Past Events

20 June 2017

Chiune Sugihara: Visas of Life

Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat based in the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1940, went against his superiors and granted more than 2,000 transit visas to Jewish refugees looking to escape Europe by travelling to Japan, helping as many as 6,000 Jews to flee. In this event, Akira Kitade will share the stories of the fateful encounters between Japanese civilians and Jewish refugees at a time of life and death during the Second World War.

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8 June 2017

Nana Shiomi: This Side and the Other Side

This Side and the Other Side is an Anglo-Japanese odyssey of the artistic achievement of Nana Shiomi. It follows a 20-year journey of printmaking. In this event, Nana Shiomi will discuss her life as a printmaker and the completion of ‘One Hundred Views of Mitate’.

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6 June 2017

Isabella Bird and Japan: A Reassessment

In this talk, Professor Kiyonori Kanasaka will speak about the different aspects of his Isabella Bird studies and activities. In particular, he will consider how he came to understand Isabella Bird the person – her actions, decisions and motivations – and how and why her travels in Japan have been so widely misinterpreted and misunderstood.

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1 June 2017

Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan

The House of Illustration is hosting the UK’s first ever exhibition of handmade background illustrations for classic sci-fi anime films. It will feature drawings and paintings from some of the most influential productions in the genre’s 1990s heyday, including Production I.G’s phenomenally influential 1995 film Ghost in the Shell. House of Illustration curator Olivia Ahmad, will be joined in conversation by the exhibition’s curator Stefan Riekeles and Helen McCarthy, author of The Anime Encyclopaedia.

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30 May 2017

Private View: To Look at the Fire by Toshiaki Hicosaka

The first London solo exhibition of the artist Toshiaki Hicosaka invites us to reflect on the world through fire: the driver of evolution, life, comfort and violence. From ocean to fire, his immersive installations of painting have embraced elements of the everyday. Through this new body of work by the artist, viewers can rethink the social and cultural environment that they live within.

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18 May 2017

Takaya Fujii: Ikebana: ‘The Way of the Flower’

Takaya Fujii’s ikebana has a significance far beyond its role as just art. It bridges Japanese Buddhist and Shintoistic principles of life and it reminds us that the impermanent beauty of nature should be honoured. We were delighted to host this special exhibition of his work and artist talk.

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25 April 2017

Sino-Japanese Power Politics: Might, Money and Minds

The post-2012 standoff over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands has unveiled the antagonistic quality to Sino-Japanese relations, with an important addition: a massive information war that has cemented the two states’ rivalry. Dr Giulio Pugliese will give an account of Japan-China power politics in the military, economic and propaganda domains.

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20 April 2017

Recasting the Past: An Early Modern Tales of Ise for Children

The Tales of Ise and its hero Ariwara no Narihira have fascinated Japanese and international readers for centuries. In this talk, Dr Laura Moretti explores the 1766 picture-book Ise fūryū: Utagaruta no hajimari (The Fashionable Ise: The Origins of Utagaruta), examining how it adapts the The Tale of Ise for an eighteenth-century young audience and investigating how it challenges our expectations towards children’s literature.

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