Japanese Events in London

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Okinawa Day 2017 @ Spitalfields
Jun 24 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Okinawa Day 2017 @ Spitalfields | England | United Kingdom

Okinawa Day is back at Spitalfields this year for a day of Okinawan folk & classical music, Eisa dancing, Karate, food, drinks & much more! Come along with your friends & families, admission is free!

When: Saturday 24th June 2017
Time: 10am-6pm
Where: Spitalfields, London E1 6AA


Kushu Sake & Shochu Festival @ SWAY GALLERY
Jul 10 – Jul 22 all-day
Kushu Sake & Shochu Festival @ SWAY GALLERY  | England | United Kingdom

In collaboration with Sam Sake, Sway Gallery will be celebrating a “Craft Sake & Shochu Festival” from Kyushu the most southern of Japan’s four main islands.
During the course of two weeks, Sway Gallery visitors will get a chance to learn about sake & shochu, sample and purchase sake from the highly acclaimed Koimari Shuzo from Saga.

17th July 6.30 – 8 pm
“Meet the Brewer” session with Koimari Shuzo owner – Satoru Maeda and learn about sake making while tasting his IWC 2107 Gold winning Koimari Saki Junmai Ginjo.
Tickets available via Eventbrite @ £5 ( limited availability )

Koimari Shuzo, founded in 1909 and now run by the fourth generation of the Maeda family, produces superlative sake that reflects the knowledge, traditions and passion of its makers. Their understanding of sake and its drinkers has won the brewery multiple national and international awards.
During an hour long session, Satoru Maeda, the Director and Toji of Koimari Brewery, will make a personal introduction to sake brewing and share insights into his brewery’s ongoing success.
Provided by the brewery’s official UK distributor, Sam Sake, you will be able to sample their Koimari Saki Junmai Ginjo which was recently awarded with a Gold Medal at IWC 2017.

Tickets are available via Eventbrite @ £5

22nd July 12 – 8 pm

“Kushu Sake & Shochu Festival”

Sway Gallery will open the doors to all day tasting event, giving rare opportunity to celebrate, sample and purchase sake & shochu from seven award winning producers representing Saga- Oita- Miyazaki -Kagoshima.

Tickets* available via Eventbrite @£10 / £15 at the door.


*ticket included sampling of 5 sake and £5 off any purchase of £50 or more
*all sake & shochu will be served by available for purchase & consumption on site
*all sake & shochu will be available for purchase by bottle to the away
*range of snacks & takeaway will also be available at an additional cost

You will also have a chance to see the Glorious Imperfection – the kintsugi drawings exhibition by David Davies

Hyper Japan @ Tobacco Dock
Jul 14 – Jul 16 all-day
The Kampai Social @ Tobacco Dock
Jul 14 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Kampai Social @ Tobacco Dock | England | United Kingdom

What goes with a summer Friday night in London better than saying cheers with friends? Saying cheers with a glass of sake and enjoying the amazing offerings of Urban Food Fest! The Kampai Social is part of the larger HYPER JAPAN event, and allows you not only access to HYPER JAPAN itself (a £15 value) but also to Urban Food Fest, not to mention…

Join the special HYPER JAPAN after work crew and we’ll throw in a ticket to the Sake Experience – Europe’s largest public tasting event for sake.(also a £15 value). We’ve gathered ten breweries from across Japan, boasting a selection of over two dozen sakes for you to sample, and also invited the master brewers behind these creations. You’ll have the rare chance to speak directly with these artisans, learning more about their offerings and craft. To add to the experience further, attendees will be able to vote for their favourite, with all those taking part eligible for a draw to win fabulous prizes. Treat yo’self!

Urban Food Fest will be bringing a decadent selection of international cuisine to spice up the evening’s offerings. See our page for more info!

JAPAN MATSURI 2017 @ Trafalgar Square
Sep 24 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Japan Matsuri London 2017London’s very own and much loved festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – returns this year on Sunday 24th September to Trafalgar Square, one of the capital’s most famous landmarks. Now in its 9th year and 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. It’s a firm family favourite attracting large numbers of children and young people. And it’s absolutely free!

Japan Matsuri is a charity and organized by volunteers from the Japan Association in the UK, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the UK, the Japan Society and the Nippon Club. Additionally it receives support from the Embassy of Japan in the UK and the Japan Foundation and is also supported by the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council.


