SOAS(ロンドン大学)GJO活動日誌/University of London(SOAS) GJO Activity Report

2017年8月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター 田口和美/GJO Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

8月のロンドンレポートは, 月初めにオリンピック競技場で開催された国際陸上選手権と、月末にロンドン大学ローヤルホロウェイ校で行われた能トレーニングプロジェクトの2件です。
For the August report from London, I am going to write about two events. The first one is The World Athletic Competition which was held at the beginning of the month in the Olympic Stadium. The second one is the Noh Training Project which took place at the end of the month at Royal Holloway, University of London.
In this year’s athletic finals in London, the Japanese relay team for 100m x4 qualified for the final heat. This competition was also the final appearance for an extremely talented Jamaican athlete, Usain Bolt. The stadium was packed with 60,000 spectators, all excited to witness the event.
The Japanese team got the bronze medal, and I am looking forward to seeing their performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Bolt got cramp in his leg and so unfortunately the Jamaican team pulled out from the race. However, the great records achieved by Bolt will remain in the history books for a long time.
The weather was nice and perfect for field athletics.

The second report is about the Noh Training Project held at Royal Holloway, University of London, located in Egham.
The main organisers of the project were Dr. Ashley Thorpe who teaches at the Drama Department at Royal Holloway and Ms. Laura Sampson, who helped run the project along with Dr Thorpe. They are both Noh practitioners as well. This project has been going since 2011. At the beginning, it was held at Reading University where Dr. Thorpe taught. Then, it moved to Royal Holloway as Dr. Thorpe had moved to Royal Holloway.

The main pillars of the project were the Noh Master from the Kita School, Matsui Akira Sensei and Richard Emmert Sensei, who travel from Japan every year to teach at the project. Both teachers are passionate about spreading Noh widely around the world, and have been giving workshops, and been involved in many projects and collaborations in Europe, Asia, USA and Canada.
Matsui sensei become independent as a Noh Master in 1967. He visited America and Canada as a cultural ambassador in 1972. After that, he began to teach Noh at American universities and other cultural centres. In 1990 Matsui sensei and Emmert Sensei visited SOAS as visiting instructors and taught Noh to SOAS students. Since then, Matsui sensei has given workshops around the world. In 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Royal Holloway, University of London for his contribution to the promotion of culture. In Japan he holds the title, “The general holder of Important Intangible Cultural Property”.
Richard Emmert Sensei first visited Japan in 1970 where he studied Japanese culture including Japanese History. After finishing his university studies in the USA, he studied traditional music at the Music theory section of the Music Department of the Tokyo University of the Arts. In the 1980’s he started an English Noh project, which took the idea of combining Noh music structure with English lyrics. In 2000, he formed an English-speaking Noh theatre group “Theatre Nohgaku”. The first teacher Emmert sensei learnt Noh from was Matsui sensei. Emmert sensei got a certificate in teaching Noh from Kita School in 1991. Dr. Emmert is currently teaching at Musashino University, Literature Department.
The fantastic point about learning Noh at Royal Holloway is that it has its own Noh stage. Mr. Handa who is Japanese donated the funds with which the theatre was built and it is named the Handa Noh Theatre.
There were two groups, beginners and intermediate/advanced, involved in the project. The beginners took part in a two-week intensive course and learnt four repertoires in singing and dancing, which for this year’s class were “Funabenkei”, “Shojo”, “Tamura” and “Gekkyuden”. Apart from singing and dancing, the students also learnt to play instruments; Taiko, Otsuzumi, Kotsuzumi and flute. The intermediate/advanced class started later in the second week of the project and the students learnt the dancing and singing of new pieces at their own pace. People could also just join in for the weekend and a few also came just to observe.
The beginners learnt the basic dancing forms, starting with Suriashi (sliding step), Shikake, Hiraki and Sashimawashi. In singing, the students practiced singing loudly following the tutor’s instructions.

There were various types of people on the course. A woman from Switzerland is a contemporary dancer working on Noh; an English lady works as a freelance video/theatre practitioner; a Japanese lady is studying the techniques of repairing and maintaining old documents; a young male student from the North of England is in the middle of writing a play combining Noh theatre and Rakugo (Japanese Traditional Comedy story telling); a Rumanian lady who is fascinated by Japanese culture is a medical doctor; a Chinese lady from Hong Kong has a PhD in psychology and teaches English; a young male student studies drama at Queen Mary, University of London; an English lady who performs as a Geisha entertainer at events; a Spanish man who is a dancer; an English man who studies at Cambridge and has a strong interest in various forms of performing arts. As you can see, they were all very different which made for a very interesting course.

