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As the Japanese taiko drumming troupe make their way back to London, they bring with them the Odaiko drums. These traditional drums, used in Shinto rituals, weigh over half a tonne each, and require exceptional skill and physicality to produce each floor-shaking note.
Dedicated to their art, the Yamato drummers train ferociously. On stage, they display a staggering strength, using their entire bodies to play and share with their audiences an intense passion that comes out in their pounding, high-energy and thrillingly thunderous performances.
“Primal, exhilarating; you want to do it too”
THE TIMES on Chousensha – The Challengers
“Our mission for Okinawa Day 2019 is to introduce Okinawan culture further in the UK and enrich the existing relationship between Okinawa and the UK which has been established through our previous Okinawa Day events. We are also keen to reach an ever-larger UK audience to participate in future Okinawa related events and to create an Okinawan cultural hub in the UK.
Okinawa Day 2019 will also offer entertainment for kids, making it a unique opportunity for families to enjoy the richness of Okinawan culture. We are planning to present the following events at the main square – performing arts (folk and classical songs accompanied by sanshin lute, drumming performance and Eisa dance, etc). ”
The prospective program includes:
・Ryukyu (Okinawa) and Amami traditional music, Eisa dance, Karate performance, Ukulele music with Hula dance.
Performances of Okinawa-related music, dance, martial arts by individuals and groups from the U.K., France, Amami islands and Okinawa islands
・Entertainment for kids stall
・Food and drink stall
Display of Okinawan food and drink outlets including Awamori (Okinawan liquor), fruit juice, Okinawan sweets and more.
・Arts and Crafts Stalls from Okinawa
Display of Sanshin and other unique and original arts and crafts objects from Okinawa and our original t-shirts.
It is 1860, in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Othello is an Ainu, one of the indigenous people of northern Japan. He falls in love with a Japanese woman and is betrayed by a friend (Iago) of mixed Ainu and Japanese heritage.
Lies, manipulation and discrimination are the steadfast roots of jealousy in this epic performance of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.
Ainu Othello is adapted by Kazumi Shimodate, Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Company Japan.
Co-directed by Kazumi Shimodate and Ainu theatre director Debo Akibe, this spectacular production has been staged in Sendai, Tokyo, and Sapporo, opening powerful discussions about discrimination faced by the Ainu, and the prospects for new relationships in the modern era. Each performance will be preceded by a presentation from the Dance Group Piricap.
Ainu Othello is a rare opportunity to see how Shakespeare remains a contemporary chronicler of human prejudices in another part of the globe.
Performed in Japanese
Looking to experience something new in 2019? Why not try teaching English in Japan?
Gaba Corporation is the leading one-to-one English language school in Japan, with 44 locations spread across the major cities. Instructors have the benefit of a flexible schedule which they design monthly, with no minimum or maximum number of lessons needing to be taught each month. Our clients are motivated adults with varying goals and interests, and there is a large focus on development for Instructors in the form of different workshops and mentorship. Career opportunities are also available. Teaching English in Japan with Gaba is a great opportunity to live in the exciting culture of Japan and gain some valuable professional experience at the same time.
We are looking for applicants who possess the following:
• Solid people skills
• Good command of the English language
• Ability to work independently
• Desire to live and work in Japan
• TEFL/ TESOL certification or ESL experience preferred
Testimonials from current instructors available to watch at our website.
If you are living in or near any of the following locations, please come along to one of our Information Seminars in August 2019 to meet a recruiter and learn more about Gaba:
• Manchester – August 8th (evening)
• London – August 10th (daytime)
If you are not able to attend our Recruiting Event, you may still apply for a position to come to Japan to teach with GABA through our website.
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
Verity Lane/music, words, creative directer
Coco Sato/Giant Origami
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.
Coco Sato is an award-winning Japanese artist based in the UK. Her work uses origami to change the way people see the world.
Mirei Yazawa is a performance artist based in London.
Beibei Wang is a genre defying percussionist based in London.
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.
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.
Japanese animation has embraced robotics, cybernetics and artificial intelligence as major themes. More interestingly, it uses these themes to explore complex moral and social questions: humanity’s responsibility for its actions, response to the other, greed, short-termism, failure to care for the ecosystem that sustains us.
This anime film season examines the challenge of the man-machine interface through eight films, running 12 – 30 September, on various aspects of humanity’s response to technological change.
All films will screen in Japanese with English subtitles.
Anime’s Human Machines is an Official Event of the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020, presented by the Barbican in association with the Japan Foundation, and has been kindly supported by Wellcome and The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.
This year’s festival will be held at the Barbican Centre, Close-Up Film Centre and MetFilm School from Friday 20 September through Sunday 22 September. JAEFF 2019: Nation will see five feature-length films screened alongside seven short-form films. We will again be hosting a panel discussion at the Barbican, and are very excited to announce a free filmmakers’ workshop at the MetFilm School.
London’s very own festival of Japanese culture – Japan Matsuri – returns on Sunday, 29 September 2019 in Trafalgar Square in the centre of the city. A regular fixture now in the London calendar, this free annual festival brings people together to enjoy Japanese food, music, dance, and activities for all the family.
The concept of the theme this year is “Future generations”.
Everything kicks off at 10.00am and runs through till 8.00pm. With two stages, there is plenty to see all day. The programme of stage performance for this year is still being finalised and will feature exciting new acts as well as the return of favourites from previous Matsuri.
Enjoy the atmosphere with Japanese festival food from the numerous stalls. Join in the fun in the family activities area with games and dressing in kimono. Try your hand at Japanese cartoons on the manga wall.
Japan Matsuri is organised jointly by the Japan Association, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Japan Society and Nippon Club, with support from the Embassy of Japan.