Japanese Events in London

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Aug
1
Wed
2018
World Shakuhachi Festival @ Goldsmiths, University of London
Aug 1 – Aug 4 all-day
World Shakuhachi Festival @ Goldsmiths, University of London | England | United Kingdom

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.

Oct
3
Wed
2018
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.

Oct
12
Fri
2018
Master – An Ainu Story, Photography Exhibition at SOAS @ The Brunei Gallery, SOAS
Oct 12 – Dec 15 all-day
Master - An Ainu Story, Photography Exhibition at SOAS @ The Brunei Gallery, SOAS | England | United Kingdom

Starting the 12th October and running until 15th December, Adam Isfendiyar will be holding a photography exhibition about the life of an Ainu (indigenous people of Japan) man in Hokkaido. He has been working on this project for over 2 years with Kenji Matsuda, giving an insight into the modern Ainu and the continuing legacy of the recent past since the Japanese took over Hokkaido at the end of the 19th century. It will be showing at The Brunei Gallery, SOAS and entry is free!

Nov
17
Sat
2018
Brave Blossoms: the History of Rugby in Japan @ World Rugby Museum, Twickenham Stadium
Nov 17 2018 – Aug 31 2019 all-day

WRM_BraveBlossomsExplore the full history of the birth and evolution of rugby union in Japan, from 1866 when Yokohama became the site of the oldest rugby club in Asia, to being awarded Rugby World Cup 2019.

This special exhibition, produced in partnership with England Rugby Travel and Kanto District Transport Bureau, charts the evolution of rugby alongside the development of modern Japan. How ‘the father of Japanese rugby’, Ginosuke Tanaka, brought the sport to Keio University and how a series of sporting pioneers, including members of the Japanese Royal Family, allowed the sport to flourish. It will examine how Japanese corporations have nurtured the game at a domestic level allowing Japanese rugby to make significant impacts at international level, and culminating in the famous victory the Brave Blossoms achieved over the Springboks at Rugby World Cup 2015 and the awarding of Rugby World Cup 2019 to Japan.

World Rugby Museum adult ticket £12.50. Concessions available.

Aug
23
Fri
2019
Origami Soundscapes X The Crane @ Arcola Theatre
Aug 23 – Aug 24 all-day
Origami Soundscapes X The Crane @ Arcola Theatre

Grimeborn Opera Festival

8pm 23rd August
3pm 24th August
8pm 24th August

Origami and music. A multi-media opera installation. Verity Lane‘s two-part project draws on her 10 years’ experience of living in Japan, exploring classical Japanese traditions with a uniquely avant-garde twist.

A brand-new performance project with music, stories and concept by Verity Lane, Origami Soundscapes: Flower, Bird, Wind & Moon explores ancient symbolism and Japanese birdsong, featuring a large-scale origami performance by Coco Sato, percussion, shakuhachi and storytelling.

The Crane reimagines a Japanese folk story about a magical crane that takes human form, set around Hokkaido’s Otowa Bridge. This mystical opera installation explores traditional Japanese aesthetics through a blend of Noh theatre conventions, traditional and contemporary dance, avant-garde music and animation.

Sung in English and Japanese without surtitles.

Music and Libretto (English and Japanese) by Verity Lane

Supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/events/342669456446524/

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Verity Lane/music, words, creative directer
Coco Sato/Giant Origami
Beibei Wang/Percussion
Mirei Yazawa/Dance
Tomoko Komura/Voice
Hester Dart/Voice
Kiku Day/Shakuhachi
Rowan O’Brien/Animator

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Verity Lane
Born in Tottenham and spending nearly a decade in Japan, visual artist, composer and writer Verity Lane specialises in creating highly visual performance installations for traditional Japanese instruments. and beyond.
Her recent multi-media projects include A Thousand Bamboo in a Dancing Wind (performance installation for 300 shakuhachi, 2 dancers, projection and performance poetry, commissioned by The World Shakuhachi Festival, held at Goldsmiths, 2018), Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime (supported by Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation), and Japanese Sandscapes: The Tale of Mt Fuji where she worked with artists including Ko Ishikawa (sho/Reigakusha), Etsuko Takezawa (koto/shamisen) and Kaho Aso (traditional Japanese dance/kotsuzumi). Both projects saw Lane launch herself within London’s avant garde music scene, selling out venues across London.
https://www.facebook.com/pg/veritycomposer/

Coco Sato is an award-winning Japanese artist based in the UK. Her work uses origami to change the way people see the world.
https://www.facebook.com/GiantOrigami/

Mirei Yazawa is a performance artist based in London.