There was a students’ performance in the afternoon of the final day of the project. The students each chose their favourite piece to dance, joined by four to five students and teachers at the back of the stage who sang to accompany the dance.
It is interesting that when the students wore the formal costume of Montsuki Hakama (Kimono with emblem and Hakama trousers), their mannerisms changed and they looked like real Noh performers. All the Noh students gave a great performance in both dancing and singing.
I was moved witnessing the process of Japanese culture starting to permeate out to a larger audience. I am also excited about the idea that this circle of interest will get bigger and wider.

2017年7月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター 田口和美/GJO Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

7月のロンドンレポートは, 大英博物館北斎特別展に関連したイべント第2弾をお届けしようと思います。
For July’s report, I am going to write again about events related to the British Museum Hokusai Exibition.
In my previous report, I featured an event designed for the members’ night. This time, the museum opened until late in the evening for the general public with many events to see and enjoy.
One of the demonstrations was “Chindon-ya” (Street Advertiser). Chindon-ya was presented as this occupation was started in the Edo period. The event began in the Great Court and featured make-up and the dressing of a kimono for a Chindon-ya lady. A huge crowd watched with enthusiasm the process of preparation.

After finishing the preparation, it was time for the procession inside and outside of the museum. The sound of Edo culture, Chindon chindon, echoed in the sky of London. Only the good old British Museum is capable of putting on such a cool show.

On the corner of the Great Court, there was a workshop where visitors were challenged to make a wood print of their own. The museum supplied the wooden board and pencil, and participants carved for themselves. The finished artworks were placed on show at the Hokusai wave presentation spot nearby.
The lady who was responsible for dealing with the participants of the workshop wore a dress with a Hokusai wave pattern, and you felt her enthusiasm for Hokusai. In my opinion, you get the impression that British people are in general rather reserved, however, when they take to something they go absolutely crazy about it.

Another event was Koto playing on the staircase of the Great Court. After a while, a group of people gathered together dancing and ascending the stairs whilst moving. I think they were attempting to imitate Hokusai’s Great Wave, they certainly looked interesting.

Once again, a Tsugaru shamisen player, Ichigawa Hibiki, and a singer, Mochizuki Akari, presented their music and singing, promoting traditional Japanese culture. This time, they played in the Japanese Gallery surrounded by fine artworks from Japan. It is a fantastic that the museum can provide such a special opportunity for so many people, something which is difficult to organize even in Japan. The audience was mesmerised by the powerful sound of Tsugaru shamisen, beautiful singing and the special atmosphere provide by a fine collection of Japanese art.


Akari Mochizuki and Hibiki Ichikawa presenting traditional music at the Japanese gallery

The final event to introduce is the Sake tasting corner which was held on the opposite corner from the workshop. People wearing Kimonos served us free samples of Sake from many different regions of Japan. Recently there has been an increase in the number of British people drinking sake, and it has become part of the popular food culture of Japan along with Sushi.

A popular mascot of the Hokusai exhibition is a white bob hair duck wearing a pinkish red kimono. The museum launched the Samurai duck at the time of the Shunga exhibition a few years ago and it now makes a great partner for the new duck. The British Museum doesn’t charge an entrance fee except for special exhibitions, it is run by donations from people and the profit they make from the museum gift shop. The museum shop has a website to sell on line as well. The museum makes a great effort to make attractive goods in order to maintain their policy of free entry.


White bob hair with pinkie red kimono duck is launched at Hokusai exhibition.

I take my hat off to the enthusiasm, passion and great effort of the British Museum for livening up the Hokusai exhibition. The British Museum yet again organized an exciting event to introduce Japanese culture to visitors with many activities which everyone can enjoy. I really respect the museum and fell in love with it again.

July was the graduation season. I feature below a couple of shots taken on graduation day at the SOAS campus. The wearing of a gown and hat create an atmosphere of ceremony and occasion.

2017年6月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター 田口和美/GJO Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

For the June report, I would like to write about three events.
At the beginning of the month, there was an opening of a new exhibition at the British Museum titled “Hokusai, beyond the great wave”. It is a well-organised exhibition providing free family activities and talks to accompany the exhibition. To launch the exhibition an event was specially organised for museum members. It took place in the evening after the museum had been closed to the public. Members were able to freely walk round the museum and enjoy the exhibition at their leisure. A Tsugaru shamisen player, Ichikawa Hibiki, whom I introduced in the April report, and a singer, Mochizuki Akari, were performing in one room in the museum to provide Japanese sounds in keeping with the event.
The Hokusai exhibition displays Hokusai’s works in chronological order. The sketchbooks showing Hokusai’s drawings in which he captures the movement of people and animals were just magnificent. These sketchbooks are called Manga, from which we get the modern-day term Manga, meaning a comic book. One of his most famous paintings, Red Fuji, is exhibited along with Pink Fuji, both of which are fascinating. The exhibition introduces us to Hokusai’s religious viewpoint as well as the spiritual and artistic quest which heavily influenced his later works.
This exhibition has been supported by a joint research project between SOAS and the British Museum titled “Late Hokusai: Thought, Technique, Society”. It is led by Timothy Clark from the British Museum and Dr. Angus Lockyer from SOAS.
The subject matter of the artworks is based on quintessential Edo culture. However, the use of perspective and the vivid blue colours in the pieces are the result of western influences introduced in the late Edo period. They reflect the rapid transformation from a feudal to a modern society which was taking place in Japan at the time.
This exhibition presents Japanese culture in the best possible way in a subtle manner which also manifests the broad-mindedness of British culture and its sophisticated approach to art appreciation. Surrounded by these magnificent Hokusai paintings, I had the sensation of being more in Japan than when I actually am in Japan!

