Talk: 8 February 2016
Beautiful ceramic works of pottery from Kyoto have long encapsulated the unique elegance and culture of the former capital city. Join Shinichi Miyagawa as he recounts the history and practice of the Makuzu Miyagawa Kousai family, part of this Kyoto tradition of highly decorative, elegant and refined ceramics. The Miyagawa family have worked as ceramists producing tea ware for both the matcha used in tea ceremony and for regular leaf teas (such as sencha green tea). Miyagawa will be showing a wide variety of his, his father’s and his ancestor’s works from their family kiln in Kyoto, as well as demonstrating some recent creations from the kilns of the Bernard Leach pottery in St Ives.
Talk: 1 February 2016
2016 marks the beginning of two years of anniversary commemorations for Natsume Soseki, the greatest literary figure of modern Japan: 2016 marks the centennial of his death in 1916; and 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1867. Damian Flanagan will show us the boarding houses that Soseki lived in, located in different parts of the city, and introduce us to the people that Soseki met and lived amongst. Join us for a literary odyssey round London like no other, that will make you see the capital through entirely fresh, Sosekian eyes.
Special event: 28 January 2016
Japan, unbeknownst to many, retains the death penalty, and still executes criminal offenders to this day. The Japanese government’s official justification for preserving the death penalty is that the majority of the public is overwhelming in favour of this method of criminal punishment. Dr Mai Sato will screen a short version of the documentary film, “The Wavering Public? The Death Penalty, Justice and Public Opinion”, which explores what the death penalty means to ordinary citizens living in a retentionist state – one in which much of the practice surrounding the death penalty remains secretive and discreet.
Exhibition: 30 Oct 2015 – 17 Dec 2015
Drawing away from the conventions of story books, Keiji Ishida’s works explore the significance of images when they are set free from the written word. The image, reconstructed as a new point of departure, invites the viewer into a space in which the decontextualised illustrations can narrate alternative stories.
Seminar: 7 December 2015
As precise and nuanced as Japanese calligraphy, this memoir of Eluned Gramich’s stay on the remote Hokkaido island in the far north of Japan, has at its heart the mountain, Yotei-San, the region’s iconic equivalent to Mount Fuji. Dan Bradley joins Eluned in conversation to discuss her experience of living in the shadow of the omnipresent Yotei-San, and how this time in rural Hokkaido inspired her writings of the natural world.
Book launch: 3 December 2015
The Japanese tea-ceremony, or Way of Tea, is one of the most profound manifestations of mindfulness. The ceremony, with its roots in Zen Buddhism, dates as far back as the 15th century and takes place within a traditional tea-ceremony room. Author and acclaimed photographer, Michael Freeman, will give a talk about his experiences in visiting and photographing the modern tea ceremony rooms featured in his book “Mindful Design of Japan: 40 Modern Tea-Ceremony Rooms”.
Special event: 26 November 2015
Japanese online magazine SHIFT presents the DOTMOV Festival 2015, premiering in the UK at the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation. We screened a selection of 12 short films to showcase emerging international talent in film and the visual arts.
Seminar: 17 November 2015
The Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 had a devastating impact on the Japanese art scene. In this talk, Mizuki Takahashi, senior curator at Art Tower Mito, reflected on her experience and curatorial journey, addressing popular constructs of Japanese cultural identity in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.