Beibei Wang is a genre defying percussionist based in London.
https://www.facebook.com/beibeiwangmusic/

Tomoko Komura is a London based performer from Japan, trained at the London International School of Performing Arts with an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor-Created Theatre (2006). She has performed and toured in shows by award-winning theatre companies such as Theatre Ad Infinitum (Ballad of the Burning Star), Theatre Témoin (Jukai) and Out of Chaos (Out of Chaos).

Kiku Day is a shakuhachi player based in Denmark.
http://www.kikuday.com/

Hester Dart is a London based contralto and graduate from the University of Leeds. They study with Prof. Neil Baker and are currently finishing their second year at the Morley College Opera School. Hester is particularly interested in promoting the work of
LGBTQ+ composers and musicians. They would like to contribute towards a more inclusive and accessible environment within classical music and opera.

Rowan O’Brien is a renowned animator and 3D artist from the West Coast of Ireland. He mixes sketches, objects, computer animation, and video in his work. He has screened and exhibited work across Europe, South Korea and Japan, where he lived and studied Japanese fabric craft known as oshie.

Oct
3
Thu
2019
YUKA FUJII : LIKE PLANETS CINE-PHOTO (UK PREMIERE) @ CAFE OTO
Oct 3 @ 7:30 pm

CONFRONT RECORDINGS PRESENT: YUKA FUJII : LIKE PLANETS CINE-PHOTO (UK PREMIERE)

Tonights presentation celebrates the joint opening of an exhibition of photography by Yuka Fujii at the Pocko Gallery, together with the UK premiere of LIKE PLANETS, a film of images and text taken from the book of the same name. There will also be live music from Clive Bell and Rie Nakajima.

The film makes its world premiere at the Punkt Festival in Norway in September 2019 followed soon after by this London showing. There are plans to take it to Japan later in the year. LIKE PLANETS also features a specially commissioned soundtrack by Mark Wastell.

SET I
CLIVE BELL

SET II
LIKE PLANETS FILM

SET III
RIE NAKAJIMA

Oct
8
Tue
2019
Ley Line at Sadler’s Wells @ Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio
Oct 8 @ 7:15 pm

“Four striking works align, taking the audience on an exploration of reflection, purification, self and identity. Together we navigate an energetic path that illuminates the significance of our connection as human beings through unspoken word.

The Japan Foundation is delighted to partner with Fabula Collective on a contemporary dance production presented at Sadler’s Wells this October. A mixed bill performance choreographed by James Pett, Travis Clausen-Knight, and Japanese contemporary dance artist Kahiko Narisawa, the project emphasises the collaboration between Japanese and British dancers, bridging the cultures of the two countries and facilitating a meeting of minds to exchange skills, knowledge, technique and creative ideas.

The performance will be followed by a conversation between the dance artists and Sanjoy Roy, dance writer and critic for the Guardian.

Date:  8 October 2019, from 7:15pm
Venue: Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Lilian Baylis Studio

Roseberry Avenue, London EC1R 4TN
Nearest tube:
Angel Station

Nov
1
Fri
2019
Yū (Shin’ichi Isohata / Naoyo Yakushi / Misuzu) @ CAFE OTO
Nov 1 @ 7:30 pm

Yū (Shin’ichi Isohata – Naoyo Yakushi – Misuzu)

“This project is named Yū (幽) / phantom.

Yū is Japanese special sensitivity, it’s means like “faintly”, “fleeting”, “airy”, “vaguely”. It’s be understood by Japanese people as also “ghost”, “apparition”, “phantom”.

This performance depicts two Japanese goddesses, one phantom, and one modern woman, by dance of Misuzu and the music of Shin’ichi Isohata and Naoyo Yakushi.

Many of the origins of religion in all world were goddess faith. God or monster has the back and front faces that are intrinsic as same as humans (although I think originally God should not be such an existence..). Every existences have good and evil, and also there has sadness in the bottom of the heart. However, sometime the sadness might be become to mercy or hope. Music wander between reality and mythology with abstract, minimal sound, and Japan sensitivities etc… for realizing the true happiness in heart.” – Shin’ichi Isohata