The Japan Society
Education Events & Special Programmes Sixth Form Japan Day Sixth Form Japan Week 2020

Sixth Form Japan Week 2020 - Content and Contributors

Career Panel | Student Panel | Workshops and Lectures | Non-live Content


Career Panel

Julie Rogers, Mitsubishi Corporation

Julie was born in Tokyo to Japanese and English parents and moved to the UK aged seven. After graduating from Sheffield University in Japanese Studies and Politics she spent most of her working career at Mitsubishi Corporation, where she is currently on the board of directors of the London operation and General Manager of the Communications and Sustainability Department. In her current role she is in charge of communications, which covers both internal, staff focused communications for Mitsubishi Corporation in the European region as well as external stakeholder relationships including with cultural and academic institutions. Having lived with two cultures all her life, she has a strong interest in the importance of language, culture and context when building relationships and mutual understanding.


Michael Rivera King, Ashinaga UK

Michael first visited Japan for a week as part of his gap year travels, before living there for five years on the JET program as an Assistant English Teacher. While in Japan he set up a volunteer group called Smile Kids Japan, that helped several thousand people to volunteer at local 'orphanages' in Japan. Michael then returned to school and did two Masters and a Doctorate at the University Oxford studying the social work and alternative care system in Japan. Michael now works for the London office of Ashinaga, a large Japanese charity focused on increasing access to education for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Francesca Le Lohé, composer and director of "THE鍵KEY"

Francesca is a composer, community musician, teacher and flute player. She completed her undergraduate in music at the University of Manchester and her masters in composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is the composer and director behind "THE鍵KEY"; an immersive, site-specific opera inspired by Tanizaki's novella of the same name, featuring a mixture of Japanese and western artforms. Francesca has composed for a number of soloists, ensembles, community groups and theatre productions across Europe and Japan, with work featuring in electronic music to architecture festivals. She has been artist in residence at Elektronmusikstudion (Sweden) and NOVARS (UK) and regularly performs on the sho (a Japanese free reed musical instrument) with The Japan Gagaku Society. She has been based in Tokyo since 2015. and


Callum Forbes, Discussion Moderator

Callum Forbes is Coordinator for Cultural Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in the UK. The department puts on exhibitions, lectures, workshops, events and more covering the breadth of Japanese culture. He is also the Head of Programming for Japan Matsuri, the UK’s largest free Japanese event, which this year went online for the first time with ‘Japan Matsuri Presents’. Callum spent two years living on Naoshima, Japan, where his interest in Japanese aesthetics was solidified. Callum is also a practicing ceramicist. and (Embassy of Japan’s webmagazine)

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Student Panel

Jenson Grech, University of Leeds

Jenson is a final year student and President of the Japanese Society at the LUU (Leeds University Union) studying Japanese at the University of Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent his year abroad in Kobe, a green yet lively port-side city in the Kansai region of Japan. Whilst there he attended Kobe Gakuin University, on a tiny land mass called Port Island, a man-made island! He is currently in the process of applying for the JET Program (Japan Exchange Teaching Program) to return to Japan and work as a CIR (Co-ordinator for International Relations).


Callum Ward-Smith, Cardiff University

Callum is a student at Cardiff University where he is studying Japanese and Translation. Earlier this year, he finished a one-year study abroad placement at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan. Currently, he is working through his final year with a particular focus on advanced Japanese language and translation as a profession. His interest in Japan stems from a 3-month trip to Tokyo a few years ago, after which he was inspired to study both the language and culture in more depth.


Georgia Smith-Whibley, University of Sheffield

Georgia is a fourth year Japanese Studies student at the University of Sheffield. During her time at the University of Sheffield, she has taken modules on Japanese literature, history and the evolution of the Japanese language and has had the opportunity to learn Korean as well. Aside from language classes in speaking, translation, reading comprehension and composition, she is currently in the early stages of working on her dissertation and is due to graduate next Summer. She spent time at Chuo University in West Tokyo from last September until April of this year.


Warren Stanislaus, Discussion Moderator 

Warren A. Stanislaus is a PhD Candidate in history at the University of Oxford, Pembroke College. He is a graduate of ICU in Tokyo, and completed an MPhil at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, St Antony’s College, Oxford. Originally from South East London he has spent 10+ years in Tokyo and speaks fluent Japanese with advanced Mandarin. Previously, he worked as a Researcher at Asia Pacific Initiative, a Tokyo-based think tank. He teaches transnational intellectual and cultural history as an Associate Lecturer at Rikkyo University, Japan. In 2019, he was named No.3 in the UK’s Top 10 Rare Rising Stars awards.

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Workshops and Lectures

Kamishibai with Aya Nakamura 

Kamishibai means Paper Theatre in Japanese and was a very popular kind of street entertainment for children in pre and post WWII Japan before TV’s were available to most households. This established convention uses simple storytelling techniques with text, speech and imagery and the art form is also known as the origin of Anime. In this workshop, Aya will introduce participants to contemporary approaches to kamishibai and share her most recent work ‘The Spider’s Thread’, a short film using adapted Kamishibai techniques. Participants will also have a chance to get creative and write their own story text for the kamishibai storyboard.

