Photos of Japan

January 6, 2010

One of the writers of this blog has just been back to Japan.  If you are feeling a bit natsukashi or just want to drool over Japaness then check out her flickr page to see lots of her fab photos.

She also has some great sets on japanese street fashion.

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Japanese Festival (London)

August 29, 2009
Japanese Festival London

Japanese Festival London

A celebration of Japan and its rich culture, arts & crafts at one of London’s most vibrant markets. Situated in the heart of the city, Spitalfields offers a unique spot for East to meet West. Whether you are a londoner, missing home or have a bit of curiosity, this will be a fantastic opportunity for you to experience some of the most exciting entertainment in London, delight in exquisite Wa-shoku (Japanese cuisine) and get involved in as many interactive arts & crafts events as you can think of throughout the day.

If you are a Japanese business or performer who would like to get involved, you can contact the organisers: contact@japanmatsuri.com.

When: Saturday, 19th September 2009, 10am – 8pm.

Where: Spitalfields Market, nearest tube Liverpool Street Station.

For more information: visit the Japan Festival website.


Zen Brushwork classes (Various)

August 13, 2009
Zen bruswork

Zen bruswork

16 August 09

A day workshop that will include zazen, yokiho (energy raising exercises), Zen brushwork and Jikishinkageryu Hojo (swordsmanship).
The focus across all the work is in relaxing the bodymind and allowing ki to flow freely.
It will be led by Sarah Moate sensei visiting from Japan, who trained for over twelve years with the late Rinzai Zen master Prof. Terayama Tanchu.

When: 16 August 2009, 10 – 4.30pm

Where: 19-22 Aug – Charney Bassett, Wantage, Oxon OX12 0EJ

Cost: £35

Contact: J.J.Daboo@exeter.ac.uk
19 – 22 August 09

A residential workshop that will include zazen, yokiho (energy raising exercises), Zen brushwork and Jikishinkageryu Hojo (swordsmanship).

It will be led by Sarah Moate sensei visiting from Japan, who trained for over twelve years with the late Rinzai Zen master Prof. Terayama Tanchu.

Arrival is from 5pm on Wed 19th and departure after 3pm on Sat 22nd August.

When: 19 –22 August

Where: Charney Bassett, Wantage, Oxon OX12 0EJ

Entrance cost: £315

Contact: mikewatkins@stdpharm.co.uk


Anime: Ayacon 2009

August 13, 2009
Haruko Momoi

Haruko Momoi

August will see the return of one the UK biggest anime conventions in the UK. The weekend will feature guests such as renowned Japanese singer song writer Haruko Momoi and lots of fun cosplay events.

Where: Warwick Arts Centre

When: Friday August 14th – Saturday 16th

Check the site out for a full listing of events and further details.


TATSUYA YOSHIDA (RUINS – ALONE) – Residency at Cafe Oto

July 28, 2009

ruins1TATSUYA YOSHIDA (RUINS – ALONE) + Guests

SAT 8 & SUN 9 AUG ’09

 “The undisputed master drummer of the Japanese Underground” 

Next weekend Cafe Oto will host Tatsuya Yoshida aka Ruins, a Japanese musician making exciting high energy music that fuses contemporary sounds with elements of hard core and progressive rock.  

Tatsuya has been working on his unique mix of drums, vocals and electronics since the 1980’s and has collaborated with a range of Japanese musical luminaries such as Acid Mothers Temple and Keiji Haino.  He is now highly acclaimed as one of the most innovative drummer/improvisers on the Japanese avant garde music scene.

This is one event we will definitely be attending; I saw a Ruins performance back in 2006 and his frenzied performances really are pretty electric to witness.  His live shows are much talked about so I am sure this event will sell out.

Ruins will also be performing on Friday 7th August at the Serpentine Gallery also organised by Cafe Oto, further details here

** As we’ve mentioned before, Cafe Oto is also a really unique venue; it’s sparky atmosphere, eclectic music programming, minimal warehouse style feel and array of oishii Japanese drinks and snacks (with occasional okonomiyaki) we think all make it a pretty special place very worthy of continuing support.

Where: Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin St, Dalston, E8 3DL

When: Saturday 8th + Sunday 9th August, 8pm

Price: £8 one day / £14 weekend pass

Buy tickets:

SAT 8 AUG ’09  
SUN 9 AUG ’09 
TWO DAY PASS



Exhibition: Walking in my mind (London)

July 19, 2009

Yayoi Kusama - Dots Obsession

Yayoi Kusama - Dots Obsession

“My artwork is an expression of my life, particularly of my mental disease… My art originates from hallucinations only I can see. I translate the hallucinations and obsessional images that plague me into sculptures and paintings.”  Yayoi Kusama

The Hayward Gallery’s 2009 summer exhibition Walking In My Mind includes three Japanese artists selected to show works that explore how the inner workings of the mind can be represented in three-dimensional space, shedding light on their creativity and inviting visitors to explore their own thought processes.

Highlights of this year’s show include three works by Yayoi Kusama, rarely exhibited in the UK, as she transforms the Gallery into a vision of her signature polka dots. Meanwhile, celebrated Japanese Pop artist Yoshitomo Nara collaborates with design team graf to create wooden hut-like installations incorporating Nara’s iconic and intruiguing drawings of balloon-headed children. Also, in her first showing in the UK, Chiharu Shiota enmeshes mysterious and frightening objects, creating mindscapes that are full of physical and psychological tension, at once comforting and threatening.

“My characters are all self-portraits in a way. But the emotions that I feel can, of course, be universal. Often the characters are representations of me but they are also representations of the countless others who identify with them.” Yoshitomo Nara

Where: Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London.

When: 23rd June – 6th September 2009

Cost: £9 full price tickets.  Concessions available.


Japanese Photography Exhibition: Out of the ordinary/extraordinary (various locations)

July 19, 2009
Takano Ryudai, Long hair nesting on pink cloth, from the series "In My Room", 2002

Takano Ryudai, Long hair nesting on pink cloth, from the series "In My Room", 2002

Pregnant men posing in a fertility clinic; strangers photographed from outside the windows of their homes; a young woman dressing up in various fashion trends of Japanese teenagers, exploring the superficial concept of ‘youth’.

This exhibition features photographic work by eleven contemporary Japanese artists that questions things in their world and society that they have long accepted as ‘obvious’. Their work explores the complexities of our ever-changing world and the instability of Japanese society behind the façade of economic prosperity.

Dates and venues:

  • 24 January to 28 March 2009 – Oldham Gallery, Oldham.
  • 16 April to 23 May 2009 – Millais Gallery, Southampton.
  • 30 June to 26 August 2009 – Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby.
  • 5 September to 17 October 2009 – Oriel Wrecsam, Wrexham.