Contact Us Sitemap Privacy Policy Communication Policy Social Media Policy

What's On

Summer Explorers 2019 new
Artist Talk by Keiko Takemiya new
MANGA in a global society: the origins and development of a genre – Special Lecture with Fusanosuke Natsume, Manga Critic and Columnist new
All You May Want to Know About Shojo Manga
A Lecture by Tomoko Yamada
Naomi Kawase: In Focus
at the Open City Documentary Festival
Japanese Avant-Garde and Experimental Film Festival 2019 new
Anime's Human Machines new
Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2019 new
What is Manga? new
Cardiff University Japanese Education Seminar new
The Chief, The Missionary, His Wife & Her Brother
Solo Exhibition by Nobuko Tsuchiya
at Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019

Summer Explorers 2019   org

Our annual Summer Explorers season is back as a summer treat - now with new venue and dates!

From over the top, offbeat narratives of psychic teenagers and upstart political wrangling in a high school environment, to spectacular battles between good and evil, and stories of tender friendships, Summer Explorers 2019 showcases the range of plotlines that manga has provided film creatives over the years.

Come and see the versatility of the influence that manga has had on Japanese cinema!

Curated and Presented by the Japan Foundation.

16 August

17 August

20 August

Date: 16 August 2019 - 20 August 2019

Screen 1 | The Soho Hotel | 4 Richmond Mews | London W1D 3DH

Back to Top

Artist Talk by Keiko Takemiya   org


Keiko Takemiya is arguably one of the most influential manga artists in Japan. Starting her career as an artist in late 1960 while still a teenager, her fame rapidly grew to stardom. This reached a new height in the 1970s when she became a seminal member of “the Fabulous Year 24 Group” – a new wave of female authors that revolutionised manga by developing new drawing techniques and introducing unconventional subject matters to the genre of girls’ manga, such as science fiction, fantasy, as well as boys’ love. Takemiya’s representative manga, The Poem of Wind and Trees (1976-84), which has sold nearly 5 million copies so far, is praised by critics and readers alike as a monumental work that laid the foundation for the rapidly growing genre of boys’ love within manga. In addition to her creative work, Takemiya has been a great advocate of preserving this nation-specific graphic art form as a cultural asset and was the first manga artist in Japan to be elected as President of an academic institution.

During this very special talk and in a rare appearance Takemiya, in conversation with comics historian Paul Gravett, will discuss her extensive career as one of Japan’s leading manga artists, and her inspirations behind iconic works such as To Terra… (1977-80) which shaped the precedent for female manga artists to create stories for a young male readership. Reflecting on the development of the narrative art form in Japan, she will also review what manga has meant to her and the society at large.

Date: 25 August 2019 from 2.30pm

Foyles Bookstore, 107 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DT London

For more information, please click here.

This event is held in collaboration with Foyles.

And in Partnership with:



Image Credit: ©To Terra…, KeikoTAKEMIYA

Back to Top

MANGA in a global society: the origins and development of a genre – Special Lecture with Fusanosuke Natsume, Manga Critic and Columnist   org

We are delighted to welcome Professor Fusanosuke Natsume to give a lecture on manga in global society.

The term manga originated in China; it was first employed in Japan in the Edo period (1608-1868). The most representative example of its use in Japan is Hokusai manga (fifteen volumes issued serially between 1814 and 1819 and then in 1830s and 1840s with the final volume appearing in 1878), however, the meaning of the word in the Edo period was not the same as the meaning of manga today. In the Meiji period (1868-1912), in response to the shock of western culture, the printing technologies, distribution and production processes were all modernized. Aware of its connections with Japan’s traditional culture, the word manga was redefined as a new genre. After that, under the influence of European and American caricatures and cartoons, manga, as a medium, came to include aspects of both. Today, when we use the word ‘manga’, in most of cases, we mean MANGA created after 1980s. Are the manga in Japan and manga read by a global audience the same? Or are they different?

Known in Japan as a manga critic and columnist, Professor Fusanosuke Natsume teaches critical studies on manga and animation at Gakushuin University. He was awarded the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 1999. During the course of his career, he has engaged in debates surrounding manga as ‘anti-art’ seen many attempts to create exhibitions of manga, and explored the boundaries between manga in Japan and graphic novels, bande dessinée and comics from other parts of the world.


To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996, email or submit the online booking form.

Date: 19 August 2019 from 6.45pm

The Swedenborg Society, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Hall entrance on Barter St), London WC1A 2TH

For more information, please click here.

This event is planned by the Japan Society in association with the British Museum and the Japan Foundation.


Back to Top

All You May Want to Know About Shojo Manga
A Lecture by Tomoko Yamada

Though it might not be widely recognised in the UK, shojo manga (girls’ manga) is an established genre within the Japanese manga world, for many decades having been primarily targeted at a female readership demographic. Constantly evolving in its narrative structures as well as the pictorial expression, it has inspired girls and young women through comic media suitable for different stages of their lives. Reflecting the demands of Japanese contemporary society, it often acts as a companion guide on which its readers can model their life styles.