Optional: Print the Kamishibai Text Creating Task Worksheet to use during the session. Participants can also write text without the worksheet or type their story text. 

For more information about Aya:


Dokidoki! Express yourself using Japanese sounds.

Just as in English, the Japanese language has many onomatopoeia, and thousands more to choose from! Japanese speakers use them regularly in their daily conversation to express and also bring to life, not only the sounds, but also emotions and actions of any given scene or situation. In this interactive workshop, led by the Japan Foundation, London, you will be introduced to the rich variety of Japanese onomatopoeia and the Japanese visual language, manpu, frequently used in Manga to convey emotions through signs and symbols alone.

This session is suited to all abilities of Japanese. Please note, to participate in this workshop, attendees will need a microphone and camera. Participants can attend as a whole class, sharing one camera and one microphone, or individually.

For more information about Japan Foundation, London:


Teamwork in the Extreme - Learning from Astronauts

You may think that what happens in space has no relation to our daily lives. In this lecture, Professori Minato Nobuaki will push you to think again as he explains important things we should all learn about teamwork and working with others from astronaut training. Part of Ritsumeikan’s educational philosophy is to help students learn beyond borders, and this lecture will help students to think and see beyond the current borders of their thoughts to acquire a different perspective.

For more information about Professor Nobuaki Minato:
For more information about Ritsumeikan University:


Tsukumogami and the World of Manga

Chie is a Japanese manga artist based in Brighton. A graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, she is the creator of King of a Miniature Garden and illustrator of As You Like It. Dive into the world of manga in this workshop with her to learn about the Tsukumogami: inanimate objects that acquire a spirit of their own according to Japanese folklore. Chie will share the secrets behind creating a successful manga character and show you how to create your very own tsukumogami character! Whether you are a beginner manga-ka, or have more experience, this is your opportunity to ask questions and learn from an expert.

Advised: Print the  Manga Worksheet before the session. Participants are welcome to use their preferred drawing equipment. The session can be attended with a pencil, rubber and paper, or digital drawing tools. 

More information about Chie:


Tsugaru Shamisen and Traditional Japanese Min’yo with HIBIKI x AKARI 

Hibiki is a London based professional Tsugaru Shamisen player. Recognised as a world leading talent of Tsugaru Shamisen, he regularly performs across the UK and Europe. He also recorded for the soundtrack of the BAFTA-winning animated film Kubo and the Two Strings, produced by Laika Studios. Akari is a professional enka and min’yo (Japanese folk music) singer also based in London who started singing when she was 3 years old. She has performed at events such as WOMAD, Hyper Japan, and Japan Matsuri. She has also appeared in the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘The Verb’. In this workshop, Hibiki and Akari will teach you all about the Tsugaru Shamisen and min’yo music. Get ready to be taken on a traditional music tour of Japan!

More information about HIBIKI and AKARI: |

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Non-live Content 

Available from 2 December. Registration required to access content.

Anime Playlist and The History of Anime Music

Laurence Green is a PhD Student at SOAS University of London. His current research focuses on the use of music within the Japanese animation industry, and his writing has previously been published in both NEO Magazine and the Japan Society Review, as well as in the recent edited volume 'Japan beyond Its Borders: Transnational Approaches to Film and Media'. He is also currently serving as Managing Editor of the journal Japan Forum. For our talk, Laurence will be sharing with us what he thinks are the most important tracks from each of the past six decades. He also put together a playlist of his favourite anime hits for Sixth Form Japan Week participants this year, catering to both anime newcomers and die-hard fans! Be sure to check out these content and submit your own anime song recommendations to the Japan Society!

More information about Laurence:


The Meanings in Osechi Ryori

Tomomi Shimizu is a freelance consultant and cooking instructor based in her hometown, Fukui, Japan. With years of experience teaching others about food and nutrition, she has created many jam recipes for Japanese clients, some of which won the gold Artisan Awards from the annual Marmalade Awards and Festival in Dalemain Cumbria. She has also written and published a recipe book, Jam with us, with her own secret jam recipes. Tomomi will be teaching us all about the New Year celebration, the festive food and her version of traditional Fukui Osechi Ryori (おせち料理). Be sure to eat first before you tune in!

More information about Tomomi (Japanese):

Make a Kamisihibai Story 

Aya Nakamura is a Japanese Londoner, with over 10 years of experience as a theatre maker and puppeteer. Following on from her kamishibai workshop, Aya will show you how you can make your own story and kamishibai set using collage, photographs, or hand drawing. Individuals or groups are invited to send a picture of their finished work to the Japan Society for the chance to win a prize!

For more information about Aya:

Mini Interview Series

A series of short interviews with university students, professionals working in photography, architecture, academia, gaming & tech, and representatives from 16 different universities in the UK. Tune in as they answer common questions and give advice.

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