Japan Events in the UK Spring 2018
Get the spring off to a flying start by attending one of these great Japan-related events in the UK this March and April.
As usual we have a bumper selection of Japan-related events in the UK for you to choose from this season. Browse our list and take your pick from an authentic Hina-matsuri (dolls’/girls’ day festival) in Glasgow, a talk on an English botanist who 'saved' Japanese cherry blossoms, and cookery classes at the Japan Centre.
That's not all - there's also touring Japan-inspired theatre for kids, harpsichord and piano performances by Japanese musicians, and art exhibitions of lacquerware and photographs of Tokyo. We told you it was a bumper selection!
The 17th Hina Matsuri 2018 - 3 March 2018, Glasgow
The key decoration is hina-ningyo (Hina dolls), a set of beautiful and intricate dolls arranged on red-carpeted stairs representing the ancient court of Japan, including the Emperor, Empress, attendants, musicians, possessions, and so on. Many Japanese families have a hina-ningyo set that is kept carefully and handed down from generation to generation.
Get a taste of how it feels to celebrate the Hina Matsuri in Japan at this local festival for all, organised by Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow, a recognised Scottish charity (SC034172), with a grant from Lottery Fund Awards for All Scotland and sponsorship from Ichiban Noodle Bar.
1pm to 2.30pm: Japan Experience corner where visitors can try origami, write their names in Japanese alphabets, enjoy pictures from fairy tales, sample Japanese sweets, and wrap goods with traditional furoshiki cloth
When? 1pm-3:30pm, 3 March
Where? Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 730 Great Western Road, Glasgow G12 OUE
How much? The event is free to attend and all are welcome.
The Little Mochi Man, a Play for 4-7 Year Olds - January-May 2018, London
Join The Little Mochi Man on his adventures as he travels from the snowy mountains of Hokkaido in northern Japan, to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Inspired by the traditions of Shogatsu (Japanese New Year celebrations), and using origami puppets, animations and especially-composed music, this is the perfect introduction to Japan for young children and their families.
The play is performed by CBeebies and CBBC regulars Haruka Kuroda and Natsumi Kuroda and written and directed by award-winning children’s theatre director Vicky Ireland, with music by Julian Butler and design by Mila Sanders. It is produced by A Thousand Cranes, a theatre company founded in 2006 to bring the many fascinating stories and cultures of Japan to UK audiences, in association with artsdepot, and is supported by funding from Arts Council England.
When? 28 January-30 May 2018
Where? The play is touring around London and many regional cities. For a list of venues, including London, Bath, Lincoln, Cambridge, and Salisbury, see here.
How much? Each venue will have its own ticket pricing. For more information, see A Thousand Cranes’ website here.
Genta Ishizuka: Membrane - 21 February-22 March 2018, London
Born in Kyoto in 1982, Ishizuka holds qualifications in art and urushi lacquering, and previously spent time in London in 2006 as part of an exchange program at the Royal College of Art, London. He currently lives and works in his hometown of Kyoto. Speaking about the meaning behind the title of his exhibition, Ishizuka explains:
The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will include an essay by Rupert Faulkner, Senior Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where some of Ishizuka’s works are on permanent display. Find out more here.
When? Erskine, Hall & Coe, 15 Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4SP
Where? 10:00-18:00 Tuesday-Saturday, 21 February-22 March 2018
How much? Admission FREE
Sushi Party Masterclass
6pm-8pm, Wednesday 14 March, 2018
Vegetarian Sushi Masterclass
6pm-8pm, Wednesday 28 March, 2018
Japanese Bento Workshop
6pm-8pm, Wednesday 18 April, 2018
6pm-8pm, Wednesday 25 April, 2018
Tokyo 東京‐Ordinary people in Tokyo streets - 15-28 March 2018, London
In the streets of Tokyo, I did my best to engage with a population so different from all that I knew until then, and to spontaneously overcome the potential distance between me and my subjects, without compromising my quest for the “unusual” and “light” in my images. I did not fully manage to ‘erase’ this distance, as the respect of rules and the “other” prevail above all else for Tokyoites. Every single one of them, while moving in an incredibly conformed flow, appear like a solitary fragment of an expanding whole in constant motion, ignoring a confusing mix of lighting, audible announcements and flashing signs... hardly noticing the camera of a lost and unlikely westerner.
When? 11am-7pm Monday-Friday (Saturday and Sunday by appointment only)
Where? Sway Gallery, 70-72 Old Street, EC1V 9AN, London
How much? FREE entrance
An Evening with Kay Ueyama - 20 March 2018, London
This evening performance will mark the UK debut of prize-winning professional harpsichordist Kay Ueyama, who will perform a program consisting of works by both classical and Japanese composers.
Kay will perform two Japanese pieces, by Kozaburo Y. Hirai (1910-2002) and Kiyoshi Nobitoki (1887-1965), the latter of which is based on an old popular folk song from Japan's northern Tohoku region, as well as her own arrangement of the famous traditional Japanese song, Sakura (Cherry Blossom). The pieces by Hirai and Nobitoki have not been played in the UK before.
Ueyama was born in London and grew up in Tokyo but has trained in the USA, Amsterdam and Paris and has won prizes in Italy and Japan. As well as teaching atuniversities in Japan, she is also active as a soloist and chamber musician both in Japan and abroad. The event is supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation in collaboration with Cambridge Early Music and their Chair, Dame Mary Archer. Find out more about the evening and book tickets here.
‘Cherry’ Ingram: the English Saviour of Japan’s Cherry Blossoms with Naoko Abe - 16 April 2018
Collingwood Ingram (1880-1981) was a self-taught English botanist whose passion for the Japanese cherry blossom saved many unique and rare varieties of this iconic flower from extinction. In this lecture, Naoko Abe will talk about Ingram’s first sojourn in Japan in 1902 and his historic speech in Tokyo in 1926 exhorting Japanese royalty and industry leaders to save the dying blossoms at a time of rapid modernization and industrialization.
Naoko Abe is a former staff writer for the Mainichi Shimbun, one’s of Japan’s most influential newspapers. Her most recent non-fiction book, Cherry Ingram: the English Saviour of Japan’s Cherry Blossoms, won the prestigious Nihon Essayist Club Award in 2016. She is currently writing an English version of the book, to be published in February 2019.
When? 6:45pm, 6 April, 2018
Where? The Swedenborg Society, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way
Reiko Fujisawa - Piano Recital - 20 April, 6 & 14 May 2018
Japanese pianist Reiko Fujisawa will perform at various venues across the UK. Her recitals will feature music by leading British and Japanese composers, Thomas Adès and Toru Takemitsu. Find out more about Reiko Fujisawa here.
Hebden Bridge Piano Festival
The Town Hall, St. George's Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7BY
20 April 2018
Find out more at: www.hebdenbridgepianofestival.com/
Reiko Fujisawa (piano) and the Carducci String Quartet
6 May 2018, 6.30pm
King's Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG
Find out more at: www.kingsplace.co.uk/
Tickets: £29.50, £14.50, £9.50
Goldberg Variations - Reiko Fujisawa (piano)
14 May 2018, 7.45pm
Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
Find out more at: www.reikofujisawa.com/