Let’s Talk & Learn About Premium Sake! @ CAYA
Oct 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Let's Talk & Learn About Premium Sake! @ CAYA | England | United Kingdom

★Introduction to categories of premium sake & sake basics
★Premium sake tasting x 8 + mystery sakes!
★Sake pairing tasting menu bento by Aindo Food
★Tickets at £52 available on https://app.etickets.to/buy/?e=15469  or email to kana.coevent@gmail.com
☆Be sure to book ahead! This is a small group
Sake list
-Junmai Daiginjo: Garyubai Kainbinjurikaoru
-Junmai Ginjo: Sakuramasamune Kinmare
-Daiginjo :Meijo Nakadori Daiginjo
-Ginjo :Ginjosyu Dewazakura Oka
-Honjozo: Uragasumi Karakuchi
-Junmai: Hanagaki Kimoto Junmai
-Kosyu: Darumamasamune 5yo
-Kijoshu:Emishiki Monsoon
AND mystery sakes!

-Sake pairing menu by Akindo Food-
Spinach with Sesame Dressing
Simmered Prawn with Egg Yolk and Vinegar Dressing
Japanese-style rolled omelet
Marinated Salmon
Grilled Chicken with miso sauce
Braised Pork
Scattered sushi

Japanese Sandscapes:The Tale of Mt Fuji @ The Shaft, Brunel Gallery
Oct 21 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Japanese Sandscapes:The Tale of Mt Fuji @ The Shaft, Brunel Gallery | England | United Kingdom

♪Experience a night of experimental Japanese music, sand art, authentic Japanese cuisine and specialty Sake at London’s newest venue, The Shaft!♪

3pm, Saturday 21st October 2017
Reasonably priced Japanese food and drinks (specialty sake, beer and soft drinks) served from 2pm ~!

After her debut experimental multi-media project Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime sold out across London, soundscapist and composer Verity Lane is back with an exciting new project entitled Japanese Sandscapes: The Story of Mt. Fuji.
With an international debut performance by up-and-coming Japanese sand artist Akifumi Kasanuki, this collaborative project aims to create elements of the Japanese sublime in the form of audio-visual installations that depict the famous Japanese story of The Bamboo Cutter. To compliment Kasanuki’s live sand art display, acclaimed Japanese instrumentalist Kaho Aso will be bringing Lane’s music to life, with audio experiences scored for the kotsuzumi drum, Japanese flute and dance.

Event supported by The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation & Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

What to Expect
You will be presented with four new works that explore the story of Japan’s iconic mountain, with narratives told in both sand and sound. To compliment Kasanuki’s live sand art display, traditional Japanese instrumentalist Kaho Aso will be bringing Lane’s music to life, with audio experiences scored for the kotsuzumi drum and Japanese flute, as well as avant-garde piano provided by free jazz legend Veryan Weston, experimental violin by Alison Blunt and awe-inspiring performances by percussionist Beibei Wang. Expect interactive performances throughout the course of this 1 hour show between traditional Japanese dance and visuals, as well as spoken word performances and storytelling.
Medley for Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime

Creative Participants
Verity Lane (Composer/Soundscapist)
Akifumi Kasanuki (Live sand art performance)
Kaho Aso (traditional Japanese dance/shinobue/nohkan/kotsuzumi)
Beibei Wang (percussion)
Alison Blunt (Violin)
Veryan Weston (Piano)
Tomoko Komura (storytelling)
*Detailed information below*

“We are a street food stall that sell Gyudon and Yasaidon (vegan version), a popular Japanese dish of thinly sliced beef, cooked in a sauce served on a bed of rice. We also do a vegan version, we call Yasaidon, which is our own creation. We substitute the beef for fried tofu, mushrooms and daikon radish, which is then cooked in a vegetarian Dashi (stock).”

Verity Lane/ Sound Artists and Project Leader
Verity Lane Born in Tottenham and spending the last 10 years in Japan, soundscapist, audio artist and producer Verity Lane specialises in creating highly visual soundscapes for traditional Japanese instruments.

Her recent music project Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime (supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation) saw her launch herself within London’s experimental music scene, selling out venues across London. Music journalist Kevin Le Gendre described the event as “strikingly original” (Jazzwise Magazine, 27th February 2017)


Kaho Aso/ Kotsuzumi (drum), Japanese Flute & Dance (Buyo)
Kaho Aso is a traditional Japanese dancer, multi-instrumentalist and actor from Tokyo, Japan. She completed a PHD at the prestigious Tokyo University of the Arts where she focused on traditional Japanese instruments. As well as performing internationally, she has appeared in a variety of Japanese advert campaigns, TV programmes and films, as well as the Hollywood film Blue Eye Samurai. She was appointed as a Japan Cultural Envoy by the Agency of Cultural Affairs, and currently resides in London.
http://aso.kaho.jp/ (Japanese)

