The Japan Society

It was recently announced that Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan accepted an invitation from His Majesty The King to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom in late June 2024. 

To mark this exciting occasion and celebrate the visit, we invite all UK schools to include teaching about Japan in the summer term.  

From a one-off lesson to hosting a Japan-themed cultural or sports event, there are plenty of ways for your school to get involved. Check out our suggested resources and ideas below! 

Japan's Imperial Family - Activity PackJoin our UK-Japan Costume Design Contest 
Host a Sports Event | Teach a lesson about Japan | Hold a Japan Day / Cultural Workshop 

The Emperor and Imperial Family - Activity Pack

In Japan, the monarch and head of state is the emperor. Together, the Emperor and Empress are the head of the imperial family, whose symbol is the chrysanthemum flower. Did you know that the Japanese monarchy is one of the oldest in the world?

Downloadn our activity pack to learn more about the Emperor of Japan and the imperial family. The entry form to our design contest is included in the pack! ! Imperial Family Activity Pack

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Enter our Costume Design Contest!

Design a UK-Japan Costume for the emperor and empress hina dolls!

In the past, the Japanese emperor and empress would wear elaborate outfits as seen on the emperor and empress dolls in a traditional hina doll set. For this contest, we want children to design a UK-Japan outfit for the traditional emperor and empress hina dolls to celebrate the long friendship between our two countries.

Contest Guidelines
  • Anyone is welcome to send us their design, but entrants must be 16 or under and reside in the UK to be eligible to win a prize.
  • Winners from each age category will receive a £20 gift vouchers from the Japan Centre
  • Entrants must email a picture or scan of their entry to
  • Deadline to enter is Sunday 28 July 2024

Visit our Contest Page to find out more and download the template and entry form

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Hold a Japanese Sports Event!

Ekiden Relay Race 

Ekiden is a popular and simple relay race format in Japan; its emphasis on teamwork and community building makes it ideal for schools. The inaugural UK Ekiden is taking place on Monday 24 June – see their website for more details of how to get involved.  Learn more about ekiden on our Ekiden page here.

UK Ekiden
Download the Ekiden Activity Pack

Undokai Japanese Sports Day  

The Japanese Sports Day (undokai) is a fun-filled day with an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration and a big event in the school calendar.  Learn more on our Japanese Sports Day page here.

Download the Japanese Sports Day Games Pack with instructions and illustrations for 14 typical Undokai games!

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Teach a Lesson about Japan!  

The Japan Society has a range of free online resources to engage and inspire students and support teaching about Japan.  Below are some selected highlights; if you’re looking for something else, search all resources or contact us.  

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Hold a Japan Day or Japanese Cultural Workshop!

Holding a Japan Day or Cultural workshop at your school can be simple; take advantage of our free loan resources for schools to borrow cultural artefacts and bring Japan to your classroom! Our Japan Day Organiser Pack is designed for teachers who want to organise a cultural activities in their school and is packed with suggestions and instructions for activities or events of any duration–from hour-long sessions to a week-long event!

  • Download our Host a Japan Day Information Pack for teachers - Japan Day Organiser Pack
  • The Japan Activity Chest contains over 50 authentic traditional and modern Japanese artefacts and comprehensive teacher’s notes 
  • Use the Access to Experts database to find a cultural expert to run a cultural session – from origami to calligraphy and more!  
  • Facilitate a calligraphy session by using our Calligraphy Tutorial video and lesson resources with our loan equipment 
  • Teach about hanami, the custom of spring picnics under cherry blossom trees and hold an (off-season!) Japanese style picnic 
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