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*Looking for Volunteers* UCL-Japan Youth Challenge new
The 18th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students new
A Night at the Kabuki new
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2022 new
New Frontiers: Japanese Literature Beyond the Mainstream new
UCL - Japan Youth Challenge new
Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe new

*Looking for Volunteers* UCL-Japan Youth Challenge   org

*Looking for Volunteers* UCL-Japan Youth Challenge

Interested in Japanese culture? Learning Japanese? Want to help pre-university students shape their future studies and careers?

The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge are looking for university student volunteers who can join our online summer school programme in the second half of August 2022 for one week to see the world through the lens of a top-notch design thinker.

Volunteer roles:

• Join and facilitate group discussion during Workshop and Preparation for Presentation

• Be an active member of an allocated group to deliver a group presentation smoothly

• Encourage Japanese high school students to communicate in English


• Workshop—Tuesday 16th August

• Preparation for Presentation—Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th & Friday 19th August

• Presentation—Tuesday 23rd August


9am to 12pm (midday) (BST)

* Preparation for Presentation may vary slightly depending on the group 

If you can participate, please email


The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge is an annual summer school programme for pre-university students from UK sixth form colleges and Japanese high schools for cultural interaction through various educational activities and events held at UCL (University College London) and the University of Cambridge, since 2015, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Japan’s Choshu Five and Satsuma 19, all of whom studied at UCL in 1863 and 1865 respectively.

If you are a pre-university student interested in learning more and attending this event, please see our previous post here: 

Or visit the official event website:

Date: 16 August 2022 - 23 August 2022 from 9.00am to 12.00pm

Hosted online by UCL

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The 18th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students   org

We are delighted to announce that applications will soon be open for The 18th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students.

We will announce when applications open on this page and on our social media accounts, so please keep an eye out.

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.

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

You can read the report about last year's Speech Contest here

Watch videos from last year's Speech Contest here

This year, the Finals Day will be held on Saturday 4th March 2023.

More details about Finals Day will be announced soon!

Date: 4 March 2023

This event is co-organised by The Japan Foundation, London and The British Associtation for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language

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A Night at the Kabuki   org


Date: 22 – 24 September 2022

Venue: Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Love Shakespeare and Japanese theatre? This is your dream event!

Set to the original recordings of Queen’s A Night at the Opera and inspired by Freddie Mercury’s love of Japan, A Night at the Kabuki is a unique retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Created by acclaimed Japanese theatre maker Hideki Noda OBE and performed by an all-star Japanese cast, the performance features two sets of Romeo and Juliet’s who become intertwined in each other’s fates.

The Japan Foundation is pleased to be partnering with NODAMAP, Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., Sony Music Publishing (Japan) Inc., and Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre to bring you this exciting performance. For a limited time only.


For more information and ticketing options, please click here.


Date: 22 September 2022 - 24 September 2022

Sadler's Wells Theatre

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Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2022   org

The JLPT is a test for non-native speakers of Japanese which evaluates and certifies their Japanese-language proficiency. The test takes place twice a year (July and December) in Japan and various locations around the world. More than 1 million people in 86 countries worldwide registered for the JLPT in 2018.

The next JLPT will take place on Sunday, 4th December 2022 at two venues in the UK: London (SOAS University of London) and Edinburgh (The University of Edinburgh).

Please refer to each university’s website for application opening dates and registration details.

Japan Research Centre, SOAS University of London – Applications open on 22nd August

Centre for Open Learning, The University of Edinburgh – Applications open on TBD

Please note that JLPT is very popular and 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 official JLPT website.

View a Guide to the 2022 Japanese-Language Proficiency Test here.

Date: 4 December 2022

SOAS, University of London

The University of Edinburgh

Download Sample Test N5
Download Sample Test N4
Download Sample Test N3
Download Sample Test N2
Download Sample Test N1
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New Frontiers: Japanese Literature Beyond the Mainstream   org

Online Talk Event

Thursday 4 August 2022, 1pm BST

Haruki MURAKAMI, Sayaka MURATA as well as Mieko KAWAKAMI have become household names in the UK thanks to the recent interest in Japanese literature. While more talked-about books from Japan are becoming available in foreign languages by riding the wave, there are also attempts by publishers to create a new momentum by introducing new voices; even if they are not necessarily from the mainstream.

