My Primal Memory by Nao Matsunaga

Last few days for this very interesting exhibition.

19 October- 13 December, Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House Gallery

In the exhibition My Primal Memory, Nao Matsunaga responds to his ideas and experiences of dual cultural and national identity, reflecting on his formative years growing up in Japan, and the latter part of his childhood in England. Although this is a deeply personal investigation, his work references ancient universal themes concerning the human condition.

…as people, we haven’t really changed at all over thousands of years, the way we interact, think and feel is still the same, even though the tools we use have changed.

By creating work using primal materials and tools, he connects on an emotional level with cultures from eras past, suggesting that there are certain constants in human behaviour that have not, and will not, change. With a sense of longing for a solid identity, Matsunaga attempts to find his way through the two cultures that make up his personality; responding to subconscious, primal drives in order to find a unifying whole.

Nao Matsunaga was born in Osaka in 1980, graduating with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art (2005–7) and he has exhibited internationally ever since. He has been presented with various awards and scholarships, such as the Jerwood Makers Open 2012, Cove Park Residency, the Anglo-Sweden Society Bursary and the Leverhume Trust’s grant. His works are in the public collection of the Crafts Council.  Matsunaga is  represented by Marsden Woo Gallery, London.

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Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal

Book launch details:

29 November 2012

6:00 – 7:30pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:30pm

13/ 14 Conwall Terrace (Outer Circle), London, NW1 4QP, Nr Baker Street Tube

Organised by The Daiwa Anglo Japanese Foundation

After becoming President of Olympus in April 2011, Michael Woodford became aware of some large unexplained payments the company had made in relation to overseas acquisitions. When satisfactory explanations were not forthcoming, he kicked up a fuss, only to be dismissed by the company’s board in October. He had stumbled on one of Japan’s largest and longest-running ever “tobashi”, or loss-hiding, schemes. The resulting scandal led to the arrest of seven Olympus executives, including the former Chairman, and a drop of 75% in the company’s stock market value, as well as a revival of broader concerns about Japanese corporate governance and audit standards. Introducing his new book, Woodford will give us the inside story.

“Michael Woodford had everything the corporate world could ever offer. Yet when he discovered rampant corruption at the core of one of Japan’s most prestigious companies, he did not hesitate. This is a sensational personal account of a man of great courage and principle who got to the top, and blew the whistle to glorious effect. In the corporate world Michael Woodford is too rare and exceptional a breed.”    -Jon Snow, Channel 4 News.

* The book will be available for purchase on the day.

Michael Woodford

Michael Woodford grew up in Liverpool and joined Olympus as a medical equipment salesman, rising through the ranks to run its UK, MEA and European businesses. In April 2011, he was appointed President and COO of the Olympus Corporation – the first Western ‘salary-man’ to rise through the ranks to the top of a Japanese giant. That October he was made CEO, but only two weeks later, he was dismissed after querying inexplicable payments approaching $2 billion. He was named Business Person of the Year 2011 by the Sunday Times, the Independent and theSun, and won the Financial Times Arcelor-Mittal Award for Boldest Businessperson of the Year. He lives in London with his wife and two teenage children.

Extreme Rituals: A Schimpfluch Carnival

30 November 2012 – 2 December 2012

Arnolfini, Bristol

Extreme Rituals: A Schimpfluch Carnival is a retrospective and a celebration of Schimpfluch, a platform created by Rudolf Eb.er in 1987 for extreme and outsider artists and the generation of highly disturbing and irritating audio/visual works. As part of the programme over the weekend, there will be a rare appearance by Japanese artist Junko Hiroshige from the seminal band Hijokaidan, who will perform alongside Rudolf Eb.er and also participate in an accompanying discussion. The weekend will include an extensive programme highlighting the influence Schimpfluch has had since the late 80s, and audiences will be treated to performances from a range of artists, sound-installations, films, photographs and contextualising panel discussions. 

For more information, please click here.

 

 

Leadership and Innovation

10 October 2012

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

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Companies today need leaders who know how to recognise opportunities for innovation and how to create cultures that encourage innovation. A failure to innovate could put their own survival at risk. But what is the recipe for successful innovation? This seminar will focus on the leadership, values, culture and organisational structures required for successful innovation. The two speakers, from Japan and Cambridge, will both discuss non-Western approaches to innovation. Mr Hiroyuki Itoh, CEO of Crypton Future Media, creator of the globally popular ‘vocaloid’ Hatsune Miku, will talk about how he built an innovative consumer-generated media business against the backdrop of traditional Japanese business culture. Dr Jaideep Prabhu, co-author of the book Jugaad Innovation (Jossey Bass, 2012), will argue that the West must look to places like India, Brazil and China for a new, frugal and flexible approach to innovation. He will show how, in these emerging markets, Jugaad (a Hindi word meaning an improvised solution using limited resources) is leading to dramatic growth, and how Western companies can adopt Jugaad innovation to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive world. This is the sixth seminar in our 2012 series Leadership: People and Power in the UK and Japan.

