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Colouring for the Future - From a Kutani Porcelain Studio new
Kimono Crossing the Sea - Its Power to Inspire Imagination and Creativity new
Kobanashi Workshop for Educators – Kobanashi Performance Instruction Methods to Teach Japanese Language Learners new
Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival Special Talk Events new
Carving Out Beauty - The Life and Work of Munakata Shiko new
UK-JAPAN Bridge Together Project
Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk Exhibition at the V&A
The 16th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students new
Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2020 new

Colouring for the Future - From a Kutani Porcelain Studio   org

 

Kutani ware is one of Japan’s traditional porcelain forms, with almost 400 years history and originating from Ishikawa in the north-western region of Hokuriku. Rather than its shape, its characteristics lie in the application of five vivid colours of Japanese pigment: green, blue, yellow, purple and red; as well as in the bold yet artistic painting style which is individual to each kiln.

Having fascinated global ceramic connoisseurs and lovers for a long time, this style of porcelain has cultivated a number of renowned creators and some of their works have been exhibited in museums worldwide. However, preserving the tradition is not a single man’s journey and many Kutani ware schools, like many other pottery practices, have been safe-guarded in a “studio” system where several skilled professionals are required to take part in the creation process.

In this online event, the Japan Foundation in collaboration with IndigoRose Project has invited KAMIIDE Keigo, a direct descendant of Kutani Choemon’s kiln founded in 1879, to talk about the history and unique features that exemplify this colourful porcelain. Using conference technology to show the audience around his studio virtually, he will also explain how the pottery system works in the modern age and will present his role as a descendant of this ceramic custom, while demonstrating his idea of driving the tradition forward as a legacy for the future, as well as the way the Kutani techniques have been utilised in his artistic practice.

KAMIIDE will be joined by Dr Clare Pollard, Curator of Japanese Art at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford University), for a brief conversation following his presentation.

 

About the speakers

KAMIIDE Keigo is a successor of the Kutani Choemon pottery studio (founded in 1879) and has been engaged in full-scale kiln management since the establishment of a joint company, Kamide Shigei. In the studio, he and his fellow craftsmen are involved in the creation of innovative works including the ‘JAIME HAYON x KUTANI CHOEMON’ collaboration series with a Spanish designer, as well as the application of the Kutani porcelain transfer technique, known as ‘KUTANI SEAL’. As an individual artist, he creates his own works and holds solo exhibitions.

Dr Clare Pollard is Curator of Japanese Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University’s museum of art and archaeology and Britain’s first public museum. The Ashmolean is home to an extensive collection of Japanese art, including ceramics, lacquer, paintings, prints, sword furniture and decorative arts of the Meiji era (1868-1912). Clare’s research has focused mainly on Meiji art, while in recent years she has developed a series of exhibitions and catalogues of the Ashmolean’s Japanese print collections.

 

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/colouring-for-the-future-from-a-kutani-porcelain-studio-tickets-117627670529


Date: 24 September 2020 from 12.00pm

For more information, please click here.
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Kimono Crossing the Sea - Its Power to Inspire Imagination and Creativity   org

 

‘Kimono’ is a word that has long been synonymous with the image of Japan and Japanese culture. Though it was once cast aside by modern women who viewed it as old-fashioned and impractical to wear, much appreciation is now given to the kimono, especially among the younger generation and global fashion designers who believe it is expressive and on trend. It isn’t the first time, however, that the kimono is at the center of attention; in fact an enthusiastic admiration of the wardrobe piece was demonstrated in western Europe in the latter half of the 19th century when various Japanese products such as ukiyo-e had spread overseas, and the ‘Japonisme’ whirlwind had taken over. For progressive artists such as Manet and Whistler, as well as innovative fashion designers such as Paul Poiret and Madeleine Vionnet, the kimono was not merely a beautiful garment invoking exoticism, but an inspirational source for their creativity and, as a result, we are able to perceive its significant influence in their pieces.

What was it about the kimono that mesmerized and captured the imagination of those artists?

