Events category: Talk

17 July 2018

Kokeshi from Tohoku with Love

Kokeshi are traditional wooden dolls that are produced in the Tohoku region of Japan. They are considered to be an icon of Japan, reflecting Japanese aesthetic sensibilities with their simple, elegant and minimalist designs. At this event Manami Okazaki will talk about these quirky dolls. A range of Kokeshi will also be on display, providing a rare opportunity to see new styles alongside traditional designs.

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15 June 2018

“24 Seasons Calendar”: An ancient Japanese way of harmonising with seasonal changes

The “24 Seasons Calendar” is based on the ancient East-Asian Lunisolar calendar, which describes the transition of seasons in 24 steps.  Within Japanese society, people have learned to appreciate and harmonise with nature by adopting this calendar.  In this talk Rikako Kimino will discuss how people’s lives are affected by the calendar and how the changes in seasons are appreciated through different mediums, as well as introducing some popular objects.

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31 May 2018

Ageing and mental health: Pictures of being old in the UK and Japan

We are living in an era of ageing populations. Making connections with other people is said to promote the mental health and longevity of older people. In this seminar, Dr Shankar will address loneliness in older people living in England, some of the factors affecting loneliness in later life, and how loneliness is related to health and well-being. Dr Cable will address possible factors contributing to the trend to increasingly poor mental health among older people in Japan, and its relevance to the UK.

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22 May 2018

Railway Systems and Punctuality in Japan and the UK

Focusing on railway systems and punctuality, this seminar will answer the question: what can Japan and the UK learn from each other? The speakers Kazuhiko Aida and Taku Fujiyama will draw on the experiences of the East Japan Railway Company and UCL’s research to discuss the approaches used by railways to run train services on time and to improve passenger experience.

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15 May 2018

Wireless Technology

Wireless technologies have become deeply engrained in everyday life, with oyster cards and contactless bank cards becoming the norm. In this talk, Ichiro Seto will explain the faultless, complex technologies that facilitate these contactless and automated systems, and how they work so effectively. Seto will also introduce the next generation of contactless communication, TransferJet(TM), which have already been introduced in Japan.

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26 April 2018

Human Rights in Japan: Freedom of Expression, the Media and the Constitutional Amendment

In this talk, chaired by William Horsley, Dr Fujita will draw on her experiences to address how Japanese freedom of expression, including the independence of the media, has deteriorated under the current administration. She will also discuss the Government’s plans for constitutional amendment, which may have negative implications for human rights, and the Japanese Government’s response to the UN’s recommendations.

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9 April 2018

Abandoning the Kimono

Kimonos were among the most highly sought-after export wares produced for the Western market after Japan’s 200-year-long isolation policy ended in 1868, opening its ports to trade. Surviving kimonos from this period show British and Japanese cultural, political and industrial characteristics through each other’s eyes. In this talk, Elizabeth Kramer and Allie Yamaguchi will demonstrate the cultural relationship between Britain and Japan through dress with extant examples to show how Japanese kimonos became a strong visual trope representing a British understanding of the culture and people of Japan in the Meiji period.

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15 March 2018

Challenges of Regional Revitalisation in Japan

Japan’s population is shrinking at an alarming rate, and is expected to decrease from 127 million to 90 million people by 2060. In order to tackle this challenge, in 2014 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe created the Headquarter for Overcoming Population Decline and Vitalising Local Economy, which aims to promote regional revitalisation by implementing new policy and law. In this talk, Ueki Imaoka from Ministry of Finance will give a brief summary of Japanese Regional Revitalisation at the national level, while Takashi Hiranaka from the Embassy of Japan in the UK and Ichiro Oshiro, Mayor of Yawatahama will present several activities at the local level.

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27 March 2018

Bizen Osafune Japanese Swords

The origins of Japanese swords are not widely known, however the present-day form of Japanese swords originated around a thousand years ago. Nowadays, Japanese swords no longer serve as weapons, rather they are appreciated both in Japan and overseas as items of beauty or symbolic protection. In this talk, former diplomat Kaori Sato will give an overview of “Bizen Osafune Japanese Swords” as well as the Japanese spirit through the art of sword making. She will also discuss the city’s challenge to revitalise the local economy through Japanese sword making.

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