United Cube Concert in London

Date and Time: 5th December 2011, Doors open 17:30, Show 19:30

Place: O2 Academy Brixton

Tickets: Visit Live Nation or Ticketmaster

Cube Entertainment will hold ‘United Cube in London’ concerts starting on December 5th at the O2 Brixton Academy.

 The concert plans to show off what k-pop has to offer through the dynamic performances of 4minute, B2ST, and G.NA, through two segments, and capture the hearts of 5,000 European fans.

 O2 Brixton Academy has been the home to many legendary performances from Madonna, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Manson, Rihanna, etc. Cube artists will be the first Asian artist to perform at the facility.

  Cube Entertainment stated, “‘United Cube Concert’s venture into London, the birthplace of pop and rock, during the beginning of the Kpop movement is especially meaningful and something to be proud of… This will be an opportunity to ignite the flame of Kpop which has gone beyond the boundaries of the digital silk road.”

 Doojoon, the leader of B2ST, stated, “For all the European fans who have been waiting, we are so glad that this concert in England has been confirmed… We are already excited thinking about performing at a place where many artists that we look up to, have performed. As the starting point [of a venture into Europe], we will prepare a concert in England that will be unforgettable to everyone.”

Flooding situation has become more stable

28 November 2011

Flood waters have receded in most of the affected areas of Thailand’s central region and cleanup operations have taken place. Central Bangkok has remained dry. Flood waters are receding in many of the outlying districts of greater Bangkok. State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and inter-provincial bus services are now operating as per normal.

Provinces in the north and northeast of Thailand were not affected by the flood. In the central region, tourist destinations such as Hua Hin and Pattaya were also not affected by the flood.

The flood in the central region did not affect provinces in the south. Some southern provinces are experiencing localized flooding due to seasonal rains. Tourist attractions in the south are not affected except for water-related activities in mountainous areas.

Almost all key tourist destinations and attractions throughout Thailand were not affected by the flood. The main tourist attraction affected was the World Heritage Site in Ayutthaya, where the water receded in early November. The site has been cleaned up and is open to tourists. A few parts of the World Heritage Site require restoration, which the Fine Arts Department is doing in close co-operation with UNESCO.

As the flooding situation has become more stable, the TAT will provide further situation updates as needed to reflect changing conditions.

Situation in Bangkok
Central Bangkok remains dry. Areas still flooded in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area include suburbs in the east and west, the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and districts in the northern part of the city.

In central Bangkok, businesses, hotels, shops and tourist attractions are open as per normal in areas including:

Chatuchak Ratchaprasong (Central World area)
Khao San Road Sathorn
Phetchaburi Road Siam Square/ MBK/ Siam Paragon
Ploenchit/ Chidlom Silom/ Surawongse
Pratunam Sukhumvit Road/ The Emporium
Rama I Road Yaowarat (Chinatown)
Rama IV Road Siam Park City

Tourists who want to check the latest conditions can call the TAT Information Line at 1672 or visit TAT’s official Web site for flood information: http://www.thailandtourismupdate.com. Travel service operators can also provide additional information.

The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are operating normally. Taxis and tuk tuks are available as per normal. Some BMTA bus routes are still rerouted or suspended due to the flooding. Express boat services on the Chao Phraya River have largely resumed.

Transportation

State Railway of Thailand and inter-provincial bus services:
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and inter-provincial bus services are operating as per normal. All train services from Bangkok to northern, northeastern, and southern Thailand now operate from Hua Lamphong Station. Inter-provincial buses leave their regular terminals in Bangkok: the Southern Bus Terminal, also known as Sai Tai Mai; and the Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal.

Suvarnabhumi Airport:
Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main international gateway to Thailand, remains open and will not be affected by the flood. Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main connector for international arrivals to domestic flights serving tourist destinations throughout Thailand. Transportation to and from the airport into central Bangkok including taxis, buses and the Airport Rail Link are operating normally.

Attractions in Ayutthaya are open:
Flood waters have subsided in Ayutthaya and cleanup operations are largely complete. Tourist attractions in Ayutthaya including the World Heritage Site are accessible to tourists. The site will be officially reopened once a detailed inspection by the Fine Arts Department is complete.

