Japanese Events in London

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JAPAN UNDERGROUND presents: Japan & Korea United in Rock! Featuring: TarO&JirO (JP), Asian Chairshot (KR) and Mayu Wakisaka
May 12 @ 6:00 pm

Japan & Korea - United in Rock - London 12 May 2014Are you guys in for a treat. Coming in all the way from Korea we have the indie rockers Asian Chairshot, produced by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder, and nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song at the 2014 Korean Music Awards. Then there’s guitar slap heroes TarO&JirO, winner of the Japanese leg of Emergenza, the world’s largest battle of the bands competition. And last, but by no means least, there’s the award winning singer-songwriter Mayu Wakisaka, fresh from playing SXSW and The Great Escape Festival this year. All that, plus authentic Japanese street food, beer, and JAPAN UNDERGROUND’s resident DJ for a mere fiver.

Taro&JirOFans of MIYAVI, eat your hearts out. TarO&JirO slap guitars to the power of two! They’ve shared stages with guitar legends such as Scorpions (Rock Oz’Arènes) and Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Steve Morse at the Guitare en Scene in 2012, just to name a few. In 2013 they entered Emergenza, the world’s largest battle-of-the-bands competition and won the 1st place in the Japanese division with their energetic and contagious performance. Soon after they headed to Germany to compete in the Emergenza World Final and although they didn’t win, they still landed 2nd place for best guitarists. Upon their return home they were immediately signed to TEICHIKU Records and dropped their first album Brothers Fight at the end of 2013. Catch them live in an intimate venue before they explode!

Asian Chairshot 아시안체어샷

Asian ChairshotFormed in 2011, Seoul, Korea’s Asian Chairshot took their name from a powerful (and very illegal) move done by many a professional wrestler to knock out their opponents – the famed “chair shot.” And just like a chair shot, the trio’s hard-hitting mix of psychedelic music, garage rock, and alt-rock usually has little trouble stopping people dead in their tracks. In December 2013, Asian Chairshot recorded their first full-length album. It was produced by Smashing Pumpkins guitarist Jeff Schroeder and engineered by Ryan Grostefon, who worked with Smashing Pumpkins on their 2012 Oceania disc. Asian Chairshot started off this year by receiving nominations for “Best Rock Album” and “Best Rock Song” at the 2014 Korean Music Awards. In March, they traveled to Singapore to perform at the Mosaic Music Festival. In May, they will be embarking on their first UK tour to play at Liverpool Sound City. “Korean rockers Asian Chairshot combine explosive guitars, bass and drum work with vocal melodies that are uniquely full of surprises.” – Music Weekly Asia

Mayu Wakisaka

Mayu WakisakaMayu Wakisaka is an an award winning singer-songwriter and her songs have been preloaded on Sony’s mp3 player “Walkman”. A native of Japan’s entertainment city, Osaka, Mayu, quit law school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue her music career. Her style is a warm mix of folk, pops and jazz with unique and well-written English lyrics. She is the winner of International Acoustic Music Award (Open Category) and also a finalist of “UK songwriting contest” “Australian Songwriting Contest” and “Great American Song Contest”. She has upcoming release of “Halfway to You”, a compilation album of her previous EPs in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. In 2014, she has several international shows including SXSW in USA and the Great Escape in UK.

Seminar Series 2015 Womenomics @ The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Jan 27 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Seminar Series 2015 Womenomics @ The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

The term “Womenomics,” coined by Kathy Matsui, Chief Japan Equity Strategist at Goldman Sachs, refers to policies aimed at enabling women to make a larger contribution to the Japanese economy. It has become a key component of “Abenomics” – Prime Minister Abe’s overall policies for the revitalisation of Japan. As dual-income couples have increasingly become the norm in Japan, the female labour participation rate is, in fact, more or less in line with other developed countries. The difference is that Japanese female workers disproportionately work in positions with low status, low pay, and low job security. The World Economic Forum Gender Inequality Ranking puts Japan 104th out of 142 countries, far below other developed countries.

Enabling Japanese women to make a fuller contribution at work would significantly boost Japanese GDP, but gender inequality is a complex issue with deep roots in Japanese society. Glen Fukushima is a widely-followed observer of and writer on Japan, and as former CEO and Chairman of Airbus Japan, has experience of these issues from the management point of view. Mami Mizutori is a former senior Japanese diplomat who has seen at first hand the obstacles that must be negotiated by Japanese career women. They will discuss the initiatives taken by the Abe government so far and the hidden barriers to meaningful change.

