Japanese Events in London

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Aug
1
Wed
2018
World Shakuhachi Festival @ Goldsmiths, University of London
Aug 1 – Aug 4 all-day
World Shakuhachi Festival @ Goldsmiths, University of London | England | United Kingdom

The World Shakuhachi Festival 2018 brings together many of the world’s best performers of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, from all continents. It presents, at highest level, a broad cross-section of traditional and contemporary solo and ensemble music for shakuhachi. As an instrument, the shakuhachi is known by many people, but without being named or recognised. It has put in appearances in many film soundtracks, including the final Harry Potter films, and is on the other hand enjoyed by many because of its deeply meditative quality. The instrument is, however capable of a broad range of music, from quiet to energetic and stimulating, alone, and grouped with other instruments, from Japan and elsewhere. The broad spectrum of its music will appeal to music lovers from all walks of life and with all tastes, from traditional to modern, from meditative to ‘world music’.

The WSF2018 will offer an unique opportunity to experience the world of shakuhachi close up and in a variety not seen before in the UK or Europe. Our schedule is bursting with a wide range of concerts, workshops, lectures, talks, exhibitions, screenings and informal gatherings, bringing together around 40 top-level shakuhachi performers from Japan and another 40 from other countries to play and teach. Whether you are a seasoned shakuhachi professional, an enthusiastic hobbyist or simply interested in discovering new cultural and musical territory, WSF2018 is the place to be.

Oct
3
Wed
2018
The Art of Gaman @ Theatre503
Oct 3 @ 7:30 pm – Oct 27 @ 7:30 pm
The Art of Gaman @ Theatre503 | England | United Kingdom

The Art of Gaman is a stunning new play. It was a finalist in the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award.

Tomomi, a young Japanese woman stands at the hull of a ship staring out across the water to her new American life in the years prior to the Hiroshima bombing. There are stars in her eyes and a crackling radio pulled to her chest as she drifts towards a country, and a future, that resists her arrival.
The Art of Gaman is an aching exploration of displacement and loss of cultural identity when you find yourself in a country that considers you an enemy. When forgetting your past is shameful, but remembering brings even greater pain, Tomomi must harness the strength to find beauty in the struggle and carve out a new life for herself and be true to who she really is.
The Art of Gaman was one of 6 plays shortlisted for the American Playwriting Foundation’s prestigious Relentless Award.

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.

Jan
1
Tue
2019
Cherry Trees for Schools
Jan 1 – Feb 28 all-day

Cherry Trees for SchoolsWe are now inviting schools in the UK to apply to be part of the Sakura Cherry Tree Planting Project in the UK, a project to celebrate the friendship between Japan and the UK.

Schools interested in receiving and planting a cherry tree should apply by using the application form below by 28 February 2019. Trees will be supplied by the Cherry Tree Project, but planting and maintenance will be the responsibility of the applicant educational institution / school.

Background to the Project

On the 1st September 2017, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in Tokyo that the years 2019-2020 would mark the Japan-UK Season of Culture. This season, with activity in both Japan and the UK, will celebrate the friendship of the two countries, and will provide an opportunity for people in both countries to explore each other’s cultures and technologies between the Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cherry Trees for Schools

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.