The Japan Society

Access to Experts

The list Access to Experts is designed as a tool to help those organising Japan-related events. Experts are professionals who charge a fee to lead workshops and can tailor their workshop or presentation to different audiences. They may be able to visit schools and deal with larger numbers of students per day than JIYC volunteers and can be engaged to spend successive days at your school.

Inclusion on this list does not imply recommendation by the Japan Society.

Origami Experts


OKUYAMA Misako

Origami, Arts, Crafts, Japanese Painting, Calligraphy

Type of activity: lecture, demonstration, performance, workshop leader, project leader
Available to travel: International
Age range: 3+
Number of participants: workshops for 1-10 participants; lectures or demonstrations for 10–50 participants and performance for 50+.

email: msmilem@hotmail.com
website: www.misakoart.com

Okuyama Misako’s MA and PhD research relates to art projects in community settings. She has experience running workshops for those with special needs and vulnerable groups. Example events carried out at schools include: book week, Clapham Festival, Japanese art, bag making, mask making, origami workshop at Morley College. Misako also did calligraphy work for ‘NEIGE’ opera at Luxembourg Theatre.


ROBINSON, Nick 

Type of activity: lecture, demonstration, performance, workshop and project leader
Available to travel: Anywhere worldwide (adequate German and French spoken)
Age range: 8+
Number of participants: Any

email: nick@12testing.net
website: www.origami.me.uk

Nick has been a professional origami teacher for over 30 years, travelling to schools, libraries, youth clubs, hospitals and art galleries, teaching origami and paper artwork. He runs sessions with people of all ages and physical abilities. Tutees have included both visually and hearing impaired. He has been a member of the British Origami Society and has written over 80 books on the subject. In 2004 he was awarded the “Sidney French medal” – the highest award the society can offer, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to origami. In 2010 he was made an honorary member of the Society.

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CILMI, Monika

Origami and Japanese Brushwork

Type of activity: workshop, commission
Available to travel: London and Suffolk
Age range: Any
Number of participants: Up to 15

email: monika.cilmi@yahoo.co.uk
website: www.monika149.wixsite.com/monikacilmi/

Monika Cilmi was born in Italy and has studied art ever since. After graduating from the “Accademia di Belle Arti” she took a MA in Painting restoration and then a PG in Japanese and Korean art in London. Monika has now completed a Research degree in Fine Art with a project on Zen brushwork and works as a freelance artist and tutor.

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ONO Mari

Origami, Washi-paper

Type of activity: workshop
Available to travel: Gloucester, West Midlands, London
Age range: any
Number of participants: any

email: mari.ono@virgin.net
tel: 01452714112

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BIDDLE, Steve

Origami, Craft, Model Making

Type of activity: lecture, demonstration, performance, workshop
Available to travel: anywhere
Age range: any
Number of participants: any

email: papermagic@btinternet.com
tel: 01424 439855
website: www.paper-magic.net

Steve is an author, entertainer and origami expert. He studied in Japan with top Japanese origami masters, thereby acquiring a deeper knowledge of a subject that has always fascinated him. Steve is also a member of the most famous magical society in the world, The Magic Circle, holding the degree of Associate of The Inner Magic Circle with Silver Star. Additionally, he is a member of Equity and therefore holds PLI via them.

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WALFORD, Reiko

Origami, Japanese Language & Culture

Type of activity: demonstration, performance, workshop, project leader
Available to travel: anywhere (based in Wales)
Age Range: 8+
Number of participants: any

email: reikowalford@hotmail.com
tel: 01490 450313 / 07766 711946


TAKENAMI Yoko

Origami, Arts, Craft, Calligraphy

Type of activity: lecture, demonstration
Available to travel: anywhere
Age range: any
Number of participants: any

email: yokotakenami@aol.com
tel: 020 7723 2029 / 0778 097 2350

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Ganbare Japan

Origami, Calligraphy, Food, Soroban, Tea Ceremony,  Samurai and Geisha

Type of activity: lecture, demonstration, workshop leader, project leader
Available to travel: anywhere within 1.5 hour journey from Nottingham including East Midlands, West Midlands and South Yorkshire.
Age range: Any 
Number of participants: Any

email: kiyoko.naish@virgin.net
website: http://ganbarejapanuk.blogspot.com/
facebook:  www.facebook.com/GanbareJapanUK

Ganbare Japan are a Nottingham based charity who promote Japanese language and culture. At the same time, helping UK schools link up with primary, junior and high schools in Tohoku area, North East Japan to exchange letters and messages between children. Ganbare Japan also organise a teamwork building workshop with activities such as Japanese taiko drumming, sushi making and calligraphy activities.


TAKABAYASHI Miwa

Origami, Painting, Fine Art

Type of activity: lecture, demonstration, performance, workshop, project leader
Available to travel: anywhere
Age range: any
Number of participants: any

email: MiwaArt@hotmail.co.uk

Dr Miwa Takabayashi is a contemporary artist who has recently completed her PhD in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle. She specialises in the traditional Japanese art forms of Origami, 2D and 3D Anesama Dolls and traditional Japanese-style painting (Monochrome). She is also a Kendo Japanese sword fighting expert.


LAVERY, Pauline

Origami, Sumi-e, Papermaking

Type of activity: demonstration, workshop
Available to travel: Scotland
Age range: any
Number of participants: any

website: www.pauline-lavery.com

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