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Be drawn into the faraway world of The Women of Ishikawa. It is a selection of strange, hilarious, and tragic folk stories from the mountains of Ishikawa, brought over from Japan and performed by Doubtful Sound. The show is in a mix of Kaga-ben (the local dialect) and English, and the stories are sprinkled with traditional folk songs from the SOAS Min’yo Group. The tales performed in Japanese have English subtitles.
The performance at the Daiwa Foundation includes a ghost who nurses babies, girls falling asleep on the shoulder of a monk, a collapsing cave, a mochi-fight, a potato digger, uncomfortably welcoming guests, a snake swordsmith, the queen of thieves, a lord who tells terrible jokes, an elderly lady under the floor, a young woman murdered by the sun, and a basket of bees. The show will include a Q&A session, providing a chance to ask the director, dramaturg, and musicians about the tales and songs.
About the contributors
Doubtful Sound is a bilingual theatre company who research, translate, and perform traditional stories and folktales from far flung areas of Japan. The group was formed in Tokyo in 2012 and have since performed the tales in ancient temples, Japanese gardens, pubs, over rivers, at festivals, and occasionally in theatres. Scenes are performed in Japanese and English with the Japanese scenes often in the local dialect of the area.
SOAS Min’yo Group
The SOAS Min’yo Group are a largely amateur bunch of Japanese folk song (min’yo) devotees who meet regularly at SOAS, University of London, to practice singing, instruments and some dancing. Launched in 2012 by David Hughes, a Japanese music specialist at SOAS, its members are of various nationalities, including Japanese. The Group have performed at many events around the UK and abroad.
For further information, see www.facebook.com/SOASMinyo, or email David at email@example.com.
World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.
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.
*Opening hours may vary depending on events, so please check our website on the day of your visit
This summer Japan House London presents an exhibition on the popular form of Japanese illustrated literature – manga – through the work of internationally acclaimed manga artist, URASAWA Naoki.
The exhibition immerses visitors in the iconic Japanese art form and introduces Urasawa’s ideas from inception through development, with more than 400 original drawings and storyboards on display. Selected stories from seven of his major works are presented with full English translations, highlighting the breadth of the artist’s narrative styles; works include ‘YAWARA!’, ‘MONSTER’, ‘20th Century Boys’, ‘MASTER KEATON ReMASTER’ (Story by Takashi Nagasaki) , ‘PLUTO’ (Story by Osamu Tezuka, co-authored by Takashi Nagasaki, Supervised by Macoto Tezka, with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions), ‘BILLY BAT’ (Story Co-creator : Takashi Nagasaki), and ‘MUJIRUSHI’ (‘The Sign of Dreams’, with the cooperation of Fujio Productions).
The exhibition presents a rare opportunity to enjoy Urasawa’s manga directly from his original hand-drawn storyboards and offers a unique glimpse into the artist’s process and psyche.
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
Verity Lane/music, words, creative directer
Coco Sato/Giant Origami
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.
Coco Sato is an award-winning Japanese artist based in the UK. Her work uses origami to change the way people see the world.
Mirei Yazawa is a performance artist based in London.
Beibei Wang is a genre defying percussionist based in London.
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.
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.
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.