Contact Us Sitemap Privacy Policy Communication Policy Social Media Policy

What's On

セカンダリー日本語教師のためのワークショップ - Online Workshop for Secondary School Teachers: How do we equip our students with 21st century skills new
Kobanashi Workshop for Educators – Sharing Teaching Practices and Learning new
[Online Event] Reframing Japanese Narratives for the UK Stage new
UCL-Japan Youth Challenge new
[Online Talk] Designs That Defined Modern Japan new
[Online Event] Competing Visions of Modernity: Architects who Changed Japan new
Japanese Artists at the Architecture Film Festival London new
[Online Talk] Art In Motion - Creatives Who Have Transitioned to Video Artistry new
[Online Talk] The Pursuit for New Aesthetics - An Architectural Talk with HIRANO Toshiki new
[Online Event] Delving Into ' Grave of the Fireflies' with Alex Dudok de Wit new
Applications for the Japanese Local Project Support Programme 2021-2022 are open! new
11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art From Japan - An Online Exhibition new

セカンダリー日本語教師のためのワークショップ - Online Workshop for Secondary School Teachers: How do we equip our students with 21st century skills   org

Calling all secondary school teachers of Japanese! We will be holding an online workshop led by two of the authors of a popular textbook series for secondary pupils.

This workshop introduces the pedagogical benefits of using 'iiTomo' series (2nd edition) ( which aims to equip students with 21st century skills in a variety of ways. Participants will experience intercultural language learning through the eyes of students and teachers. The workshop includes group work to share ideas of assessment tasks and new online tools for formative assessment.

- Date: 26th June 2021 (Saturday), 9:00-11:00 (BST)

- Location: Online seminar using Zoom software

- To apply, please click here:

- Participation fee: Free (Registration in advance is required.)

- Registration deadline: 10th June

- Languages used: Japanese/English

- Speaker: Ms Yoko Nishimura-Parke and Ms Yoshie Burrows

- Target audience: Secondary school teachers of Japanese (Private tutors are also welcome).

- Maximum number of participants: 50

In case that we receive more applications than we have spaces, we will prioritise applicants who are currently teaching GCSE Japanese in the United Kingdom and we might close the applications earlier than the deadline if capacity is reached.

- Planned schedule: Following the workshop, there will be an optional social gathering from 10:30.

Speakers’ Profiles:

Ms Yoko Nishimura-Parke

As a senior education officer at the NSW Department of Education, Australia, Yoko Nishimura-Parke developed numerous language learning resources for language education during the period 1998-2015. Yoko also co-authored the Japanese language textbook series Mirai (1995‐2006) and iiTomo (2008‐2019), published by Pearson Education Australia. Yoko is actively involved in creating language learning resources to foster ethical and intercultural understanding and cultivate global views focusing on sustainability.   

Ms Yoshie Burrows

Yoshie Burrows, lead author of the iiTomo series, has been actively involved in Japanese education in Victoria for more than twenty-five years. This includes a long career at Loreto College as a Year 7-12 teacher and language department coordinator. Since 2015, she has been the Languages Professional Learning Community Leader for the Catholic Education Office at Ballarat Diocese. She has written VCE teaching materials including the Leading Edge VCE Japanese textbook, as well as practice exams for the Melbourne Centre for Japanese Language Education.

Date: 26 June 2021 from 9.00am to 11.00am

Online event.

Back to Top

Kobanashi Workshop for Educators – Sharing Teaching Practices and Learning   org

Since last year, the Japan Foundation has been continuing work concerning Japanese language education that utilizes Kobanashi. 

In this workshop, participants can view concrete examples of how Kobanashi is used in teaching, drawing on the actual practice of educators in a variety of locations.

They can explore the discovery of practice as well as any issues encountered, and also make plans for new methods of practice. In this way we hope to create an enjoyable workshop with collaborative learning.

We welcome both participants who already use Kobanashi in practice, as well as Japanese language educators who wish to use Kobanashi in their lessons in the future.