The second report of the month is about a Korean cultural event at SOAS held at the end of the academic year. The event was organised by students who are members of one of the many Korean cultural societies, such as the Drumming Society, the Gayageun Society, the Dance Society, the Sori Society and the Wind Society. At this event, the students give a performance in which they demonstrate what they have learnt during the year.
There is one student from TUFS learning Gayageun, and I took some photos of her as a souvenir of her time at SOAS.
Although it is organised by the students and many of the teachers are students and researchers, they are all professionals in their field and the quality of the event is of a very high standard.
The audience joined in the dance and games at the end bringing the event to an exciting climax.

The third report of the month is on the Okinawa Day, which takes place annually in London. This event features Okinawan folk and classical music, Amami Oshima’s folk music, the Okinawan classical tea ceremony called Buku buku cha, various local Karate groups’ demonstration, and the Eisā drum and hand dance.
The originator of the event is Dr. David Hughes, whom I introduced in last year’s report on the SOAS Minyo Group who perform Japanese folksong. Dr. Hughes planned the “Okinawa Eisā Project” from 2004 to 2005 when he was head of the Music Department at SOAS. The aim of the project was to invite the Sonda Eisā team and Okinawan musicians to the Thames Festival which is organised by the Mayor of London.
Two instructors were invited for a one-week workshop to teach drum-dance and hand- dance. This course was held at SOAS two months before in order to prepare for the event. During this workshop, a local London Eisā team was formed in order to support the Sonda Eisā group from Okinawa in their performance at the Festival.
It is fantastic that despite members changing over the years the tradition of Okinawan culture has carried on until today as a local event in the heart of London. The group that grew out of the visit of the Sonda Eisā team is now called the London Okinawa Sanshinkai.
The venue is near the banking quarter, and it has been developed in order to create a space where people can casually gather together and enjoy the atmosphere. The space has been used to promote world culture, and as well as the Okinawan memorial event many other events take place here throughout the year.
It is an outdoor occasion, and people are free to walk round or sit down. The audience responds very positively while listening to the music and watching performances. There are children performing in the Eisā group, and many of them are girls. They perform a powerful drum dance, a clear display of ‘Girl Power’!
It is a very special experience listening to the sound of the Sanshin, the singing, powerful drumming and drum calls of Okinawa in the centre of London. It makes me feel Furyu.

2017年5月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター 田口和美/GJO Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

フラナガン氏はTUFSの講演会で昨年12月に “小泉八雲の「心」から夏目漱石の「心」へ”というタイトルでトークされています。日本文学研究者で、夏目漱石に関しては、「ロンドン塔」の翻訳、「草枕」、「門」、そして「こころ」の翻訳本に紹介文を書いていらっしゃいます。イギリスの大和ファンデーションでも数多く、講義をなさっています。
I would like to make a report about a talk given by Dr. Damian Flanagan at the end of April which took place in Manchester in the North of England.
Dr. Flanagan gave a talk at TUFS last December titled “From “Kokoro” by Koizumi Yakumo to “Kokoro” by Natsume Soseki”. He is a leading research scholar in Japanese Literature, and is a specialist in Soseki’s work. He translated Soseki’s “Tower of London”, and has written introductions for the translations of “Three Cornered World”, “The Gate” and “Kokoro”. Dr. Flanagan has also given many talks at the Daiwa Foundation.

1891年に設立以来、数多くの日本文化紹介や催し物を企画してきている、この国で非常に長い歴史を持つ個人団体のジャパン・ソサエティーと、イギリスの大学卒業生で日本に行き英語教師として経験を積んで戻って来た人たちで作られている、JET ALUMNIの協賛で設けられたこのイベントは、マンチェスターの中心部からタクシーで15分くらい行った閑静なヴィクトリアパークと呼ばれる住宅街にあるお屋敷で行われました。
The event was a collaboration between The Japan Society, which has been contributing to the promotion of and understanding of Japanese culture by organising many Japan related events, and JET ALUMNI, which was formed by British University graduates who went to Japan to teach English and who have since returned and are now living in the UK.