Hiroyuki Itoh

Hiroyuki Itoh has been handling software sound source since 1995, and is the developer of Character Vocal Series 01: Hatsune Miku, which was released in 2007.  As CEO of Crypton Future Media, Itoh has established himself as a visionary “meta-creator” – one who creates various products and services to assist the creations of other people. Soon after creating a new category of Vocaloid entertainers with the introduction of Hatsune Miku, he launchedPIAPRO, the Vocaloid info, music and artwork-sharing site. Most recently in 2011, he started the music aggregation service ROUTER.FM, which has started to transmit more than 1,600 independent labels to the world.

Dr Jaideep Prabhu

Dr Jaideep Prabhu is Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise and Director of the Centre for India & Global Business at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. His research interests are in marketing, innovation, strategy and international business. His current research is mainly on how multinationals are using emerging markets like India as a lab to do affordable and sustainable innovation for global application. Prabhu has taught and consulted with executives from ABN Amro, Bertelsmann AG, BP, BT, EDS, IBM, ING Bank, Nokia, Philips, Roche, Shell, Vodafone and Xerox among other international companies. He has appeared on BBC News24 and Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and his work has been profiled inBusinessWeekBBC World Service, The Economic Times, The EconomistThe Financial TimesLe Monde, MIT Sloan Management ReviewThe New York Times, The Sunday Times and The Times. His book, Jugaad Innovation, will be available to purchase at the event at the special price of £18.99 (20% off the cover price).

Maritime Strategy and National Security in Japan and Britain: From the First Alliance to Post-9/11

3 October 2012

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Sharing a similar geography at the opposite ends of the Eurasian Continent, and dependent on maritime trade to supplement the lack of strategic resources, both the UK and Japan relied on the sea for their economic survival and independence as sovereign states. From the first alliance in 1902, through the World Wars, to the more recent operations in the Indian Ocean and Iraq, sea power has played a central role in the strategic calculus of both countries. This thought-provoking book, comprising contributions from a group of international scholars, explores the strategic meaning of being an island nation. It investigates how, across more than a century, sea power empowered – and continues to empower – both the UK and Japan with a defensive shield, an instrument of deterrence, and an enabling tool in expeditionary missions to implement courses of action to preserve national economic and security interests worldwide. At a time when Anglo-Japanese security relations are back on the agenda of the two governments, this book represents a timely work exploring the reasons for enhanced cooperation. Here is a link to an article by the author in the Asahi Shimbun Newspaper.

Dr Alessio Patalano

Dr Alessio Patalano is Lecturer in War Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and specialises in Japanese naval history and strategy and contemporary maritime issues in East Asia. He is the Director of the Asian Security & Warfare Research Group and Research Associate at the King’s China Institute. In Japan, Dr Patalano has been a Visiting Scholar at Aoyama Gakuin University and at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), both in Tokyo, and currently is Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan.

Dr Philip Towle (Chair)

Dr Philip Towle was Deputy Director of the Centre of International Studies in Cambridge from 1982 to 1993 and Director from 1993 to 1998. He retired in September 2012 and is now Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham. Dr Towle joined Cambridge in 1980 following a period as a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian National University. His research interests are in East Asian security and the causes and the consequences of warfare. His most recent books have been: Going to War: British Debates from Wilberforce to Blair(Palgrave), From Ally to Enemy: Anglo- Japanese Military Relations, 1900-45 (Global Oriental), andBritain and Japan in the Twentieth Century: One Hundred Years of Trade and Prejudice (I. B. Tauris, edited with Margaret Kosuge).

BOOKING FORM

Japan Foundation at Japan Matsuri

6 October 2012 from 11.00am

Trafalgar Square, London 

The Japan Foundation will be holding a stall at the Japan Matsuri, London’s annual celebration of Japanese culture.

Come and visit us to learn more about what we can offer to learners and teachers of Japanese language, take part in a Japan Quiz and maybe even grab some Japanese goodies!

You can view more details about Japan Matsuri here.

Director Talk: John Williams – Making Films in Japan

27 September 2012, from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London

John Williams is the most celebrated – if not the only – British film director working in Japanese film today. Growing up in Wales and having lived in Japan for 20 years, Williams has written and directed a number of feature films, both in Japanese language and performed by Japanese actors, which have earned him international film awards as well as a nomination for Best New Director by the Directors Guild of Japan for his 2001 film Firefly Dreams (Ichiban utsukushii natsu). In a market where it is indeed rare to see a non-Japanese director making films, Williams’ determination as a filmmaker has succeeded in establishing him as a prominent name in Japanese independent cinema, and in 1999 he formed his 100 Meter Films production group.Complementing the UK premiere of his most recent film Sado Tempest (Arashi) at this year’s Raindance Film Festival, the Japan Foundation has invited John Williams to reflect on his career to date as a filmmaker and the environment he has been working in within the Japanese film industry, particularly as a non-Japanese. Joined in conversation with Kieron Corless, Deputy Editor of Sight & Sound magazine, they will exchange views regarding independent filmmaking and establishing oneself as a feature film director. In countries where it is becoming increasingly hard to secure funding to make films, they will discuss the current situation in film production and distribution both in Japan and the UK.

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