Japanese Events in London

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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.

Aug
23
Fri
2019
Origami Soundscapes X The Crane @ Arcola Theatre
Aug 23 – Aug 24 all-day
Origami Soundscapes X The Crane @ Arcola Theatre

Grimeborn Opera Festival

8pm 23rd August
3pm 24th August
8pm 24th August

Origami and music. A multi-media opera installation. Verity Lane‘s two-part project draws on her 10 years’ experience of living in Japan, exploring classical Japanese traditions with a uniquely avant-garde twist.

A brand-new performance project with music, stories and concept by Verity Lane, Origami Soundscapes: Flower, Bird, Wind & Moon explores ancient symbolism and Japanese birdsong, featuring a large-scale origami performance by Coco Sato, percussion, shakuhachi and storytelling.

The Crane reimagines a Japanese folk story about a magical crane that takes human form, set around Hokkaido’s Otowa Bridge. This mystical opera installation explores traditional Japanese aesthetics through a blend of Noh theatre conventions, traditional and contemporary dance, avant-garde music and animation.

Sung in English and Japanese without surtitles.

Music and Libretto (English and Japanese) by Verity Lane

Supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/events/342669456446524/

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Verity Lane/music, words, creative directer
Coco Sato/Giant Origami
Beibei Wang/Percussion
Mirei Yazawa/Dance
Tomoko Komura/Voice
Hester Dart/Voice
Kiku Day/Shakuhachi
Rowan O’Brien/Animator

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Verity Lane
Born in Tottenham and spending nearly a decade in Japan, visual artist, composer and writer Verity Lane specialises in creating highly visual performance installations for traditional Japanese instruments. and beyond.
Her recent multi-media projects include A Thousand Bamboo in a Dancing Wind (performance installation for 300 shakuhachi, 2 dancers, projection and performance poetry, commissioned by The World Shakuhachi Festival, held at Goldsmiths, 2018), Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime (supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), and Japanese Sandscapes: The Tale of Mt Fuji where she worked with artists including Ko Ishikawa (sho/Reigakusha), Etsuko Takezawa (koto/shamisen) and Kaho Aso (traditional Japanese dance/kotsuzumi). Both projects saw Lane launch herself within London’s avant garde music scene, selling out venues across London.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/veritycomposer/

Coco Sato is an award-winning Japanese artist based in the UK. Her work uses origami to change the way people see the world.
https://www.facebook.com/GiantOrigami/

Mirei Yazawa is a performance artist based in London.

Beibei Wang is a genre defying percussionist based in London.
https://www.facebook.com/beibeiwangmusic/

Tomoko Komura is a London based performer from Japan, trained at the London International School of Performing Arts with an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor-Created Theatre (2006). She has performed and toured in shows by award-winning theatre companies such as Theatre Ad Infinitum (Ballad of the Burning Star), Theatre Témoin (Jukai) and Out of Chaos (Out of Chaos).

Kiku Day is a shakuhachi player based in Denmark.
http://www.kikuday.com/

Hester Dart is a London based contralto and graduate from the University of Leeds. They study with Prof. Neil Baker and are currently finishing their second year at the Morley College Opera School. Hester is particularly interested in promoting the work of
LGBTQ+ composers and musicians. They would like to contribute towards a more inclusive and accessible environment within classical music and opera.

Rowan O’Brien is a renowned animator and 3D artist from the West Coast of Ireland. He mixes sketches, objects, computer animation, and video in his work. He has screened and exhibited work across Europe, South Korea and Japan, where he lived and studied Japanese fabric craft known as oshie.

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
29
Sun
2019
Japan Matsuri @ Trafalgar Square, London
Sep 29 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

London’s very own festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – returns on Sunday, 29 September 2019 in Trafalgar Square in the centre of the city. A regular fixture now in the London calendar, this free annual festival brings people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, and activities for all the family.

The concept of the theme this year is “Future generations”.

Everything kicks off at 10.00am and runs through till 8.00pm. With two stages, there is plenty to see all day. The programme of stage performance for this year is still being finalised and will feature exciting new acts as well as the return of favourites from previous Matsuri.

Enjoy the atmosphere with Japanese festival food from the numerous stalls. Join in the fun in the family activities area with games and dressing in kimono. Try your hand at Japanese cartoons on the manga wall.

Japan Matsuri is organised jointly by the Japan Association, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Society and Nippon Club, with support from the Embassy of Japan.