Japanese Events in London

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Nov
17
Sat
2018
Brave Blossoms: the History of Rugby in Japan @ World Rugby Museum, Twickenham Stadium
Nov 17 2018 – Aug 31 2019 all-day

WRM_BraveBlossomsExplore the full history of the birth and evolution of rugby union in Japan, from 1866 when Yokohama became the site of the oldest rugby club in Asia, to being awarded Rugby World Cup 2019.

This special exhibition, produced in partnership with England Rugby Travel and Kanto District Transport Bureau, charts the evolution of rugby alongside the development of modern Japan. How ‘the father of Japanese rugby’, Ginosuke Tanaka, brought the sport to Keio University and how a series of sporting pioneers, including members of the Japanese Royal Family, allowed the sport to flourish. It will examine how Japanese corporations have nurtured the game at a domestic level allowing Japanese rugby to make significant impacts at international level, and culminating in the famous victory the Brave Blossoms achieved over the Springboks at Rugby World Cup 2015 and the awarding of Rugby World Cup 2019 to Japan.

World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.

May
23
Thu
2019
Manga マンガ @ The British Museum
May 23 – Aug 26 all-day

Manga マンガEnter a graphic world where art and storytelling collide in the largest exhibition of manga ever to take place outside of Japan.

Manga is a visual narrative art form that has become a multimedia global phenomenon, telling stories with themes from gender to adventure, in real or imagined worlds.

Immersive and playful, the exhibition will explore manga’s global appeal and cultural crossover, showcasing original Japanese manga and its influence across the globe, from anime to ‘cosplay’ dressing up.

This influential art form entertains, inspires and challenges – and is brought to life like never before in this ground-breaking exhibition.

Jun
21
Fri
2019
Serpentine Pavilion 2019 designed by Junya Ishigami @ Serpentine Pavilion
Jun 21 – Oct 6 all-day

The Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, celebrated for his experimental structures that interpret traditional architectural conventions and reflect natural phenomena, has been selected to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2019.

Jul
5
Fri
2019
Visitors by Ushiki Masanori @ Pocko Gallery, 51A King Henry's Walk, Mildmay Ward, London N1 4NH
Jul 5 – Sep 2 all-day

Visitors is an ongoing series of portrait characters by Ushiki Masanori, who is regarded as a cult figure in the art world of Japan and, much like his predecessors Yoshitomo Nara and Takashi Murakami, Ushiki’s aesthetic centres around diverse themes of childhood and contemporary media. Visitors was born on Ushiki’s Instagram timeline on August 13th 2016, and faithfully he continues to post a new character once a day, every day. From sci-fi monsters to beautiful angry alien girls, Ushiki’s Visitors pay tribute to the many expressions and characters the artist met throughout his youth, familiar hallmarks from popular culture that resonate with our collective consciousness.

Ushiki is a rising star with the ability to capture aspects of anime, manga or Tokusatsu (live-action anime) and to re-mix these elements into a fantasy world of creatures that delight the eye and tickle the senses. Equally so, his sophisticated linework and monochrome palette captures the preposterous with a complex elegance.

In his debut European exhibition, Pocko Gallery will be home to Ushiki’s characters throughout the summer and copies of the book, Visitors, will be available to purchase at the exhibition.

Jul
11
Thu
2019
“A Secret Beauty: The Spirit of Japanese Makie” The Lacquer Works of Koyanagi Tanekuni @ Brunei Gallery, SOAS
Jul 11 – Sep 21 all-day

“A Secret Beauty: The Spirit of Japanese Makie” The Lacquer Works of Koyanagi TanekuniThe artist’s first exhibition outside Japan of Lacquer works by the contemporary craftsman Koyanagi Tanekuni in the Brunei Gallery, SOAS.

There will be a Study Day on lacquer with specialist lectures, workshop, and gallery talks during the exhibition.

The exhibition aims to promote a better understanding of the craft tradition in Japan, the material lacquer, and the technique of Makie. Koyanagi uses the traditional technique of Makie, but creates objects in innovative modern design that appeal to the contemporary taste. The artist is keen to show how these objects are used in everyday life of Japanese in contemporary society.

Open: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 – 17:00
Late night Thursday until 20:00
Closed: Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays

Aug
1
Thu
2019
Lost in Transition by Vanessa Milito Rodriguez @ SWAY Gallery
Aug 1 – Aug 28 all-day

Lost in Transition by Vanessa Milito Rodriguez

OPENING RECEPTION: 1 August Thu 18:00-20:00
RSVP: info@sway-gallery.com
SPECIAL OPENING: 3 August Sat 12:00-18:00

VMR – Vanessa Milito Rodriguez – is an Italian-Colombian artist born in Milan, Italy. She has become fascinated with the traditional Japanese tattoos, Irezumi, which then led her to the discovery of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints. In 2016 she moved to Paris, France, where her love for Ukiyo-e and Japanese culture has grown even further as Paris is the birthplace of the ’Japonisme’ art movement.

