Book launch: 8 April 2014
We were delighted to host the London launch of the Japan Society’s latest publication, “The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums” by Sophie Richard. Japan is a ‘museum kingdom,’ operating some 5600 museums nationwide – a figure that eclipses the 1800 or so accredited museums in the UK. The museums of Japan feature rich collections and excellent exhibitions in world-class galleries. The art lover’s guide to Japanese Museums acts as a personal guide, introducing readers to some of the most distinctive and inspiring art museums in the country.
Seminar: 3 April 2014
One hundred years after the start of the First World War, this seminar presented two different points of view on a turning point in the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Japan assisted Britain by defeating Germany in the Far East early on in the war, yet several factors tested the relationship between Britain and Japan. The event was chaired by Professor Ian H. Nish of the London School of Economics.
Exhibition: 17 Mar 2014 – 26 Mar 2014
“Yasashii Hankachi” is an exhibition organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in association with JAGDA (the Japan Graphic Designers Association) in response to the devastation left by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku (north-east) area of Japan. In collaboration with children in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, graphic designers have helped to create beautiful handkerchiefs. These have been exhibited and sold, and the proceeds have been donated to schools in the area to enable children to realise their reconstruction projects.
Seminar: 25 March 2014
“Soft power” can be defined as a country’s ability to get what it wants by attracting rather than coercing others – by engaging hearts and minds through cultural and political values and foreign policies that other countries see as legitimate and conducive to their own interests. Is Japan’s use of its soft power a success at the moment? Is it possible for a state to use soft power and not make it look like propaganda?
Seminar: 14 March 2014
Architecture is responsible for about 45% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, but how can this be changed? This event highlighted the new trends of “compact” and “adaptive” design in the UK and contrasts their novelty here with their history in Japan, where they are more firmly embedded into the culture and design thinking. The speakers discussed how living space can be “compact” but rich, inspired by the classic scale and order of a Japanese house, which is combined with advanced concepts and technologies.
Exhibition: 16 Jan 2014 – 12 Mar 2014
Tokyo Portraits is a series of figurative paintings inspired by the people and places of Tokyo – responses to everyday life in Japan’s capital, as seen through the eyes of a visiting UK artist. Inspired by the city’s crowded streets, large canvases depict masses of densely packed faces. These works have been made in collaboration with hundreds of people living or working in Tokyo, each volunteering to sit for their portraits. Other paintings are based upon everyday life in Tokyo, depicting people in trains, shops and streets – subtle distortions in space and scale often being used to combine the familiar with a slight sense of the unreal.
Seminar: 11 March 2014
Along with the impact of social media, today’s international relations are enormously influenced by how journalists cover stories and how they portray different countries. With that in mind, this seminar looked at how Japan and China and the relations between them have been discussed recently by journalists, and why.
Seminar: 10 March 2014
Securing energy is a life and death issue for the economic activities of any nation, while climate change is a shared concern for both developed and developing countries. State policies relating to energy and climate change can have a massive influence on a country’s business sector, but the business sector can also influence these policies. This seminar examined what steps are being taken by the business sectors in the UK and Japan to address these concerns.