Folk Music Japan: a celebration for Tohoku

Monday 1 August 2011, 7pm
Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS

Admission £5 (£2 of each ticket will go to a charity for Tohoku disaster relief)

Book online now to ensure a seat!

The moving, masterful DUO (Shunsuke Kimura and Etsuro Ono), fresh from their performance at WOMAD, play Tsugaru shamisen and shinobue flute. Ono-san and his family live near Sendai in the heart of the disaster area.

DUO are preceded by a set of song and dance from Tohoku. The ensemble is led by Yoshihiro Endo (shakuhachi) and Yoshie Asano-Campbell (vocal & dance).

Audience participation will also be encouraged!

The wondrous music of DUO can be heard

Japan’s disaster-ridden northeast (Tohoku) is the country’s most famous folk music region. All the performers in this concert have close links with the traditions of Tohoku, and are delighted to be able to contribute in a small way via this event.

Ono-san, his wife and young children luckily suffered only loss of services and shortage of food. Kimura-san has studied the folk flute traditions of the region, some of which are from coastal villages in Iwate which have basically been destroyed.

Yoshie Asano-Campbell, who studied for years in Tohoku and now lives in Glasgow, is a specialist in the songs and dances of the region. Yoshihiro Endo (shakuhachi) also performs melodies from the northeast.

Among the backing performers, David Hughes (retired SOAS Music lecturer) has lived for a half year in Iwate and has often visited the region for research on folk song and on the ritual musics and dances whose continued performance may add so much encouragement to the residents of the destroyed villages.

Sylvia Vale has travelled in the northeast to learn several folk songs.

PLEASE come and support this important event.

Questions? Contact David Hughes,


Films at the Embassy: Waterboys

This high-spirited comedy follows a group of five hapless high-school boys who are roped into starting a synchronised swimming team. Despite a series of hurdles and hiccups, not least their own dismal record of failure, the boys bumble through the summer trying to prepare a routine for the school festival. Before long their public debut is upon them but will the Waterboys sink or swim…?

Directed by the talented Shinobu Yaguchi and nominated for eight prizes at the Japan Academy Awards in 2002, Waterboys won awards for ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Music Score’.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011, 18:30
Doors open at 17:45 No admittance after 19:00

The Embassy of Japan

101-104 Piccadilly,

London W1J 7JT

Admission is free, but prior registration is essential.

Click here for details on how to book your free seat.

Atsuko Tanaka The Art of Connecting

Atsuko Tanaka The Art of Connecting.

27 July 2011 from 6.30pm

Atsuko Tanaka (1932-2005) is without doubt one of Japan’s most important avant-garde artists. As a former member of the Gutai artist group which was founded in 1954, Tanaka has challenged the conventional notions of art through her powerful works including the iconic “Electric Dress”. Whether it be in paintings, sculpture, electric sound and light installations, or performance pieces, a commonality to Tanaka’s work is a distinct realism closely corresponding to her choice of materials.

In conjunction with, and celebration of, the UK’s first comprehensive exhibition of Atsuko Tanaka at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, the Japan Foundation has invited two of the exhibition’s curators, Mizuho Kato, Visiting Associate Professor, Museum of Osaka University and former Chief Curator of Ashiya City Museum of Art and History in Japan, and Jonathan Watkins, Director of Ikon Gallery, to introduce the life and work of Atsuko Tanaka. As well as discussing the significance of the exhibition which covers the breadth of Tanaka’s career from her earliest works up to paintings completed just before her death, they will also highlight Tanaka’s achievements and their continued relevance to our contemporary visual world.

The Japan Foundation, London

Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

Booking: This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to

2 Korean Films

Korean Cultural Centre UK presents

Mother (2009)

A Widowed mother lives alone with her only son a 28 year old, shy and quiet young man. In the aftermath of a terrible murder, the woman’s hopeless, helpless son becomes the prime suspect. Eager to close the case, the police are happy with their cursory investigation and arrest the boy. His defense attorney turns out to be incompetent and unreliable. Faced with no other choice, his mother gets involved, determined to prove her son’s innocence no matter what.

Twilight Gangster (2010)

Three grannies; jung-ja, Young-hee and Shin-ja, have been life long friends and plan to go on their dream holiday to Hawaii with the money that they have been saving for 8 years. But when they go to deposit the cash in the bank robbers come in a take all the money. To make matters worse the bank refuse to compensate the grannies as their deposit slip was never stamped.

With their dreams vanishing before their eyes the three decide that if the bank are not going to give back the money then they are just going to have to steal it.

For further information click here.

Flag’s Race Round 2

The second Flag’s Race has just finished and the leading Flags are still at the top.Few minor changes occurred since the first Race and France has attracted the attention of ours experts finishing the race at the 7th place. A new runner?

Standings after the first Race

  1. Italy – 24 points
  2. UK – 22 points
  3. USA – 20 points
  4. Bangladesh – 18 points
  5. Japan – 16 points
  6. Canada – 14 points
  7. Australia – 12 points
  8. Saudi Arabia – 10 points
  9. Germany – 8 points
  10. Philippines – 6 points
  11. Indonesia – 4 points
  12. Singapore – 2 points

Standings after the second Race

  1. Italy – 48 points
  2. UK – 44 points
  3. USA – 40 points
  4. Bangladesh – 36 points
  5. Japan – 32 points
  6. Canada – 28 points
  7. Australia – 22 points
  8. Germany – 16 points
  9. Saudi Arabia – 16 points
  10. France – 12 points
  11. Indonesia – 8 points
  12. Philippines – 6 points
  13. Singapore – 4 points

For updated information click here.