Celebrating the UK’s first comprehensive exhibition about the kimono – Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk – at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (running until 25 October 2020), the Japan Foundation has invited renowned fashion historian and curator, FUKAI Akiko, to talk about kimono as it was depicted in the latter half of 19th century and the intriguing relationship between the kimono and artists. Reflecting on the fact that its significance has been relatively dismissed in art and fashion history, she will explore what kimono meant to these masters and what they drew out of stylish, oriental fashion.

The talk will be preceded by a brief introduction by Anna Jackson, the Curator of Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk, and a brief conversation with FUKAI Akiko will follow her lecture.

 

About the speakers

FUKAI Akiko

Award-winning and renowned fashion historian and Director/Curator Emeritus of the Kyoto Costume Institute, FUKAI Akiko obtained an MA and honorary doctorate at Ochanomizu University and studied Art History at the Université de Paris IV (Institute des Arts et de l’ Archeologie). She has organized several major and acclaimed fashion exhibitions such as “Japonism in Fashion,” and “Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion” in Japan and overseas. She is also the author of multiple influential books including Reading Fashion from Pictures (PHP Institute, Kyoto, 2009), and Kimono and Japonism (Heibonsha, Tokyo, 2017) as well as Fashion (Taschen, Köln, 2002), of which 650 thousand copies have been sold so far.

Anna Jackson

Anna Jackson is Keeper of the Asian Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum. A specialist in Japanese textiles and dress, she has written widely on the subject and is the curator of the exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk and editor of the accompanying publication. Her other major research interest is the cultural relationship between Asia and Europe. In 2004 she was co-curator of Encounters: the Meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800 and in 2009 lead curator of Maharaja: the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, which subsequently toured internationally.

 

Image credit:

Mrs George Smith (partial cropped version), Frederic William Burton. Private Collection. Image: National Gallery of Ireland

 

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.

Last chance to see!

The Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum will close on 25 October 2020. The exhibition is financially supported by the Japan Foundation.


Date: 16 October 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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Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival Special Talk Events   org

The Japan Foundation London and Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival have teamed up!

In addition to the free streaming of some of the most innovative and inspiring Japanese animation works, we offer you opportunities to virtually meet the creators behind them. From knitting to clay, you will see how versatile Japanese animation techniques can be. 

All events listed below are free and take place online via Zoom. Join us in this creative hub, wherever you may be!

 

Knitting into Animation

Online Talk with YATA Miho and YODA Takeshi

Who could have imagined that colourful wool threads could be transformed into a cute and fun animation with lots of sheep! YATA Miho, a Japanese animation creator, mesmerized viewers when her work was streamed as part of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival special in July.  Together with YODA Takeshi, composer and theremin player who performed the memorable music in The King of Amechau Country, they will talk about their creative processes and their sources of inspiration in this online talk. Their presentations will be followed by a conversation with Abigail Addison.

Saturday, 24 October from 13:00 (BST)

Book here.

 

 

Animation Workshop with ARAI Chie

Online Workshop

ARAI Chie is the creator behind the twinkling and friendly mascot of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival. She is also an animator who created the festival’s opening animations and other short films. Her drawings are quite often seen in the form of flip books, and bring to mind a similarity to manga. In this workshop, she will explain where the idea for the cute character came from, illustrating step-by-step the process of her creation. Participants will be invited to join a brief session in which they can try and test their skill on paper to check their potential for being a future animator! Moderated by Shangomola, a London based manga artist.

Sunday, 25 October from 12:00 (BST)

Book here.

 

 

Clay Metamorphosis

Online Talk with YUSAKI Fusako

Having lived and worked in Italy, YUSAKI Fusako is an award-wining female creator and a pioneer of Japanese clay animation. Metamorphosing clay into a lively animation rich in colours defines her work and her philosophy: nothing remains the same. In this very special talk, in conversation with Robin Lyons – a producer of animation works and the Managing Director of Calon – YUSAKI will explore her long-standing career and how her life and work has changed shape like the ever-malleable materials she loves.  This is a rare opportunity not to be missed.

Sunday, 25 October from 14:00 (BST)

Book here.


Date: 24 October 2020 - 25 October 2020

In partnership with:

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Carving Out Beauty - The Life and Work of Munakata Shiko   org

 

"Like the vastness of space, like a universe unlimited, untold, unattainable, and inscrutable- that is the woodcut."

