Japanese Events in the UK May 2018

Hirado Kosho Danemon Kiln

Get your Japan groove on this summer, with plenty of Japanese cultural events on in the UK this month.

From Japanese paintings, porcelain and calligraphy to classical music, photographs and film, plus a Japanese supper club and a talk on train punctuality, there is something going on to suit fans of all aspects of Japan’s art, food and culture this season.

Takefumi Hori - Enjuku (円熟), 18 April - 26 May 2018, London

Takefumi Hori - Enjuku

‘Enjuku’ is a Japanese term meaning maturity, perfection and ripeness. It is often used to describe an individual who, through continued study and personal development, has reached a milestone in their creative lives. In the title of this exhibition, it is applied to the work of Brooklyn-based Japanese artist Takefumi Hori, who has reached a new stage of mastery of the materials with which he works.

Exploring the profundity of gold both as a colour and a material, Hori’s layering and revelatory technique brings depth and dynamism to his works as he pursues abstract explorations of light, depth and texture. Gold and silver paint is applied thickly to the canvas, obscuring layers of colour and gold leaf beneath. Canvas, acrylic paint and gold leaf with varnish in-between are built up in multiple layers and areas of paint are scratched away to reveal the materials below, creating an almost keyhole effect, inviting the viewer to peer deep into the painting underneath. 

In this exhibition, his most recent body of work, Hori also incorporates sections of pre-worked canvas applied to the surface of new paintings. As an artist Hori continues to explore his own unique practice, creating works that both move and beguile the viewer. Hori’s works can be viewed for free at this exhibition, which is being held in the Fiumano Clase gallery in central London. For more information see: www.fiumanoclase.com/

When? Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 12 noon-6pm, Saturday: 12 noon-4pm
Where? Fiumano Clase, Unit 12, 21 Wren Street, London WC1X 0HF

MIYU KURIHARA Solo Exhibition, 3 - 19 May 2018, London

Miyu Kurihara

Sway Gallery will host a solo exhibition by Japanese artist Miyu Kurihara, who draws upon her Asian heritage to create hand-painted ceramic pieces inspired by both Japanese kimono design and traditional Asian ceramics.  Kurihara’s work is especially influenced by Chinese ceramics from the Ming dynasty, in particular the British Museum and V&A Museum’s blue and white porcelain collections.

Her work incorporates traditional blue and white porcelain craftsmanship techniques that originated in China and Japan as well as brush techniques and textile design skills learned in Japan and London. Inspired by depictions of mythical beasts and animals in classical works, Kurihara’s work consists of a study of classic motifs combined with her own original geometric patterns.

In this exhibition, in addition to examples of her signature blue and white porcelain works, she will also present some of her most recent works using new glazes and materials. Entrance to the exhibition is free. Find out more on Sway Gallery's website: http://london.sway-gallery.com/


Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1989, Miyu Kurihara grew up in Germany and Japan, but lives and works in London. She received her BA in 2014 from the Department of Product and Textile Design, Tama Art University, Japan, and her MA in Textile Design in 2016 from the Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, London. Find out more on her website: www.miyukurihara.com/

When? Opening hours: Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday (only 19th May) 11am-5pm
Where? Sway Gallery, 70-72 Old Street, EC1V 9AN, London

Crafting Japan from Materials and Techniques: Hand Crafted Chrysanthemums, 11 May 2018, London

Hirado Kosho Danemon Kiln

Ceramic chrysanthemum flowers are one type of traditional hand-crafted decorative element used in Japan. Now is your chance to witness the skill and beauty of these traditional decorations at a one-day exhibition and crafting demonstration of hand-crafted chrysanthemums at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation during London Craft Week. 
The exhibition will highlight the variety of Japanese materials and techniques used to create hand-crafted pieces. Taiyo Nakazato, an 18th generation potter from Hirado Kosho Danemon Kiln, will also demonstrate the techniques of Mikawachi ceramics, traditional porcelain with a 400 year history. It was introduced to Japan by Korean pottery masters who came to Mikawachi, Nagasaki prefecture, during the Edo Period.
Demonstrations will be held at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. Book your seat at one of the demonstrations at goo.gl/dSbqij The event is being organised by Made in Japan Project and The Creation of Japan in collaboration with London Craft Week.

