External Events

Missing People


12 – 21 March 2020
Leeds Playhouse
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Sakiko is nervous. She’s introducing her fiancée Dan to her parents for the first time at her family home in Kani, Japan. And, whilst brother Hiroki, the ‘perfect child’, got married close to home, Sakiko’s got to break the news that their wedding will be in London, where they’ve built their lives. But under the surface, something isn’t right. Her mother is acting strangely, her father is gone for hours and a strange figure waits in the garden. A thrilling, bilingual show and first co-production between Leeds Playhouse and Kani Public Arts Center in Japan, performed in Japanese and English with surtitles.
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Made in Japan: Japanese Ceramics For Everyday Use


6 – 28 March 2020
Sway Gallery London
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After their first successful pop up in London in July 2019, Made in Japan is back with even more beautiful and affordable ceramics, seldom seen outside of Japan. Made in Japan is proud to present their wide range of tableware, from dining and serving plates to glassware and cups. The ranges available to view and purchase at this event will showcase the best of restaurant quality Japanese tableware for professional and home use.
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Taku Obata Installation


28 February – 6 April 2020
Japan House London
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In a year which celebrates the potential of Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, Japan House London is delighted to display the new work of artist and break dancer Taku Obata made during his Artist’s Residency at City & Guilds of London Art School. A graduate from Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo Geidai), Obata explores the tension and dynamism of the human body taking inspiration from his background as a B-BOY. His work investigates the relationship between the human body and clothes through life-size hand carved and coloured wooden figures that express space and power. Japan House London hosts a series of events to accompany the display including a talk and demonstrations.
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Drawing on Nature


4 October 2019 – 13 April 2020
World Museum, Liverpool
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Once a celebrated artist in Tokyo, Taki Katei’s paintings were displayed in the Imperial court and his impressive works travelled to international exhibitions. After his death the demand for delicate paintings of flowers and birds fell out of fashion and his work was slowly forgotten. World Museum will display the first-ever exhibition of Taki Katei’s work outside Japan Separated into five themes and will look at the hidden meanings and the symbolism in his works, the techniques he used, and his practice towards perfection.
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Borrowed Scenery


22 February – 18 April 2020
Gunnersbury Park, London
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This Spring, Artist-in-residence, Simeon Featherstone and PC – Projects are offering collaborative opportunities for the Japanese Community to create new artwork for Gunnersbury Park through raku-fired ceramics, traditional poetry and architecture. Following a programme of free creative workshops in the heart of Gunnersbury Park to rekindle the spirit of the Japanese Garden, the project will culminate in a family Japanese Garden Festival on April 18.
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Blossom Day Street Party


19 April 2020
Chiswick
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Staveley Road in Chiswick is famous for its 91 cherry blossom trees. A Blossom Day Street Party will take place on 19 April and will be a unique opportunity for both local residents and lovers of cherry blossom trees from further afield to visit and enjoy Chiswick’s very own sakura festival. Activities on the day will include a Haiku competition for young people, origami and crafts, a karate demonstration and plants and gardening tips courtesy of Chiswick Horticultural Society.
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Turning Points: Takemitsu


26 April 2020
Kings Place, London
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An official event of the Japan-UK Season of Culture, as part of its 2019/20 concert season, the London Sinfonietta will stage a specially-curated, exhibition-style concert, Turning Points: Takemitsu, exploring the life and work of celebrated Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu. Through a combination of musical performances, film and discussion, the event will examine the composer’s extraordinary output and explore its impact on the direction of contemporary classical music in the 20th century.
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Peter Matthews: Between the Ocean, the Sky and Ourselves


11 March – 26 April 2020
White Conduit Projects
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How can painting deal with climate change? Peter Matthews’ work may look abstract, but a deep involvement with the environment is built into its making. Not for him the hermetic concentration of the studio: he works at the edge of the world’s oceans with the materials he can carry on his back, his canvas often doubling up as sunscreen, roof or hammock. Matthews lives with and through his paintings, working on large spreads of unprimed canvas using sticks and stones more than brushes. The paintings in ‘Between the Ocean, the Sky and Ourselves’ were produced over two months spent in and along the Pacific coast of Oregon, USA and then continuing in and along the Pacific coast of Iwate, Japan.
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Koinobori Workshop


3 May 2020
Chiddingstone Castle
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Join in with a Japanese Children’s Day holiday tradition and make your own colourful koi carp flags, or koinobori. Koinobori flags are usually hung up outside homes and around towns and villages for Children’s Day. There are different sizes and colours of flag which represent mothers, fathers and the number of children in a household. Visitors of all ages will be able to make their own koinobori flag in the Castle’s Activity Room to take home.
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William Adams/Miura Anjin (1564-1620): Man, Myth and Legacy


12 May 2020
Japan House
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In May 2020 it will be 400 years since the death of William Adams/Miura Anjin. This free one day conference, chaired by writer and broadcaster Lesley Downer, will mark this important occasion. Organized by Japan400Anjin in cooperation with Japan House and the Embassy of Japan, the conference will be followed by a reception.
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Exquisite Patterns: Japanese Textile Design


14 February – 17 May 2020
The British Library
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Practical designs produced by kimono merchants to lavish commercial publications: this display highlights the creativity and skill of artist, designer and publisher through a selection of superb images reproduced from the British Library’s collection of Japanese pattern books.
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Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk


29 February – 21 June 2020
V&A, South Kensington
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This exhibition will present the kimono as a dynamic and constantly evolving icon of fashion, revealing the sartorial, aesthetic and social significance of the garment from the 1660s to the present day, both in Japan and the rest of the world.
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Sumida River in Sign Language


27 – 28 June 2020
Kings Place & William Morris Gallery, London
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Sumida River in Sign Language brings the natural and human worlds together in a drama of physical gesture and facial expression. Performed by deaf, unmasked actors, the play is suffused with the life of the river: pines bending in the wind, flocks of Miyako birds and mist swirling in from the bay. This poignant tale was reimagined by Benjamin Britten in his chamber opera Curlew River. It is spring, a time of growth; a ferryman waits for customers when a mother arrives in search of her lost son.
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Yama – The Mining Art of Sakubei Yamamoto


15 September 2019 – 20 September 2020
Big Pit National Coal Museum
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At the age of seven years old, Sakubei Yamamoto (1892-1984) moved with his family to the coal mines of the Chikuho region in Kyushu. He was apprenticed to a colliery blacksmith at the age of twelve, and later worked as a mine blacksmith and coalminer until the age of 63 in 1955. He then became a colliery security guard when he started painting his memories of the mining industry. This exhibition focuses on a small selection of the 2000 drawings and paintings by the artist. This exhibition is part of a World tour organised by the Bridge Together Project.
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Tokyo: Art & Photography


16 July – 22 November 2020
Ashmolean Museum
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This major exhibition, opening in summer 2020, will explore Japan’s capital city through the varied and vibrant arts it has generated over 400 years, from its beginnings as the headquarters of the Tokugawa shoguns in the early 1600s to the sprawling modern metropolis and dynamic centre of art, photography and design it is today.
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E. A. Hornel: From Camera to Canvas


7 November 2020 – 14 March 2021
City Art Centre, Edinburgh
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E. A. Hornel took and collected thousands of images throughout his life, and he used many of these to inspire the paintings that made him wealthy and successful. This exhibition of the Glasgow Boy’s paintings and photographs examines how Hornel worked, explores how he looked at the world as a white, western man photographing young women in ‘exotic’ locations and interrogates the way we look at him today. It introduces visitors to Hornel and his early style and illustrates how strongly his art was shaped by photography.
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  • Contact

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    Tel: 020 7935 0475

    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP