Upcoming Events

View more info on The Power of Conscience

Seminar: Tuesday 23 September 2014

The Power of Conscience

Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat based in the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1940, went against his superiors and granted visas to Jewish refugees looking to escape Europe by travelling to Japan via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Virtuous behaviour seems to be strongly linked to the notion of conscience, that inner voice that tells us what we ought to do. But when and how do we learn conscience, or are we born with it? Is conscience synonymous with ethics, morals and a sense of justice? Morals and values differ from country to country, so do cultural values influence people’s conscience?

View more info on Nation, Dice, Instruction, – Private View and Artist Talk

: Thursday 25 September 2014

Nation, Dice, Instruction, – Private View and Artist Talk

Satoshi Hashimoto is currently one of Japan’s most ‘alarming’ artists, producing works of art that make the viewer feel like someone witnessing a traffic accident. By somehow “questioning your stance”, “ignoring you”, “making a contract with you” or “transferring ownership to you”, they transcend social laws and morality and turn you into a participant, not just an observer.

View more info on Keeping the doors open between China and Japan - the role of personal networks and Track II diplomacy

: Tuesday 30 September 2014

Keeping the doors open between China and Japan - the role of personal networks and Track II diplomacy

Track II Diplomacy is a way for private individuals to meet unofficially and find their way to common ground when official negotiators cannot. NGOs, academics, and ex-officials often act as Track II diplomats in having unofficial conferences and conversations about pressing issues, and have sometimes brought them to a successful conclusion. Official government-to-government interactions are not necessarily the most effective methods for resolving differences between nations.

View more info on Film Screening: Brakeless

: Thursday 2 October 2014

Film Screening: Brakeless

On Monday April 25th 2005, a West Japan Railway (JR West) commuter train crashed into an apartment building and killed 107 people when a driver tried to catch up with an 80-second delay. Since the accident, the official committee report has concluded that the direct cause of the accident was over-speeding and JR West have agreed to pay compensation for the victims and changed the timetable. However, the fundamental question has remained unanswered – what made the driver risk so many lives for an 80-second delay?

View more info on Japan’s Modern History, 1857-1937

: Wednesday 8 October 2014

Japan’s Modern History, 1857-1937

Professor Junji Banno is a prolific and widely read writer on the political history of modern Japan, whose many insights into its kaleidoscopic politics from the middle of the nineteenth century until the late 1930s have re-written various aspects of Japanese political history. This translation of his latest work by Professor Arthur Stockwin treats eighty crucial years of history with a combination of synoptic overview and fascinating detail.

View more info on The Art of Soup- A Taste of Fukushima

: Monday 13 October 2014

The Art of Soup- A Taste of Fukushima

Ei Arakawa started the UNITED BROTHERS art collective with his brother Tomō Arakawa in 2011. Their purpose is a mediation between the reality of Fukushima (where they were born) and the reality of the international art world at large. UNITED BROTHERS created the Green Tea Gallery, a collection of 50 artists around the world, and is participating in the new Live Section of this year’s Frieze Art Fair with their new work Does This Soup Taste Ambivalent? Arakawa will discuss this new performance of giving away soup containing an ingredient grown in Fukushima.

View more info on Across the Three Pagodas Pass- The Story of the Thai-Burma Railway

: Thursday 16 October 2014

Across the Three Pagodas Pass- The Story of the Thai-Burma Railway

“Across the Three Pagodas Pass” is a translation of the only known detailed account of the building of the notorious 262-mile long Thai-Burma Railway by one of the Japanese professional engineers who was involved in its construction. The author, Yoshihiko Futamatsu, provides an invaluable new source of historical and technical reference that complements the existing large body of literature in English on this subject.