  • Workshop Format: Online (Zoom software
  • Dates:  16th July 2021 (Fri)
  • Time: 10:00 - 12:30 (BST
  • Number of Participants: Approx. 20
  • 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 (This can be downloaded as the attachment file below).

The application form link is included in 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: 28th June (Monday), 17:00 (BST)


Date: 16 July 2021 from 10.00am to 12.00pm
Download 7.16 JFLO小噺ワークショップ参加者募集要項_final
Back to Top

[Online Event] Reframing Japanese Narratives for the UK Stage   org


In recent years there has been a noticeable trend in new UK productions made for the stage to be sourcing their ground material not only from Japanese plays but also through adapting other forms of Japanese media, such as anime, literature, or film. Be it a direct adaptation or simply taking inspiration, the communication of the culture which the original is steeped in is not entirely removed from the creation process. The culmination of such adaptations results in distinct visions of Japanese culture reframed to suit the message of their creators and lend relatability to their native audiences.

In celebration of After Life, adapted for the stage from Hirokazu Kore-eda’s feature film and to be presented at the National Theatre between 2 June and 24 July 2021, we invited a group of UK theatre professionals – who have looked towards Japan for source materials in their respective productions – to join an informal roundtable talk aimed at exploring the significance of looking at other languages and art forms in conceptualising new works, and any challenges that may be faced in doing so.

*Please note: Contrary to earlier announcements, Jack McNamara will no longer participate in the event. In his place we welcome Franko Figueiredo (more information below).



About the panellists

(Moderator) Professor Ken Rea is a theatre director, acting teacher, and author of the bestseller, The Outstanding Actor, Seven Keys to Success. After working as a leading actor and director in New Zealand, where he founded the Living Theatre Troupe, he studied theatre in Bali, Java, India, China and Japan, as well as studying with leading European teachers. Today, at the renowned Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he is Professor of Theatre, Ken has trained some of Britain's leading actors, bringing to them his unique process, influenced by his research in Asian theatre. Through his corporate training Ken has also made a striking difference to thousands of business leaders. And as a journalist, he has been a regular feature writer for The Times and was for 15 years a theatre critic for The Guardian. As a public speaker, Ken gives many large-scale presentations in the worlds of business and the arts.

Franko Figueiredo is the co-founder and artistic director of StoneCrabs Theatre Company. Franko and StoneCrabs Theatre Company have been running yearly drama workshops in Japan since 2006. He has directed all of Mishima's Modern Noh plays in English for StoneCrabs to great critical acclaim, including Sotoba Komachi (Metro and Time Out Critics Choice); Busu (Mishima’s take on the Kyogen play of the same name), and The Damask Drum (International tour, Pick of the EdFringe 2017). Franko also directed Asphalt Kiss, a co-production between One Two Works and StoneCrabs at Owl Spot Theatre, Tokyo in 2018. Currently they are collaborating with Busu Theatre on a new production inspired by tales of loneliness and Japanese folklore.

Jeremy Herrin trained as a theatre director at both the National Theatre and the Royal Court, where he became Deputy Artistic Director in 2008. He became Artistic Director of Headlong Theatre in September 2013. In 2009, Jeremy directed Polly Stenham's play, Tusk Tusk for which he was nominated for an Evening Standard Best Director Award. In 2012 he was named as one of the Stage top 100. In 2014 Jeremy directed the critically acclaimed adaptations of Hilary Mantel's novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies for the RSC and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Director. The productions transferred to the West End at the end of 2014 and opened on Broadway in April 2015. Most recently he directed Noises Off at The Garrick Theatre and The Visit at The National Theatre. For TV Jeremy directed Talking Heads and Unprecedented for the BBC.

Yojiro Ichikawa is a director who has been working in the UK, US, EU and Japan, in various kinds of theatre including musical, drama and physical theatre. He founded and has been the Artistic Director of a UK theatre company Théatre Lapis, which aim is to question traditional boundaries including those that exist between genres or cultures, and to seek other frontiers. His directing credits include Letter from the Sea at Polish Theatre Bydgoszcz and the New National Theatre Tokyo, Tell Me On A Sunday at the New National Theatre Tokyo which won a Yomiuri drama award, The Red Candle based on Mimei Ogawa’s Novel, at the Brunel Museum and was also appreciated by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Pearl and Dagger at The Other Palace, a new musical created through the collaboration between the British and Japanese creatives, and KUWENTO an online production based on Japanese folktales.

