After the Disaster: Returning to Normal Life and Play in Tohoku

28 June 2012

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

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Much western attention on Japan since 11 March 2011 has focused either on the implications of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, or on the recovery of the nation’s economy. While these issues remain of great importance, it seems that the effects of the tsunami on the lives of ordinary citizens in the affected regions are beginning to fade into the background, as the world turns its attention elsewhere. Moreover, due to the large proportion of older people in the population, and the disproportionate effects of the tsunami on them, the impacts of the disaster on children and how they are able to return to normality have sometimes been overlooked. In this seminar, Peter Matanle will look at plans for the reconstruction of the tsunami affected areas and assess progress achieved thus far, and then Helen Woolley will focus in detail on how the tsunami has affected children’s play. In particular, she will show the current state of where children used to play in the outdoors, explain the context of children’s outdoor play in temporary housing areas and begin to address some issues for the future as local citizens try to put the disaster behind them, put their lives back together, and re-establish a normal life for their children once more.

Dr Peter Matanle

Dr Peter Matanle is Lecturer in Japanese studies at the National Institute of Japanese Studies and School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield. His research is in the social and cultural geography of Japan, and the role of employment systems in Japan’s developmental and post-developmental processes. He has published four books and various peer reviewed articles and book chapters in these fields including, Japan’s Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century: Contemporary Responses to Depopulation and Socioeconomic Decline (co-authored with Anthony S. Rausch and the Shrinking Regions Research Group, Cambria Press, 2011), and ‘The Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Meltdown: Towards the (Re)construction of a safe, sustainable and compassionate society in Japan’s shrinking regions’ (Local Environment, 16 (9): 843-847).

Helen Woolley

Helen Woolley is a Chartered Landscape Architect and Reader in Landscape Architecture and Society in the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield. Helen’s research is about issues of open space and people. This has related to, and informed, national policy and strategic issues about green and open space with an increasing focus on green space and housing in recent years. She is also an expert on inclusive outdoor environments with a particular interest in children and open spaces. Helen has a strong record of knowledge transfer and consultancy activities working with a wide range of partners including some in the built environment, play and housing sectors. These research and knowledge transfer activities have been funded by research councils, government departments, national organisations and charities. In April Helen visited the Tohoku area of Japan with a colleague from Chiba University to begin to understand the situation of children’s outdoor environments in the post disaster area.

Dr Christopher P. Hood (chair)

Dr Christopher P. Hood is a Reader in Japanese Studies at Cardiff University. His latest book Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash (Routledge, 2011) is about responses to the world’s largest single plane crash which occurred in Japan in 1985. The book covers a variety of issues, including how the state reacted and the way those who lost loved ones have responded over the years. A chapter related to this work appears in Death and Dying in Contemporary Japan (Routledge, 2012) edited by Hikaru Suzuki. He was a part of the ‘Shrinking Regions Research Group’, whose research was edited by Peter Matanle and Anthony Rausch into Japan’s Shrinking Regions in the 21st Century(Cambria Press, 2011). Other publications include:Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan (Routledge, 2006), Japanese Education Reform: Nakasone’s Legacy (Routledge, 2001), andThe Politics of Modern Japan (4 volumes) (editor, Routledge, 2008).



Informal Social Infrastructures: Living in Sendai

25 June 2012

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

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

Professor Hitoshi Abe will give a talk entitled “Living in Sendai” in which he will introduce an overview of what has been happening in Tohoku since the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011, illustrating a series of specific projects and responses initiated by various architects and organizations. Professor Abe is the founder ofArchi+AID, which is a network to support the relief and recovery projects made by architects for the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. This talk will propose a forum to re-think the role of architects with regards to the reconstruction of social spaces in the ever-increasing complexities of cities with the need of informal infrastructure. The talk will be chaired by Shin Egashira, Diploma School Unit Master and Visiting School Course Director at the Architectural Association.

