About 6th Form Japan Day 2023
The day will feature lectures and workshops by SOAS and Ritsumeikan University as well as a University exhibition attended by various universities around the UK offering Japanese studies, both as a major or as an elective.
Deceivers and Shapeshifters: Foxes in Japanese Myths, Legends and Folktales with
Foxes (kitsune) frequently appear in Japanese myths, legends and folktales. One of their more common manifestations is as a beautiful woman who deceives men in different ways: sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic, sometimes disturbing. What can these fox tales tell us about the ways Japan thought about gender, class, religion, and social order?
About Dr Alan Cummings
Dr Cummings is the Head of Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at SOAS. He obtained his BA in Japanese and Law at SOAS, and an MA in Japanese Literature at Waseda University, Tokyo, before completing his PhD on the 19th century kabuki dramatist Kawatake Mokuami at SOAS. He has been teaching at SOAS since 2000 in a broad range of areas ranging from East Asian cultural history, pre-modern Japanese language and literature, Japanese classical theatre, and translation.
The “Kokoro” Measure: Technology to objectively evaluate and reduce emotional distance
This year, Ritsumeikan University's lecture will be delivered by Professor Nishihara who will introduce the Kokoro Distance Measure Project, led by Professor Shima Okada of Ritsumeikan University and conducted by researchers from the fields of bioengineering, bioscience, organizational psychology, and information science.
This project involves the use of technologies to objectively evaluate the emotional distance (“kokoro” distance in Japanese) between individuals during various instances of communication with the aim to build and improve the quality of human relationships. The technologies will also identify factors that contribute to the formation of and changes to emotional closeness as well as a system to predict improvements in relationships. Attendees will learn more about this exciting research and its practical applications.
About Professor Nishihara Yoko
Professor Nishihara works at the Department of Information Science and Engineering at Ritsumeikan University. After completing her Doctoral study in Engineering Science at Osaka University, she worked at Japan Society for Promotion of Science and University of Tokyo before joining Ritsumeikan University. She is an expert in Human interface and interaction, Intelligent Informatics, Web informatics, Service informatics, Library and information science/ Humanistic social informatics.
We will be joined by students currently studying Japanese at university in the UK, or who have recently graudated. The students will give an insight into what it's like to study Japanese by sharing information about their courses, student life, time spent on their year abroad in Japan and future plans. Attendees will also have the chance to put any questions, large or small, to the student panel!
This year our university exhibition will be attended by the following universities and organisations.
- Birkbeck, University of London
- Cardiff University
- Newcastle University
- Oxford Brookes University
- Ritsumeikan University and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan)
- SOAS, University of London
- University of Cambridge
- University of Central Lancashire
- University of East Anglia
- University of Leeds
- University of Oxford
- University of Sheffield
- Embassy of Japan in the UK
- Japan Foundation London
- Keio University (Japan)
Students will have the choice of participating in 3 workshops to learn about various aspects of Japanese culture, such as origami, shodo, shogi and manga, in addition to a traditional Japanese music-focus workshop led by SOAS, a technology-focus workshop led by Ritsumeikan Univeristy, and a language-based workshop led by Japan Foundation London.
Experience the 'Kokoro' Distance Measure using a Chatbot with Professor Nishihara Yoko, Ritsumeikan University
Professor Nishihara and her team from Japan will lead a workshop on 'Kokoro' Distance Measure. Using this measure, she will demonstrate how the latest technology works to tackle social distancing and to improve the quality of human relationship through better human interaction. In this workshop, students will have the chance to experience first hand the technology and learn more about its benefits in modern-day society where human interaction is shifting from physical to cyberspace.
Japanese Music Traditions with Yuiko Asaba, SOAS, University of London
Join SOAS in exploring Japan through its music! Experience a captivating 5-minute Koto performance by student and performer April Wei West, followed by an engaging 15-minute interactive discussion about the Koto. Following this, there will be a 20-minute session for students to ask questions, providing a close-up look at the Koto and an opportunity to learn about various traditions within Japan's rich musical culture.
Get Creative with Kanji! with the Japan Foundation, London
Anyone interested in Japanese will inevitably come across kanji, the Chinese characters used in Japanese writing. What do you think of kanji – do they seem cool, difficult, or a bit complicated?
The biggest difference between kanji and the English alphabet is that they convey a meaning to the reader, as well as a sound. In this workshop, we’ll explore this element of kanji and you’ll have the opportunity to create your own brand-new original kanji ! Anybody can join in - including those who don’t have any knowledge of Japanese or kanji - so come and have fun experimenting. This workshop will be led by one of the Japan Foundation's language advisors.
More Information: https://www.jpf.org.uk/
Manga with Chie Kutsuwada and Inko Ai Takita
UK-based Japanese manga artists, Chie and Inko will share with you their secrets behind creating a successful manga character. In this workshop, they will show you how simple tweaks in line and shading can result in very different outcomes. Whether you are a beginner manga-ka, or have more experience, this is your opportunity to ask questions and learn from an expert! Chie graudated from the Royal College of Art in London, and is the creator of King of a Miniature Garden and illustrator of As You Like It, an adaption of one of Shakespeare's famous comedy. Inko studied at Central Saint Martin’s college of Art & Design after graduating from Kyoto University of Art & Design. Her latest works include Learn Clip Studio Paint and a manga adaptation of the world’s first novel Tale Of Genji.
Calligraphy with Yukiko Ayres
Anyone who has studied Japanese will know something of its complex writing system. But there’s a great difference between computer-generated kana and kanji and the calligraphic art form. These days, few people regularly use a brush when they write, but there is no doubt that it adds an extra dimension to the characters. Take your writing to the next level, under the expert guidance of London-based calligrapher Yukiko Ayres.
More information: http://yukikoayres.com & https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjmTxq_DWQ4W0fzWxDAPxqw
8 Basic Strokes: https://youtu.be/oRLRDu43mDQ
Shogi with Andrew McGettigan
Shogi is Japan's unique take on chess, which has recently been popularised by the anime March Comes in like a Lion. In shogi, pieces captured from your opponent become yours and can be placed back on the board. This means you never run out of pieces (or your opponent doesn't!), making for a more dynamic game than the chess we know. In this workshop, Andrew from the English Shogi Players group will teach you how to play mini-shogi - the best way to pick up the game quickly. There will also be shogi sets for those who already know the rules and want a chance to play a full game.
More information: https://lishogi.org/team/english-shogi-players
For those who want to learn in advance of the workshop: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL587865CAE59EB84A
Origami, Ancient and Modern Paperfolding with Tung Ken Lam
Join origami artist and author Tung Ken Lam to create amazing origami sculptures that you can take home. In this workshop, you will not only learn about the history and culture of paper and paper-folding in Japan and around the world, you’ll find out how origami can improve your mathematical knowledge and thinking too! Tung Ken’s modular creations, including the WXYZ and Jitterbug, are known around the world as fine examples of original and economical folding. He has taught and presented his origami work in Japan, the USA and across Europe.
More Information: https://www.foldworks.net/home/about/