Most attractions in Ayutthaya are now open and welcoming visitors, including:

Ayutthaya Royal Elephant Kraal
Chankasem National Museum
Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
Phom Phet (The Diamond Fort)
Phra Chedi Sisuriyothai
Wat Lokkaya Suttha
Wat Mahathat
Wat Na Phra Men Ayutthaya
Wat Phanan Choeng Worawihan, Ayutthaya
Wat Phanom Yong
Wat Phra Ram
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phu Khao Thong and King Naresuan Monument
Wat Phutthaisawan
Wat Ratchaburana Ayutthaya
Wat Ratchapraditsathan
Wat Senasanaram Ratchaworawihan
Wat Thammikarat
Wat Tum, Ayutthaya
Wat Wora Pho
Wat Yai Chaimongkol

Information sources:
TAT’s official Web site for flood information: www.thailandtourismupdate.com

English-language sources:
The Government Public Relations Department: http://thailand.prd.go.th/
BMA Announcement on Flooding Situation in Bangkok:
http://www.bangkokgis.com/flood/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&
id=34&Itemid=90

Airports of Thailand: http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/index_en.php

Thai- language sources:
Flood Relief Operation Center (FROC): http://www.floodthailand.net/
BMA Flood Control Center: http://203.155.220.231/intranet/Forecast/fcc.htm
BMA Announcement on Flooding Situation in Bangkok:
http://www.bangkokgis.com/flood/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&
id=1&Itemid=65

State Railway of Thailand: http://www.railway.co.th/home/Default.asp

English-language newspapers offering continuous updates on the flooding situation:
Bangkok Post: http://www.bangkokpost.com
The Nation: http://www.nationmultimedia.com

 

Tengu: The Shamanic and Esoteric origins of the Japanese Martial Arts by Roald Knutsen

Book Launch

6 December 2011 from 6.00pm

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

This fully illustrated volume is the first in-depth study in English to examine the warrior and shamanic characteristics and significance oftengu in the martial art culture (bugei) of Muromachi Japan. Prompting Roald Knutsen’s life-long study of tengu – part-human, part-animal creatures – was the realisation that they were interacting with the deadly serious bugei masters teaching the arts of war. Here were beings who did not conform to the comic, goblin-like creatures of common folklore and were not the creations of the Buddhist priests intent on demonising that which they did not understand and could not control.

Roald Knutsen has practised traditional Kenjutsu, Kendo, Iai-jutsu, and So-jutsu under a succession of famous Japanese masters, having menkyo-kaiden (senior master’s licence), in one of the oldest transmissions of Iai-jutsu, and the rank of 7th dan Renshi in Kendo. He has researched and written extensively about the Japanese warrior traditions and aspects of Japanese history. Clive Sinclaire will act as discussant at this event – he is a very active kendo practitioner who runs a dojo in Kent, with over thirty years involvement with the To-ken society, an organisation dedicated to the study of Japanese swords, fittings and armour.

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 event@jpf.org.uk

 

New Japanese Cinema at the Barbican

Premiere Japan 2011 

This year, Premiere Japan comes to the Barbican for the first time, for its seventh London edition, screening the best and most recent films to come out of Japan.

Choose from a diverse programme of contemporary Japanese cinema. No need to travel to Tokyo; Tokyo is coming to you!

Premiere Japan 2011 is presented by the Embassy of Japan, with kind support from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.

For more information click here

JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters – A Talk by Hiroyuki Aihara

2 December 2011 from 6.30pm

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

From Pokémon to Hello Kitty, a remarkable quality and range of Japanese subcultures has been sweeping the world, most notably in manga, anime, and more recently computer games. Indeed, the Japanese have long lived with this culture, nurturing a passion for the variety of characters around them.

Prior to the opening of the Japan Foundation’s exhibition, JAPAN: Kingdom of Charactersin February 2012, which will pay homage to the creation of many diverse figures since the 1950s, the Japan Foundation has invited Hiroyuki Aihara, President of the Character Research Institute and main curator of the exhibition, to explore in an illustrated talk the loving relationship between Japanese society and characters, mapping it in an historical context. The impact that such characters have had, both upon Japanese society and on global society, shall also be discussed.

This talk will provide an insight into the world of Japanese characters. Audience members are encouraged to wear or carry their favourite character as a tribute!

This talk event is organised in association with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
The Japan Foundation exhibition JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters will open at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich, on 4th February 2012.

