External Events

The Wings Concert in London


14 September 2019
St. John’s Wood Church
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Japanese Male Choir: The Wings(翼)formed by old boys and students of Waseda University Chor Flügel in Tokyo will put on a free afternoon concert at St. John’s Wood Church on Saturday 14 September. The programme includes Church Music, Irish Folk and Japanese Songs. Also performing at the concert will be The Green Chorus (Nippon Club Women’s Choir).
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Japanese Calligraphy Masterclass


14 – 15 September 2019
The British Library
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Master of Calligraphy Yoko Takenami leads a masterclass in the art of traditional Japanese calligraphy and the history of Japanese characters, with a showing of historical works of calligraphy within the British Library collection.
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A Secret Beauty: The Spirit of Japanese Maki-e


11 July – 21 September 2019
Brunei Gallery, SOAS
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A glimpse into traditional Japanese lacquers as interpreted by Director of the Japan Art Craft Association, Koyanagi Tanekuni who maintains the highest technical and artistic standards. His work explores both traditional and contemporary takes on the decorative medium whose value is shown by its ownership through almost 10,000 years of history by emperors, nobilities, shoguns and daimyos.
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Treasure, by Stacey Hunter


29 June – 22 September 2019
The Suttie Arts Space, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
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Stacey Hunter will be exhibiting new pieces of work that explore the impression that Japanese design culture made on her during her two month residency in Tokyo and Arita in early 2019. Visitors will see traditional and contemporary Japanese design objects reinterpreted by the curator and will enjoy a special atmosphere of calmness and contemplation created with the use of carefully chosen plants and diffused scents.
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Japanese Avant-Garde and Experimental Film Festival 2019: Nation


20 – 22 September 2019
Various venues
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This year’s festival will examine 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 of screenings will be complemented by introductions from experts, Q&As, a free panel discussion and a filmmaker’s workshop for aspiring video artists.
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Land of the Rising Cat


6 – 27 September 2019
Sway Gallery London
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A cat-themed sales exhibition bringing together a range of artisanal wares and original woodblock prints from Japan. The exhibition is a collaboration between Malene Wagner, Japanese art specialist and curator from Tiger Tanuki: Japanese Art & Aesthetics, and author and journalist Manami Okazaki.
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Japanese University Convention


27 September 2019
The College of Richard Collyer
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The College of Richard Collyer and Rikkyo School in England present a new Japanese University Convention. Five Japanese universities will be in attendance, as well as guest speakers, advice on student life in Japan and how to choose a course, plus a cultural experience area promoting Japanese culture, music and food organised by students from Collyer’s and Rikkyo.
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Iwami Kagura Performance by Otsu Kagura Troupe


28 September 2019
The British Library
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Kagura is a Shinto theatrical dance and music performance dedicated to the deities of Japanese mythology. It originated from a mythical event recorded in the Kojiki, a 1,300-year-old historical record of Japan, in which the female deity of dance and the arts dances to coax the female deity of the sun out of hiding in a cave so that her light would grace the world again. The older and ritualistic form is still performed at the Imperial Court, and the more theatrical forms are staple in local communities in regions of Japan.
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9th Annual Sogetsu Ikebana Exhibition


28 September 2019
London Flower School
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Sogetsu School of Ikebana London Branch will exhibit at the London Flower School near Kings Cross. The theme will be ‘You in Ikebana’ (私の花). The exhibition will be open to the public and visitors will be invited to participate at the “Let’s try Ikebana” corner.
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Nobuko Tsuchiya: Solo Exhibition


22 June – 29 September 2019
Leeds Art Gallery
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Nobuko Tsuchiya is an artist who uses a variety of media to create imaginative sculptures, using materials she is intuitively attracted to. Tsuchiya will be showing her work at Leeds Art Gallery and will use the gallery as a studio to assemble final works.
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Gallery Art Point in London


24 – 29 September 2019
Espacio Gallery
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To commemorate their 50th anniversary, Ginza’s Gallery Art Point will hold their first overseas exhibition at Espacio Gallery, London. 50 Japanese artists will exhibit a selection of paintings, 3D works and installations.
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Painting Large Birds Course


13 September – 04 October 2019
Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, London
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Join Talia Lehavi and learn how to paint the rooster, heron, crane and peacock, using traditional Japanese brushes, ink & watercolour on fine paper. This mixed level course will explore these much-adored animal themes within the context of their meaning and significance in Japanese art. With each subject, you will learn about its core feature and ideas, alongside key brush strokes of each technique.
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Lifelines: The Woodcuts of Naoko Matsubara


