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No booking required – just turn up on the day!
An afternoon of Japanese live music, family activities and Japanese food to celebrate the regeneration of the Japanese garden in Hammersmith Park! Expect taiko drumming, ramen, and family friendly activities such as origami and calligraphy, alongside much more! Co-organised by the Japan Society and the Embassy of Japan.
The day will end with two very special performances by contemporary Japanese artists Ichi and Hatis Noit. We hope you can join us for what is bound to be a fantastic summer celebration of all things Japanese!
Why we’re celebrating
Hammersmith Park is all that remains of the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in White City, but few know it is a Japanese garden. Now an avenue of stone lanterns and a wooden entrance gate are being installed to celebrate the park’s Japanese origins.
To mark the event, Japan Society, together with the Embassy of Japan and the Friends of Hammersmith Park, are hosting an afternoon activities and music. Children and adults alike can make their own Japanese lantern to take home, learn to write their name in Japanese, try on a kimono, fold some origami, and even meet Hello Kitty herself!! That’s right – Hello Kitty will be making a personal appearance at the celebrations! And if all the excitement makes you hungry, you’ll be able to sample delicious Japanese street food at the Japan centre food stalls.
A wide range of Japanese traditional and contemporary music will fill the garden all afternoon, from the guitar-like shamisen, to taiko drums, concluding with performances by two exciting Japanese musicians. ICHI, takes the concept of the one man band to entirely new heights with his homemade instruments and eclectic, fun sound, while Hokkaido-born Hatis Noit’s mesmerising vocals draw on musical traditions from Japanese court music to opera, and Buddhist chanting to pop.
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.
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.
World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.
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.
The Japanese Portland Garden is a traditional Japanese garden in Portland, Oregon. The Garden, which was designed in 1963, covers 12 acres and has eight separate garden styles. The Garden was created to provide the residents of Portland with a beautiful, serene garden, while also creating a connection between America and Japan after World War II.
In this talk, Steve Bloom will explore the past, present, and future of the Portland Japanese Garden. He will look at how it is leading a global dialog about the Japanese Garden as a platform for spreading the ideals of peace and mutual understanding between peoples by sharing some of Japan’s greatest gifts with the world: its culture, art, and unique connection to nature.
This event is free but booking is essential.