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(in)Animate Objects - the Contemporary Puppetry of Nakamura Aya new
The 16th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students - Finals Day new
The Second Zoom Online Get-Together new
Nihongo Cup 2021 - Applications Open! new
“Course on the Application of ICT for Teachers - Learning ICT Literacy Through Practice” new
Postgraduate Workshop 2021 new

(in)Animate Objects - the Contemporary Puppetry of Nakamura Aya   org

NAKAMURA Aya is a London-based theatre practitioner, puppeteer and puppet maker originally from Japan. The unique style she has cultivated within the field is distinctly recognisable in the productions she has been part of, including adaptations of traditional Western fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel (Horse+Bamboo Theatre, 2016), as well as Japanese literary classics like AKUTAGAWA Ryunosuke’s The Spider’s Thread (Rouge28 Theatre, 2020). Challenging our assumptions of what a puppet is, NAKAMURA works with a variety of mediums to produce puppets made in the paper theatre style, puppets constructed of everyday objects, and even human-sized Bunraku-style dolls.

Kicking off 2021 in the first of our online events in the new year, the Japan Foundation presents a special webinar during which NAKAMURA will talk about what sparked her interest in taking up puppetry and her creative influences, in addition to her philosophy and work as a puppeteer, puppet-maker, and workshop leader in more detail. She will also discuss her artistic collaborations, both national and international, such as with the multi award-winning company Rouge28 Theatre (which the Japan Foundation has had the pleasure of supporting in the past).

After her initial presentation, there will be a virtual showing of her short film production in the paper theatre style, The Spider’s Thread, followed by a discussion with the composer for the work, Verity Lane, uncovering the behind the scenes of the project. Among other topics, they will examine the feasibility of collaborative projects under the restrictive period of the ongoing pandemic and how performing art professionals can and do adapt to the new environment going forward. They will be joined by Vicky Ireland MBE FRSA, an Artistic Director specialising in theatre for children, who will moderate the conversation.


About the guest speakers

Verity Lane is a neurodivergent composer, writer, artist, director and producer that specialises in creating avant-garde multidisciplinary works steeped in Japanese culture. She lived in Japan for 10 years, graduating from Osaka College of Music with a masters in composition where her studies focused primarily on traditional Japanese instruments and aesthetics. She collaborates frequently with Japan and UK based artists and musicians and has recently set up Jo-Ha-Kyū Arts, an arts company focused on producing genre-defying works steeped in Japanese culture.

Vicky Ireland MBE FRSA trained at The Central School of Speech and Drama. She was the presenter for twelve years of BBC Children’s TV, 'Words and Pictures'. As Artistic Director of Polka Theatre, London from 1988-2002 she directed, produced and commissioned new theatre writing for children. Now with the actress Kumiko Mendl, she is Co-Artistic director of A Thousand Cranes, which creates theatre for children, inspired by stories from Japan and Europe. She is also the Chair of Action for Children’s Arts. Vicky was awarded the MBE medal in 2002 for services to children’s drama, the first of its kind.


Please note that this session will be hosted on Zoom.

To book your place, please click here.

Date: 28 January 2021 from 6.30pm

For more information, please click here.
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The 16th Japanese Speech Contest for University Students - Finals Day   org

We are excited to announce that the Finals Day of the Sixteenth Japanese Speech Contest for University Students will take place online on 6th March 2021.

Finalists in three categories will give informative and inspiring speeches in Japanese on a number of fascinating topics. They will be judged by a panel of judges and there will be fantastic prizes for all finalists!

More information on the event will be coming soon, so watch this space!

Download an event poster - coming soon!

Date: 6 March 2021 from 1.00pm to 5.00pm


The Sixteenth 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.

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The Second Zoom Online Get-Together   org

Calling all secondary school teachers of Japanese! We will be holding a second Zoom Online Get-Together. This is a great opportunity to talk with your colleagues about your work in a relaxed, casual setting. We hope you can use this as a chance to talk about any issues you are facing in the classroom, exchange information on exams, and more.


As well as group discussion sessions, Mrs Satoko Suzui from the University of Bath will be giving a talk on the theme of Tips for Making Teaching Resources for Busy Teachers”. Mrs Suzui used to be a secondary school teacher of Japanese and has a wealth of experience developing teaching resources for GCSE & A-level.



-          28th January 2021 (Thursday), 19:00 to 20:30



-          First half: Presentation by Mrs Satoko Suzui (University of Bath)

-          Second half: Group discussion


To apply, please click here.


You can read some comments from participants of the first Zoom Online Get-Together below:

  • It was really good to join in with fellow Japanese colleagues from around the country (and world!) and listen and see in Japanese how these colleagues created and use these resources.
  • An excellent opportunity to meet and share.
  • I spent a hugely worthwhile time getting to talk with other teachers that I do not often get a chance to meet and exchange new information.

Date: 28 January 2021 from 7.00pm to 8.30pm

Online event.

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Nihongo Cup 2021 - Applications Open!   org

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

Finalists will be invited to perform their speeches as part of an online Finals Day. Their speeches will be watched by a panel of judges and VIPs from the field of Japanese language education and Japan-UK relations. They will also have a chance to win some fantastic prizes!

