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.


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:

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:
BMA Announcement on Flooding Situation in Bangkok:

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