– Shiko Munakata.
(Munakata: the “Way” of the Woodcut, Brooklyn, Pratt Adlib Press, 1961)

 

Best known for his earlier phase of black and white woodblock prints, MUNAKATA Shiko (1903-1975) is one of the greatest Japanese artists of the 20th century. His works are instantly recognisable by the expressive urgency with which he worked to bring out the vitality that is characteristic of his art. A self-taught artist, he continued to be inspired by the love of nature and folk traditions of his native Aomori. Perhaps the most indicative element of his work has been the Buddhist imagery created in Toyama (after the 1945 bombing of Tokyo forced him to escape the capital), which heavily featured in his prints and earned him a number of accolades from esteemed temples of Japan. He made his mark on an international scale, too, receiving first prize in exhibitions held in Lugano (1952), Sao Paulo (1955), Venice (1956), and Hayward Gallery in London (1991), as part of an exhibition which subsequently toured in the UK.

Ensuring the legacy of his name lives on in present day, independent curator and researcher, ISHII Yoriko, has been a key figure in lectures and publications aimed at revealing a hidden side of the folk art master. As MUNAKATA’s granddaughter, she is arguably best equipped to do so.

Commemorating the 45th anniversary of MUNAKATA’s death, The Japan Foundation is delighted to welcome her as she delivers an insightful online talk about the life and work of the artist, drawing on personal memories of him to paint a picture of the man behind the woodblock prints. Elaborating on the philosophy and techniques used by MUNAKATA in his work, as well as the different stages of this career as an artist, ISHII will explain the significance his prints continue to have – both in Japan and globally – and what is being done to preserve his memory.

After her presentation, ISHII will have a brief conversation with artist, educator and author, Elspeth Lamb.

 

About the speakers

ISHII Yoriko

Born in Tokyo in 1956, she is the granddaughter of MUNAKATA Shiko. After graduating from university, she began working as a curator at the Munakata Museum of Art (closed in 2011) in Kamakura City. In recent years, through exhibition supervision, writing, lectures, and similar activities, she has worked to convey the lesser known attributes of her grandfather. ISHII is also currently a special researcher at Nanto Shiritsu Fukumitsu Museum.

 

Elspeth Lamb

Elspeth Lamb is an artist, educator and author. Her book ‘Papermaking for Printmakers’ was published by A&C Black London in 2006 and sells worldwide. She has exhibited in New York, London, Tokyo, Kyoto and Toronto and she has been artist in residence in Japan several times since 2000 ,studying and researching with hanga masters and more recently with a Unesco Hosokawa-shi papermaking master in Ogawa, Japan.

 

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 

 

Image credit: In Praise of Flower Hunting, 1954 /「華狩頌(はなかりしょう)1954」, Shiko Munakata

 

Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.


Date: 20 October 2020 from 12.00pm

For more information, please click here.
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UK-JAPAN Bridge Together Project   org

   

UK-JAPAN Bridge Together Project: Sakubei Yamamoto Coal Mining Paintings World Tour

As part of the Beyond 2020 programme, the Bridge Together Project is exhibiting the coal mining paintings of Sakubei Yamamoto which have been registered as a UNESCO Memory of the World – the first Japanese artefacts to receive the honour. The exhibition will tour cities around the world in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games.

 

Date: 4 October – 15 November 2019

Venue: Embassy of Japan, 101-104 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7JT

 

Date: 14 September 2019 – 30 September 2020

Venue: Big Pit National Coal Museum, Pontypool NP4 9XP, Wales

Sakubei Yamamoto Coal Mining Paintings World Tour


Date: 4 October 2019 - 30 September 2020

For more information, please click here.

Celebrating:

 

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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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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 - 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


Date: 17 September 2020 - 14 December 2020
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Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri 2020  

This year's Japan Matsuri has moved online! The Japan Foundation will be participating in the online event, with a short video explaining all of our resources to kick-start or support your Japanese language learning journey. The video will be up for the whole of Japan Matsuri on the website, so please check it out!

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

Japan Matsuri will run online from 26th September to 27th September.


Date: 26 September 2020 - 27 September 2020
Venue:

Onlune


For more information, please click here.
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