This talk is linked to the exhibition at the Embassy of Japan in London, YATAI HERE YATAI THERE, which is on display from 18 June – 13 July as a part of the International Architecture Showcase at the London Festival of Architecture. The theme of the 2012 London Festival of Architecture is “The Playful City”.  For more information, please visit:

This talk is supported by the Embassy of Japan and organised in association with the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

Professor Hitoshi Abe

Professor Hitoshi Abe is Chair of Architecture & Urban Design at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Abe earned his M.Arch. from SCI-ARC in Los Angeles in 1988 and his PhD from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, in 1993. In 2007, he was appointed professor and chair of the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design. In 2010, he was appointed Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Chair in the Study of Contemporary Japan as well as Director of the UCLA Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. Abe is the subject of the Phaidon Press monograph Hitoshi Abe by Naomi Pollock published in 2009. He has a decade-long distinguished career as a leader in education. Since 1992, when Professor Abe won first prize in the Miyagi Stadium competition, he has maintained an active international design practice based in Sendai, Japan, and Los Angeles as well as a schedule of lecturing and publishing, which place him among the leaders in his field.

Shin Egashira (Chair)

Shin Egashira makes art and architecture worldwide. His recent collaborative experiments include “How to Walk a Flat Elephant” and “Twisting Concrete”, which aim to fuse old and new technologies, such as concrete, digital images and physical computing. Egashira has been conducting a series of landscape workshops in rural communities across the world, including Koshirakura (Japan), Gu-Zhu Village (China) and Muxagata (Portugal). He has been teaching at the Architectural Association since 1990 and is currently the Unit Master of Diploma Unit 11.

Yukio Suzuki in Conversation

18 June 2012 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London

 Yukio Suzuki is a visionary choreographer and dancer whose captivating style of contemporary dance has earned him numerous awards and established him as one of the most talked-about dancers in Japan today.Originally trained in the Japanese performance art butoh at the Asbestos-kan (Asbestos House) in Tokyo, a dance studio founded by Tatsumi Hijikata, Suzuki both choreographs and performs an iconic style of contemporary dance as part of his own company Kingyo. His productions are actualised through his highly trained body with a strong influence from butoh, ballet and theatre, and recently are fused with cutting-edge lighting technology, pushing towards a new realm of contemporary dance.

In conversation with John Ashford, Director of Aerowaves, Suzuki will talk about in an illustrative way his distinguishing career development and achievements. Showcasing some of his astonishing previous works including his most recent performance etude, which was performed as part of the Jurassic Coast Earth Festival as part of the ambitious Creative Coast 2012 project, they will explore how Suzuki has adapted his diverse influences to evolve his contemporary dance spectacle. He will also discuss the current climate of contemporary dance in Japan, and suggest the future it may hold.

This event is free but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please contact with your name, details and those of any guests.

Edwardian London Through Japanese Eyes: The Art and Writings of Yoshio Markino, 1897-1915

Book launch

By William S. Rodner

Published by BRILL

Edwardian London Through Japanese Eyes considers the career of the Japanese artist Yoshio Markino (1869-1956), a prominent figure on the early twentieth-century London art scene whose popular illustrations of British life adroitly blended stylistic elements of East and West. He established his reputation with watercolors for the avant-garde Studio magazine and attained success with The Colour of London (1907), the book that offered, in word and picture, his outsider’s response to the modern Edwardian metropolis.  Three years later he recounted his British experiences in an admired autobiography aptly titled A Japanese Artist in London. Here, and in later publications, Markino offered a distinctively Japanese perspective on European life that won him recognition and fame in a Britain that was actively engaging with pro-Western Meiji Japan. Based on a wide range of unpublished manuscripts and Edwardian commentary, this lavishly illustrated book provides a close examination of over 150 examples of his art as well analysis of his writings in English that covered topics as wide-ranging as the English and Japanese theater, women’s suffrage, current events in the Far East and observations on traditional Asian art as well as Western Post-Impressionism. Edwardian London Through Japanese Eyes, the first scholarly study of this neglected artist, demonstrates how Markino became an agent of cross-cultural understanding whose beautiful and accessible work provided fresh insights into the Anglo-Japanese relationship during the early years of the twentieth century.