Alexandra Rutter is a director and producer of Anglo-Japanese collaborative theatre, and an ambassador for inter-cultural productions based on Japanese source material. She founded and has been director of UK Theatre company, Whole Hog Theatre since 2012 and is currently a Resident Director and Producer at Nelke Planning: a leading Japanese producer of “2.5 Dimensional Musicals” (theatre based on Japanese animation, comics and video games). Her most notable work includes: Creative Director on Magia Record (Madoka Magica Franchise) starring idol group Keyakizaka46, and Director of the world’s first stage production of a Hayao Miyazaki film Princess Mononoke (with the kind permission of Studio Ghibli). Most recent credits include the postponed 2020 production of the world’s first stage adaptation of The Garden of Words, based on the Anime by Makoto Shinkai and CoMix Wave films.


Special thanks to the National Theatre and IGAWA Togo.


Please note that this will be an Online Event held on Zoom.


This online event is free to attend but places are limited and registration is essential. To reserve your space, please book your ticket here.


Date: 17 June 2021 from 6.30pm

For more information, please click here.

Back to Top

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge   org

The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge is a prestigious annual summer school programme which has had a tremendous reputation and impact since 2015. Pre-university students from Japan and the UK attend a series of university-style lectures on a wide range of subjects by academics from leading UK universities including UCL (University College London), and engage in the UCL Grand Challenge Workshop.

In 2021, the programme will be held online due to COVID-19 guidelines.


Through the past UCL-Japan Youth Challenge programmes, young students have been provided with opportunities to look into social problems, mainly through science and technology. This year, the cultural side of the issues will be highlighted and discussions of how art and design could contribute to solving those problems and developing the sustainable future will be held.

For the full programme, please visit the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge homepage.


Non-Japanese sixth-form students residing in the UK, aged 15, 16, 17 and 18 years (Parental consent will be required prior to the event for under 18s.)


To apply, please complete the forms available here.

All participants will receive a complimentary ticket for Hyper Japan Online and two UK based participants will be selected to for a free trip to Japan in 2022. 

There is no application deadline, though please note that spaces are limited.

Date: 3 August 2021 - 24 August 2021


Back to Top

[Online Talk] Designs That Defined Modern Japan   org


The decades leading up to the turn of the 21st century have seen in Japan an unprecedented amount of growth and development, with the nation spearheading the way in pioneering technologies, art, and designs. While some cross-referenced existing global design movements, Japanese creators have focused on the needs and preferences of their society, creating many ground-breaking products with new conceptions that revolutionised not only the fields of design in Japan, but also provided key inspiration for future designs in the Western world. From fashion to ceramics, transportation devices to objects used in the daily lives of the average person, Japan offered new directions to explore original ideas.

But are there any tangible items in particular which can be said to stand out as the game changers in the history of Japanese design? To answer this question, we invite Professor KASHIWAGI Hiroshi, a prominent design historian and critic, who will draw on his long-standing career in the field to give his view as to the objects which deserve such an esteemed title. After introducing and providing a socio-historical background on his selection of objects, he will delve into where he believes the future of Japanese design is heading. Following KASHIWAGI's presentation, there will be a short discussion with Josephine Rout, Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum


About the speakers

KASHIWAGI Hiroshi is a Professor Emeritus at Musashino Art University, Tokyo. Majored in History of Modern Design. He is a design critic and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art, London. Born in Kobe in 1946. Graduated with a design degree from Musashino Art University. He has been attempting to spell out modern thought aesthetic through his research in design. Selected Exhibitions: Curator for the exhibition; Tanaka Ikko Retrospective Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2003. Curator for the exhibition; Fantaisies Cybernetiques, Maison de la culture du Japon a Paris, 2003-4. Selected Publication: Modan dezain hihan (Critique of the modern design) Iwanami Syoten, Tokyo, 02. “Shikiri” no Bunkaron (Cultural studies on “boundary”) Kodansya, Tokyo. 04. Tantei-syosetu no shitunai (Interior of Detective Story) Hakusuisya, Tokyo, 11. Dezain no Kyokasyo (The Textbook on Design) Kodansya, Tokyo, 11. Kaji no seijigaku (Studies on Domestic Science) Iwanami Syoten, Tokyo, 15. Shikaku no Seimeiryoku (The Life Force of Visual Culture) Iwanami Syoten, Tokyo. 17.

