art & culture

‘Harajuku Girls’ Theatre Review

Playwright: Francis Turnly / Director: Jude Christian / Starring: Haruka Abe, Elizabeth Tan, Kunjue Li A gritty, gripping coming-of-age drama, ‘Harajuku Girls’ premiered at the Finborough Theatre in February 2015 and is on until Saturday March 21st, 2015.  Thank you for inviting in to review! Graduating from high school is a familiar rite of Read more

‘Greatful Dead’ DVD Review

グレイトフルデッド, 2013 / 98 minutes / Director: Eiji Uchida / Writers: Etsuro Hiratani, Eiji Uchida Starring Kumi Takiuchi, Takashi Sasano, Kim Kkobbi Available from Third Window Films on DVD and Blu-Ray now, Greatful Dead is a Japanese American Pyscho for the Abenomics age. Imagine walking into the house of someone you’ve been secretly eyeballing for Read more

SIRO-A Review: Kawaii & Kakoi!

In London until 11 January 2015 – back and ‘re-booted’ for the 3rd year running – SIRO-A clearly have a winning formula.  A fusion of mime, dance and puppetry, with lasers and music, from Japan?  Well, I expected the precision-timed action.  I also anticipated mesmerisation by technology.  I certainly wasn’t disappointed on either count!  What Read more

HYPER JAPAN 2014 Round Up

Bringing Japanese pop culture all together into one fantastic festival, HYPER JAPAN 2014 (July 25-27) is a must for the Japan enthusiast!  The festival is held over three days at  Earls Court One, Warwick Road, London, SW5 9TA (nearest tube: Earl’s Court). For Japanfans who just can’t get enough, and there are not one, but Read more

London is the best place for Japanese art in Europe, according to Monika Hinkel, Japanese art specialist, who will  offer courses from September at the wonderful Morley College, Waterloo.  Courses will include: Japanese painting (autumn term), Japanese Ceramics (spring term), Nanban Art (summer term) and Major themes in Japanese Art (summer term). 1. What do Read more

‘WA: The Essence of Japanese Design’ by Rossella Menegazzo and Stefania Piotta, Phaidon Press 2014, Hardback £49.95 Traditionally bound in an appealing Japanese style, featuring folded pages bound with striking red cord, WA is a tactile treat for the senses. Applied abstract designs on the covers indicate this is no ordinary book.  Delve into WA Read more

Billy the Bus and the Great Tour of London by Trevor Hawes, White Post Corner Limited 2012, £5.99 Omiyage alert!  A perfect present for the Japanese kids in your life; Billy the Bus and the Great Tour of London is a cheery, winsome look at popular tourist attractions through the eyes of an iconic red Read more

Yoshiki, one of Asia’s most influential musical artists, is honored to share his new collection of compositions entitled Yoshiki Classical with fans around the world.  He’ll be bringing his Classical tour (you can buy tickets here) to the Royal Festival Hall, London on May 29, 2014! The long awaited album Yoshiki Classical was released worldwide Read more

The mischievous, red-haired orphan known as ‘Anne of Green Gables’, from the bestselling 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, is big in Japan.  This isn’t news to most Japanese people, who know her fondly as Akage no An (literally ‘Red-haired Anne’) but it’s surprising how often I’ll mention the fact to a fellow Read more

Mugenkyo: ‘Eternal Return’ CD Review

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers Eternal Return **** Decisive beats build to crashing crescendos with the elemental power of a tsunami wave.  Devoid of lyrics, taiko drumming is punctuated with Japanese language chants and yells, encouraging players to perform with maximum energy.  This commanding collection celebrates twenty years of the Mugenkyo troupe, and features some great recordings Read more

Mugenkyo Document (Live) DVD  (73 mins) ***** Having thoroughly enjoyed Scotland-based Mugenkyo group’s powerful taiko drumming live in concert, I wondered what the DVD could offer that the live performance didn’t.  After all, my home speakers simply can’t do justice to the massive odaiko drum’s rumbling vibration – which as an audience member you can Read more

‘Shunga’ Exhibition Review

Totally titillating, uproariously ridiculous and gleefully clever; the Shunga Japanese art exhibition now on (until 5 Jan 2014) at the British Museum is custom made to appeal to the British public.  A wide range of Shunga illustrations from 1600-1900 Japan by Utamaro, Hokusai, and countless other contemporaries come together in a veritable orgy of art.  Read more

Now on at the Wellcome Collection, Euston, until 30 June 2013, Souzou is just the exhibition to blow out your winter cobwebs and make room for creative thought to spring forth!  An important exhibition for all those who have ever wondered about the purpose of art; Souzou’s artists are all residents or day attendees of Read more

Junko O’Neill: Artist

Junko O’Neill, a Japanese artist now residing in the UK, brings her solo exhibition entitled ‘Fragments of Time’ to London this week.  Here, she tells us about the concept of ‘ma’ and events surrounding the exhibition. Junko’s exhibition is now over, but you can see some photos of the opening night here. 1. What do Read more

Tohoku 2 Years On – A London Round Up

    It has been two years since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the coast of Eastern Japan.  On March 11, 2011, I was still reeling from the sudden death of my father, who had died on February 11, 2011, when the tragic news streamed in from Japan. My dear old dad’s death I Read more