The Japan Society

Past Events

The Japan Society runs more than 80 events per year providing opportunities for members and others interested in Japan to meet, learn and exchange ideas and experiences. Our archive of Past Events below shows events we have offered in previous months starting from 2020.

A list of events from previous years can be downloaded in pdf:
2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

20/06/2022ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - Touching the Unreachable: Writing and Skinship in Modern Japanese Literature


What is the role of touching in modern Japanese literature? How have Japanese writers expressed the act of touching mediated through skin, objects, and memories? In this talk, Fusako Innami will explore the work of Japanese writers to analyse the desire for touch in modern Japanese fiction.

16/05/2022ARCHIVED Fukushima Narratives. Textile and Papermaking Practice, Past, Present and Future


In this lecture, visual artist and researcher Eleanor Burkett will pay tribute to this area’s traditional craft practice offering a rare glimpse into a textile collection, archive photographs and handmade paper from Fukushima.

11/05/2022ARCHIVED Courts & Culture: The British Royal Family and the Japan Society, 1902–1923 - with Rachel Peat


This lecture will explore the interactions of British Royal Family with Japanese art during the early twentieth century, placing them within the long history of the British Royal Family’s courtly and diplomatic engagement with Japan.

26/03/2022ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - British Collecting of Tea Ceramics from Meiji Japan, with Ai Fukunaga


Museum collections of Japanese ceramics in Britain include numerous utensils for whipped tea (matcha) and steeped tea (sencha) gatherings along with diverse vessels for daily and special occasions collected from Meiji Japan. Who collected them and why, and how did these objects obtain value in Britain around the turn of the twentieth century?

09/03/2022ARCHIVED Lecture by Julia Longbottom CMG, British Ambassador to Japan


In this lecture, British Ambassador to Japan, Ms Julia Longbottom will share her views on the political, diplomatic and business situation in Japan at the end of her first year in post.

19/02/2022ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - Gender and Voting Preferences in Japan and Britain, with Gill Steel


In this lecture, Gill Steel will examine the importance of gender in understanding and explaining voting behaviour in Japan and Britain. Analysing decades of voting preferences, values, and policy preferences, she will explore the differences in women's and men's voting preferences.

15/12/2021ARCHIVED ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH - Murakami Haruki and Our Years of Pilgrimage


To mark the publication of a new volume on Murakami Haruki, arguably Japan's most high-profile contemporary writer, we welcome the editors Gitte Marianne Hansen and Michael Tsang, together with contributors Annette Thorsen Vilslev and Patricia Welch, to discuss Murakami, his work and its reception.

15/11/2021ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan, with M.W. Shores


In this lecture M.W. Shores will offer a history of Kamigata (Osaka) rakugo tradition from the seventeenth century to the present day, considering the art in terms of gender, literature, performance, and society.

18/10/2021ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - Craft Culture in Early Modern Japan: Materials, Makers, Mastery with Christine Guth


In this lecture Christine Guth will discuss Japanese crafts during the Momoyama and Tokugawa periods drawing critical attention to the dynamic, multidirectional network of forces that undergird Japan’s extraordinarily rich, diverse and aesthetically sophisticated artifactual culture.

16/09/2021ARCHIVED ONLINE LECTURE - Postwar Japanese Calligraphy and the Challenge of Abstract Painting


This talk will introduce the connection between Japanese avant-garde calligraphers and abstract painters from Europe and the United States as one of the most fascinating examples of the early postwar global art exchanges, drawing attention to calligraphy as a phenomenon of the global postwar avant-garde.