Josephine Rout is a Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum where she looks after the Japanese collections of Meiji, Modern and Contemporary Fashion, Design and Metalwork. She is a graduate of the University of Canterbury, Aotearoa, New Zealand, and the Royal College of Art, London. At the V&A, she was Assistant Curator for the Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art refurbishment, curated the Friday Late Neo Nipponica and was Project Curator of the exhibition Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk. Her first book, Japanese Dress in Detail (2020), is shortlisted for the 2021 Association of Dress Historians Book of the Year Award.


The Japan Foundation Game Changer Series: The World is Changing; What Changed Japan


Please note that this will be an Online Event held on Zoom.


This online event is free to attend but places are limited and registration is essential. To reserve your space, please book your ticket here.


Date: 23 June 2021 from 1.00pm

For more information, please click here.

Back to Top

[Online Event] Competing Visions of Modernity: Architects who Changed Japan   org


Like many other nations, Japan has undoubtedly been influenced by and benefited from the modernist movement in architecture, in terms of the societal impact it carried and the position it held as a springboard for technological advancements. Japanese architecture holds a prominent position globally thanks to its aesthetic distinctiveness and design quality pioneered by a coterie of visionary architects. Of these figures, two stand out as particularly significant and influential: TANGE Kenzo and SHINOHARA Kazuo. While each created their own school of thought which took different directions in their ideologies, approaches, materials and views on society, both gained domestic and international notoriety as truly original voices and great contributors to modernism as a global movement.

Focusing on visionaries who shaped the course of Japanese architecture, Dr Seng Kuan – a Japan Foundation Fellow, Project Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo, and Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design – will talk about the achievements of these two towering figures, explaining why he believes that TANGE and SHINOHARA represented two distinct vertices in this uniquely rich and momentous chapter of international modernism. He will then analyse the scope of their influence over subsequent generations of architects, providing his own predictions for how Japan’s architectural landscape might transform going into the future. After Dr Seng Kuan's presentation, there will be a short discussion with Robert Brown, Professor of Architecture and Master of Architecture Program Leader at the University of Plymouth


About the guest speakers

Dr Seng Kuan teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the University of Tokyo. He has written extensively on modern architectural culture in East Asia, most notably on Tange Kenzō, the Metabolists, Shinohara Kazuo as well as on the relationship between architectural design and structural engineering. Seng’s research projects have been recognized with grants from the Graham Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the Association for Asian Studies. He received a PhD in architecture from Harvard University and serves as chief editorial advisor to the journal a+u.

Robert Brown is Professor of Architecture and Master of Architecture Program Leader at the University of Plymouth. He has taught and lectured in Japan, including at Kobe University, as well as in Austria, Canada, China, Egypt and US. His research interests include socio-cultural identity and place, with publications on Japanese architecture and rituals. He is the author of various entries referencing Japanese architecture for The Encyclopaedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (forthcoming). He is the recipient of funding from the Daiwa Foundation, Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Japan 21 Foundation, and is chair of the RIBA Research Grants Committee. 


Image credits:

Tange Kenzō, House in Seijō, Tokyo, 1953. Photo by Hirayama Chūji

Shinohara Kazuo, House in Kugayama, Tokyo, 1954. Photo by Hirayama Chūji 


The Japan Foundation Game Changer Series: The World is Changing; What Changed Japan


Please note that this will be an Online Event held on Zoom.


This online event is free to attend but places are limited and registration is essential. To reserve your space, please book your ticket here



Date: 29 June 2021 from 1.00pm

For more information, please click here.

