Events later in 2013


A series of lectures marking the second anniversary of the Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March, 2011:

  • Professor Norma Field (University of Chicago) will give the Annual Tsuda Lecture Pre-War Revolutionary Culture and the Fukushima Disaster.  13 March, SOAS London
  • Professor Derek Massarella (Chuo University), The East India Company, Japan and the Globalising World of the Seventeenth Century.  15 March, SOAS London

Festival of Flowering Cherries

The annual flowering cherry display at Batsford Arboretum, Gloucestershire


1000 Years of the Art of the Japanese Book

A series of events centred around an exhibition of treasures from Tenri University Library, one of the finest collections of rare books in Japan and never before been seen outside Asia. As well as the exhibition, there will be tea ceremonies, a scholarly workshop and gagaku (ancient court music). Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Russell Sq. London


Festival:  Japan Day in Liverpool.  A day long festival of Japanese culture on 1 June in Liverpool.  See website  for more information

Symposium: Re-joining the 19th Century: Interpreting Boundaries Across Edo and Meiji-period Japanese Culture, and the Role of Great Britain

An international symposium on the theme of artistic and intellectual contact between Britain and Japan. Dates tbc., SOAS London.


Exhibition: Treasures of the Matsura Historical Museum, Hirado

An exhibition of the ancestral holdings of the Matsura family, the regional rulers who welcomed the English in 1613. Maidstone Art Museum.


Exhibition: Letters and Document Relating to the English Factory in Japan, 1613-26

The British Library will display items from its extensive archive of the East India Company, including rarely seen letters from the English merchants such as William Adams, John Saris and Richard Cocks


(On 8 September 1613 the English presented credentials and presents to Tokugawa Ieyasu. On 2 October he gave them permission to reside and trade)

Japan400 Conference and Dinner

Sponsored by the Lord Mayor and the City of London, Guildhall (by invitation only)

William Adams Festival

This annual extravaganza drew 10,000 in 2012, and will be celebrated on 14 September this year in Gillingham Park from 11am-4pm. Among the planned attractions will be a special tea ceremony by Akira Matsura, master of the rare Daimyo Tea tradition, and direct descendant of the Lord of Hirado who welcomed the English in 1613.  Further details tbc.  Gillingham, Kent

London Japan Matsuri

The popular annual outdoor festival organised by the Japanese community in London, celebrating Japanese life and culture. Trafalgar Square (tbc)

Fan-Designing Competition

Sponsored by Ishizumi & Co., and the Worshipful Company of Fan-makers

Conference: 1613 in Comparative Perspective

An international conference investigating Japan and Britain in 1613, and the role of the East India Company. Sponsored by the Percival David Academic Fund. SOAS London.

Conference: Diplomatic Gifts: The Role of Armour (tbc)

A conference organised by the Royal Armouries on the role of weapons and armour in international exchange. One panel will be devoted to the shogun’s armour given to King James. Tower of London.


Exhibition: Shunga – Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art, 1600-1900

The British Museum’s most ambitious exhibition of Japanese art in a decade will open 400 years ago to the day since the British were given permission to reside and trade in Japan.

Display: Tokugawa Ieyasu’s ‘Vermillion Seal Letter’

The Bodleian Library, Oxford University will display the original of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s “vermillion seal letter”(shûinjo).  This document granting permission to reside and trade is thought to have been in the collection since 1614.

Lecture and Screening: Butoh

This presentation on the contemporary Japanese dance Butoh, will be given by the inspirational master Seisaku and will include rare films from the Hijikata Archives.  SOAS London.


Japan400 Closing Ceremony.

The year’s closing event will be held on 20 December, the anniversary of the first ever art auction in British history: the sale of Japanese lacquer from the Clove.


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