フラナガン氏のトークのタイトルは “The Dark Secret of Natsume Soseki” 「夏目漱石の暗い秘密」と題されていました。夏目漱石の研究者でなくとも、とても興味をそそられるタイトルです。会場の雰囲気作りが非常によくできていて、あたかも誰かの家に招待され、お話を聞くといった環境でした。JET ALUMNIとジャパン・ソサエティーのメンバーで会場がいっぱいになったところで、いよいよフラナガン氏のトークが始まりました。
The title of Dr. Flanagan’s talk was “The Dark Secret of Natsume Soseki”. It is a very interesting title no matter whether you are a Soseki specialist or not. The venue for the event was a very impressive, renovated, nineteenth-century mansion which provided a very homely atmosphere. We felt as if we had been invited into someone’s sitting room. Dr. Flanagan began his talk when the venue was filled with the members of Japan Society and JET ALUMNI.

Dr. Flanagan began his talk explaining a little of the history of the house called Sommerville, which was the venue for the event. The mansion had belonged to Lieutenant General Harry Smith who was active in the first part of the nineteenth century in the British Army.
Dr. Flanagan said that the building was in very bad condition when they began the renovation. It was hard to imagine the run-down condition of the past, as the building has now been transformed into an immaculate condition.

After the history of the house, Dr. Flanagan moved on to the day’s main subject. He began talking about Lafcadio Hearn who was a Japan specialist and known
as Koizmi Yakumo.

Lafcadio Hearn taught English literature at Tokyo Imperial University before Soseki and was replaced in his position by Soseki after he came back from his study period in London where he had been sent by the government.
Dr. Flanagan told the audience that Lafcadio Hearn wrote a book titled “Kokoro”. Soseki also later in his career titled one of his novels “Kokoro”, consciously choosing the same title as Hearn. We don’t know the exact reason why Soseki named his novel “Kokoro”, but it is a very interesting point that Dr. Flanagan raised about the same title by two different authors. I believe Dr. Flanagan went into this in more detail when he gave a talk at TUFS last December.

The conclusion to the main theme of Dr. Flanagan’s talk, “the dark secret of Soseki”, was that it was necessary for Soseki’s best friend, Shiki to die in order for Soseki to flourish fully as a literary writer.
After quitting university, Shiki’s talent flourished at this relatively early stage in his short life. He began a new movement in the Haikai world, established a literary journal, Hototogisu and became an editor of that magazine. He also became a journalist and went to China to cover current events.

According to Dr. Flanagan, Shiki’s existence became an obstacle to Soseki becoming a literary artist. Soseki was liberated and felt free to write creatively only after Shiki’s death.

It is a fresh view point regarding the friendship between Soseki and Shiki. In fact, it is true that Soseki’s talent as a literary writer flourished after Shiki’s death. On his return from London he experienced a period of psychologically instability. During this time Takahama Kyoshi who was a student of Shiki and succeeded him as editor at Hototogisu suggested Soseki write something for the journal. In answer to his request Soseki wrote “I am a cat” and the rest as they say, is history.

Another point of view in my opinion is that Soseki might have carried on working as an English literary specialist, and not have got involved in composing Haiku, Kanshi and writing novels, if he hadn’t been influenced by his best friend, Shiki.

I am looking forward to Dr. Flanagan keeping us provided with many more interesting views and opinions as he continues his research in Japanese Literature.

今回、ご親切に筆者の参加を受け入れてくださった、JET ALUMNIとジャパン・ソサエティーに感謝の意を表したいと思います。
Finally, I would like to pay my gratitude to JET ALUMNI and THE JAPAN SOCIETY for letting me participate in such an interesting event. Thank you very much.

2017年4月 活動日誌

GJOコーディネーター 田口和美/GJO Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

As we know, April is famous for being the season of the cherry blossom. It seems that the arrival of the cherry blossom front was later than usual this year in Japan. On the contrary, London had a rather early season for the opening of the cherry blossom. I would like to write about the theme of the Cherry blossom in the UK.

There are a number of squares in the area of Bloomsbury where SOAS is situated. One of them is called Tavistock Square. There, you can find a cherry blossom, which has huge, deep, pink petals. When you get closer and focus on its root area, you find a memorial plaque. On the plaque, it says that the tree was planted, on 6 August 1967, in memory of the victims of Hiroshima by the Mayor of Camden.

Every year in the summer on the weekend nearest to the Atomic Bomb Memorial Day of Hiroshima, people who wish for peace gather together at this spot. People pray to comfort the spirit of the victims of the atomic bomb, and make speeches to remind themselves not to forget the hardships and existence of Hibakusha (the survivors of the bomb), and that we as human beings should never repeat the same mistake again. This cherry blossom plays a central role in the event as a symbol of peace.