Back to Top

Japanese Artists at the Architecture Film Festival London   org


We are proud to partner with Architecture Film Festival London in welcoming Japanese artists to the programme line-up of the festival this June. Exploring film and installation performance pieces that create architecture out of light, projection, and film, Capsule #3 titled Temporal Architecture Sculpted in Time will include films and videos that showcase Japanese visual, sound and spatial artists such as Shiro Takatani and Dumb Type.


Temporal Architecture Sculpted in Light


Existing between the real and the imagined, the architecture of space and time created by film allows us to temporarily inhabit non-existent worlds. Intently constructed to be experienced through multiple senses, it deconstructs the space it inhabits and reconstructs an alternative space to be experienced. Manifested in a range of forms, either being passively observed or actively engaged with, this temporal, imaginary architecture is built out of light, projection, film and data.

This capsule will explore film and installation performance pieces that create architecture out of light, projection, and film. It will examine non-physical imaginary spaces which sit between virtual 3D systems and physical architectural spaces. By looking at temporal art pieces that are intended to be observed and experienced in the present and in person, this programme aims to investigate / explore architecture that has been created and enhanced with the medium of film.


Shiro Takatani, Between Nature and Technology

Giulio Boato, Canada, 2019, 52′


Across Europe and Japan, this film covers over three decades of Shiro Takatani’s artistic journey through his installations, theatre and dance performances. Takatani and his collaborators (including composer Ryuichi Sakamoto) explain the driving principles behind his work where nature and people are observed through modern tools. Takatani uses technology to improve our understanding of our environment: enhancing infinitely small organisms, showing large scale galaxies, creating an interaction between performers / dancers with cameras and large screens. Carefully selected performances and installations – remarkably filmed – demonstrate the evolution of his work.



Dumb Type – Members: Takayuki Fujimoto, Ken Furudate, Satoshi Hama, Marihiko Hara, Yuko Hirai, Ryoji Ikeda, Nobuaki Oshika, So Ozaki, Ryo Shiraki, Norico Sunayama, Shiro Takatani, Yoko Takatani, Mayumi Tanaka, Hiromasa Tomari, Misako Yabuuchi, Aoi Yamada, Toru Yamanaka, Yukiko Yoshimoto, Japan, 2020, 57′

Under the direction of Shiro Takatani who was one of the founding members, this work is the first to be presented since Voyage (2002) 18 years ago.



Date: 2 June 2021 - 27 June 2021

For more information, please click here.
Back to Top

[Online Talk] Art In Motion - Creatives Who Have Transitioned to Video Artistry   org


Since its emergence in the late 1960s, video artistry has been gaining an increasingly prominent position in the visual arts sphere, forming a key element in many independent and large-scale exhibitions worldwide. Setting itself apart from conventional filmmaking, its unique way of conveying a particular vision or message has been adopted by many artists, including those who do not necessarily begin their career with motion image.

So, what is the attraction of video art from the artists’ perspective? Is it easier to create in its infinite variety and in the current times which heavily rely on digital alternatives? Perhaps it provides a greater medium for expression?

In conjunction with the Japan Foundation’s online exhibition, 11 Stories on Distanced Relationships - Contemporary Art from Japan (which ran 30 March - 5 May 2021), we have invited three of the exhibited artists,  who are either based in or closely connected to the UK, and who began their careers with other media of expression but later adopted moving image.

The three artists are NOGUCHI Rika whose main medium is photography but who recently started incorporating video art, YANAI Shino who produces performances and installations mostly in video, and SAWA Hiraki who studied sculpture but is known for his videos which capture his subject’s full psychological territory. Together they will talk us through their individual relationships with video art and what inspired them to select this medium in their conceptualisations, while introducing some of their representative works. The conversation will be led by Stuart Tulloch, curator and Head of Programme at Firstsite.