Glen S. Fukushima is Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a prominent Washington, D.C. think tank. From 1990 to 2012, he was based in Tokyo as a senior executive in one European and four US multinationals (including CEO of Airbus Japan) and served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. He has served on numerous Japanese, American, and European corporate boards and advisory councils and is a Trustee of Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives). From 1985 to 1990, he worked in Washington DC as Director for Japanese Affairs and as Deputy Assistant US Trade Representative for Japan and China at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. His book The Politics of US-Japan Trade Conflict was awarded the Masayoshi Ohira Prize in 1993. He was educated at Stanford (BA), Harvard (MA, JD), Keio and Tokyo (Fulbright and Japan Foundation Fellow).
Mami Mizutori is Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures since 2011. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked for the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where her last position was as the Budget Director for the Foreign Ministry. Previous posts included being Director of the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) at the Embassy of Japan in London; Director of the National Security Policy Division; United Nations Policy Division; and the Status of US Forces Agreement Division. She graduated in law from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo and obtained a Masters Diploma in International Studies from the Diplomatic School of Spain. Mami writes on a variety of topics for contemporary Japanese media, such as Monetary and Financial Affairs published by Jiji Press and analyzes for several think tanks, including The Japan Research Institute. She is a Trustee for both the Daiwa Anglo-Japan Foundation and the Association for Aid and Relief Japan.

The event is free. Please book your attendance at www.dajf.org.uk/events/booking-form

Daiwa Foundation Japan House
13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle
London NW1 4QP

At the Crossroads: Japan and Low-Skilled Foreign Workers @ The Swedenborg Society
Mar 16 @ 6:45 pm
At the Crossroads: Japan and Low-Skilled Foreign Workers @ The Swedenborg Society

Free – booking recommended
Book online here: http://www.japansociety.org.uk/booking-form/

Despite a steady decline in the size of its workforce, Japan continues to prohibit the formal entrance of low-skilled migrant workers. In this talk, Dr Kristin Surak will discuss the history of labour migration in post-War Japan, and the ways in which the country has – at multiple crossroads – avoided a turn to foreign workers. Through a comparison with South Korea and Taiwan, she will focus on how Japan has arrived at a distinctive configuration within the region for dealing with labour migration.

Kristin Surak is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Japanese Politics at SOAS, University of London, specializing in international migration, nationalism, culture, and globalization. Her book Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice was published by Stanford University Press in 2013, and received the Outstanding Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Asia. Her articles on ethnic categorization, nation-building, symbolic power, capitalism and ethnicity, migration policies, and guestworker schemes have appeared in several prominent academic and intellectual journals, including the European Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, Merkur: Zeitschrift für Europäisches Denken, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Lettre International, and the New Left Review. For her scholarship, she has been named a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. She has received awards and fellowships from the Japan Foundation, Fulbright-Hays Foundation, European University Institute, Frankfurt University, the University of California Board of Regents, and the Sainsbury Foundation. Her current research compares migration regimes and temporary migrant labor programs in East Asia and across the globe. She received a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form: http://www.japansociety.org.uk/booking-form/

Former Prime Ministers in Japanese Politics: Who’s Sori Now? – Hugo Dobson @ The Swedenborg Society
Jun 29 2015 @ 6:45 pm
Former Prime Ministers in Japanese Politics: Who’s Sori Now? – Hugo Dobson @ The Swedenborg Society

This lecture is based on a current research project that seeks to make two contributions. First of all, it provides an alternative political history of Japan from the perspective of former prime ministers and their post-premierships. Japan’s modern political history is a relatively well-researched field presenting little opportunity for new perspectives. However, by focusing on what happens after a prime minister has stepped down, this project shifts our attention from the usual concerns of political biography towards the question of what happened next. This project seeks to answer that simple but elusive question ‘where are they now?’

Second, it is hoped that this project appeals not only to political historians but also to political scientists by categorizing and evaluating the various roles of informal actors in domestic and international politics, but in the specific case of former Japanese prime ministers. As there is no template or precedent for what prime ministers do after retirement, these post-premierships can be varied and overlapping. Former prime ministers may continue to exert influence behind the scenes; they may return to the top job or a ministerial role; they may assume an unofficial role but still be actively engaged in the political process; they may make a career break and move into a new field; they might publish their memoirs; or, they may even retire completely from the limelight. Whatever the post-retirement role they assume, these can be categorized in order to shed light on possible sources of influence and power, official or unofficial, formal or informal, that have been ignored and under-researched up until now.

Hugo Dobson is Professor of Japan’s International Relations at the National Institute of Japanese Studies and currently Head of the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield. His research interests are broadly divided into two strands. The first strand focuses upon international relations, multilateral organisations and global governance, especially the G8 and G20 and Japan’s role therein. The second strand of his research explores the role of images in shaping our understanding of international relations and Japan’s role in the world, from postage stamps and logos to TV programmes such as The Simpsons. A more detailed profile and list of publications are available at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/seas/staff/japanese/Dobson

Japan’s demographic shift and its implication for the future of Japanese education and social policy @ The Swedenborg Society
Sep 21 @ 6:45 pm
Japan’s demographic shift and its implication for the future of Japanese education and social policy @ The Swedenborg Society | London | United Kingdom

Japan is currently going through the most dramatic demographic transition that the world has ever seen that cannot be ascribed to either war or plague. Life expectancy is rising, fertility rates are falling, the country is ageing and the population is shrinking – all faster than in any other country in the world. According to most estimates, by the end of the current century, the Japanese population will be half its present size. There is no area of Japanese educational, social, political and economic policy which remains untouched by this demographic shift. This talk will discuss some of its most immediate implications, focussing in particular on a predicted implosion of Japan’s higher education system where, since 2014, supply has for the first time outstripped demand.

Roger Goodman has since 2008 been Head of Oxford University’s Social Sciences Division which, with almost 1000 academic staff, is one of the largest groups of social scientists in the world. In 2003, he took up the Nissan Chair of Modern Japanese Studies. Prof. Goodman’s research over the past 30 years has been mainly on the education and social welfare system of modern Japan. He has published many books including, most recently, Higher Education and the State, 2012, A Sociology of Japanese Youth, 2011, and Ageing in Asia, 2007. Prof. Goodman is currently Chair of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.

ASUNA – 100 Toys Concert and Tour @ The Brewhouse (London Fields Brewery)
Jun 10 @ 7:30 pm
ASUNA - 100 Toys Concert and Tour @ The Brewhouse (London Fields Brewery) | London | United Kingdom

ASUNA (Asuna Arashi, Japan) uses large collections of multiples to explore interference and drones in installations and live performances. Evolving from previous projects EACH ORGAN and 100 Keyboards, the current tour 100 TOYS uses many tiny cheap toys to create a multilayered and fascinating plastic universe of drones, loops, sonic moire and occasional pop implosions. People are invited to stand around his set and get up close as he works his magic. ASUNA has shared stages with the likes of Jez Riley French and Simon Scott.


ASUNA will be joined by the very talented James Murray, Hybernation, and flying in from Belgium will be Hüwels/Dudal (the curators of the wonderful Slaapwel and Dauw record labels respectively).

Cyber Security: National and Business threat? @ Daiwa Foundation Japan House
Jan 26 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Cyber Security: National and Business threat? @ Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Since the September 2013 selection of Tokyo as host of the 2020 Olympic Games, the Japanese have put increased emphasis on cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) security to make sure the Games are a success. 2015-16 was particularly packed with developments. Mihoko Matsubara, Chief Security Officer for Japan at Palo Alto Networks, will talk about Japan’s cybersecurity efforts in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and what they mean for the rest of the world.

BAND-MAID Release “Just Bring It” in Europe
Feb 10 all-day

Band Maid 2After blasting in to the international rock scene last year, BAND-MAID return with their hotly anticipated first major album. Entitled Just Bring It, the 13-track album, released under Nippon Crown in their homeland of Japan, will hit the UK and Europe from 10 February 2017 through JPU Records in two editions; the regular edition and a CD and T-shirt bundle.

2016 saw the band embark on their first headline world tour, including a sold-out show at The Underworld in London, over a thousand fans descend on Mexico’s Sala as well as packed out club-events across France, Germany and Poland, along with comic con appearances in London, Spain and Italy. The same year also saw the international release of the band’s HMV recommended mini-album Brand New MAID which led to the Huffington Post Blog dubbing BAND-MAID “one to watch”.

“I flew over to Japan to check out BAND-MAID two years ago, and they haven’t stopped knocking my socks off since. Just Bring It is probably their most powerful record yet. I can’t wait to get them back overseas to hear it live” – Tom Smith, JPU Records’ founder and CEO.


The Curious Case Of Japan Leads To Deep Revelations About Money @ The Japan Room
Oct 30 @ 6:30 pm

The Japan RoomHow weak is macroeconomic theory? Japan has terrible macroeconomic numbers (by leading nation standards) yet a high quality of life. This contradiction drags macroeconomics, monetary policy, taxation, and politics under a spotlight. In this talk, Professor Michael Mainelli intends to draw on the work of his Long Finance movement, along with the work of Professor Richard Werner, and use the more interesting contradictions of Japan to show how much more we need to learn about fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, trade, and tax in order to provide alternative visions of economic and fiscal (six letter word for tax) policies.

Professor Michael Mainelli FCCA FCSI(Hon) FBCS, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group
A qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist, and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin, Michael gained his PhD at London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor. He began his career as a research scientist, later becoming an accountancy-firm partner and a director of Ministry of Defence research. During a spell in merchant banking in 1994, he co-founded Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank. He has led Z/Yen from creating smart ledgers (aka blockchains) through the Financial £aboratory, Taskforce 2000, Long Finance & the London Accord, Global Financial Centres Index, Global Green Finance Index, and Global Intellectual Property Index. He is an Alderman of the City of London, a non-executive director of two listed firms and a regulator, Emeritus Professor at Gresham College, Fellow of Goodenough College, and Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders. His third book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize.

Please let us know if you would like to take an optional tour of the Freemasons’ Hall at 5.15 for 5.30pm.

Host: Pauline Chakmakjian, Visit Kyoto Ambassador.

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996, email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

In association with The Japan Room

Lodge Room No 11
The Freemasons’ Hall
Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AZ

Japan Society members: £9
Non-members: £15