Principles of Beauty and Form in Japanese Architecture

28 February 2012, from 6.30 pm

The Japan Foundation, London

Japanese architecture, whether it is traditional or modern, is believed to share common principles of beauty and forms that are indigenous to Japan. Influenced by and interacted with various landscapes, the principles have been expressed in many architectural structures in Japan.

In this special lecture, Dr Teruaki Matsuzaki, architecture historian, currently teaching at the ICS College of Arts and the Science and Engineering department of Meiji University Tokyo, will introduce the various principles of beauty and form that have informed Japanese architecture over the centuries, showcasing three distinguished types of examples such as “suspended forms” built in the mountains, “floating forms” constructed on the sea, and the form with the concept of “Ma” in the flatland. He will then explore how these principles are also embodied in the most recent Japanese architecture designed by notable architects including Tadao Ando and Kazuyo Sejima, and what pros and cons they may bring.

This event will extend beyond a simple overview, instead promising to delve into what lies at the heart of Japanese architecture, and perhaps go some way to explain what it is that makes it so particularly distinctive.

A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs

A Sociology of Japanese Youth: From Returnees to NEETs

27 February 2012

6:00 – 7:00pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Over the past thirty years, at the same time as Japan has produced a diverse set of youth cultures – such as animeand manga – which have had a major impact on popular culture across the globe, it has also developed a succession of youth problems which have led to major concerns within the country itself.

This volume looks at some of the best-known of these problems, from the concern over the so-called returnee children (kikokushijo) in the 1970s, to the panic over young girls selling themselves for sex (enjo kōsai) in the 1980s, to the debates over physical punishment (taibatsu) and child abuse (jidō gyakutai) in the 1990s, to the most recent issues of young people shutting themselves away in their room (hikikomori) or appearing to withdraw completely from both the education and the labour market (NEETs).

Drawing on detailed empirical fieldwork, the authors set these issues in a clearly articulated ‘social constructionist’ framework that explains why particular youth problems appeared when they did and what lessons they can provide for the study of youth problems in other societies.

Professor Roger Goodman

Professor Roger Goodman is Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Head of the Social Science Division at the University of Oxford. His case studies in this volume draw on two of his monographs: Japan’s International Youth: The Emergence of a New Class of Schoolchildren (Oxford University Press, 1990) and Children of the Japanese State: The Changing Role of Child Protection Institutions in Contemporary Japan (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Yuki Imoto

Dr Yuki Imoto is Assistant Professor at Keio University, Japan, where she teaches English and social science methods. Her research interests lie in the social anthropology of education, language and childhood. She is currently writing a book on the emergence of ‘international’ preschools in urban Japan.

Tuukka Toivonen

Dr Tuukka Toivonen is Junior Research Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. He currently investigates Japanese young workers’ motivational processes, social entrepreneurship and related policies from a comparative angle. Tuukka is the author of Japan’s Emerging Youth Policy(Routledge, forthcoming) and an active member of his college’s “Future of Work” programme.


Bus Route 38

A great news.

Dear Mr 5countries,

I am writing to let you know that from Monday 27 February, the ‘New Bus for London’ will start to enter service on route 38.

A conductor will be on board from early morning to early evening, when the rear platform will be open. When a conductor is not present, the rear platform doors will be opened and closed by the driver. The conductor’s role is to ensure passenger safety and provide travel advice. They will not sell tickets.

Oyster card users can use any of the three doors and must touch in immediately on any of the nearby yellow readers after boarding the bus.

The majority of buses on route 38 will remain as the existing two door double decks and there is no change to how you should use them.

For more information click here .

Yours sincerely,

Peter Bradley

Head of Consultation and Engagement Centre.


Hyper Japan 2012

Hyper Japan 2012

HYPER JAPAN 2012 Spring will be held on Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 February 2012 at Brompton Hall at Earls Court. Join us at the UK’s biggest J-culture event.