So what is shojo manga and what actually defines the genre?

The Japan Foundation is delighted to welcome manga curator, critic, and shojo manga researcher at Meiji University, Tomoko Yamada, who will take you on a journey through the world of shojo manga with her insightful and informative illustrated talk. Having written extensively on the effects of the genre on visual pop culture, and interviewed many shojo manga artists including Keiko Takemiya, Yamada will delineate the origin of shojo manga as well as the characteristics and development of this unique narrative art with fresh perspective. Yamada will also elucidate how the readers have interacted with one another during the development of the genre throughout the years, while pointing out some of the pivotal moments in the history of shojo manga.

This talk will map out Japan’s arguably lesser known yet certainly one of the most expansive manga genres, as well as offer the opportunity to discover more about who’s who in shojo manga, complementing the City: Manga exhibition at the British Museum.

Date: 24 August 2019 from 2.30pm

The Swedenborg Society | Swedenborg Hall | 20-21 Bloomsbury Way | London WC1A 2TH

For more information, please click here.

In Partnership with:

And Celebrating:

Back to Top

Naomi Kawase: In Focus
at the Open City Documentary Festival


The Japan Foundation is proud to partner with Open City Documentary Festival on screenings of a selection of works by critically-acclaimed Japanese director, Naomi Kawase.

The director herself will be in attendance.

1:30pm - Embracing + Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth + Q&A

In these two deeply personal films, Naomi Kawase reflects on her relationship with her father, absent throughout her childhood. Embracing (1992) revolves around Naomi’s search for her father despite her adoptive mother’s discouragement and her own doubts about what she might find. Combining nostalgic home movies and handheld Super 8mm footage of nature, Kawase weaves together an achingly beautiful search for identity and the true meaning of family. Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth (2001) chronicles Naomi’s reaction to her father’s death a decade later, drawing lifelong connections between her original search, her childhood with her adoptive parents and her unfulfilled longing for a relationship with her birth parents.

Followed by a Q&A with director Naomi Kawase


4:00pm - Katatsumori + See Heaven + Chiri + Intro 

This triptych of moving tributes from Naomi Kawase creates an affectionate portrait of her bond with her great-aunt who adopted and raised her. Capturing her lovingly with close up Super 8mm photography, Katatsumori (1994) introduces us to Uno Kawase as she enters her eighties. A recurrent figure in all of Kawase’s personal documentaries, Uno remains kind, good-humoured and devoted to her adoptive daughter, and See Heaven (1995) offers an intimate, experimental collage of images dedicated to the playful but tender relationship between the two. In Chiri (2012), we witness Uno’s daily routine as she nears her final days and Kawase grapples with coming to terms with her great-aunt’s passing.

Director Naomi Kawase will be present to introduce the screening.


Monday, 9 September at Curzon Soho Cinema

6:30pm - Birth/Mother + Extended Conversation 

About to give birth to her own child, Naomi Kawase turns her camera back on to her adoptive mother and great-aunt in this riveting examination of family, motherhood and the female body. An intensely intimate and candid film, Birth/Mother (2006) captures images of her great-aunt’s ageing body while Kawase reflects on her own journey to becoming a mother. The film offers a more complex portrayal of the relationship between the two women than Kawase’s earlier shorts, but the connection between them remains undeniable.

Naomi Kawase will join us after the screening of the film for an extended in-conversation event

Date: 8 September 2019 - 9 September 2019

The Regent Street Cinema, 307 Regent St, London W1B 2HW


Curzon Soho Cinema, 99 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 5DY

For more information, please click here.

Presented by:



Back to Top

Japanese Avant-Garde and Experimental Film Festival 2019   org


The Japan Foundation is proud to partner with the Japanese Avant-Garde and Experimental Film Festival as they bring yet another exciting line-up of Japanese film titles to the UK.

2019: NATION | 国家 

This year's edition of the festival examines national identity, cultural memory and perceptions of history in Japan with a programme of classic avant-garde cinema and contemporary experimental short form film. This weekend festival of screenings will be complemented by introductions from experts, Q&As, a free panel discussion and a filmmaker’s workshop for aspiring video artists.

Date: 20 September 2019 - 22 September 2019

Various, please follow the link below for more information on individual screenings.

For more information, please click here.

Presented by:



Back to Top

Anime's Human Machines   org

In 1963 Osamu Tezuka’s TV series Astro Boy brought a new kind of robot to Japan. The robot child with a loving heart began a line of compelling, conflicted cyborgs whose existence challenges humanity.

Japanese animation has embraced robotics, cybernetics and artificial intelligence as major themes. More interestingly, it uses these themes to explore complex moral and social questions: humanity’s responsibility for its actions, response to the other, greed, short-termism, failure to care for the ecosystem that sustains us.