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 event@jpf.org.uk

Pianist Sunwook Kim – Wimbledon International Music Festival 2011

SUNWOOK KIM     

Wednesday 23 November 8.00 pm

St John’s, Spencer Hill SW19 4NZ

 BEETHOVEN: THE THREE LAST PIANO SONATAS

SUNWOOK KIM piano

BEETHOVEN Sonata in E major, op. 109

BEETHOVEN Sonata in A flat major, op. 110

BEETHOVEN Sonata in C minor, op. 111

 22-year old Korean pianist Sunwook Kim came to international recognition when he won the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in 2006: the competition’s youngest winner for 40 years, as well as its first Asian winner.

 “The major discovery of this concert was the extraordinary young Korean pianist Sunwook Kim. His technique and the extensive range of his tone colours allowed him to grasp every single nuance in the score with poise and natural ease.” ResMusica, Brussels

 “Quite a superb display and as well as a dazzling technique, he showed an interpretation of maturity and conviction.”  Dundee Courier

“Kim’s lightness of touch and finesse never less than compelling.”

Classicalsource

 

TICKETS: £28 – £23 – £15

Booking: Visit Website

Underwater Love

Dir:

Shinji Imaoka

Writer:

Shinji Imaoka, Fumio Moriya

Cast:

Sawa Masaki, Yoshiro Umezawa, Ai Narita, Mutsuo Yoshioka

From Germany’s Rapid Eye Movies and Japan’s Kokuei Company comes a whimsical pink film musical about a woman and a sea creature.

Directed by pink-film veteran Shinji IMAOKA (Lunch Box, Frog Song), shot by Christopher Doyle – the famed cinematographer behind Hero and countless films by Wong Kar Wai – and with music by Germany’s Stereo Total, Underwater Love – A Pink Musical promises to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Asuka works in a lakeside fish factory. She is just about to be married to her boss. One day, she encounters a Kappa, a water creature living in the lake and learns that it is the reincarnation of Aoki, her first love. What ensues is a zany spectacle of love, music and sex.

DVD Release Date:

November 21st, 2011

DVD Specifications:

Anamorphic widescreen with removable english subtitles

DVD Bonus Features:

3 Interviews with Christopher Doyle. Interview with Shinji Imaoka. Behind the Scenes footage. Theatrical Trailer. First 2,000 copies include a limited edition soundtrack CD by Stereo Total

Zipangu Fest (ジパング・フェスト)

Zipangu Fest (ジパング・フェスト) is the first UK-wide festival devoted to Japanese film, introducing works new and old, many previously unseen by mainstream UK film audiences, to demonstrate the many identities of Japan as depicted by some of the country’s most exciting and revered talents.

Zipangu Fest operates as a UK-registered non-profit organisation, formed in the best interest of developing a new appreciation in the UK of Japanese film talents.

Zipangu Fest 2011 has been realised thanks to the following people:

Organising committee:
Festival Director & Chief Curator Jasper Sharp (http://jaspersharp.com/blog/about)
Assistant Curator Julian Ross
Producer Fei Phoon
Producer Tun Shwe
Press Relations Sarah Macdonald
Guest Relations Nikhila Anoth
Guest Relations Almudena Escobar Lopez
Guest Relations & Operations Eve Choomsawat
Operations Jia Luo
Print Shipping Garfman Leung
Video Editing Momoko Abe
Cover Artist Mike Lomon (http://michaellomon.com)

Special thanks to our sponsors and partners:
The Japan Foundation (http://www.jpf.org.uk)
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (http://gbsf.org.uk)
Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (http://www.jvtacademy.com/english)
The SRK (http://thesrk.com)
Kinema Nippon (http://kinemanippon.org)
Branchage Film Festival (http://branchagefestival.com)
Electric Sheep (http://electricsheepmagazine.co.uk)
VCinema (http://variedcelluloid.net/vcinema)
Tsuru (http://tsuru-sushi.co.uk)
National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (http://www.momat.go.jp/english/nfc)
Coventry East Asian Film Society (http://cueafs.com)
Cafe OTO (http://cafeoto.co.uk)
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (http://ica.org.uk)
Neil Cantwell (http://www.dissolvingpath.com) & Tim Grabham (http://thesrk.com/795469/Tim-Grabham)
Aily Nash & Nine Yamamoto-Massan
Bo Ningen (http://myspace.com/boningen)
Erlend Palm
Sayaka Smith
Third Window Films (http://thirdwindowfilms.com)
Terracotta Distribution (http://terracottadistribution.com)
Sirida Pensri & Stefan Holliland

