For most people across the UK, getting stuck into Japanese culture means little more than buying a box of sushi from the local supermarket and trying to eat the lot without a knife and fork. However, for those with a real interest in both Japanese culture and Japanese cuisine alike, the UK is simply exploding with opportunities to find out about the real Japan that goes much deeper than the local takeaway.
And for those that live in and around London, the pickings are especially rich. Every month of every year brings a whole host of events to the capital, held to give those with a genuine interest in Japanese culture a better understanding of the real Japan. Some focus on Japanese cuisine and others are all about the art of sushi exclusively, but many go beyond the everyday norms and represent truly unforgettable experiences.
Here’s a brief look at just a few of the superb Japanese events coming up in London in the near future:
Tuesday April 8 – Book launch: The art lover’s guide to Japanese museums by Sophie Richard
The Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums by Sophie Richard will be officially launched in London tomorrow, in conjunction with the . The problem faced by many art lovers upon visiting the glorious museums of Japan is often that of navigation – unless you’ve been there before equipped with the right guide, it’s easy to be overwhelmed entirely. This is precisely why Sophie Richard – an art historian and freelance writer by trade – has put together this unique Art Lover’s Guide to Japanese Museums, designed to help those venturing to Japan ensure they get the very most from their trip.
At the event will be many of London’s leading figureheads for Japanese culture, along with any number of art lovers and those with a simple curiosity for Japan and its prized art.
Monday April 14 – The Ceramics of North-East Japan -The Swedenborg Society
Those with a love for historical art at its finest will revel in the illustrated lecture being put on by David Hale on April 24 – The Ceramics of North-East Japan. Built largely around his book of the same name, the lecture will include talks on both historical and contemporary examples of Japanese pottery with particular focus on the Tohoku region. He published his first book exclusively in Japan back in 1974 and the English version is expected to finally be printed in the near future.
His fascination with simplicity and elegance of Japanese pottery from this particular region is infectious and guaranteed to captivate all in attendance.
Saturday April 26 – Japanese Conversation Group Hanami Picnic – Kensington Gardens
Last but not least, if you’ve always had a fascination with Japanese language though understand little more than a few phrases, you’ll be in your element at the Japanese Conversation Group Hanami Picnic. Also known as the annual Cherry Blossom Viewing Party, it’s a relaxed and informal way of meeting likeminded individuals and learning a thing or two about the Japanese language in a frankly stunning setting.
And don’t worry if your nerves get the better of you – the day rounds off with a trip to the Queens Arms pub, which is bound to loosen you up a little!
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