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Sake Symposium: Understanding the Unique Aspects of Sake new
Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 new
Author Talk: Kyoko Nakajima new
Japan Now 2019 new
Nihongo Cup 2019 - Applications Open!
Japan Foundation/BAJS Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2019: Career Progression
Japan Foundation and British Association for Teachers of Japanese Seminar new
The 14th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students - Finals Day new

Sake Symposium: Understanding the Unique Aspects of Sake   org

The Japan Foundation and SOAS are hosting a special symposium looking at the Japanese phenomenon that is sake. Widely seen as the national drink of Japan, sake exports have been booming in recent years, with its unique taste and wide range of flavours, it has been appearing more and more on UK menus. This seminar will bring together experts to discuss sake from various perspectives: historically, culturally, commercially and diplomatically. 

The symposium will be followed by a sake tasting session, with experts on hand to guide you through the different types of sake available. 
We are delighted to be joined by five eminent speakers, each bringing a unique set of personal expertise. 

Heritage of Sake Making and Future 
Mr Koichi Saura ( 13th Generation of Kuramoto, Owner Urakasumi Sake Brewery, Vice President of Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Assosiation, Founding Chairman of Sake Samurai Association) 

Internationalisation of Sake
Mr Yusaku Shimizu (Minister of Finance at the Embassy of Japan in the UK) 

Sake Export from Japan and Overview of the UK Sake Market
Mr Hirohisa Ichihashi (Food Division Director of JETRO London) 

International Sake Promotion through the IWC Wine Platform
Mr Chris Ashton (Director of International Wine Challenge IWC) 

Promoting Sake Globally from London
Ms Rie Yoshitake (Sake Promoter, Sake Samurai UK, Rep of Japan Sake & Shochu Makers Association)

For more information and to see the speakers' full biographies, please visit the SOAS website.

Date: 20 February 2019 from 5.00pm

Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, London WC1H OXG

This event is free to attend, though booking is essential and spaces are limited. This is event is now fully booked. If you would like to be the first to hear about our events, please sign up to our e-bulletin here

Sponsored by:

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Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019   org


Love, in all its semblances and dimensions, is a state so universally experienced by humankind that it has provided a perpetual source of inspiration in the long history of global cinema. Japanese cinema is no different. Love and the associated feelings of passion, affection, and destruction, in equal measure have all been channelled into a pivotal driving force behind the rise of many Japanese filmmakers, crystallising in timeless works which form part of the nation’s artistic repertoire.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019 features thoughtfully selected works, all focusing on this theme in one way or another. As the conventional binaries defining what it means to love continually give way to new understandings of this sweeping emotion, so too does this year’s curation aim to provide insights into a wider context of love in Japanese society.

Embracing other complicated emotions that go hand in hand with love, the programme aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of Japanese relationships, ranging from conventional love stories, LGBT issues, familial devotion, compassion for the fellow man, transgressive attractions, to profound renderings of the devastation felt with the loss of love

Date: 2 February 2019 - 28 March 2019

Cinemas across the UK. 

For more information, please click here.

For all information on the selected films and participating venues, please visit our dedicated website by following the link above.


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Author Talk: Kyoko Nakajima   org

Kyoko Nakajima is a Japanese fiction writer and essayist, who started her career as a novelist with “FUTON” in 2003. Nakajima’s highly acclaimed novels have won multiple prestigious literary prizes in Japan including the Izumi Kyoka Prize for “When My Wife Was a Shiitake” (Tsuma ga Shiitake data koro), the Naoki Prize for “The Little House” (Chiisai Ouchi), the Shibata Renzaburo Literature Prize for “One-Horn!” (Katazuno), and the Chuo Koron Literary Prize for “The Long Goodbye” (Nagai Owakare). 

This event has been organised in conjunction with Japan Now 2019 and will celebrate the publication of the first English translation of Nakajima’s “The Little House”, a novel for which Nakajima tactfully took in huge volumes of research materials in order to vividly depict the life of a middle-class family in prewar Japan.

Nakajima will discuss her view of the world and Japanese society, and her sources of inspiration which make her novels versatile and unique, yet which also make them resonate in our lives regardless of the space and time she sets her stories in.

Kyoko Nakajima will be accompanied by Ginny Tapley Takemori, the translator of “The Little House” and many other Japanese contemporary novels, and the evening will be moderated by Megan Bradshaw, the former UK editor of the Asymptote Journal.

The English translation of “The Little House” is out on 31 January. Japan Foundation is supporting the publication through the Japan Foundation Translation and Publication Support Programme.

Date: 22 February 2019 from 7.00pm

London Review Bookshop. 

For more information, please click here.


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Japan Now 2019   org

Japan Now returns this February with a series of events around the UK celebrating the most exciting Japanese literature and culture.

