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Reiwa – a new era in Japan

Reiwa – a new era in Japan

Japan will enter into a new era of ‘beautiful harmony’ from 1 May, a day after Emperor Akihito abdicates and is succeeded by his eldest son Crown Prince Naruhito, ending the imperial era Heisei. Since the Gengo system began in the 7th century, the country has adopted almost 250 eras. This one, however, will be […]

Love and Desire Between Women in Girls’ manga

Love and Desire Between Women in Girls’ manga

Manga, or Japanese comic books, is a 4 billion dollar a year industry, making up 40% of the country’s published works. Yet, contrary to Western comic books which often focus on targeting male readers, in Japan, a particularly prominent and developed genre of manga is shojo manga (Girls’ manga), with women across the nation’s demographic making up […]

Japanese Photography Revisited: Talk by Dr Lena Fritsch and Miho Kajioka

Japanese Photography Revisited:  Talk by Dr Lena Fritsch and Miho Kajioka

Japanese photography is without doubt one of the most admired art forms from Japan and has established its name as a respectable artistic genre from its introduction into the country. It has constantly evolved in technique, subject matter and even perception, both from the side of its creators as well as viewers. Photography in Japan […]

The Emperor System in Japan. Origins, Evolution and the New Imperial Era

The Emperor System in Japan. Origins, Evolution and the New Imperial Era

Emperor Akihito’s abdication in favour of his son Crown Prince Naruhito has re-ignited a many-sided debate about the fundamental values of Japanese society and the state itself. Some commentators see Emperor Akihito’s attempt to modernise the image of the Imperial family and present a liberal face on peace and reconciliation issues as at odds with […]

A Visual Feast – The Culinary Microcosm of the Japanese Lunch Box

A Visual Feast – The Culinary Microcosm of the Japanese Lunch Box

The traditional Japanese lunch box, or bento, has undergone a number of metamorphoses over the long course of its history, becoming a staple and a unique point of pride in Japanese cuisine. Depending on the occasion, bento can range from a mass-produced lunch container available from railway stations, to lovingly hand-crafted compartmentalised meals set in equally stylish lacquerware. […]

Artist Talk by Kohei Nawa

Artist Talk by Kohei Nawa

Award-winning artist, Kohei Nawa, is currently one of the most prominent names in the world of contemporary art. His iconic PixCell series – sculptural installations in which objects such as deer are overlaid with transparent glass beads – stormed the world at the beginning of the century, with Nawa becoming a well-known name among prestigious exhibitions, in either […]

“Like Bombs”: Narrative, Memory, and Linguistic Terrorism in Contemporary Okinawan Fiction – with Vicky Young

“Like Bombs”: Narrative, Memory, and Linguistic Terrorism in Contemporary Okinawan Fiction – with Vicky Young

In 2002, one year after 9.11, the Okinawan writer Sakiyama Tami published one of her most provocative essays, entitled “Shimakotoba de kachāshī” (“Inciting with Island Words”). Split into three parts, the essay targets standard Japanese (hyōjungo) as a monolithic language symbolic of hegemonic oppression and assimilation before setting out the agenda for Sakiyama’s own literature: […]

Wakan: The Colourful Life of Japanese Herbs From Organic Dyeing to Bath Salts

Wakan: The Colourful Life of Japanese Herbs  From Organic Dyeing to Bath Salts

Japanese herbalism, or wakan, has an intricate origin and development story. Extracted from organic flora, the natural benefits of plants and roots native to Japan have long been applied to medicine, food as well as fragrance. More recently, as contemporary interest in harnessing the power of nature is on the up rise, herbs have also started to […]

London United Korean Fan Club

London United Japanese Fan Club