episodes.

Through this special talk, which will provide an overview of Japanese folk performing arts, you will discover the historical background and characteristics of this time-honoured traditional art, as well as learn how the custom has stood the test of time leading up to present day.


Date: 27 September 2019 - 28 September 2019
Venue:

Main Hall, National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP

and

Entrance Hall, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB (Sold out, return tickets only)


In collaboration with:

                

 

Celebrating:

 

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Iwami Kagura Dance Performances come to the UK!   org

 

We are delighted to welcome the Otsu Kagura Troupe who will perform special shows of the Iwami Kagura dance tradition in the UK. Come and join us at the places and dates below – fun for the whole family! No booking required.

What is Iwami Kagura? 

Kagura is a Shinto theatrical dance and music dedicated to the deities of Japanese mythology. It originated from a mythical event recorded in the Kojiki, a 1,300-year-old historical record of Japan, in which the female deity of dance and the arts dances to coax the female deity of the sun out of hiding in a cave so that her light would grace the world again. The older and ritualistic form is still performed at the Imperial Court, and the more theatrical forms are staple in local communities in regions of Japan.

Iwami Kagura is a form of kagura native to Iwami region of western Shimane Prefecture. It has about 300 years of history and is performed mostly during the annual celebrations of shrines in the autumn to dedicate it to the deities in gratitude and to pray for an abundant harvest throughout the year. The repertoire includes ritual dances and narrative plays based on myths. The magnificent dance, up-tempo music, and flamboyant costumes are captivating, and although being a traditional performing art, it continues to evolve over times.

 

Who are the Otsu Kagura troupe?

The troupe was founded in 1999 as the new generation to carry on the tradition of Iwami Kagura. The troupe works on preserving and developing the tradition by making new plays as well as devoting itself to preserve the classic plays to convey the appeal of the indigenous and traditional kagura. The troupe performs 41 plays and presents around 50 performances annually, performing also at many events in other cities as well as in urban areas and overseas.

The troupe also operates Mai-no-za, the first dedicated theatre for Iwami Kagura opened in April 2019, with the aims of developing new fans and making the facility as the base of promoting the kagura not only for locals but also domestic and international visitors.


Date: 27 September 2019 - 29 September 2019
Venue:

 

Main Hall, National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP

and 

Entrance Hall, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

and

Japan Matsuri 2019, Trafalgar Square, London


In collaboration with:

                  

 

Celebrating:

 

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UK-JAPAN Bridge Together Concert
James Taylor Quartet + Naomi Suzuki with Mari Natsuki
  org

 

Japanese pop with a UK jazz-funk twist: performed by the critically acclaimed James Taylor Quartet and UK-based singer Naomi Suzuki. The evening celebrates the Japan-UK Year of Culture with the Bridge Together Project - presenting much loved J-pop classics specially re-arranged for an incredible night highlighting a shared love of great music and connections between the two cultures.

Special guest stars make this concert an unmissable experience. Yuriko Kotani, the BBC New Comedy Award winning comedian, will open the event and superstar actress and singer Mari Natsuki is travelling from Japan especially to give an exclusive performance. There will also be a traditional daikagura routine by Michiyo Kagami - a unique combination of talents!


Date: 1 October 2019 from 7.00pm
Venue:

Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ


For more information, please click here.

Celebrating:

 

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MODE 2019 - Performances by Yosuke Fujita and ASUNA   org

 

As part of an annual series of artist-curated sonic and interdisciplinary events in extraordinary spaces, MODE 2019 (produced by Thirty Three Thirty Three), the Japan Foundation is delighted to partner on welcoming artists Yosuke Fujita and ASUNA as they create distinct live sonic performances.

Yosuke Fujita presents NOISEEM

Yosuke Fujita creates distinct live sonic performances that are inspired by traditional Japanese Gagaku music; incorporating flowing water, the human voice and analogue reel tapes to create spatial and sonic compositions that are designed to stimulate and embrace the eye and the ear. For the European premiere of NOISEEM, he will employ synthesised water tanks interconnected with a unique pipe organ fabricated by Fujita to construct an immersive environment that aims to elicit embodied multi-sensory experiences.

In conjunction with his performance work, Fujita has featured in numerous exhibitions including INVISIBLE LAKE (2015), presenting a sound installation that focused on underwater sounds, and CELL (2017) at the Sapporo International Art Festival, which comprised of a sonic work that amplified the sounds of black soldier fly larvae buried in the soil.

ASUNA: 100 KEYBOARDS

Japanese sound artist ASUNA has been creating experimental music and installation work since the late 1990s. He is a pioneer in the experimental ambient/drone/ improvisation scene in Japan and has collaborated with both Japanese and international electronic musicians.

ASUNA will be using 100 battery-powered analogue keyboards to create waves of overlapping sound in the Clore Studio.

The instruments sit in concentric circles, each one playing a single note to produce an electronic chorus in this site-specific listening experience.


