Events category: Talk

24 May 2016

Ocean Acidification and Underwater Volcanoes in Japan

The oceans are acidifying at a rate that is unprecedented for at least the past 55 million years because they absorb around 25% of the carbon dioxide released by human activity. The coasts of Japan are already 30% more acidic than before the Industrial Revolution and look set to become 150% more acidic in our lifetimes.

Professor Jason Hall-Spencer will explain what ocean acidification is, and why it is a major environmental and economic concern for fisheries and coastal ecosystems in the NW Pacific. He will also introduce his groundbreaking three year project working with Shimoda Marine Station at the University of Tsukuba to explore the local marine life and carry out research at the CO2 seeps.

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17 May 2016

Reading the Mail of the Japanese Ambassador in Berlin

During the Second World War, the British government offered emergency Japanese languages courses to talented students in aid of the war effort. Many ended up reading the despatches of Japanese diplomats in Europe, including those of the remarkable Oshima Hiroshi, long-serving ambassador in Berlin. His despatches were invaluable in the struggle with Nazi Germany but they also had a lot to say about the Soviet Union. Oshima died in 1975, not knowing that his mail had been read throughout the war.

Why did all this have to be kept secret so long? What happened to the young men and women who learnt Japanese during the war? And why were their teachers so positive about Japan?

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16 March 2016

Joji Hattori - King of all Trades: the Multifaceted Aspects of a Musician’s Career

Joji Hattori is one of the leading Japanese musicians of his generation and has enjoyed a rather varied career as a musician, spending his first decade as a concert violinist after winning the Menuhin Competition for young violinists in 1989.

Now President of the Menuhin Competition Trust, Hattori will show us a glimpse of his world as a conductor and violinist. He will speak about his personal relationship with Yehudi Menuhin, about his multifaceted career and the role of musicians in society. The talk will be chaired by musician Michael Spencer, who will frame Hattori’s career within the larger context of Japanese music education.

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14 March 2016

Ryoichi Kurokawa: unfold

unfold is a major new work by Japanese audio-visual artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, exploring the birth and evolution of stars in an immersive and tactile audio-visual installation. unfold offers viewers an artistic, yet scientific, representation of how the solar system was born, and how our galaxy might evolve, and is the unique result of a dialogue between science and art.

The artist will be joined by Dr Vincent Minier, astrophysicist at the Institute of Research into the Fundamental Laws of the Universe‎ (CEA Irfu, Paris-Saclay), to discuss the exhibition and their cross-disciplinary practice.

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8 February 2016

Traditional Pottery of Kyoto: Miyagawa’s Makuzu ceramics

Beautiful ceramic works of pottery from Kyoto have long encapsulated the unique elegance and culture of the former capital city. Join Shinichi Miyagawa as he recounts the history and practice of the Makuzu Miyagawa Kousai family, part of this Kyoto tradition of highly decorative, elegant and refined ceramics. The Miyagawa family have worked as ceramists producing tea ware for both the matcha used in tea ceremony and for regular leaf teas (such as sencha green tea). Miyagawa will be showing a wide variety of his, his father’s and his ancestor’s works from their family kiln in Kyoto, as well as demonstrating some recent creations from the kilns of the Bernard Leach pottery in St Ives.

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1 February 2016

Natsume Soseki’s London: A Literary Odyssey

2016 marks the beginning of two years of anniversary commemorations for Natsume Soseki, the greatest literary figure of modern Japan: 2016 marks the centennial of his death in 1916; and 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1867. Damian Flanagan will show us the boarding houses that Soseki lived in, located in different parts of the city, and introduce us to the people that Soseki met and lived amongst. Join us for a literary odyssey round London like no other, that will make you see the capital through entirely fresh, Sosekian eyes.

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22 September 2015

The Missing Post Office

The Missing Post Office invites you to post a letter, like a message in a bottle, which will float on the sea of time. A letter to and from anyone, anything, anywhere and at any time, which will one day be washed ashore.

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21 July 2015

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Natasha Pulley (Daiwa Scholar 2013) will read from her novel ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’. Set in London in 1883, the novel centres on a watchmaker who is a Japanese immigrant at the time of the Fenian bombings of Whitehall.

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29 June 2015

A Method To Draw A Map Of Time

Berlin based artist Youki Hirakawa talked about his oeuvre to date in relation to the main themes that inspire his works. Time and place are two notions of special interest for Hirakawa. Reflecting on the expanded sense of these principal vectors of orientation, he creates poetic works of art that often move us in their singular beauty.

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24 June 2015

The Power of Bizen

Bizen (named after Bizen in Okayama Prefecture, where it is produced) became the most popular type of ceramic in Japan during the Edo period because of its superior clay and durability. Many tea ware masterpieces were made in this period, and it became renowned for its red-brown hues and flourishes of melted ash.

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