On the day I visited the square to take some photos, I happened to see many Origami cranes placed around the tree. The Paper cranes scattered on top of the bed of cherry blossom petals looked mesmerisingly beautiful. About a week before, there had been a terrorist incident in the centre of London; a policeman was stabbed and lost his life whilst on duty in front of the Houses of Parliament. A sad reminder of how this square is an important space for people to express their feeling that no matter what happens, people will never tolerate violent action and will continue to work for peace.

In the centre of this square, there is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi who dedicated his life to the independence of India through none violence and none subordination. The statue of Gandhi always has a garland around its neck and a lit candle underneath.
Tavistock Square is the place where people from London send a message for peace quietly out into the world.

The next block to Tavistock is Gordon Square. It is situated on the north side of SOAS, and there, students and the general public gather to have a moment of peace and of fresh air. I found one small tree which looked like a Someiyoshino, standing on its own bravely showing a sense of dignity. It reminds me of the great literary artist, Natsume Soseki, who visited London over 100 years ago and stayed in London for about two years. Soseki said in “My Individualism” that he found his own value called ‘On my own terms’ through living alone in London.

Another image of Sakura (cherry blossom) is the music band called No Cars, whose members consist of three Japanese women and one English gentleman. I went to see their final concert before they were about to take a long break.

No Carsと書くのですが、私たちはノーカーズ、ファーマーですといって自己紹介をする彼女たち、一見いつまでも17歳というイメージがあるのですが、メンバー全員演奏がうまく、しっかりとした芯をもつ、桜のようなバンドです。
Their name is No Cars, and they introduce themselves as farmers, as ‘No Cars’ sounds similar to ‘farmer’ in Japanese. At a glance, they look as though they are eternal seventeen-year-old girls. However, they play their instruments very well, and they are firm in their minds and attitude just like cherry blossom.

The band was formed in 2007 and began to play in public from 2008. The members of the band have changed over the years but they have had their present lineup since 2014. In total they have made three albums. I asked them what was the most important thing for them in terms of their musical performance. The answer was that they want to be masters of buffoonery, something which acknowledges the contradictory nature of human kind. They want to be clowns because if they have to be serious all the time, life becomes oppressive and dangerous.

They are close friends and enjoy playing in the band together, as they can experience and try out things that they would never do individually.

バンドのメンバーはリードギター、ヴォーカル、クラリネット、サクソフォン担当でリーダー的存在の小松はるなさん、ベース、ヴォーカル担当の飯田たかこさん、キーボード、ヴォーカル担当の小村朋子さん、そしてドラムのキャンディーで知られる ウィル・ジョーさんの四人です。
The members of No Cars are the founder of the group, Haruna Komatsu on lead guitar, vocals, clarinet, saxophone; Takako Iida on bass guitar and vocals; Tomoko Komura on Keyboards and vocals; and Candy a.k.a Will Joh on drums

They are all very talented individuals and have skills beside playing in No Cars, i.e. Playing Japanese Taiko, working with theatre music and production, acting, interpreting, introducing Japanese Culture, researching on Aroma Therapy. They are strong and powerful Japanese women of the twenty-first century.

The venue was packed with No Cars fans keen to catch the band before they went on a long break. No Cars also had a supporting band called Bing Selfish & the Windsors, which is a group of experienced and talented musicians. No Cars performed two sets on the night and thoroughly entertained their fans.

来月は、漱石専門家のドクター デミアン・フラナガンのトークのレポートです。
I hope No Cars come back before too long from their break as they are a very enjoyable experience and fun.
Next month, I will be writing about a talk given in Manchester by Dr. Damian Flanagan who is a Soseki specialist.