Finals day will take place on 10th July 2021 (Saturday). 

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

To find out more and for application forms, please download this "Application Pack" zip file by clicking here.

The Application Pack contains an application form, information and rules and a flier/poster.

Please read the information carefully before applying.

The closing date for applications is: 29th March 2021

Date: 16 December 2020 - 29 March 2021

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

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“Course on the Application of ICT for Teachers - Learning ICT Literacy Through Practice”   org

Instructor: Dr. Tomohisa Yamada, Hokkaido University Associate Professor

Guidelines for Applicants

At the Japan Foundation, London, we create and offer quality professional development programmes for educators in Japanese language education.

This newly developed online course aims to help teachers to update and increase their ICT literacy skills. Participants will be invited to be a member of our safe and friendly online learning community to work on carefully selected tasks at their own pace. There will also be a plenty of opportunities to ask questions and to receive guidance and feedback.

Type: Online (using Zoom and Slack software)

Event period: End of November 2020 to March 2021

Applicant Criteria: Teachers of Japanese who are currently employed by an educational institution in the United Kingdom or Europe. (We will prioritise applications from teachers working in secondary education in the United Kingdom)

Participation Requirements: Participants must have no issues with online learning and be able to participate actively in topic discussions, as well as granting permission for the Japan Foundation, London to use images, recordings, surveys, interviews etc for activity reports, evaluations, and future publicity.

Course Language: The course will mainly be conducted in Japanese, but there will be English language support when necessary.

Number of Participants: 15

How to Apply: Please fill out the online form below.

Application Deadline: 16th November (Monday) 9:00AM (GMT)

Note: This course is designed to take place with a small number of participants. The Japan Foundation, London will evaluate applications to decide on who will participate. Please understand that we cannot answer questions regarding success or failure of application.

Please click here to download the Guidelines for Applicants

Schedule (planned):

-      16th November 2020 (Monday) – Application deadline

-      20th November 2020 (Friday) – Notification of application results

-      28th November 2020 (Saturday) – Course orientation

-      December 2020 – Distribution of Lecture Video 1

-      January 2021 – Distribution of Lecture Video 2

-      February 2021 – Distribution of Lecture Video 3

-      March 2021 – Reflection and evaluations


Instructor: Dr. Tomohisa Yamada

Associate Professor at Hokkaido University (Institute for the Advancement of Higher Education/ Graduate School of International Media-Communication and Tourism Studies)

Dr Yamada has an MA from the Institute of Education, University of London, and Ph.D. in Education  from Hokkaido University. After working with the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies Language Centre and Saga University Exchange Student Centre, he assumed his present post in 2012. His area of research is educational technology and teacher education. As well as his research activities, he is actively involved in giving lectures and professional development programmes aimed at increasing ICT literacy for teachers of Japanese. He was awarded the Hokkaido University Excellent Teachers award (2014 to 2019). Among his key publications are “Practical Use of ICT (Second Edition)” and “Active Learning for Teachers of Japanese” (Kuroshio Shuppan).

Message from the Instructor:

In 2020, due to Covid-19, our lives and our classroom classes have become limited, and we have been forced to move online. Teachers are now urgently required to be able to use ICT. Not only focusing on improving the efficiency of administration and teaching results, but also looking ahead to the future of education, this online course will be formed of the following three perspectives:

  1. Making and Organising: A lesson on the efficacy of the creation of teaching materials, managing student grades and data management.
  2. Presentation: A lesson on what ICT literacy is necessary to present teaching materials to learners.
  3. Linking: A lesson on how to create a space outside of the classroom for teachers and learners to make connections, and how to use that space effectively.

We aim to have participants in this course learn these points together, and for the participants a learning community which promote/value collaborative collegiality. I hope that through this network, the amount of colleagues to whom you can express your “how do I do this?” will increase, and this network that will begin in the United Kingdom will spread to Europe.


Course Coordinator: Yuko Fujimitsu (The Japan Foundation, London – Japanese Language Chief Advisor)

Date: 16 November 2020


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Postgraduate Workshop 2021   org

The Japan Foundation/BAJS Postgraduate Workshop is back! A lot has changed since the 2020 iteration, and this year’s online workshop will be tackling the effects of the global pandemic on academia head on. The workshop will take place online and will be spread over two mornings. The aim of this workshop will be to help postgraduate students develop their careers in JS navigating the 'new normal'.

 This year, participating students will also be able to present their latest research to academics and their peers, gaining important feedback at a time when presenting opportunities is low.

There will also be talks and discussions about key areas surrounding the rapidly changing world of Japanese Studies. Topics will include:

  • Funding opportunities available to PhD candidates and early career researchers.
  • The current state of academia in Japan and the effects of COVID-19
  • Job opportunities both inside and outside of academia 
  • Creating a social media research presence
  • And more…


Registration is open to postgraduate in any field of the humanities of social sciences with a focus on Japan (including comparative studies). Spaces are limited and priority will be given to PhD/Dphil students from the UK/Ireland. Master’s level students may apply at any time but their places will not be confirmed until closer to the event. Students must be able to attend both days.

Registration is free for all participants. To register, please fill in this form.

Date: 25 February 2021 - 26 February 2021


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