‚ÄčOn 23rd February there will be a day of keynote talks at the British Library in London; novelist Yu Miri and filmmaker Hikaru Toda will discuss how Japan confronts taboo subjects, Kyoko Nakajima, David Peace, Sayaka Murata and Yuya Sato will discuss their novels, and photographer Tomoko Yoneda will relate her global perspective to her home country of Japan.

In parallel with Japan Now, Japan Now North once again will be held in Sheffield for a week of exhibitions, talks and readings from artists and authors including Yurie Nagashima, Risa Tsunegi, Louise Rouse, Rie Iwatake, David Peace and Yu Miri. 

Regional events will also take place in BathNottinghamManchesterCambridgeNorwich and Cardiff from 19-21 February and will feature many authors for Japan Now.

There is also a dedicated Translation Day at the Free Word Centre on the 22nd February. Japanese literature is now the fourth most translated into English, and the new generation of Japanese translators will discuss the challenges and rewards they face in their work.

Date: 19 February 2019 - 23 February 2019

Venues around the UK. 

For more information, please click here.

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Nihongo Cup 2019 - Applications Open!   org

Nihongo Cup, the Japanese Speech Contest for Secondary School students, is accepting applications across three categories: Key Stage 3, Pre-GCSE Key Stage 4/5, and Post GCSE Key Stage 4 and 5.

Finalists will be invited to perform their speech at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford in front of a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations, for the chance to win some fantastic prizes – including a trip to Japan!

Applications will close on 22nd March 2019 (Friday) and finals day will take place on 22nd June 2019 (Saturday). Finals will take place at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford.

You can also find articles about previous Nihongo Cup finals on our News Page.

To find out more and for application forms, you can download the Zip file linked below.

Date: 12 December 2018 - 22 March 2019
Download NC2019 Application Pack

Nihongo Cup is organised by the Association for Language Learning (ALL) and the Japan Foundation London.


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Japan Foundation/BAJS Japanese Studies Postgraduate Workshop 2019: Career Progression   org

We are delighted to announce that the 2019 Japan Foundation and British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) Postgraduate Workshop will be held at Cardiff University. 

This workshop aims to assist the development of the next generation of Japanese Studies researchers and academics currently studying in the UK. Every year it provides a great opportunity for students to receive practical advice on their own research from senior colleagues, and to get to know fellow postgraduate students and members of the Japanese Studies Community. 

This year's interactive workshop will centre on career development in academia/research in the UK, Japan and abroad. It will include several sessions by senior academics addressing concerns and challenges faced by at the early stages of an academic career and how to take full advantage of the opportunities available. There will be a chance for students to present their research and receive feedback from both peers and senior colleagues. There will also be an opportunity to hear from organisations and the funding they can offer for current and future research. 

Eligibility: Registration is open to postgraduate students in Japanese Studies as well as those undertaking Japan related research in other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Priority will be given to Ph.D candidates. 

This year the Japan Foundation are able to provide partial travel grants: please e-mail the below address for more details.

BAJS are also offering a grant to help cover the cost of accommodation please click here for details.

Date: 8 March 2019 from 10.30am to 5.45pm

Cardiff University, Wales

*Doors will open from 10:00AM.

To register, or if you have any questions, please e-mail Programme Office Michael Salter at 

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Japan Foundation and British Association for Teachers of Japanese Seminar   org

The Japan Foundation and British Association for Teachers of Japanese Seminar will take place on 23rd February 2019 at Manchester University.

The theme of the seminar is: "Theory and Practice to Connect Japanese Language Education”

The speaker will be Chihiro Kinoshita Thomson, a Professor of Japanese Studies at New South Wales University.

The seminar is open to both BATJ members and non-members.

Please note the seminar will be held in Japanese.


Participation fee: £5 (flat fee for both BATJ members and non-members; pay at the door)

Online participation: This seminar will also be available online as a partial live-streaming test for BATJ members ONLY.  There is no fee for those wishing to participate online.


To see the abstract and to book your place, please click here (Japanese) or here (English)

(Currently online registration is open only for in-person participation. The registration for online participation will be opened shortly).

Date: 23 February 2019 from 2.00pm to 5.00pm

University of Manchester Student Union, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PR


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The 14th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students - Finals Day   org

Come along and listen to what university students studying Japanese in the UK and Ireland have to say! The finalists will give their speeches and presentations in Japanese to an audience consisting of members of the public, fellow students, teachers, families, key figures from the UK-Japan community and a panel of judges.

Free entry, no booking required!

The Fourteenth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students is organised by the British Association for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language (BATJ) and the Japan Foundation London in joint partnership. The event provides an opportunity for students from the UK and Ireland to demonstrate their Japanese speaking skills.

Download our event poster!

Date: 2 March 2019 from 1.00pm to 6.00pm

Great Hall, King's College London, Strand Campus, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

There will be a reception from 6:00pm to 7:00pm.

The 14th Japanese Speech contest is generously supported by:



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