Akifumi Kasanuki/ Sand Art
A graduate of Japan’s renowned Tama Art University where he specialised in Japanese art, Akifumi Kasanuki is now a fast emerging figure within Japan’s sand art scene. Resident sand-artist at Kawakuchiko Music Forrest, Kasanuki has developed his craft, and exhibits his work regularly at various exhibitions around Japan, including the Teshikaga Art Festival and Fuji’s Carne exhibition. Living and working in close proximity to Mt. Fuji has given Kasanuki a profound appreciation of this iconic mountain, which is reflected heavily in his work. This will be Kasanuki’s first performance outside of Japan, and promises to be a rare insight into the many aspects of Mt. Fuji not to be missed. www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBaHs1zMJPY

Beibei Wang/Percussion
Beibei Wang is an international breakthrough artist from China, focusing her talents on the field of percussion. She has attended various prestigious music schools in both China and the UK, including Central Conservatory of Music and Royal Academy of music. Her performance approach is uniquely expressive and engaging, blending both theatrical sensibilities with dramatic elements. Wang is a highly versatile musician, and enjoys working in various genres including classical, contemporary, jazz, rock and Chinese traditional music. She enjoys challenging perceptions, performing works that include non-conventional instruments such as fire and water. She has also worked with highly praised composers such as Tan Dun (composer of the soundtrack to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, (2000)).

Veryan Weston/Piano
Veryan Weston is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer, arranger and improviser from Cornwall, England. He completed a degree in performance art at Middlesex University, followed by a master’s degree in composition at Goldsmith’s College, London. His unique style blends elements of modern composition with contemporary improvisation, as demonstrated in his collaborative works with renowned artists such as Phil Minton, Trevor Watts, Luc Ex, Hannah Marshall and John Edwards. He received a fellowship from the Digswell Arts Trust in Hertfordshire, where he co-founded and composed for the group Stinky Winkles (‘Young jazz Musicians of 1979’, by Greater London Arts Association). Other notable achievements include performing music on Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio alongside Lol Coxhill in 1986.

Alison Blunt/Violin
Alison Blunt was born in Mombasa (Kenya), grew up in Nairobi, and subsequently the Lake District. Since undertaking classical violin training at prestigious music colleges including Birmingham Conservatoire and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Blunt has been creating and performing new works utilising or consisting of improvisation. She has performed throughout Europe, Scandinavia, US, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand with a wide array of artists including Evan Parker, Mark Sanders, BARREL, Barcode Quartet and Berlin Improvisers Orchestra as well as performing as a soloist. Amongst broader performance and research activities, Blunt was a member of collective ASITIS, ‘Experiments in Spontaneous Performance’ and Apocryphal Theatre. A writer of articles and voice on radio and podcasts, she is also a highly experienced workshop leader exploring music-making with people of all ages and abilities. Blunt refuses to be pigeon-holed.

Tomoko Komura/Storytelling
Tomoko Komura is a London-based performer, actor and instrumentalist from Japan. She completed an MA at London International School of Performing Arts, and performs regularly around the UK as a member of Japanese band No Cars and the Frank Chickens.

Yoshie Omata/ Assistant Project Manager
Born in Yamanashi, Japan, Yoshie Omata studied piano performance at Tokyo’s Kunitachi College of Music. She then completed an MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has worked at several international music agencies and production companies in London, as well as taking on the accompanist role at the long-running multi-media project Sand Art & Live Music, Kawaguchiko Music Forest, Japan. She is the resident designer for the London-based community project Tottenham Soundscapes; her unique poster designs incorporate an element of hand-drawn calligraphy, bringing a traditional Japanese flavour to her work.

Experience Japan Exhibition 2017 @ Royal Society London
Nov 18 all-day
Experience Japan Exhibition 2017 @ Royal Society London | England | United Kingdom

The Experience Japan Exhibition aims to introduce the growing range of study and research opportunities available in Japan.

This year, 14 of Japan’s leading universities will be attending to provide information on degree programmes taught entirely in English, as well as on the research opportunities, summer courses and other options open to international students. There will also be a chance to find out about the variety of scholarships and research funding available to enable you to take advantage of these learning opportunities.

The seminar line-up offers participants the chance to learn about the basics of life in Japan and hear directly from people with experience of studying and researching there. Guest speakers will also be delivering presentations that provide insights into Japanese language and popular culture, and there will be a special seminar on the ever-popular Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

So come along and find your way to Japan – the experience of a lifetime awaits!

