Calendar submissions are very welcome! If you have a Japan-related event in London to add, just click the green ‘+ Post Your Event’ button at the top right of the calendar. It’s free & easy to do.
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.
Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival 2018: Youthquake
21-23 September 2018
Kings College London, Close Up Film Centre, Barbican Cinema
This edition of JAEFF, in partnership with The Japan Foundation, riffs off the Oxford Dictionary’s word of 2017: ‘Youthquake’ – defined as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.’
Featuring classic avant-garde films from the 1960s and 1970s that examine youth counterculture, the student movements, and general currents of dissatisfaction and rebellion.
London’s very own and much loved festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – took place in 2017 on Sunday 24th September. It was the 9th year for what is now a regular fixture in the London calendar – this energetic annual event brings people together to enjoy an amazing day of Japanese food, music, dance and so much more.
The 2018 date has just been announced, so please bring family and friends, old and young to join us for the 10th anniversary event on Sunday 30 September 2018. All absolutely free!
As in previous years, everything will kick off bright and early at 10am and the action will run non-stop all the way through until 8pm in the evening.
The third edition of the Naviar Haiku Fest, a day event exploring the relationship between music and haiku poetry, comes back to London for the second time after our first show in October last year.
We’ll start the event with an introductory workshop to haiku, a traditional short form of Japanese poetry. In the afternoon there will be a series of talks and panel discussions focused on creativity, ‘arts-meets-science’ and more.
The Haiku Fest will end with a series of live performances by members and friends of Naviar Records, working in the fields of ambient, electronic and contemporary classical music.
An epic 225 features from 77 countries screened in London over 12 days. BFI London Film Festival website here.
Thanks very much indeed to Asian Movie Pulse – who have listed all the Asian films at the festival here.
Films from Japan:
Mirai by Scr Mamoru Hosoda (Japan)
LFF favourite Mamoru Hosoda’s (The Boy and the Beast, Wolf Children) rapturous and fantastical take on childhood is an animation of great beauty and insight.
Of Love & Law by Hikaru Toda (UK-Japan-France)
Hikaru Toda’s involving documentary reveals the hidden side of Japanese society, highlighting the diverse human-rights work done by the country’s first LGBT law firm.
Asako I & II by Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Japan-France)
Do we ever really get over our first love? Asako is about to find out, in this quirky romantic drama with a dash of the uncanny.
Hyper Japan returns with a winter event at Olympia, London!
World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.