For further information click here

Keeping Japan on the Map

Keeping Japan on the Map

A one-day conference in celebration of the Sasakawa Lectureship Programme and the breadth of Japanese Studies in the UK today

Friday 18th November 2011 9.00 – 17.00

Birkbeck College, University of London Room B04 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H

The tragic events of 11 March 2011 brought Japan abruptly into international focus as the impact of the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear problems were played out live on TV screens. Since then, so much of the world has returned to its ordinary business and Japan appears once more to have slipped off the world map.

But what happened in Japan earlier this year and how it has been reported by the media further demonstrated that there is still much that we can learn from Japan and Japan can learn from others. Indeed, the coverage of the disaster itself, as well as programmes and articles relating to Japan that subsequently appeared on UK TV and in the media, have revealed a deep-rooted interest in Japan today.

There are a number of UK universities that have staff conducting significant research on a range of Japan-related subjects. This conference is a celebration of that work. It also provides an opportunity to show-case some of the research being conducted by a number of the Sasakawa Lecturers who were appointed following a programme of staff expansion in Japanese studies funded by a grant from the Nippon Foundation to the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation in 2008.

For further information and booking click here

Flooding in Thailand

10 November 2011

The flooding situation in Thailand is mainly affecting the central provinces along the Chao Phraya River including Bangkok. Flood waters are subsiding in Ayutthaya. Other popular tourist destinations in the central region including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi and Ko Chang have not been affected by the floods. Tourist destinations in the south of Thailand including Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, Ko Samui, Hat Yai and Phang-Nga; and in the north including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Sukhothai, also have not been affected by the floods.

Flood waters in Ayutthaya and some other central provinces have begun to subside, although many areas are not yet fully accessible. Tourist attractions in Ayutthaya will reopen once they have been restored.

In some areas, tourists may find that there are occasional shortages of consumer products that are in high demand such as local brands of water and locally-bottled beer. These products are replenished periodically. Imported products including beer and bottled water are widely available.

The Transport Ministry is preparing alternate routes between Bangkok and the southern provinces in case some parts of Highway 35, a major road to the south also known as Rama II Road, is affected by the flood waters draining to the west of the city.

Situation in Bangkok
Areas flooded in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area include suburbs in the east and west, the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and districts in the northern part of the city.

In central Bangkok, businesses, hotels, shops and tourist attractions remain open as per normal in areas including:

Khao San Road Ratchaprasong (Central World area)
Phetchaburi Road Sathorn
Ploenchit/ Chidlom Siam Square/ MBK/ Siam Paragon
Pratunam Silom/ Surawongse
Rama 1 Road Sukhumvit Road/ The Emporium
Rama 4 Road Yaowarat (Chinatown)

Given the rapidly changing nature of the flooding situation in Bangkok, visitors should check multiple sources of information to make an informed decision about whether they should visit central Bangkok at the present time.

The BTS Skytrain and MRT subway are operating normally at this time. Some MRT stations have closed certain entrances as a precaution. Visitors are advised to check with the BTS and MRT regarding the current status of their operations. Taxis and tuk tuks are available although the number in service is reduced. Many BMTA bus routes have been rerouted or suspended due to the flooding. Express boat services on the Chao Phraya River have also been suspended, as have most water-related tourist activities.

Transportation

Airports:
Bangkok is served by two airports. Suvarnabhumi Airport, the main international gateway to Thailand, remains open. It has considerable flood protection measures in place. Suvarnabhumi Airport is the main connector for international arrivals to domestic flights serving tourist destinations throughout Thailand such as Phuket, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. Domestic flights are operating as per normal between Suvarnabhumi Airport and other airports in Thailand.

Transportation to and from the airport into central Bangkok including taxis, buses and the Airport Rail Link have not been affected by the floods and are operating normally. Highways from the airport to tourist destinations southeast of Bangkok such as Pattaya, Rayong and Ko Chang are open.