Online registration is recommended but not required. Pre-register via the link below to receive a special gift on the day of the exhibition.

Those who pre-register can also enter a prize draw for the chance to win a London-Tokyo return flight ticket courtesy of Japan Airlines.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme @ Venues Nation Wide
Feb 2 – Mar 28 all-day

(Un)true Colours

Secrets and Lies in Japanese Cinema



Everybody has once told a lie or kept something hidden from others. Whether for good intentions or otherwise, it is a fundamental and intriguing aspect of human nature which has provided inspiration to countless storytellers and filmmakers.

With diverse cinematic voices, The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 features some of the best examples of cinema from Japan and will look at how the country’s filmmakers have been drawn to portraying the “(un)true” colours of human nature. The twists and turns of life portrayed in the programme are at times heart-rending, at other times hilarious, but always enthralling.

The Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2018 is programmed and produced by Junko Takekawa, Paul Graham, Yuri Kubota and coordinated by Darian De La Cruz and Melisha Kontemeniotis. Special thanks to Kiyomi Nakazaki, Dr Alexander Jacoby and Jasper Sharp.

TUKURU – Japanese design and made @ Sway Gallery
May 22 – May 24 all-day
TUKURU - Japanese design and made @ Sway Gallery | England | United Kingdom

3 leading UK based Japanese makers come together to present TUKURU at the Sway Gallery exclusively for Clerkenwell Design Week 2018.
Ceramics Ikuko Iwamoto MA RCA, metalsmith Kei Tominaga MA & mix media artist Naori Priestly MA RCA will be presenting collections and their interpretation of TUKURU – the Japanese word for Create.

Ikuko Iwamoto MA RCA (Ceramics)
‘TUKURU means to create, however, it could have broader translations including to cook, to brew, to grow, etc. (All depends on the Chinese letters you apply with it). My background is a farmer who creates crops. My new collection will incorporate old everyday farming tools into my sculptures’.


Kei Tominaga MA (Metalsmith)
When the hands are working, shapes always appear so that “Creating” means “Moving hands” for me. Growing up I was immersed in the environment where always some materials and creating around in my childhood since my mother’s dressmaking work. I was watching how the materials turn into the things/ product and playing with the pieces of material like paper, cloth, string which I can find easily. I still use everyday material as motifs as it’s concept or texture, reflecting those ideas on the metal and creating works by my hands.


Naori Priestly MA RCA (Mixed Media Artist)
My approach for this group show focuses on a rather cynical way. Tukuru is also meaning of ‘pretend something’. In English, many words feature a silent/magic ‘e’. Likewise, in Japanese some typographic symbols pretend to be words and work like word in the sentence. She has been curious about this creature like symbols.


Two these makers will be demonstrating their making skills throughout CDW (please see essential information for event times). This will be one of the very few showcases to display contemporary high-end craft during CDW 2018. All work is available to purchase and welcome bespoke commissions.

Essential Information
TUKURU at Clerkenwell Design Week 2018
Dates: 22-24 May: 11:00am – 19:00pm daily
Location: Sway Gallery, 70-72 Old St, London EC1V 9AN


Press Brunch: Tuesday 22 May. 11am – 1pm
**An exclusive viewing of TUKURU and chance for you to meet all three makers over Japanese tea and nibbles. RSVP essential via: info@sway-gallery.com**

Private view: Tuesday 22 May. Sake-based cocktail served between 18:00pm – 20:30pm

Drinks receptions: Wednesday 23 May 18:00pm – 20:30pm

Maker demonstrations – Free entry
22 May 4pm to 5pm // Naori Priestly
Modular Origami demonstration
Naori Priestly will demonstrate using paper folding techniques to make 3D structure with paper.
23 May 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm // Ikuko Iwamoto
The Dotty-decoration by Ikuko Iwamoto
Ikuko Iwamoto will decorate the cup by applying dots with syringe-like tool with porcelain slip.

About Clerkenwell Design Week
This May will see the ninth edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) take place from May 22-24th 2018. As the annual focus for London’s leading design district, the festival programme has been created to reflect the unique nature of this vibrant London hub which is home to a plethora of creative businesses, design consultancies, showrooms and architectural practices. 2018 will again play host to hundreds of design-led fringe events, showroom presentations, workshops, talks and public-facing installations. Activities will run over three days and follow a
distinct trail north to south from Spa Fields down to Farringdon.

Press Contact (for images and invitations):
Louisa Pacifico
Future Icons // www.futureicons.co.uk
+44 (0) 7838102031