About the speakers

Stuart Tulloch is Head of Programme at Firstsite, Colchester ( Previously Curator at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2012 – 2014) and Curator Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool (2003 – 2012). Between 1999 – 2003, Stuart was an Assistant Exhibition Organiser at Hayward Gallery, London.  At Hayward he was part of the team that organised the major exhibition of contemporary Japanese art entitled Facts of Life, in 2001. He has since led solo exhibition presentations and projects by Shimabuku (Ikon, 2013) and Makoto Nomura (Grundy, 2004). He is currently leading a mayor project of new work by celebrated artist Michael Landy for Firstsite opening June 2021 - Welcome to Essex.

NOGUCHI Rika, born in 1971, lives and works in Okinawa Prefecture. NOGUCHI has been using the media of the photograph as a means to visualize “What is there, but invisible.” Recently she has also been working on video art focusing on subjects such as insects and plants. Major recent solo exhibitions include At the Bottom of the Sea (Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, 2017) and To the Night Planet (Loock Gallery, Berlin, 2016). Group exhibitions include Twinkling Skin, Emission of Light by Life and Death (Ashikaga Museum of Art, Tochigi, 2020), and 21st Sydney Biennale SUPERPOSITION: Art of Equilibrium and Engagement (Sydney, Australia, 2018).

YANAI Shino lives and works in London. YANAI has produced performances and installations mostly in video and sound that explore through fieldwork the brutality inherent in beauty and socially or historically disguised violence. Recently, she has been interested in pathways and relics. Major recent solo exhibitions include The Deep End (Sagacho Archives, Tokyo, 2019) and Blue Passages (White Conduit Projects, London, 2016). Group exhibitions include 'de-sport: The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Sports through Art (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2020) and What We See (The National Museum of Art, Osaka, 2013).

SAWA Hiraki is based in London and the Ishikawa Prefecture. SAWA creates videos that capture his subject’s full psychological territory, including mental landscapes and memories. In recent years, he has worked on installations that combine an axis of video with three- and two-dimensional works. Major exhibitions include Overlapping Circles: 5 Artists Collaborate with the Collection (Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Chiba, 2020), KAAT Exhibition 2018: Hiraki Sawa (solo exhibition–Kanagawa Arts Theatre, Kanagawa, 2018), Under the Box, Beyond the Bounds (solo exhibition–Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2014) and the 17th Sydney Biennale (Sydney, Australia, 2010).


Please note that this will be an Online Event held on Zoom.


This online event is free to attend but places are limited and registration is essential. To reserve your space, please book your ticket here:

Date: 25 May 2021 from 1.00pm

For more information, please click here.

Back to Top

[Online Talk] The Pursuit for New Aesthetics - An Architectural Talk with HIRANO Toshiki   org


HIRANO Toshiki is an architectural designer based in Tokyo, Japan. Having studied under the globally acclaimed architect TAKAMATSU Shin, his talent began to be recognised abroad when he was awarded the Suzanne Kolarik Underwood Prize upon receiving his Master of Architecture degree from Princeton University in 2012. HIRANO aims to lend his distinct style to landmarks on an international scale as, in addition to his design work in Japan, he has been a pivotal creative voice involved in project proposals and design competitions such as for the Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Center and the Aalto Museum Extension in Jyvaskyla, Finland. His work is frequently featured in public exhibitions such as his Malformed Objects at the Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo in 2017. He teaches at the University of Tokyo and currently serves as a co-director of SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB by KUMA Kengo.

Ahead of the London Design Biennale 2021 in June, in which HIRANO will be representing Japan with his latest installation project Reinventing Texture supported by the Japan Foundation, we are proud to welcome him at an online talk event where he will discuss his defining projects including the work he will be presenting at the Biennale. HIRANO will also explore what he considers to be the new architectural aesthetic, as well as how his creative philosophy has and does determine his architectural activities. His presentation will be followed by fellow architect and co-founder of Pareid, Déborah Lopez, and will be moderated by Sarah Mineko Ichioka, director of Desire Lines (Singapore).


About the guest speakers

HIRANO Toshiki is an architectural designer based in Tokyo, Japan. He teaches at the University of Tokyo and currently serves as a co-director of SEKISUI HOUSE - KUMA LAB. His research and work investigate the new aesthetics in architecture drawing inspirations from digital technology, art and philosophy. His latest installation project "Reinventing Texture”, curated by Clare Farrow Studio, will be exhibited at Somerset House for the London Design Biennale 2021.