Don Mueang Airport, the old international airport, is closed due to flooding. The two domestic airlines operating from Don Mueang have temporarily switched their operations to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

A “Tourist Assistance Center” is set up on the 3rd floor of Airport Rail Link’s Makkasan Station to facilitate tourists’ transport from hotels in central Bangkok to the airport. The TAT and the Thai Hotels Association (THA) are providing free transportation from hotels to Makkasan Station. The Tourist Police will assist tourists at Makkasan Station and at the airport. Tourists who would like to use this service can contact the Tourist Assistance Center via the TAT Call Center at 1672, or the Tourist Police at 1155.

State Railway of Thailand and inter-provincial bus services:
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and inter-provincial bus services are operating as per usual in areas that are not affected by the floods. In Bangkok and other areas affected by the floods, the SRT and inter-provincial bus service operators are adjusting their routes to best serve passengers given the disruptions caused by the flooding. Inter-provincial buses from Bangkok to southern provinces are leaving from a temporary station with shuttle services to and from the Southern Bus Terminal, also known as Sai Tai Mai.

Train services to northeastern Thailand are operating as per normal. Train services to the northern provinces are operating between Hua Lamphong station in central Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Trains to the north are being rerouted around flooded areas, adding approximately two hours of travel time. Train services to the southern provinces are operating mainly from Nakhon Pathom due to flooding in Bangkok’s western suburbs. The SRT is providing shuttle bus services between Hua Lamphong station and Nakhon Pathom. Travelers are advised to check in advance with these operators and may want to consider flying to their destinations within Thailand.

COP 17 and Beyond: Japan-UK and Global Action for Addressing Climate Change

11 November 2011 from 6.30pm

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

From late November to December, delegates from all over the world will meet in COP17 in Durban, South Africa to establish a new framework in order to continue to tackle the issue of climate change. Before the start of this conference, the Japan Foundation will host a special lecture here in London inviting four professionals representing both Japanese and European perspectives – the event will be moderated by Oliver Morton, currently senior editor at The Economist, where he was until recently Energy and Environment Editor.

Prof Mitsutsune Yamaguchi will deliver a presentation entitled ‘In search of an effective and feasible international framework – A balanced approach’ about Japanese policy on climate change issues and the rationale underlying it. Prof. M. Yamaguchi is an environmental economist and Project Professor at the University of Tokyo. He is a member of various Government committees on climate change and has been a lead author for the IPCC 3rd, 4thand 5th assessment reports.

Dr Robert Falkner, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Associate, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment will discuss ‘What future for international climate policy? Durban and beyond’. The talk will focus on the prospects for a future framework agreement on climate mitigation and the options available for advancing climate policy through multilateral channels.

Dan Dorner, Senior Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), will present the key climate change findings from the Agency’s flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook 2011, focusing on the latest data, policy developments and scenario projections for the next 25 years.

Jun Arima, special advisor to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for Global Environmental Affairs and Director-General of JETRO London, will discuss ‘COP17 and beyond – Japan’s view on a fair and effective international framework”’ based on his experience as Japan’s chief negotiator at the COP14, 15 and 16 and the on-going UNFCCC negotiation.

This event is supported by the Embassy of Japan, JETRO London and ANA

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 event@jpf.org.uk.

 

Yose: An Evening of Japanese Vaudeville

Thursday 10 November 6.30pm for 7.00pm

Nippon Club
2nd floor, Samuel House
6 St. Albans Street
London
SW1Y 4SQ

Booking Essential
Free for Japan Society members
Non members: £5

The Japan Society is delighted to welcome three outstanding exponents of Japanese vaudeville tradition for an evening of popular culture.
The evening will include:

Music by Shunputei Shomatsu and Yumiko on drums and shamisen
Paper cutting by Hayashiya Imamaru
Rakugo performed by Sanshotei Charaku

In Hayashiya Imamaru’s hands, a pair of scissors can produce detailed cut-out images with extraordinary speed and dexterity. He travels the world, impressing people with his kamikiri prowess, including in his show audience requests.

A master of the rakugo comic narrative,Sanshotei Charaku has nearly 50 years’ experience and a repertory of over 100 tales. He describes the story telling process as a developing relationship between audience and narrator, in which the choice of content emerges from their meeting.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 7828 6330 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form

Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs Government of Japan in the fiscal 2011: