Japanese Events in London

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‘Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker’ Show @ Barbican Centre
Jun 22 @ 6:30 pm – Jul 2 @ 6:30 pm

Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker at BarbicanTokyo-based pop-star Toco Nikaido brings her brand new show Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker to London for the very first time.

Audiences will experience spectacular Japanese sub-culture through music and high-energy performance at the Barbican centre this summer!


Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker  – UK Premiere
Created by Toco Nikaido

22 June – 2 July at the Barbican (The Pit)
6.30 & 9.30pm

‘blasts the audience with the sound and fury of Japanese youth culture’

Sydney Morning Herald

Orchestrated by Tokyo-based artist and pop-idol Toco Nikaido, this is Japanese subculture conveyed in all its multi-coloured, cacophonous, frenetic glory.

Prepare to be equipped with a rain poncho and earplugs as twenty-five performers swarm the stage at breakneck speed, armed with an abundance of disposable props and sub-cultural references. In a frenzied homage to otagei, (ritualised dancing and chanting by groups of fans) this riotous company hurtle towards a festival-like finale that invites everyone to take part.

Presented by LIFT and the Barbican.


Mermaids in the East – The Red Candle @ The Grand Entrance Hall in The Brunel Museum, Rotherhide
Nov 4 @ 7:30 pm – Nov 20 @ 7:30 pm
Mermaids in the East - The Red Candle

Mermaids in the East – The Red Candle

‘Mermaids in the East – The Red Candle’ is a newly devised piece inspired by a Japanese tale ‘The Red Candle and the Mermaid’ by Ogawa Mimei (1882-1961) commonly known as ‘Japanese Andersen’. The way we tell the story is new and experimental pushing the boundaries of traditional methods taken in the UK and Japan. We take a minimalistic approach for the maximum theatrical effects accompanied by the music by traditional Japanese musical instruments.

We consider the work as a requiem for those who lost their lives in disasters. Our initial inspiration was the earthquake that hit Japan in 2011. However, the piece is echoing the grief caused by all other manmade and natural disasters that we had to experience.

We aim to introduce Japanese culture in an authentic way within an intimate space of theatre. By keeping the staging simple, we aim to communicate the spirit of this wonderful tale that tells us about the universal theme of life and death, the shared sadness of the world we live in. We very much hope that the impact that this tale gives the audience becomes an invitation to Japanese literature.

‘Mermaids in the East The Red Candle’ is also a part of our five year project ‘ 凛- Brilliance 2016-2020’ which is a series of theatrical performances based on Japanese tales.

As the year of the Olympic in Tokyo is approaching, there will be general increase of interest towards Japanese culture. Thus, we are planning to produce plays with the purpose of introducing authentic Japanese culture and aesthetics to the audience in Britain to deepen their understanding and insight towards Japan.


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.

Ayakashi – An Evening of Unnerving Japanese Literature on Stage @ The Horse Hospital
Sep 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Ayakashi – An Evening of Unnerving Japanese Literature on Stage @ The Horse Hospital | England | United Kingdom

Japanese folklore and literature take to the stage in a one-time performance of Ayakashi, a double bill of ghost storytelling and staged reading, specially picked to match the dungeon-like beauty of The Horse Hospital in Russell Square. In collaboration with theatre company Doubtful Sound, the Japan Society is pleased to present this unique show in which actors from London and Tokyo collaborate in adapting and reading Japanese modern stories and traditional legends on stage.

The evening will start with storytelling of Japanese folktales from Yamagata and Ishikawa. Doubtful Sound has chosen some of the darker tales from their repertoire for this event. Growing private parts, snake wives, dancing necromantic cats, and ‘the woman who wouldn’t eat’ all feature in these tales from rural Japan. Japanese folk songs performed by SOAS Minyo Group will animate the stories.

Following the storytelling, Japanese actress Kisato Nishi will perform a staged reading of Natsume Soseki’s The Tower of London. The story combines Natsume’s real observations of the Tower of London while he was living here in the early 1900s with fictional visions the tower conjured up.

The show runs approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, including one 15 minute interval. Language: English & Japanese (with English subtitles).

The Little Mochi Man, a play for 4 – 7 year olds @ Various London & UK - wide Locations
Jan 28 @ 12:00 pm – May 30 @ 12:00 pm

The Little Mochi ManA THOUSAND CRANES http://athousandcranes.org.uk/
in association with artsdepot

The Little Mochi Man

Join little Mochi Man on his adventures as he travels from the snowy mountains of Hokkaido, to the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Inspired by the traditions of Shogatsu (Japanese New Year celebrations) and with ‘origami’ puppets, animation and especially composed music, this is the perfect introduction to Japan for young children.

The Little Mochi Man is performed by CBeebies and CBBC regular Haruka Kuroda and Natsumi Kuroda, written and directed by award winning Children’s theatre director Vicky Ireland.

Made possible Design is by Mila Sanders with music and animation by Julian Butler. It is produced by A Thousand Cranes n association with artsdepot, and is supported by funding from Arts Council England.

Vicky Ireland is a writer and director of children’s theatre and was awarded the first MBE for services made to Children’s Theatre. She was Artistic Director at Polka Theatre in Wimbledon for 18 years and presented TV’s Words and Pictures for 12 years and will be back at Polka this summer to direct her acclaimed production of Jacqueline Wilson’s Double Act www.vickyireland.com

A Thousand Cranes was founded in 2006 by performer Kumiko Mendl and writer, director Vicky Ireland to bring the many fascinating stories and cultures of Japan to UK audiences and the company has performed throughout the UK and abroad.

A Thousand Cranes were made Artistic Associates of artsdepot in 2009.

Watermans, Brentford
020 8232 1010

Half Moon Theatre, Limehouse
020 7709 8900

artsdepot, N.Finchley
020 8369 5454

09 – 11 Feb
the egg, Theatre Royal, Bath
01225 823409

Lincoln Japan Festival, Lincoln
01522 539977

01472 323111

Birmingham Hippodrome
0844 338 5000′

Nuffield Southampton Theatres Campus
023 8067 1771

Greenwich Theatre, Greenwich
0208 858 7755

The Cockpit, Marylebone
020 7258 2925

Cambridge junction, Cambridge
01223 511511

The Courtyard, Hereford
01432 340555

23 – 25 March
Polka Theatre, Wimbledon
020 8543 4888

Stratford Circus Art s Centre, Stratford
020 8279 1080

The Civic, Barnsley
01226 327000

23 -27 May
Little Angel Theatre, Islington
020 7226 1787

Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury
salisburyp layhouse.com
01722 320333

* Call Charges apply

Admission: Each venue will have their own ticket pricing

Pluto: Iconic ‘Astro Boy’ Tale @ Barbican
Feb 8 @ 7:15 pm – Feb 11 @ 3:00 pm
Pluto - photo by Maiko Miyagawa. Based on Pluto c Naoki Urasawa, Takashi Nagasaki, Tezuka Productions

Pluto – photo by Maiko Miyagawa. Based on Pluto c Naoki Urasawa, Takashi Nagasaki, Tezuka Productions

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui / Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon: Pluto

In a genre-defying show honouring the Japanese art form of manga, sensational visual effects, impactful storytelling and performances of physical grace enliven this iconic Astro Boy tale.
Depicting a universe where people and robots both coexist and find themselves in conflict, Pluto engages audiences with far-reaching themes that ask what it means to be human. Starring skilled Japanese actors alongside dancers and elaborate puppet creations, the arresting staging is characterised by scale, energy and graphics faithful to the original comic book.

A striking 2003 reinterpretation of Astro Boy for the modern age, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki, Pluto is directed by Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in his first full-length theatre production.

Approximately 3 hours/including an interval
Age guidance 14+
Performed in Japanese with English surtitles

One Green Bottle @ Soho Theatre
Mar 27 @ 7:30 pm – May 19 @ 8:30 pm
One Green Bottle @ Soho Theatre | England | United Kingdom

A presentation by Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and Soho Theatre in association with Noda Map. Written by Hideki Noda, translated by Will Shapre.

The European premiere of an absurd comedy from the team behind the international hit The Bee

Boo, Bo and Pickle have all made plans tonight. But someone has to stay home and look after Princess.

People are waiting, start times are looming. No one’s budging and petty bickering soon spirals into a ludicrous battle of wills and, possibly, the end of the world.

Renowned Japanese writer, performer and Artistic Director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre Hideki Noda paints a portrait of a disconnected family on a self-destructive course in this satirical comedy about consumerism and technology in a ‘selfie’ society.

Starring Hideki himself, Olivier Award-winning actor and director Kathryn Hunter and Glyn Pritchard in an English translation adapted by Will Sharpe.

With music and soundscape influenced by traditional Japanese Noh and Kabuki performed live by legendary Japanese Kabuki musician Denzaemon Tanaka XIII.

Main image: ©Yuni Yoshida

Gamarjobat – The Shut-Up Comedy from Japan @ Leicester Sq Theatre
Aug 26 @ 7:00 pm
Gamarjobat - The Shut-Up Comedy from Japan @ Leicester Sq Theatre | England | United Kingdom

Since storming the Fringe in the noughties Gamarjobat (pronounced Ga-ma-jo-bat) have become one of the few acts that can truly claim to be a global sensation, having performed in 36 countries, from Broadway to China, and racked up over 50 million views on YouTube. This year Ketch! (red mohican) and HIRO-PON (yellow mohican) are BACK and will be performing their West End Premier with a show packed full of their very best world-conquering fast-paced comedy. In the UK Gamarjobat have starred on ITV’s Tonight at the London Palladium, been twice winners of BBC’s BAFTA award-winning The Slammer and fronted Ketch! and HIRO-PON Get It On on BBC3.

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.

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