Sarah Mineko Ichioka, Hon FRIBA, leads Desire Lines, a strategic consultancy for environmental, cultural and social-impact organisations and initiatives. She has been recognised as a World Cities Summit Young Leader, one of the Global Public Interest Design 100, and a British Council / Clore Foundation Cultural Leadership International Fellow. She has advised initiatives including the European Prize for Urban Public Space, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and Milan Triennale. Ichioka is a co-curator of the Singapore Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and co-author, with Michael Pawlyn, of 'Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency' (forthcoming 2021).

Déborah Lopez is a licensed architect in Spain and co-founder of Pareid; an interdisciplinary design and research studio currently located in London. Her work adopts approaches from various fields and contexts, addressing topics related to climate, ecology, human perception, machine sentience, and their capacity for altering current modes of existence through imminent fictions (if). Currently, she is a Lecturer (Teaching) at the Bartlett, UCL in London where she co-leads Research Cluster 1 and 20  under the title of ‘Monumental Wastelands’. She has been recently awarded the Arquia Innova Award by Fundación Arquia and her work has been featured in different international institutions and exhibitions such as the Royal Academy of Arts, Centre Pompidou, the Seoul Biennale and the Venice Biennale.


Reinventing Texture by Toshiki Hirano in collaboration with MA Interior Design at the Royal College of Art and MSCTY Studio.

Curated by Clare Farrow, Interdisciplinary Curator and Writer, Clare Farrow Studio.

Sponsored by KP Acoustics and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, by the Japan Foundation and by Arts Council Tokyo.

The Biennale will run from 1-27 June and can be experienced in person and also digitally through the London Design Biennale website.


Please note that this will be an Online Event held on Zoom.


This online event is free to attend but places are limited and registration is essential. To reserve your space, please book your ticket here


Date: 3 June 2021 from 1.00pm

For more information, please click here.


Back to Top

[Online Event] Delving Into ' Grave of the Fireflies' with Alex Dudok de Wit   org


It is probably not an overstatement to say that many view the films produced by Studio Ghibli to be the gateway for the Japanese animation craze gaining traction across the globe. Easily accessible in foreign countries and boasting universally engaging and uplifting storylines, works like Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro directed by Hayao MIYAZAKI have become household names worldwide. However, the contributions of the other creative giant for Studio Ghibli, Isao TAKAHATA, have sometimes slipped under the radar; in particular those works with storylines which cannot necessarily be classed as fantasy or family friendly. One such film is Grave of the Fireflies, directed by TAKAHATA and based on an autobiographical story by NOSAKA Akiyuki. The film follows two Japanese children orphaned by a catastrophic air raid in Kobe, portraying their struggle to survive the last days of the Second World War with an unflinching realism rarely seen in animation. But why has this film been left out of the frenzied consumption of Studio Ghibli’s works?

In conjunction with the release of the first book-length study of the film in English, Grave of the Fireflies (BFI Film Classics) in May, we invite the author, Alex Dudok de Wit, a journalist with expertise on Japanese anime, to explore his findings and the significance of this title. With critical analysis contextualised by the film’s production background, he will focus on Isao TAKAHATA’s contribution to the animation genre, moving away from the more common spotlight on Hayao MIYAZAKI’s work. His presentation, which will include live reading of short passages from the book, will be followed by a conversation with Dr YOSHIOKA Shiro, lecturer in Japanese Studies at Newcastle University, who specialises in MIYAZAKI and Studio Ghibli’s animation.


‘Grave of the Fireflies’ by Alex Dudok de Wit will be published by Bloomsbury on 6 May (ISBN 9781838719241) as part of the BFI Film Classics series. 


We are pleased to share an exclusive discount code for our subscribers and event attendees which can be applied when purchasing your own copy from

To take advantage of this offer, please visit the official purchase site here, and enter code ‘GOTFJF’ at check out for 25% off and free shipping. Expires 25 June 2021.