GJOコーディネーター 田口和美/GJO Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

For the March report, I am featuring a brief insight into a class at SOAS.
I wrote about our visit to the SOAS Minyo Group last summer. At the time, I heard that there would be an introduction and demonstration of Tusgarujamisen at one of the classes in the Music Department. I got permission and attended the class.
The class is called ‘Music and Traditions of East Asia’, taught by a Senior teaching fellow and Leader, Dr. Ruard Absaroka. He kindly accepted my request and let me join his class.
津軽三味線のデモンストレーションをするのは、ヨーロッパを中心に津軽三味線普及に活躍する一川響さん、それから彼のお弟子さんの一人で、ベルリングループのリーダーのドイツ人、マーティナ・コップさん(Martina Kopp)です。
The teacher who gave the demonstration of Tsugarujamisen is Mr. Hibiki Ichikawa, who is active in promoting Tsugarujamisen in Europe and many other places, he was accompanied by one of his pupils, Miss Martina Kopp, who is a leader in the Berlin group.
After receiving a certificate from his teacher to teach Tsugarujamisen, Hibiki Ichikawa came to London with the mission of spreading and popularising Tsugarujamisen in Europe. Since his arrival in London, Hibiki Ichikawa has participated and played in many events (for example, Japan Matsuri, Hyper Japan, events at Japanese Embassy in London to name a few). Along with his performance activities, Hibiki Ichikawa began to teach Tsugarujamisen. In 2013, he taught Tsugarujamisen at the SOAS World Music Summer School which was a short one week course. Since then, he has been teaching passionately in many places and expanding the number of his students. He has over 25 students in London now. Since 2015, he began to hold a workshop in Berlin named Sham-camp and it is planned to have it annually.
最近は、彼の演奏を録音した2枚目のCDを出したり、色いろなミュージシャンやパフォーマーとの共演、舞台音楽、そして最近では、ライカのアニメ映画、’Kubo and the Two Strings’で三味線音楽と音を担当するなど幅広く活躍していらっしゃいます。
Hibiki Ichikawa has just released a second CD of his music. He has also collaborated with other musicians and performers, played Tsugarujamisen in a play in a theatre in Edinburgh, and most recently he took part in playing Tsugarujamisen music and sounds in the animation film produced by Laika titled “Kubo and the Two Strings”.
I asked Hibiki Ichikawa what are the interesting points of promoting Tsugarujamisen in Europe? Are there any difficulties in teaching?
Hibiki Ichikawa answered “I want to create as many opportunities as possible for people in London, which is one of the major international cities, to hear the sound of the Shamisen which was born in Japan.”
“Regarding teaching, I am excited by witnessing my students improve their skills in playing day by day, which gives me an enormous pleasure!”
In that day’s class for SOAS students from many different nationalities, Hibiki Ichikawa gave a demonstration together with his student from Berlin, Martina, playing some traditional tunes as well as his own original tunes which had a flavour of Middle Eastern tones. He also gave explanations for the background of the tunes so that students could have a better understanding of the music.
After the demonstration, it was a time for students to experience playing. A few students tried playing with instructions given by Hibiki. They could play very well with little instruction, as they are music students and have a good understanding of playing instruments. On the other hand, Tsugarujamisen is a string instrument like a guitar, but is played with a huge plectrum. How to handle a huge plectrum whilst playing looked difficult.
There was a question time at the end of the class. There were many questions such as scale, what a plectrum was made of, what are the differences compared with other type of Shamisen, when did he begin to play the instrument. Hibiki who has a sense of mission to spread Tsugarujamisen answered each question carefully.
The theme of this month’s report was “the introduction of Japanese culture through music lessons”, and I realized that it is hands on experience of seeing and listening that is the most important and best way of understanding a different culture.
I would like to thank Dr. Ruard Absaroka who organized the demonstration for the class and the teacher of Tsugarujamisen, Hibiki Ichikawa and his student, Martina Kopp, for their cooperation in my writing this article.


SOASオフィスコーディネーター 田口和美/SOAS Office Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

【TUFS&SOAS交換留学生交流会】Exchange Student Meeting Between TUFS and SOAS

At the beginning of the month, I started to plan and prepare for the second TUFS-SOAS students cultural exchange event.

We decided the title of the event would be “Ehomaki Taikai”, as TUFS students expressed an interest in celebrating Setsubun and eating Ehomaki.

For our second event, we thought it would be better to book a classroom in order to have more private space. We managed to book a classroom with great help from the Head of Administration at Language and Culture and one of the SOAS students, Afsheen.

Two new students who are going to study at TUFS from September also joined us. They were introduced to us by Dr. Furukawa at the Japanese Language Department.

The Ehomaki event started with a lecture given by Professor Arakawa of ILCAA, TUFS on his area of research, the Xi Xia language.

I was about 10 minutes late due to taking time preparing the ingredients for Sushi at home. By the time I joined the class, the classroom was full.

The students were listening with great interests to the talk given by Professor Arakawa who explained the Xi Xia language with passion and in a manner which was easy to understand for beginners.

In total, there were five students from TUFS and 6 students from SOAS. (unfortunately, the student who helped booking the classroom had to leave early as he had to attend another talk.)

After Professor Arakawa’s talk, we moved on to the Ehomaki event.
First of all, we began to set up the room for Ehomaki, spreading the table cloth creating a space to demonstrate making Rolled Sushi. Everyone eagerly cooperated and we finished setting up fairly quickly.

It is said that there is a tradition of eating Ehomai at Setsubun, which is a seasonal event to mark the transition of the seasons. Eating Ehomaki on Setsubun as a tradition doesn’t have a clear history and it is rather mysterious. There is one hypothesis that there was a promotion of eating big rolled sushi created by a group of Sushi Restaurants in 1970 which was spread by the media. Ever since, it has become a custom.

