Awa Odori takes place every summer in Tokushima, Japan, and is one of the world’s largest dance festivals. The atmosphere is electric, and those who go to watch are encouraged to join in with the dancing: as the song of the festival goes, “those dancing may look the fool, but those watching are just as foolish, if both are fools together you may as well dance!”
Join Manga artist Elena Vitagliano as she talks us through some tips for drawing manga characters. If you're a seasoned or aspiring manga artist, or you just want to give drawing some characters a go, check this out! Share your creations with #JapanMatsuriPresents and we’ll be selecting our favourites to share throughout the weekend!
Kamishibai is a style of theatre where the story is told through illustrated boards, presented in a special portable theatre box, with a performer telling the story. In this production by A Thousand Cranes, the beautiful story of Tanabata will be told in a performance that is perfect for children!
Dorayaki is a Japanese red bean pancake, and it is possible for you to make this iconic Japanese dessert from home if you follow along with this free cooking masterclass from the Sozai Cooking School! Click 'find out more' to see the recipe.
We have the online premiere of dance sensation Tomioka Dance Club's new dance, alongside behind the scenes footage and interviews on what life is like for High School students who also dance at this level. An unmissable performance!
Joining the dots between Cumbia, Ethiopian jazz, Afro funk and reggae, the Minyo Crusaders stitch traditional minyo songs with elements from all of these genres into an entirely unique sound. On a mission to return minyo to their roots as songs of the people, the band bring an entirely new edge to Japanese folk songs.
Join us for a guided Gallery tour of Japan House London’s new exhibition Architecture for Dogs, featuring a collection of architectural designs for dogs by world-class architects and designers.
Image by Yoda Hiroshi.
Tomoko Sempo Yanagi introduces and demonstrates the art of Japanese flower arranging: Ikebana. She will demonstrate some simple arrangements suitable for beginners that can even be tried from home! Click 'find out more' to hear her introduce the history and context of ikebana.
This work takes as its inspiration the Ryukyu Kingdom (Okinawa), which has a long history.
The costume uses a Bingata pattern unique to Okinawa, and the cloth represents the tropical sea that surrounds Okinawa.
At its heart, the piece is a physical manifestation of the wish to rebuild Shurijo Castle, which was completely destroyed in October 2019.
This is an unmissable chance to get to experience the wonder of 12 performances including a performance filmed especially for Japan Matsuri by a Tora-mai (tiger dance) group from the Sanriku region, in a rare and exclusive glimpse in to the role folk performance plays in the lives of the people who live there. These visually stunning performances will leave you spellbound!
Sakura Junction was created by Mutsumi Niwa as a place to share her passion for Japanese sweets and home cooking. Mutsumi, who has been based in London for many years, specialises in creating wagashi and other recipes using ingredients that can easily be found locally, avoiding the need for fancy, expensive ingredients. Here she shows us how to create a wagashi cherry blossom
The SOAS Min’yo Group are based in London and meet regularly to practice and perform min’yo, which are Japanese folk songs. Regions of Japan have their own folk songs, and the group perform these using traditional instruments. In this performance we’ll see how the group have been continuing over lockdown, and you’ll learn about the history of the music before each performance.
In this free cooking master class from the Sozai cooking school, you can try your hand at making your very own okonomiyaki - and just in time for dinner! Click below to see the ingredients so you're ready to cook along from home!
We lost legendary designer and producer Kansai Yamamoto in July of 2020. One of his final projects was the "Nippon Genki Project 2020 Super Energy!", which we are pleased to broadcast here as a tribute to the life and work of an astonishing designer and human being!
Artistic Director of Yellow Earth Kumiko Mendl is in conversation with Kazuko Hohki, explaining how the Tsunagu/Connect project looks to highlight the many rich and varied voices and experiences of Japanese women living in the UK, and how you can get involved in sharing your own story as part of the project.
Ura Matsuri produces and curates live events presenting works by, mostly, UK based Japanese artists and musicians.
A subtly subversive celebration of sonic and visual arts with an inclusive and welcoming stance and an off key hint of the absurd running through its veins.
We begin Sunday with a look back at the premiere of the Tomioka Dance Club’s new and exclusive dance. Miss it on the Saturday? Now is your chance to be spellbound by the dance moves of these exceptionally talented High School students.
The Green Chorus have taken part in every physical Japan Matsuri event since its inception. During lockdown, they have continued to practice through online rehearsals and present to you the following 4 songs:
“Now is the Month of Maying, A Crow, Everything is here and Let’s Walk Looking up at the Sky”! Start your Sunday with the relaxing sound of the Green Chorus’ singing!
Hiroko Tanaka has been practicing Japanese Dance since she was 5 years old, and teaching Japanese dance in London since 2003. The dance group have performed regularly at Japan Matsuri in previous years, and now we take a look back on previous performances, how lessons have taken place over lockdown, as well as getting to know Hiroko Tanaka herself in the process.