Professor William S. Rodner

Professor William S. Rodner received his MA and PhD in modern British and Irish history from Pennsylvania State University where he also studied English art and architecture. As Chancellor’s Commonwealth Professor at Tidewater Community College in Virginia, he teaches a range of courses on world history. He is also editor of Scotia: Interdisciplinary Journal of Scottish Studies,sponsored by Old Dominion University. He has published widely on early twentieth-century British political thought and history and on the art of the Industrial Revolution. His J.M.W. Turner: Romantic Painter of the Industrial Revolution (University of California Press) appeared in 1997. Professor Rodner’s recent investigations into the career of Yoshio Markino, first presented in the British Art Journal and now in Edwardian London Through Japanese Eyes, reflect a long commitment to exploring the global dimensions of British visual culture.

15 May 2012

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

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation


Japan SunDays – Milano

Post in Italian Language only.

Japan SunDays – Milano

–        presso WOW Spazio Fumettoviale Campania 12, Milano

–        domenica 6 maggio 2012 e 13 maggio 2012

–        durante l’orario di apertura del Museo (15:00-20:00)

–        ingresso gratuito

–        finissage all’interno della mostra “Dal Manga all’Anime – In viaggio con One Piece”, progetto patrocinato dal Consolato Generale del Giappone a Milano

Le domeniche giapponesi di WOW Spazio Fumetto segnano la chiusura di un periodo dedicato al Giappone e alle sue forme artistiche, inaugurato con la mostra “Dal Manga all’Anime – In viaggio con One Piece” (dal 9 marzo al 13 maggio 2012). Nel paese asiatico la modernità è ancorata potentemente alla tradizione, che si mantiene viva in tutti gli ambiti della quotidianità, e in particolare nelle Arti.

Riteniamo importante mostrare e far conoscere questo connubio unico tra passato e presente, così caratteristico della cultura nipponica: un paese dove ogni arte ha pari dignità. Una selezione di alcune espressioni artistiche sarà declinata in due domeniche, una principalmente dedicata alle Arti della tradizione e una dedicata al panorama artistico del Giappone contemporaneo. I visitatori potranno curiosare, sperimentare e approfondire questo pianeta attraverso stand dimostrativi, performance e workshop distribuiti all’interno degli spazi del museo e del nostro parco.

Con la preziosa collaborazione dell’Associazione Culturale Giappone in Italia e di Rossella Marangoni



  • Pino Zema, studioso di kamishibai (“ dramma di carta”, forma espressiva del Giappone che unisce narrazione e immagini) e kamishibaiya (narratore” di kamishibai)
  • La maestra Anna Massari e la Chapter Ikebana Ohara Milano, con un’esposizione di alcune composizioni di ikebana (l’arte della disposizione dei fiori recisi) e di alcuni pezzi di ceramica raku (tecnica di ceramica giapponese)
  • L’artista di pittura giapponese tradizionale Shoko Okumura, con una mostra di alcune sue opere
  • L’Associazione culturale, nata per promuovere lo studio, la diffusione e la pratica della calligrafia sarà a disposizione con il maestro Bruno Riva per mostrare le diverse tecniche e stili di scrittura.
  • Mostra fotografica sul Giappone con opere di Ken Tani (all’interno del Gotham Cafè)
  • Mostra di giocattoli tradizionali giapponesi dalla collezione del Consolato Generale del Giappone a Milano


  • 15:30 Workshop di origami a cura di Yukiko ed Elena Okabayashi
  • 16:30 Dimostrazione dell’arte dell’ikebana a cura di Anna Massari, maestra del Chapter Ikebana Ohara Milano
  • 17:00 Dimostrazione di arte calligrafica, su carta di grande formato, del maestro Bruno Riva e dell’Associazione culturale
  • 17:30 Dimostrazione di pittura tradizionale giapponese con Shoko Okumura
  • 18:00 Lezione a cura di Rossella Marangoni “Nel folto della foresta e nel profondo del mare”, sulle storie e leggende dell’antico Giappone
  • 18:45 concerto di tamburi taiko a cura di Takeshi Demise
  • Nell’arco del pomeriggio, performance di kamishibai a cura di Pino Zema

Sarà inoltre possibile gustare sushi e dolci giapponesi – in collaborazione con il ristorante Oasi Giapponese di Milano.