I started off demonstrating how to roll Sushi, so that anyone who wanted to try had some idea of what to do.


My demonstration on how to make rolled sushi  / 筆者、巻き寿司の作り方デモ中

I placed the ingredients, Sushi rice, Nori, Sushi vinegar at the side, and set out disposable gloves for everyone to wear so as to be hygienic and not make a mess in the classroom.
Everyone watched the demonstration with focused concentration.

It was a first time to experience of making Ehomaki for the SOAS and TUFS students and Professor Arakawa. It was amazing how fantastic they were as Sushi chefs.


A SOAS third year student showing confidence in making sushi SOAS / 日本語学科3年生の学生は、自信をもって寿司作り

After making it, it is natural to cut the roll of sushi into small pieces. However, for Ehomaki it is different. Due to superstition, you are supposed to eat one whole Sushi without cutting it. It is a food for receiving good luck, so it is better to avoid cutting it, as you may cut off your good luck. You are also meant to make a wish whilst you are eating.

Whilst making Sushi, the students enjoyed speaking to each other. I hope the Ehomaki event provided an opportunity for everyone to experience Japanese culture directly.

One of the SOAS student who will be studying at TUFS in September rises to the challenge of making sushi. Beside him, his classmate who is also going to TUFS is giving him emotional support.


A souvenir photo of Professor Arakawa’s talk and the Ehomaki event / 荒川先生の講義と恵方巻大会の思い出ショット


SOASオフィスコーディネーター 田口和美/SOAS Office Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

We had the first SOAS-TUFS exchange students’ meeting starting from early evening on the 18th of November. The participants were 5 TUFS students and 3 SOAS students, in total 8 students.
We assembled at The Institute of Education (UCL) at 6 pm. It was a Friday night, so there were many students in the hall and we had some difficulty in finding a table and chairs.
The meeting began with a self-introduction using the language of the student’s own subject area, followed by the reasons for their choosing that particular subject area. Then, it developed into explaining detailed information about their studies and their future study expectations.
The hall was full of people and there was a lot of noise but despite this difficulty, everyone was fascinated by each other’s speech and listened carefully with great enthusiasm.
After the presentation, opinions were exchanged on many different subjects and finally we took a few pictures to remind ourselves of the occasion for later.
After the photo session, we began to converse informally and had some homemade sushi made by myself.
The evening went very pleasantly and we look forward to the next one which will be sometime in the new year.


SOASオフィスコーディネーター 田口和美/SOAS Office Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

十月二十日に、待ちに待ったSOASジャパンソサエティーの第一回ミーティングがありました。私が到着したときは、すでにかなりの数の学生が隣接する大学Institute of Education (UCLの一校)のバーに集まっていました。
I joined to the first meeting held by the SOAS Japan Society on the 20th of October at IOU (Institute of Education) which is a part of UCL. There were many students gathered at the meeting.
There were a few students from TUFS and they had a great time talking to SOAS students.
We are going to have a TUFS/SOAS event in November.
The New Academic Year has started and I attended the Freshers Fare on the 1st of October where new students were welcomed and signed up to all sorts of society activities.
It was the first weekend after registration and the school was full of new and old students.
The new students experiencing their first weekend before the start of classes the following week, were keen to have a look around to find out what was on offer. They looked excited and a little anxious at the same time. There are many reasons for joining the many societies on offer, such as pursuing hobbies and developing friendships.
A huge range of activities were available in the three locations allocated to general societies, music and entertainment related societies and sports societies.
It was amazing to see such a large number of activities relating to so many different nationalities, a quintessential characteristic of SOAS. All these societies representing different nationalities were passionately explaining what their societies were about to the students.
I as a coordinator was keen to learn about the activities of the Japan Society. I registered with them and waited for their mail to inform me about the first meeting.
I joined to the first meeting held by the SOAS Japan Society on the 20th of October at IOU (Institute of Education) which is a part of UCL. There were many students gathered at the meeting.
There were a few students from TUFS and they had a great time talking to SOAS students.
We are going to have a TUFS/SOAS event in November.


SOASオフィスコーディネーター 田口和美/SOAS Office Coordinator Taguchi Kazumi

博士号は、現在、この9月の締め切りをめざして、最終調整に入っています。専攻課題は 明治の大文豪の一人、夏目漱石の宗教思想を漢詩から探る、といった内容です。
趣味としての音楽活動をSOAS中心に行っています。現在は、SOAS沖縄三線会、 SOAS-Royal Holloway能グループ、SOASコリアンドラムソサエティーに属し、中国の楽器は、漢詩に関係の深い古琴に興味があります。
Hello, everyone. My name is Kazumi Taguchi, and I have started to work as the TUFS Coordinator at London SOAS office in July.
I will briefly introduce myself.
My relationship with SOAS has been a long one, and I feel that SOAS is almost like my home in the UK.
I began in 1988 by taking a one-year intermediate certificate course in the external division of SOAS.
I then went on to study Music and History for my BA and Chinese Studies for my MA. I have just submitted my PhD thesis to the department of Religions and Philosophies. My thesis looks at Soseki’s religious views by analysing his Kanshi compositions.
As a hobby, I play music and belong to a number of SOAS music societies; SOAS Okinawa Sanshin kai, SOAS Royal Holloway Noh Group, SOAS Korean Drumming Society, and London Youlan Qin Society.
I am interested in the relationship between Britain and Japan which has existed for over 450 years, and in working for the maintenance and development of understanding, cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

