art & culture

Japan in… Dalston, London

5 awesome Japan-inspired businesses in Dalston that you seriously need to check out. Café OTO – Perched on upcycled wooden chairs and sipping flat whites, everyone in Café OTO is discussing Japan. So-and-so’s brother has just got back. French students exchange expert tips for dating Japanese women. Perhaps they’re trying too hard? But the charm Read more

‘My favourite day of the school holidays‘ wrote my 5 year old boy, ‘was using the Japanese Washlet toilet at the Japan House. It squirts water at your bumhole and then dries it with hot air.’ Indeed, Japan House, High Street Kensington, is fun to pop in before a romp in Hyde Park (not too Read more

Tea ceremony? Flower arranging? Taiko drumming? London might just be the best place outside of Japan to learn a traditional art or craft! Interest in time-honoured Japanese arts continues to escalate; there’s just something so refreshing about the need to be present that is embodied within traditional arts. Instant mindfulness! These groups and foundations will Read more

Emerging from the Yamato ‘Passion’ Japanese Taiko drum performance, my cheeks actually hurt from smiling. So touching was the troupe’s camaraderie, the exuberant energy, and polished professional delivery that I was grinning ear-to-ear for much of the show. It was moving in more ways than one – the intense vibrations from the massive drums could Read more

Admiring the springtime blooms is a bit of a national obsession common to both Britain and Japan. They are being rapturously received in the UK in 2019 as we speak, and the first wave of cherry blossoms has started in Japan. Here in the UK we are known for seasonally swooning over daffodils, snowdrops and Read more

Anything like us, and love just about everything Japanese? You can’t help have noticed that exports from their closest neighbour, South Korea, are slowly but surely gaining ground over here in London. And, of course, the 2018 Winter Olympics mean all eyes have been on the sporting events taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea. We Read more

‘Pluto’ at Barbican – Theatre Review

I certainly didn’t expect to be moved to tears by the on-stage tale of a little boy comic book character with pointy hair and rocket booster shoes. Astro Boy? Wasn’t that just a Japanese manga for kids? In fact, I wasn’t sure what at all to expect from Barbican’s UK premiere of Belgian director Sidi Read more

English & Japanese Meetup Party!

We are happy to announce that we are presenting an English and Japanese Meetup party in collaboration with ZOOM JAPAN Free Monthly Magazine and Sozai Cooking School. This is a unique event made up of one-to-one language exchanges with different partners! Any level of English & Japanese speakers will be welcome. As the second part of Read more

The Japanese and the British both share a deep-rooted appreciation of gardens, even though the chaotic tumble of blooms in an English country garden and the clipped order and raked gravel so characteristic of a Japanese garden couldn’t be more different.  Perhaps that’s why we are so fascinated; Japanese gardens have long been popular in Read more

Top 4 Must-Reads for UK Japanophiles!’s Vanessa picks the top 4 must-read books for Japanophiles based in the UK! Professor Munakata’s British Museum Adventure by Hoshino Yukinobu This marvellous manga (comic book) stars the famed Professor Munakata, the fictional Japanese detective. He is visiting the UK and gets embroiled in a mystery involving many treasures we host in the British Read more

  DJ Krush – real name 石 英明 (Hideaki Ishi) is a highly influential hip hop / trip hop DJ known for his distinctive, ground-breaking instrumental production. He creates a multi-layered atmosphere with sound elements from nature and sampling of jazz and soul. This show at Electric Brixton in London is his first for 2 Read more

Yearning for the deep, primal reverberations of an o-daiko drum? A KODO performance cannot fail to rumble, shake and move you. These Japanese performers – based on Sado Island – sure don’t travel lightly: central to the show is the diversity of drums – from big to very, very big!  The elegance, versatility and sheer Read more

‘NAGASAKI: Life After Nuclear War’ by Susan Southard, Souvenir Press 2015, £20 Exquisite in execution and extensive in research, this profoundly important book is almost too harrowing to read. NAGASAKI must have been an immense labour to write; brought forth by Susan Southard with the realisation most Americans were ‘ignorant of the history of the Read more

Coming to Stratford Circus Arts Centre in east London, from November 24th – 28th, Kuli-Kala is a brand new action-packed stage show. Featuring Samurai and Ninjas struggling to join forces to defeat the Shogun, there are swashbuckling sword fights, dynamic choreography, music, song and an intriguing narrative to bring this dramatic story to life.The colourful Read more

‘The art lover’s guide to Japanese Museums’ by Sophie Richard, Japan Society Publications 2014, £18.99 Like a chisel to a chestnut, this book effectively cracks open the daunting barrier to Japanese museums, revealing toothsome treasures inside. Staggeringly, Japan has some 5,600 museums, a fifth devoted to art (the UK has approximately 1,600 museums overall. Finally Read more