The Japan Foundation is delighted to be associated with Barbican's season which examines the challenge of the man-machine interface through eight films on various aspects of humanity’s response to technological change. One interesting factor to emerge from these films is how our own view of technology has changed since the earliest was released. Another is how humanity still refuses responsibility for the impact of our actions. These films give no answers, but suggest responses.

Date: 12 September 2019 - 30 September 2019

Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

For more information, please click here.


Back to Top

Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) December 2019   org

The Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is a test which evaluates and certifies the Japanese-language proficiency of non-native speakers of Japanese.The test is conducted twice a year, in July and December, in Japan and various locations around the world.

The next JLPT will take place on Sunday 1st December 2019, at three locations in the UK: London (SOAS University of London), Edinburgh (the University of Edinburgh) and Cardiff (Cardiff University). 

Registration will open at each test centre as follows:

Please note that the 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 JLPT website.


Date: 1 December 2019
Back to Top

What is Manga?   org

Manga has boomed in popularity in recent years. Whilst it is enjoyed globally by a varied audience, there remains a lack of understanding about its breadth and depth, and its relationship with Japan and the rest of the world. This symposium aims to redefine manga by suggesting ways of looking at it as a cultural activity and an expression of historical activities.

Although manga has become a major global art form, East and West remain relatively isolated from each other in the field of comic studies. By bringing together scholars, manga artists and manga industry members from Japan, Europe and beyond, the symposium creates a dialogue on the definition, reaches, and impact of manga in a global context, seeking to find and answer the questions that need to be answered about this global, cultural phenomenon.

Click here to view the day's programme.

Presented by the Japan Foundation and SISJAC, in collaboration with British Library.

Date: 23 August 2019 from 10.00am to 5.30pm

Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road

Booking is available through the British Library's Website.
Full price £15
Students/Under 18's/Concessions £8

The programme was created with support form the British Museum

Back to Top

Cardiff University Japanese Education Seminar   JPsupported

English (Japanese is below)

Cardiff University Japanese Education Seminar - "Language Education and Identity of Children Who Move Locations"

  • Speaker: Professor Ikuo Kawakami (Professor, Waseda University Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics)
  • Date: 3rd September 2019
  • Time: 1:00pm to 4:00pm (planned)
  • Venue: Cardiff University School of Modern Languages
  • Price: Free (in order to control the number of attendees, we ask that all those who wish to attend register. The registration system is still in progress. If you wish to attend, please contact Dr Inaba at Cardiff University via e-mail: )

Note for those traveling by car: If you plan to travel to the event by car, please let Dr Inaba know in advance by contacting her via: - you will be able to use Cardiff University's free car park.


Professor Ikuo Kawakami

Professor Ikuo Kawakami is a professor at the Waseda University Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics. He has a PhD in literature. He specialises in Japanese language education for young people. He undertakes researches based on the analysis of children who are raised in multiple linguistic environments - "children who move locations". His written works include: "I was a child who moved locations - lifestories of children raised in diferent linguistical environments" (Kuroshio) and "Learning Japanese / Being raised multilingually - Considering children's vocabulary work book" (collaboraiton, Kuroshio).



  • ーカーディフ大学日本語教育セミナー「移動する子どもたちの言語教育とアイデンティティー
  • 講師: 川上郁夫先生(早稲田大学日本語教育研究科)
  • 日時:  2019年9月3日(火) 午後1時-4時(予定)
  • 会場: カーディフ大学School of Modern Languages  
  • 参加費: 無料 (人数把握のため、registrationのみお願いしています。登録システムは現在準備中ですので、稲葉(  までご連絡いただければと思います。)

*お車でいらっしゃる予定の方は、稲葉( まで事前にお知らせくださいませ。カーディフ大学の駐車場が無料でご利用いただけます。




Date: 3 September 2019 from 1.00pm to 4.00pm

Cardiff University School of Modern Languages, 66a Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AS

Back to Top

The Chief, The Missionary, His Wife & Her Brother   JPsupported

Discover the amazing family of the Hertford Museum founders and their fascinating lives amongst the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido, North Japan. The Japan Foundation is proud to support this exhibition's telling of the story of Missionary John Batchelor, his wife Louisa, her brother Walter Andrews, Bishop of Hokkaido, and the inimitable Chief Penri of Piratori.

Illustrated by fantastic Japanese items from the museum's own collections as well as examples of Ainu culture loaned by the British Museum. 

Date: 13 July 2019 - 2 November 2019

For more information, please click here.


Back to Top

Solo Exhibition by Nobuko Tsuchiya
at Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019

Date: 22 June 2019 - 29 September 2019

The White Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AA

For more information, please click here.

Back to Top
Text Size: | A | A | A | A

Sign up here for our monthly e-bulletin.