I hope you enjoyed the Race, until the third round goodbye.

From Philanthropy to Essential Business Investment – the evolution of CSR in the UK

19 July 2011 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

This seminar will introduce the background to Corporate Social Responsibility in the UK and, through the story of one of this country’s most famous companies, explain why and how corporate good practice has changed from being a reactive response into a strategic investment for sustainable business success. The speakers will first look back at the origins of CSR and question the extent to which, in its current form, it can genuinely help companies, across the board, realise their corporate strategic objectives. This seminar is the inaugral event in a new series which will inform Japanese and other interested corporate sector professionals and researchers about recent CSR thinking and trends in the UK.

Ian Blythe is a former Pollution Control Officer for Severn Trent Water, who joined Boots in 1990. His experience has been used in developing Boots UK’s approach to broader CSR strategy and reporting and he has been a key contributor to developing an international approach to CSR across the Alliance Boots Group. Ian represents the Boots UK business on various national and local committess, including the All-Party Parliamentary Environment Group, British Retail Consortium’s Environment Policy Advisory Group, CBI Environmental Affairs Committee, and Business in the Community’s East Midlands Advisory Board.

Takeshi Shimotaya is a founder and Managing Director of Sustainavision Ltd. Sustainavision Ltd aims to contribute to the development of a sustainable society through supporting company’s CSR strategy. It proposes to achieve this through reviewing and, where necessary, improving CSR programmes, Carbon Management programmes, and undertaking tailor-made CSR related research and CSR related workshops. Prior to founding Sustainavision Ltd, Takeshi worked for well-known industrial companies, such as Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Eco Mining, gaining valuable experience in CSR and the renewable energy field.

Booking: This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to

Rewriting Meiji Women’s History – The New Woman, Modernity and Hasegawa Shigure

20 July 2011 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

In this talk, Dr Patessio will challenge the distinction and gap that exists in Japanese women’s historiography between the Meiji ‘good wife and wise mother’ and the Taisho ‘new woman’ by reviewing understanding of late Meiji women’s (in)ability to participate in, and express their opinions on, social and political life. She will also introduce the life-story of Hasegawa Shigure (1879-1941), a female biographer, playwriter, and editor whose activities she has studied in detail as part of her Japan Foundation Fellowship – a marvel of her time who Dr Patessio believes deserves far more recognition than she has hitherto received.

Dr Mara Patessio was a Japan Foundation Fellow in 2010-11 and has been Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester since 2007. Her undergraduate degree at Venice University in Italy was followed by an M.Phil at the University of Cambridge. From 2004 to 2005 she was a JSPS fellow in Japan before she then moved back to Cambridge as a Leverhulme Trust funded Research Associate, working with Professor Peter Kornicki on a project that investigated Edo and Meiji women readers, writers, and their reading practices.Professor Naoko Shimazu will be the discussant for this event – she is Professor in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London. Her research interests include the cultural history of diplomacy and the social and cultural history of Japanese society.

Booking: This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to




Tate Modern 14 April  –  11 September 2011

About the exhibition

Joan Miró’s works come to London in the first major retrospective here for nearly 50 years. Renowned as one of the greatest Surrealist painters, filling his paintings with luxuriant colour, Miró worked in a rich variety of styles. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy more than 150 paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints from moments across the six decades of his extraordinary career.

Miró is among the most iconic of modern artists, using a language of symbols that reflects his personal vision, sense of freedom, and energy. The exhibition includes many of the key works that we know and love. It also shows that, behind the engaging innocence of his imagery, lies a profound concern for humanity and a sense of personal and national identity. Extraordinary works from different moments of his career celebrate his roots in his native Catalonia.

The exhibition also traces an anxious and politically engaged side to Miró’s work that reflects his passionate response to one of the most turbulent periods in European history. Working in Barcelona and Paris, Miró tracked the mood of the Spanish Civil War and the first months of the Second World War in France. Under the political restrictions of Franco’s Spain, Miró remained a symbol of international culture, and his grand abstract paintings of the late 1960s and early 1970s became a mark of resistance and integrity in the dying years of the regime. Telling the story of Miró’s life and the time he witnessed reveals a darker intensity to many of his works.

This is a must-see exhibition for 2011, filled with astonishing, beautiful and striking paintings by one of the greats of modern art.

See Miro for free and get fast track entry as a Member – join now!

Please note if the exhibition does get very busy Members may be asked to wait 5 or 10 minutes before entering.

Ho deciso!

Inizio un’altra volta a studiare Giapponese. Lo so, non e’ la prima volta che scrivo su questo Blog che riprendo a studiare Giapponese pero’ questa volta sono determinato . Da domani??? un’ ora di studio al giorno. Vediamo come va a finire questo piano poco realistico. A presto un aggiornamento dei miei progressi.

I’ve taken a very important decision! From tomorrow I’ll start again to study Japanese. I know… it is not the first time that I mention on this Blog that I want to start again Japanese but this time I’m very determined. To start, 1 hour per day of revision. I’ll soon inform you on my progress.