Upcoming events

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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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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12 April 2018

Georges Bigot and Japan, 1882-1899: Satirist, Illustrator and Artist Extraordinaire

Incorporating over 250 illustrations, Georges Bigot and Japan is the first comprehensive study in English of French artist and caricaturist, Georges Ferdinand Bigot (1860-1927). Bigot remains well known in Japan where examples of his cartoons still appear in Japanese textbooks, but he is barely known in France, his home country, or in Britain. In this event, Sir Hugh Cortazzi will briefly introduce the volume, and Christian Polak will then give an illustrated talk about Bigot. The volume includes a full introduction of the life, work and artistry of Bigot by Polak, together with an essay by Sir Hugh on Charles Wirgman, publisher of Japan Punch.

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18 April 2018

Artist Talk: Emergence of Order by Goro Murayama

Goro Murayama expresses self-organising processes and patterns through painting and drawings. He is particularly interested in fundamental theories of life systems, namely autopoiesis (self-creation), and the diverse life-like patterns implemented in computer-simulated cellular automata (discrete models studied in science).
For this event Murayama will be joined in conversation by Dr Francis Halsall, Lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

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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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