With the festive season already in full-swing, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to scour the internet for some of the best Japanese events taking place this December. What we’ve come up with is an eclectic mix of exhibitions, seminars and workshops which celebrate Far-Eastern culture. So whether you’re feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge or a chimney-scaling Santa Claus, there should be something on our list to keep you entertained between those epic shopping expeditions. Sit back and relax while we take you through our selection of notable Japanese gatherings and events – apart from creating the best handmade sushi London can offer, we also want you to immerse yourselves in our fascinating culture!
Book Launch: Biographical Portraits Vol. IX, December 1st 2014
Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Hall entrance on Barter St), London WC1A 2TH
This special book launch includes talks by the editor, various contributors and a fifty-minute presentation about the Biographical Portraits and how they have influenced UK-Japan relations. The book itself features 57 portraits of luminaries such as Michio Morishima, Margaret Thatcher and Arthur Balfour and illustrates, among other things, the development of Britain’s image amongst Japanese people and vice-versa.
Bigakko: Anti-Academy – Talk by Alice Maude-Roxby, December 5th 2014
The Japan Foundation, Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square, London WC1B 5EH
Famed Tokyo Art School, Bigakko, has garnered a great deal of attention over the years for its unorthodox teaching methods. In fact some of the most radical artists of the late 1960s and 1970s studied there. Alice Maude-Roxby provides an overview of some of the more eccentric approaches practised at the school and how they influenced contemporary art. Much can be learned about how these unorthodox teachings have also impacted fine art education in the UK.
Exhibition: Yoshitomo Nara ‘Greetings from a Place in My Heart’, October 3rd – December 7th 2014
Dairy Art Centre, 7A Wakefield Street, London, WC1N 1PG
The Diary Art Centre plays host to a major exhibition from influential Japanese artist, Yoshitomo Nara. It is the largest ever held in the UK and features recent and unreleased works including sculptures and paintings, spanning 30 years. Mr Nara has built a substantial body of work during this time which is tastefully presented in all its glory. The exhibition is being run with help from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, The Great British Sasakawa Foundation, the Japan Foundation and the Japanese Embassy. Admission is free.
Shizuka Yokomizo – October 23rd – December 16th 2014
Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP UK
According to the Daiwa Foundation, Shizuka Yokomizo “explores the phenomenon of the photographic image…raising the material and temporal status of this alongside that of the image itself”. Make of that what you will. All you really need to know is that Ms Yokomizo takes a great picture which usually depicts strangers in urban settings and in varying degrees of undress. She’s not a stranger to controversy, which makes for a rather memorable exhibition! However it’s worth mentioning that much of Yokomizo’s work is better-suited for a more mature audience.
Usagi Yojimbo – November 28th 2014 – January 4th 2015
Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6BD
Usagi Yojimbo takes to the stage in this acclaimed production of the celebrated Japanese comic-book character. It’s been 30 years since Stan Sakai first penned his colourful tales of Oriental daring-do. To commemorate this brilliant artist and story-teller, the theatre production features a stunning set and live music set against a backdrop of colourful video projections of Sakai’s artwork. It’s an epic adventure involving feline ninjas, samurai warriors and bandit racoons. Unlike some of the other events described here, this one is suitable for the whole family. The show runs from November 28th to January 4th next year.
These five events vividly illustrate Japan’s creative diversity and offer real insights into the impact Far-Eastern culture has had on Western sensibilities over the past thirty years. So if you’re thinking of braving the elements, why not make an evening of it with some of the best sushi central London has to offer! Handmade sushi London-style will really get you in the mood for a night of oriental intrigue. Alternatively, you could avoid the current cold-snap, retreat to the warmth of home and rely on our ever-popular sushi delivery service. Sushi delivery in London has never been so good.