Date: 19 September 2019 - 2 October 2019
Venue:

Camden Arts Centre at Cork Street, 5-6 Cork Street, London W1S 3NY

and

South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH


Celebrating:

 

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The 15th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students   org

We are delighted to announce that the 15th 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! Finalists will all perform their speeches on Saturday 29th February 2020 in the Great Hall, King’s College London.

:: 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: 11th November 2019 

 

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: 9th December 2019 

 

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: 16th December 2019

*Details of JF Standard can be found here:

http://jfstandard.jp/pdf/jfs2015_pamphlet_eng.pd

 

Videos from the 14th 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: 27 August 2019 - 16 December 2019

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Anime's Human Machines   org

In 1963 Osamu Tezuka’s TV series Astro Boy brought a new kind of robot to Japan. The robot child with a loving heart began a line of compelling, conflicted cyborgs whose existence challenges humanity.

Japanese animation has embraced robotics, cybernetics and artificial intelligence as major themes. More interestingly, it uses these themes to explore complex moral and social questions: humanity’s responsibility for its actions, response to the other, greed, short-termism, failure to care for the ecosystem that sustains us.

The Japan Foundation is delighted to be associated with Barbican's season which examines the challenge of the man-machine interface through eight films on various aspects of humanity’s response to technological change. One interesting factor to emerge from these films is how our own view of technology has changed since the earliest was released. Another is how humanity still refuses responsibility for the impact of our actions. These films give no answers, but suggest responses.


Date: 12 September 2019 - 30 September 2019
Venue:

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS


For more information, please click here.

    

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2019   org

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a test which evaluates and certifies the Japanese-language proficiency of non-native speakers of Japanese.The test is conducted twice a year, in July and December, in Japan and various locations around the world.

The next JLPT will take place on Sunday 1st December 2019, at three locations in the UK: London (SOAS University of London), Edinburgh (the University of Edinburgh) and Cardiff (Cardiff University). 

Registration will open at each test centre as follows:

Please note that the registration at each test centre will close when the test centre has reached its maximum capacity.

For more information about the test, please visit the JLPT website.

 


Date: 1 December 2019
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Okinawan Art in its Regional Context   JPsupported

This two-day conference will address the socio-cultural complexities of Okinawan identity over the course of history, and explore the intersection between art, politics, and identity from an interdisciplinary perspective. The object of the conference and its ensuing studies is to shed light on how Okinawan arts and cultures have been shaped by internal political situations and by a triple subjugation to the United States, Japan, and China.

In this conference, we will bring together a unique selection of scholars in art history, history, politics, sociology, and visual arts, primarily to identify historical and political processes behind art and cultural forms.

To view the full poster for this event, please click here.


Date: 10 October 2019 - 11 October 2019
Venue:

University of East Anglia 
Norwich Research Park
Norwich
NW4 7TJ


For more information about attending this event, please visit the UEA website

This event has received funding through the Japan Foundation London Local Grant Programme (Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange). If you would like to know more about the programme, please click here

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From the Dust of This Wretched Earth   JPsupported

A collaboration between the Uchledre Centre and dance practitioner Melissa Prasut, this full-length dance production will combine traditional and non-traditional art approaches and involve a number of international artists, including butoh dancer Sayako Onishi and music mixer, Toshimaru Nakamura. 


Date: 26 September 2019 - 28 September 2019
Venue:

Phipps Halls (Huddersfield) 26 September 

Ucheldre Centre (Anglesey) 27 September 

The Gwenfrewi Project (North Wales) 28 September 


There will also be a series of butoh dance workshops run in conjuction with the performance. For more details please click here.

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The Chief, The Missionary, His Wife & Her Brother   JPsupported

Discover the amazing family of the Hertford Museum founders and their fascinating lives amongst the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, North Japan. The Japan Foundation is proud to support this exhibition's telling of the story of Missionary John Batchelor, his wife Louisa, her brother Walter Andrews, Bishop of Hokkaido, and the inimitable Chief Penri of Piratori.

Illustrated by fantastic Japanese items from the museum's own collections as well as examples of Ainu culture loaned by the British Museum. 


Date: 13 July 2019 - 2 November 2019
Venue:

For more information, please click here.

                

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Solo Exhibition by Nobuko Tsuchiya
at Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019
  JPsupported

Date: 22 June 2019 - 29 September 2019
Venue:

The White Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AA


For more information, please click here.

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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2019  

This year is the eleventh Japan Matsuri and the Japan Foundation will be participating again this year. The Japan Matsuri is a great festival of Japanese culture held at Trafalgar Square.

Come and visit our stand to get information about the Japan Foundation, Japanese culture and language. We will be planning some fun activities and talking about learning Japanese in the UK.

For more information about Japan Matsuri, please see their official website at JapanMatsuri.com.


Date: 29 September 2019 - 20 September 2019 from 10.00am to 6.00pm
Venue:

Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN


For more information, please click here.

Japan Foundation will be at the event from 10:00 to 18:00. Japan Matsuri itself will run from 10:00 to 20:00.

 

 

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