19 April – 06 October 2019
Ashmolean Museum
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Japanese artist Naoko Matsubara who has displayed in the British Museum, White House and the national museum of art Tokyo and Kyoto, showcases her collection of woodcuts which took 50 years in the making. The display consists of over 40 original designs with an array of colour, motivation and emotional resonance.
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Japanese Textiles and Crafts Festival


10 October – 13 October 2019
The Forge
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After a successful first edition in March comes the second edition of the Japanese Textiles and Crafts Festival at The Forge. There will be saori weaving, shibori, boro, ceramics, paper crafts and much more. Tickets to workshops will be sold separately.
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Film Screening: Walk Cheerfully


15 October 2019
The British Library
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A screening of Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu’s silent gangster film Walk Cheerfully with specially composed score by Japanese music specialist Clive Bell and renowned improviser Sylvia Hallett, performed live by the Benshi Tomoko Komura.
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Megumi Fujita Piano Recital


27 October 2019
St John’s Smith Square, London
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Leading pianist of her generation, Megumi Fujita has forged a varied and solid career spanning four decades. She has toured internationally and recorded extensively both as a soloist and a chamber musician being a member of the critically acclaimed Fujita Piano Trio. Having studied for nearly 18 years with Irina Zaritskaya, and utilizing her unique vantage point as a chamber musician, Megumi has re-examined the core of the Chopin Etudes which culminated in a CD released in 2017.
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An Evening with Hiromi Uehara


2 November 2019
Southwark Cathedral
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Join pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara as she eclipses the boundaries of jazz. A superstar in her native Japan, Hiromi changes the musical landscape as she plays piano, incorporating R&B, rock, and avant-garde, filled with hairpin turns, tempo shifts and high voltage. If there’s one phrase to describe her, it’s incendiary and brazenly virtuosic.
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Irene Sanderson: Shrines


17 September – 3 November 2019
Upfront Gallery, Cumbria
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Sumi-e and suiboku-ga alongside photographs of Shinto shrines including the oldest, the greatest and the newest, all beautiful and mysterious, to portray Japan as the country commemorates 150 years from its opening to the west and enters a new era and a new Emperor ascends the throne. Irene Sanderson has made a lifetime study of Japan and in particular the methods and techniques of sumi-e and suiboku-ga, artforms based on the action of brush meeting paper with the intimacy of drawing, revealing origins and intentions with immediacy and candour, incorporating them into her own distinctive style.
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Legend of the Burning Bell – The Demoness of Dojoji


5 November 2019
The British Library
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When obsession and betrayal corrupt the flower of young love, how far can a girl go for revenge before it swallows her whole? Join Kabuki musician Yui Shikakura and storyteller Laura Sampson for a fresh-eyed take on one of Japan’s most vivd and well-loved legends.
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Minyo Crusaders UK Debut


11 November 2019
The Jazz Cafe, London
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Minyo Crusaders rework traditional Japanese folk songs (minyō) with Latin, African and Caribbean rhythms to create some of the most infectious music anywhere between Latin America and Japan. The punchy and inventive arrangements of this ten-piece big band seamlessly blend Afro-Cuban and Caribbean rhythms with old Japanese minyō to create a compellingly modern sound. See here for a special discount on tickets for friends of the Japan Society.
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Ink Landscape Painting Course


1 – 29 November 2019
Burgh House & Hampstead Museum, London
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Known as painting of ‘mountains and water’, learn the foundation of how to paint traditional Japanese ink landscape. This mixed level course will take you step by step into the appreciation of the landscape as a place in one’s heart. Join Talia and learn how to paint mountains, water, trees and waterfalls using traditional Japanese brushes, ink & watercolour on fine paper.
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Stompy’s Playground Presents The Nujabes Experience


29 November 2019
Oslo, Hackney
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Stompy’s Playground are a twelve-piece orchestral ensemble, bringing harp, bass clarinet, full string, horn, and rhythm sections together, transforming their instruments to create electronic music, live! Their latest offering sees them honour the life and work of Nujabes. Spanning not just hip-hop but nu-jazz, breakbeat, trip hop and much more, Nujabes’ oeuvre is dense in its orchestration and musicality, making it rich subject matter for reworking.
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The Kimono: A Portrait of a Japanese Family


10 October – 15 December 2019
House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
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This exhibition presents a personal collection of Japanese kimono in the context of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s House for An Art Lover. The small collection dates from the early 1950s to more recent examples and shows examples of day-wear as well as the kimono designed for traditional ceremonial wear. The exhibition shares a particular social history of one Japanese family, which is illustrated in the choice of materials, decoration and colour of the kimono collection.
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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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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.
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    Sun 29

    Japan Matsuri 2019

    29 September — 10:00 am
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    Tel: 020 7935 0475

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