Please note that any transactions carried out on fall under the merchant’s responsibility and any questions or issues related to a purchase should be directed to them.


About the guest speakers

Alex Dudok de Wit is a journalist who writes chiefly about the art and business of animation. He is the Associate Editor at Cartoon Brew, the most widely read animation news site, and an animation correspondent for Sight & Sound, the magazine of the British Film Institute. His writing has also appeared on the BBC and in Vulture, Little White Lies, The Telegraph, The i, The Independent, Time Out, and Index on Censorship. His first book, Grave of the Fireflies (BFI Film Classics), was published by Bloomsbury on May 6.

YOSHIOKA Shiro is lecturer in Japanese Studies of Newcastle University. His main research interest is Japanese popular culture, especially anime. He has published articles and book chapters on Ghibli, Miyazaki and Takahata in English and Japanese, and is currently working on a monograph on Miyazaki, which overviews his life and career focusing on how he came to be seen as an auteur and quasi-intellectual. Besides Miyazaki and Ghibli, recently he is interested in how fans experience anime beyond the texts in various ways such as ‘pilgrimage’ to the locales.



Please note that this will be an Online Event held on Zoom.


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

To reserve your space, please book your ticket here.


Date: 26 May 2021 from 6.30pm

For more information, please click here.



Ghibli Double Bill!

If you’re interested in this event, you might enjoy the below event

hosted by our New York office:

Exporting Studio Ghibli: The Road to Worldwide Recognition

Date: 27 May, 7:00pm (BST)

Online Zoom event. Book here.

Back to Top

Applications for the Japanese Local Project Support Programme 2021-2022 are open!   org

Institutions can apply for up to £3000 for non-profit-making projects or activities which promote Japanese language education in the UK. Please check out our website for information on the type of projects we support, such as newly introducing Japanese into the curriculum or funding Japanese clubs.


We prioritise projects that fit into the following four categories:


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.


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.


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.


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.


The application deadline for the 2021-22 programme is 28th May.


This year’s first funding deadline is 28th May – so please get your applications in by that date!


Download the following three documents by clicking on the “attachment” links at the end of this article:


-       - The General Information document.


-       -  The Application Form.


-        -  The Grant Flowchart


Date: 4 May 2021 - 28 May 2021
Download 2021-22 Flowchart
Download 2021-22 Application Form
Download 2021-22 General Information

We will also be holding a seminar on 14th May (Friday) providing application guidance. Find out more here: 

Back to Top

11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art From Japan - An Online Exhibition   org


The Japan Foundation is pleased to present an online exhibition 11 Stories on Distanced Relationships: Contemporary Art from Japan as an endeavour to build a new framework for art exchange adapted to our reality with the coronavirus.

The spread of the pandemic has meant that since last year it has been difficult for people and goods to move around the globe, and as a result many international cultural exchange projects planned by the Foundation were cancelled. In this age of uncertainty, online forums have rapidly developed as places for communication, and everyone is having to reappraise their “distance” from their surrounds. This exhibition emerged from the question of how, in this context, we might go about building connections with the world. It is first ever exhibition of contemporary art to be held solely online by the Japan Foundation.

The exhibition introduces the work of 11 Japanese and Japan-based contemporary artists, centred on new pieces commissioned on the theme of “translating distance.” Psychological or physical distances have never been easy to reach across, or reduce. Nowadays distance has emerged as something we must learn to live with. This exhibition has been created to deliver works that earnestly address this kind of distance – from Japan to people everywhere in the world. We hope that everyone, wherever they may be, will enjoy it.


The Artists:


ARAKI Yu, HAN Ishu, IIYAMA Yuki, KOIZUMI Meiro, MOHRI Yuko, NOGUCHI Rika, OKUMURA Yuki, SATO Masaharu, SAWA Hiraki, YANAI Shino, YOSHIDA Shinya


For detailed information and to view the exhibition, please visit: 

Date: 30 March 2021 - 5 May 2021

For more information, please click here.
Back to Top
Text Size: | A | A | A | A

Sign up here for our monthly e-bulletin.