Recently the Japan Foundation has supported two publications; Terminal Boredom by Izumi SUZUKI who, as everybody in the know knows, has had a significant influence upon some contemporary writers and manga artists with her work during her short but radical life in the 60sand Astral Season, Beastly Season by Tahi SAIHATE, a multi-talented writer who started off by writing poems. Despite a cult fanbase and the success of one of her poem collections The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue which inspired a filmher face remains mysteriously invisible. Both female authors were ahead of their time but were not necessarily in the mainstream of the Japanese literature world.

Inviting the publishers and translators who were involved in these unique and compelling publications from relatively unknown authors, this informal online round table session will explore the reasons for and significance of publishing such books and discovering these authors in the context of the UK market and readership, while introducing the translation process and discussing whether there is any challenge in the process as compared to other literature.



Dr Juliana Buriticá Alzate, Literary Translator, Departmental Lecturer in Modern Japanese Literature, University of Oxford (Moderator)

Cian McCourt, Editor, Verso of Terminal Boredom

Helen O’Horan, Literary Translator of Terminal Boredom

Taylor Bradley, Editor, Honford Star of Astral Season, Beastly Season

Kalau Almony, Literary Translator of Astral Season, Beastly Season


To reserve a space, please click here.


About the Publications

Terminal Boredom 

The first English-language publication of the work of Izumi Suzuki, a singular figure in Japanese science fiction and a countercultural icon. The stories are punky, playful and alarmingly prescient. But they’re relatable too. Her characters struggle with identity, with work, with their relationships. Suzuki gives romantic and interpersonal strife the same airplay as she does societal collapse and the world beyond our own planet. The aliens in the collection figure as gaslighting boyfriends, and the height of technology is a talking chair that issues snarky and unwelcome commentary on your love life. These stories remain fresh, fun and irreverent.

Click here for more information and to buy the book.


Astral Season, Beastly Season 

The debut novel by Japanese writer Tahi Saihate. The story follows Morishita and Yamashiro, two high-school boys approaching the age in life when they must choose what kind of people they want to be. When their favourite J-pop idol kills and dismembers her boyfriend, Morishita and Yamashiro unite to convince the police that their idol’s act was in fact by them. This thrilling novel is a meditation on belonging, the objectification of young popstars, and teenage alienation. 

Click here for more information and to buy the book.

Date: 4 August 2022 from 12.00am

Online, via Zoom

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UCL - Japan Youth Challenge   org

Applications are now open for the UCL - Japan Youth Challenge!

Dates: 2nd August – 23rd August 2022 (4 weeks, weekdays only)*

Time: 9.00 am – 12.00 pm in UK time (BST)

Venue: Online, hosted by UCL. 

* Weeks 1 – 4 on Tuesdays are the main programme events and full attendance is required. Various lectures will be held on other weekdays. A minimum attendance of eight lectures is required.

The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge is a prestigious annual summer school programme which has 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 UCL Grand Challenge Workshop.

This year the theme is Innovative Enterprises for Sustainable Future.

Suitable candidates will match the following description: You need to be a disruptive and creative thinker. You will tackle a challenge of building a sustainable business by applying ‘design thinking’ techniques. You will be discussing in a group of diverse thinkers and deriving your solution in the end. You also have opportunities to consolidate your understanding about SDGs and ESG through lectures. After this journey, you will be ready to see the world through the lens of a top-notch design thinker.

For more information and to apply, please click here.

Date: 2 August 2022 - 23 August 2022

Online, hosted by UCL

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Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe   JPsupported


Citizen of the Universe is the first public solo exhibition in Europe of abstract sculptor Ruth Asawa’s work. The exhibition displays Asawa’s signature suspended looped- and tied-wire sculptures, as well as photography documenting her home life, and archival material of her involvement with educational programmes and her local community.

Date: 28 May 2022 - 21 August 2022

Modern Art Oxford

For more information, please click here.
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