Tsutefude - Message Brush Art Workshop, 12, 13 & 15 May 2018, Various

Tsutefude Message Brush

Learn a new skill at one of three workshops in Bath, Swindon or Stroud by Yuki Aoba, who will teach participants the unique technique of Tsutefude. Meaning ‘message brushing’, Tsutefude it is a letter-design style that uses a special pen-brush to create a unique alphabet which can then be used to convey thoughts and messages in a powerful and positive way.
Yuki developed the Tsutefude technique after struggling with bad handwriting as a child - when traditional Japanese calligraphy failed to help her improve her handwriting, she designed her own letters and alphabet. She later founded the Tsutefude Association Foundation, which now has over 150 members and 17 senior masters across Japan. 
For more information and to book a place at one of the workshops visit www.akiyamaconnects.co.uk or email helen@akiyamaconnects.co.uk. Tickets are available to book from the following links: (1) tsutefudeukbath.eventbrite.co.uk (2) tsutefudeukstantonhousehotelam.eventbrite.co.uk (3) tsutefudeukrodborough.eventbrite.co.uk

When? (1) Saturday 12th May 10-12pm, (2) Sunday 13th May, 10-12:30pm & 1 :30-3:30pm (3) Tuesday 15th May 1:30-3:30pm
Where? (1) Widcombe Social Club, Widcombe Hill, Bath, BA2 6AA, (2) Stanton House Hotel, The Avenue, Stanton Fitzwarren, Swindon, SN6 7SD, (3) Rodborough Community Hall, Rodborough, Stroud, GL5 3TZ

Akiko Ono + Friends, 17 May 2018, London

Akiko Ono
Barnes Music Society will host a Gala charity concert of classical music with Akiko Ono and Masami Suzuki



Akiko Ono - Violin
Bartholomew Lafolette - Cello
Anthony Hewitt - Piano
Masami Suzuki - Soprano



W.A. Mozart - Piano Trio in B flat major KV502
J. Canteloube - Baïlèro
C. Debussy - Romance
W.A. Mozart - Deh Vieni non Tardar (Aria from 'Le Nozze di Figaro')
F. Lehar - Vilja Song (from the Merry Widow)
J. Halvorsen - Passacaglia (after Handel) for Violin & Cello
G. Bizet (arr. Hubay) - Carmen Fantasy
Tickets are available to buy from from Rick@1830.London with several options available, including: (1) Gala concert ticket - £15.00, (2) Concert, wine and preferential seating - £24.00, (3) same as (2) but including dinner at Sonny's Kitchen (in the company of the performers) - £48.00.

When? 17 May 2018
Where? OSO Centre, 49 Station Road, London SW13 OLF

Double Method by Tokyo Rumando x Hideka Tonomura, 11-28 May, 2018, London

Double Method

This exhibition is the first collaboration between Tokyo Rumando and Hideka Tonomura, two female photographers who are part of an exciting and groundbreaking generation of new photographers working in Japan today.

Despite using very different methodologies, both photographers share the same interest in mapping intense psychological subject in an effort to deconstruct the links between the past and the present. Rumando works primarily through self-portraits, and has made several series of nudes, often using an experimental method involving montage, to explore the connections between her own daily life and the labyrinthine underworld of Japanese “Love Hotels”.

Meanwhile, Tonomura has committed to an unflinching account of both mundane and epic moments of her life, exemplified by the photographic record of her mother’s love affair, and intimate images of her own life working as a bar hostess. The exhibition is completely free to attend. An artist’s talk, featuring Tokyo Rumando x Hideka Tonomura in conversation with Dr Simon Baker, will be held on 17 May, 2018.