With a majestic performance by Noh master, Reijiro Tsumura and expressively beautiful dance of ballet dancers accompanied by piano, Hakurakusei is presented LIVE from Japan with new choreography for Japan Matsuri Presents, telling the story of how the brewery has recovered, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Rob Jones introduces us to Japanese textiles techniques with examples of Shibori (resist dyeing), Katagami (stencilling) Sashiko (embroidery), Kogin (counted thread embroidery) and Boro mending. He will also demonstrate some techniques, and introduce his workshops.
The members of JSD Dance Crew all learn dance with teacher Shala, who teaches them in Japanese. They usually perform at the physical event in Trafalgar Square, and we are pleased to have them back with a special recorded performance for Japan Matsuri Presents.
Originally started as a four person family performance group in Boston, USA, the children have now grown up and the group has transformed in to the performance duo: the O-Hayashi Couple Reiwa! Performing a shishimai - lion dance - for us at Japan Matsuri Presents
5 time Paralympic gold medalist (and Radio Taiso enthusiast!) Noel Thatcher has been coming to Trafalgar Square to encourage people to do radio taiso as an easy and social form of exercise. Now, he catches up with Radio Taiso instructor Mami Kato for a quick chat, and to give Radio Taiso a go from home!
The koto is one of Japan’s instantly recognisable instruments, with a unique and intriguing history, but how much do you know about the instrument? This performance will see pieces from across the centuries performed, with introduction by Dr Ayako Hotta-Lister who will explain the techniques, history and more of playing the koto.
The founders of the group, the Abe Brothers, are both winners of the Japan Shamisen Contest, the most prestigious prize for shamisen players. Taking part from Japan especially for Japan Matsuri Presents they will collaborate with UK based shamisen player Hibiki Ichikawa who is the only professional player of Tsugaru Shamisen based in Europe. He will perform with his students from the UK. Akari Mochizuki will host the slot, interviewing ABEYA and Hibiki live!
Using projection mapping, dancers, martial arts, music and more, ORIENTARHYTHM try to make visual what they understand as the rhythms and movements that are quintessentially Japanese. In this remarkable recorded show, prepare to be amazed as the peak of projection technology is combined with stunning performance.
This show contains flashing light and may not be suitable for those with photosensitive epilepsy.
You may know that fugu, pufferfish, is an incredibly poisonous fish, and only those with a special license are allowed to prepare it for sashimi in Japan. Master Chef Takeshi Suda takes us though the beautiful knife skills needed to slice and arrange sashimi fugu in this fascinating demonstration.
Umami flavours are the foundation of Japanese cooking, and by using a mixture of western and Japanese ingredients an umami fiesta is born that is bound to please your tastebuds! Don’t forget to share what you make with #CookWithKoj for your chance to win a copy of his brand new cookbook
In April 2016 a strong earthquake hit Kumamoto prefecture. In 2019 artists with mutual ambition to showcase the magnificent nature of Kumamoto through music began activities together, and today they present traditional music, song and poetry for Japan Matsuri Presents.
In this performance Joji Hirota plays the Japanese flute, the fue, set to a backing track recorded by the LMO. Prepare to be amazed by Joji’s subtle handling of the fue, and the beautiful sounds he can achieve from it!
This is your second chance to get to experience the wonder of 12 performances including a performance filmed especially for Japan Matsuri Presents by a Tora-mai (tiger dance) group from the Sanriku region, in a rare and exclusive glimpse in to the role folk performance plays in the lives of the people who live there. These visually stunning performances will leave you spellbound!
This video which can usually only be seen at the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park in Japan has been made available for Japan Matsuri Presents by the Central Japan Railway Company. Discover the remarkable achievements made by engineers tunnelling on the Tokaido Shinkansen through interviews and archive footage in this special look a the engineering history of Japan.
Demonstrations of martial arts have been an annual fixture at Japan Matsuri when physical events have taken place - watch and learn from the masters as they demonstrate their skills! Featuring Okinawan Traditional Goju-ryu Karate-do, London Aikikai Aikido, Wakaba Kendo Club, Shiranamikai Karate and the London Naginata Club
An hour of kimono fashion and culture, as Anna Jackson, Keeper of the Asian Department at the V&A is in conversation with Mamiko Sato of Kimono De Go. A visual and intellectual feast of kimono delight!
Traditionally, when Japan Matsuri happens in Trafalgar Square, the final performance is given full of power and energy by Joji Hirota and the London Taiko drummers. So why would Japan Matsuri Presents end any other way? Prepare to be spellbound, and turn your speakers up loud, for the roaring sound of the mighty taiko drum at Japan Matsuri Presents!