The title ‘Lost in Transition’ is inspired by Sofia Coppola’s movie ‘Lost in Translation’. The preparation for the exhibition took place in France, as well as during Vanessa’s first solo trip to Japan. The ‘transition’ exists in discovering and comparing what she had always imagined about Japan, and what she actually saw and experienced there.

This exhibition celebrates the mix between the traditional Japanese culture and the modern pop culture. The artworks are inspired by the works of Ukiyo-e masters, such as Hokusai and Hasui. The dominant colours are blue and pink – the blue of the Hokusai’s waves and the pink of the neon lights of Shibuya, Tokyo.
The exhibition showcases mostly watercolour paintings, which introduce colourful and carefree objects inspired by Japanese folk toys, like Inu Hariko and Daruma, but also the artist’s own interpretation of Bijinga, beautiful women, created with a mix of Japanese markers, Chinese ink and Posca paint, as well as woodblock prints created during her recent stay in Japan.

SWAY website here

Aug
22
Thu
2019
EXHIBITION: Anno’s Journey: the World of Anno Mitsumasa @ Japan House, London
Aug 22 – Oct 27 all-day

Image: © Anno Mitsumasa. Courtesy of Anno Art Museum.

Anno’s Journey: the World of Anno Mitsumasa Exhibition at Japan House London

This exhibition explores the work of Anno Mitsumasa, one of Japan’s greatest children’s book illustrators and authors, who is best known for his picture books, with few or no words, published from the late 1960s onwards. The display illustrates the story of Anno Mitsumasa’s life and creative journey, features a reading library with many of Anno’s 300 published books, introduces Japanese language for children and beginners, and explores Anno’s remarkably varied work.

Additionally, the Embassy of Japan will host a more extensive exhibition of Anno’s landscape paintings in August-September.

Admission Free

*Opening hours may vary depending on events, so please check our website on the day of your visit

Aug
25
Sun
2019
Artist Talk by Keiko Takemiya @ Foyles Bookstore
Aug 25 @ 2:30 pm
Artist Talk by Keiko Takemiya @ Foyles Bookstore

Legendary manga artist Keiko Takemiya gives an exclusive talk this August!

Keiko Takemiya is arguably one of the most influential manga artists in Japan. Starting her career as an artist in late 1960 while still a teenager, her fame rapidly grew to stardom. This reached a new height in the 1970s when she became a seminal member of “the Fabulous Year 24 Group” – a new wave of female authors that revolutionised manga by developing new drawing techniques and introducing unconventional subject matters to the genre of girls’ manga, such as science fiction, fantasy, as well as boys’ love. Takemiya’s representative manga, The Poem of Wind and Trees (1977-80), which has sold nearly 5 million copies so far, is praised by critics and readers alike as a monumental work that laid the foundation for the rapidly growing genre of boys’ love within manga. In addition to her creative work, Takemiya has been a great advocate of preserving this nation-specific graphic art form as a cultural asset and was the first manga artist in Japan to be elected as President of an academic institution.
During this very special talk and in a rare appearance Takemiya, in conversation with comics historian Paul Gravett, will discuss her extensive career as one of Japan’s leading manga artists, and her inspirations behind iconic works such as To Terra… (1976-84) which shaped the precedent for female manga artists to create stories for a young male readership. Reflecting on the development of the narrative art form in Japan, she will also review what manga has meant to her and the society at large.

Image Credit: ©To Terra…, KeikoTAKEMIYA

This event is held in collaboration with Foyles Bookstore.

Sep
9
Mon
2019
The Japan Society Book Club @ The Japan Society
Sep 9 @ 7:00 pm

apan Society Book Club 2018Join us on the second Monday of each month for the Japan Society Book Club. The intention is simple: to explore the themes of the book, express personal opinions on the style and content, discuss how the book has changed (or not) in translation and to have a relaxed discussion with others who have similar interests.

There is no restriction on the nationality of the authors read, but books should be available in translation in both Japanese and English. The discussion is conducted mainly in English, but you can choose the language in which you read the book.

Visit the website to see which book will be the focus each month.

Booking Information

Please contact the Japan Society office on tel: 020 3075 1996 or email: events@japansociety.org.uk to book a place on any of our events. When emailing, please include the event title in the subject line.
Alternatively you can book online via our online booking form.

Sep
10
Tue
2019
Japan Tide @ Leyden Gallery, 9 Leyden St, London E1 7LE
Sep 10 – Sep 21 all-day

The Leyden Gallery will hold a solo exhibition of the works of two Japanese artists, Jun Nishizaki and Hirofumi Kawamura. This event is part of our ongoing project to provide visitors with opportunities to explore the aesthetics and spirituality of Japanese culture.