When? Monday–Friday 9.30am–5pm, 11–28 May, 2018
Private view: 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Thursday 10 May, 2018 
Artist Talk: 6pm, Thursday 17 May, 2018
Where? 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London NW1 4QP

Nobody to Watch Over Me   誰も守ってくれない, 17 May 2018, London

Nobody To Watch Over Me
Directed by Ryoichi Kimizuka (2009 / 118 min, Japanese language with English subtitles), this drama portrays the distress of a family whose son is involved in a crime and the conflict surrounding the detective who is sent to protect them from public hostility as a result of the crime.

After their eldest son commits a murder the mass media begins to focus its attention on the Funamura family. A detective, Katsuura, is sent to protect Saori, the family’s daughter, who is being targeted by malicious Internet trolls.

The media’s relentless attacks and slanderous comments by the Internet trolls escalate, gradually driving Katsuura and Saori into a corner, until they are forced to embark upon a deadly game of hide and seek. Can they ever escape from the malicious campaign by the Internet trolls? Find out more on the Embassy's website: www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/

When? Open 18:00 | Film starts at 18:30 | No admittance after 19:00
Where? The Embassy of Japan in the UK, 101-104 Piccadilly, London W1J 7JT

Sex, Nudes, and the Everyday - Artist Talk by Ryudai Takano, 18 May 2018, London

Renowned photographer Ryudai Takano is best known for his depictions of the nude male form. His early photographs from the 70s and 80s are concerned with different forms of male beauty and tackle the idea of gender as a non-binary concept. However, not content to focus on just one area, Takano’s other inspirations include urban landscapes, light and shadow, and attempts to capture the everyday.

At this special artist’s talk, held during Photo London, where Takano is one of the exhibiting artists, he will introduce his works to date. Together with Lena Fritsch (Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford), he will also discuss gender and bodies in photographs and the challenges inherent in these sensitive and often controversial images.

This event is free to attend, but booking is essential. To book your place via Eventbrite, please click here.

A selection of Takano’s works will be displayed at booth C13 as part of Photo London at Somerset House, London, 17th-20th May, 2018.

When? 6:30pm, 18 May 2018
Where? The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1JD

The London Photograph Fair, 19-20 May 2018, London

The London Photograph Fair

This special edition of The London photograph Fair, the only established vintage photography fair in the UK, returns to The Great Hall at King’s College to coincide with Photo London. One for fans of Japanese history and samurai - this year’s edition will present a collection of forty rare photographs of samurai. 

Most photographs purporting to be of samurai are actually of actors taken in commercial studios after the samurai systems was abolished in 1877. However, the images in the exhibition are all genuine images of samurai taken between 1860-1877 that have been carefully researched and catalogued by Sebastian Dobson, a leading authority on early photographs in Japan, with several prints being the only known copies.

Admission: £10. For more information, see www.photofair.co.uk/ 

When? 19-20th May, 2018
Where? The Great Hall, King's College, The Strand , WC2R 2LS

Railway Systems and Punctuality in Japan and the UK

Railway Systems Lecture

One for the Japanese train geeks out there (including us)… Railways developed around 200 years ago in what is now the UK. In 1863, Masaru Inoue, one of the Choshu Five of samurai scholars from Satsuma in Kyushu, came to study at University College London and returned home to Japan having acquired knowledge of British railway technologies, becoming known as ‘The Father of Japanese Railways’.

Since then, Japanese railway systems have evolved very differently from those in the UK. Today, there is vast potential for both countries to learn from each other, as the example of West Midlands Trains, which is jointly owned by companies including the East Japan Railway Company (JR East).

Focusing on railway systems and punctuality, this seminar will seek to answer the question: What can Japan and the UK learn from each other? The speakers, Kazuhiko Aida and Taku Fujiyama, will draw on the experiences of JR East and research by UCL to discuss the approaches used by railways to run train services on time and to improve passenger experience.

Find out more on the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation's website here.

When? Tuesday 22 May 2018, 6:00pm – 7:00pm, Drinks reception from 7:00pm
Where? 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle (entrance facing Regent's Park), London NW1 4QP

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