Event 2012

Friday Saturday Sunday
  • 15:30 History of Cosplay with Helen McCarthy

Leadership in Central Banking

23 February 2012

6:00 – 7:45pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:45pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Leadership in Central Banking

Central banks currently face unusual challenges. In both the UK and Japan, the normal policy lever – interest rates – is at or close to its limits, forcing central bankers to consider innovative measures, such as “quantitative easing” (QE), to support their economies. But these measures have been controversial. Some argue that the Japanese experience shows that QE doesn’t work, while others say that the real problem is the Bank of Japan’s cautiousness. In the UK, critics argue that QE has failed to boost the economy, debased the currency, and pushed up inflation. In the meantime, savers and pensioners in both countries have been squeezed by unusually low returns on their investments. In this seminar, the second in the 2012 series Leadership: People and Power in the UK and Japan, we ask what lessons can be learnt from the Bank of Japan’s experience over the last two decades – and what central bankers in both countries should do next?

Satoshi Kawazoe

Satoshi Kawazoe has been General Manager for Europe and Chief Representative in London at the Bank of Japan since May 2011. Prior to this, Mr. Kawazoe was General Manager of the Bank’s Shizuoka branch (2009-2011). Mr. Kawazoe held several other posts at the Bank, generally relating to international relations. In that capacity, he represented the Bank in various fora, such as the Committee on the Global Financial System and the Markets Committee, which regularly meet at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, discussing developments and issues in the international financial markets and the economy.

Stephen King

Stephen King is HSBC’s Group Chief Economist and the Bank’s global head of economics and asset allocation research. Since 2001, Mr. King has been writing a weekly column for The Independent. He has given written and oral evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Committee and the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, and oral evidence to the House of Lords Committee on UK Monetary Policy. Between 2007 and 2009, he was a member of the European Central Bank Shadow Council, and he recently became a member of the Financial Times Economists’ Forum. His first book,Losing Control (Yale University Press) examines the impact of the emerging nations on western economic prosperity.

Edward Carr (Chair)

Edward Carr is Foreign Editor of The Economist. Carr started at the paper as a science correspondent. In 2000 he left for the Financial Times, where he served as News Editor. Returning to The Economistin 2005, Mr. Carr was Business Affairs Editor, charged with the coverage of business, finance and science.


6:30pm, February 23, 2012

Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus

Director E J-yong mixes reality and fiction by bringing together top actresses to play themselves on screen. On Christmas Eve, in order to shoot Vogue’s special edition, six actresses ranging from their twenties to their sixties come together at a studio. This should be the first attempt in Korea to break the rules of the fashion world.

Video Games in Japan: Past, Present and Future The Present and Future: Progress to Next Level?

22 February 2012 from 6.30pm

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

Video Games in Japan: Past, Present and Future 
The Present and Future: Progress to Next Level? – Where is the Japanese Video Game Industry heading?

In 2008, the market for the consumption of video games in the UK became the second largest in the world, and it is still expanding. Within this situation, it is common knowledge that a great number of the games people in the UK play every day are made in Japan. However, the Japanese game industry, which has held an advantage for a long time, is now facing a series of challenges as new centres of video game production appear in developing countries. How can Japanese companies strengthen their position in markets around the world, taking into account the emergence of social gaming? Is the solution to prioritise the development of their human resources and rationalise the process of making games?

Prof Akira Baba, University of Tokyo, will make a presentation on the current situation and problems of the Japanese Game Industries and Takuma Endo, president of ACQUIRE and Development Director of Tenchu, a game which has sold 1.5million copies, will talk about where Japanese game makers are going. Steve Boxer, freelance journalist and member of the award-winning Video Games coverage team at The Guardian will respond to their presentations as a discussant.

There will be a prize-draw during the evening to win tickets to attend the Hyper Japan event, which takes place from 24th-26th February.

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

Video Games in Japan: Past, Present and Future The Past: Game Over?

21 February 2012 from 6.30pm

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

Video Games in Japan: Past, Present and Future 
The Past: Game Over? – How to preserve Video Game Culture and why it is important to do so.

Japan is known as a leading country in the culture of Video Games, but it was only in May 2010 that the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan started making preparations for a Video Game archive, in association with the National Diet Library. These developments raise some important questions – given that there has been much criticism of Video Games as potentially harmful things, some people would wish to ask ‘Why we should archive them?’. Have Video Games in fact taken root in Japanese and other societies to such an extent that they need to be recognised as a form of culture that is something approaching equivalent to Cinema or Literature? More practically, how can an archive of Video Game culture be made and what should be archived? Consoles? Softwares? Game Magazines? Finally, how should the Video Games industry, government and academia work together within this archiving project?

The Japan Foundation have invited Prof Akira Baba from the University of Tokyo – the chairperson of the committee on Video Games within the Media art archiving project of the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs – to take part in a lecture event alongside Prof James Newman from Bath Spa University, who is leading a similar initiative here in the UK. They will examine the current situation and issues that are arising from these efforts to create Video Game Archives in Japan and in the UK.

There will be a prize-draw during the evening to win tickets to attend the Hyper Japan event, which takes place from 24th-26th February.

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

Untold Scandal

February 16, 2012

Untold Scandal

Based on the novel ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses,’ this film is set in aristocratic 18th-century Korea at the end of the Chosun Dynasty. The irresistible temptress Lady Cho asks her cad of a younger cousin, Jo-won, to deflower the innocent young Soh-ok, who is to become her husband’s concubine. But, his attentions soon shift to the graceful and aloof Lady Sook, who lives according to her convictions as a Catholic. Jo-won becomes obsessed with seducing this chaste woman who has remained celibate for nine years since her husband’s death.

However, conquering the most virtuous woman in the land proves to be more difficult than Chosun’s notorious playboy expects.

Director E J-yong keeps a familiar story interesting by virtue of unexpected juxtapositions (for example in the soundtrack, a mix of classical European and Korean music), visual elegence, and efficient storytelling. He stays true to the spirit of the original novel while giving it an entirely new aesthetic.

Poetry reading: The Undying Day

14 February 2012, 2:00 – 4:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Hans Brinckmann, author of The Undying Day: Poems by Hans Brinckmann, will be reading a selection of his poems followed by translations by Hiromi Mizoguchi. After the reading, there will be a discussion on the writing and translation of poetry.

Brinckmann’s book The Undying Day: Poems by Hans Brinckmann, contains a selection of poems written over the past half-century. Only a few of them have a Japanese theme, but with the Japanese market in mind, the book shows the poems side by side with Japanese translations by Hiromi Mizoguchi.

Unconstrained by locale or subject matter, Brinckmann’s lines illuminate the marvel of love and ponder life’s irretrievable losses.  He is no stranger to whimsy either, nor to the search for life’s ultimate meaning.

The book, The Undying Day: Poems by Hans Brinckmann, will be available to purchase on the day, as well as Brinckmann’s latest book of fiction, The Tomb in the Kyoto Hills.

Hans Brinckmann

Hans Brinckmann, born in The Hague, joined an international Dutch bank after graduating from high school in 1950. The following year, he was transferred to Japan, where he lived for the next 24 years. In 1986 he was made him an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau for cultural and business accomplishments in Japan and the USA. He left banking early and turned to writing in Amsterdam, London and Sydney before settling again in Japan in 2003. His publications since then include: The Magatama Doodle, a Japan memoir (2005); Noon Elusive, a collection of short stories (2006); Showa Japan, a history of post-war Japan (2008); and The Tomb in the Kyoto Hills (2011).

Hiromi Mizoguchi

Hiromi Mizoguchi is a translator, born in Tokyo. Mizoguchi obtained an MA from the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University. Her translation work includes the Japanese versions of The Magatama Doodle and Showa Japan.