【TUFS&SOAS交換留学生交流会】Exchange Student Meeting Between TUFS and SOAS
8月13日、日本では夏の季節行事、お盆が始まる日に、音楽部前主任教授のDr. David Hughes (平成27年度TUFS 特別招へい教授)の指導の下に、意欲的な活動を行っている、SOAS民族音楽部の民謡グループを訪問しました。

2016 Summer Project: visiting SOAS Minyo group to the Ethnomusicology Department:
On the 13th of August, the beginning of an annual national event, the Bon festival, we made a visit to the classroom of the SOAS Minyo group which has been very active in performing and is led by Ethnomusicologist, Dr. David Hughes who we met.
The Minyo group were vigorously preparing and finalising their set in order to participate in the Japan Festival held at Sheffield in the north of England the following week. The group is very popular and have performed in many Japan related events over the years in the UK and Europe. The Minyo group give an impression of being very friendly, but at the same time extremely professional in their singing, playing of instruments, dancing and presentation.
The visiting members were Mr. Koinuma from the TUFS administration office on the SOAS-TUFS Global Adminstrative Exchange Programme, a TUFS student, a Tokyo University student, and a Nagoya University student. They participated in the practice by clapping hands and chanting to keep time, as well as giving encouragement and joining in on some singing.
It seemed to me that it was difficult for the Japanese visitors to imagine the concept of traditional Japanese folk songs (Minyō) as a part of ethnic music prior to our visit. However, once they entered the class room and had a big welcome from the group, they relaxed immediately (it seemed to me). The Japanese visitors witnessed how all the members almost all of them non-Japanese sang and played Minyo passionately from the heart, which made the Japanese visitors clap hands and chant enthusiastically with the help of Dr. Hughes who provided them with song sheets.
I am pleased, if the visit to the Minyo class at SOAS Music department has offered a chance to learn how the Japanese culture has been introduced, received and maintained outside Japan to students who will be the future generation and play an active part in the international environment.
There was a picnic after the class at Russell Square, and Mr. Koinuma from TUFS administration office attended on behalf of us all. According to Mr. Koinuma, it was very relaxed and friendly, everyone having a nice time singing and dancing. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. David Hughes, Professor Gena Barns, and all the members of Minyo group for their cooperation, friendship, and warm welcome in enabling the 2016 TUFS London Summer event to take place.
The New Academic year will start in October. I hope to plan and realise more events for SOAS-TUFS students to exchange their ideas.

Minyo group and TUFS visitor sing and dance Tankō Bushi at the Picnic at Russell Square celebrating the OBON Festival.


SOASオフィスコーディネーター 亀田裕子/SOAS Office Coordinator Kameda Yuuko

今月は先月Office Open & Casual Conversation Dayに参加された学生さんから幾つか追加の問い合わせがありましたので、国際拠点化室を通して回答を頂き、各自に配信致しました。イベント後も、「また日本語会話をしにいってもいいですか?」というようなお問い合わせも頂いておりました。/This month we had a few extra queries from students that participated in the Office Open & Casual Conversation Day last month so we received the answers from the International Central Office and delivered them to the necessary students.  After the event had finished, we also received such queries as “May we come and chat in Japanese again?”

Office Open & Casual Conversation Day (2016.1)

〜参加学生のコメント〜/Comments from Students who Participated

スクリーンショット 2016-03-02 21.11.20

質問の内容はアパートの賃貸の事から、短期留学プログラム、また日本政府を通しての留学についてまで様々でしたが、印象として学生同士での情報交換があまりないようにも感じ始めていました。去年は9月に全体に向けての留学相談会でしたが、今回は日本語会話の練習とオフィスオープンもかねていた為、個別カウンセリングになりました。前述の留学相談会のような会が一年に何回かあると学生同士のネットワークの構築にも役立てることが出来るのではと個人的に思いました。オフィスでの個別カウンセリング(日本語会話練習・留学についての相談)と(全体に向けて)留学相談会の二つの柱が必要とされていると感じました。又、来月より新しいプロジェクトコーディネーターの着任に伴い、オフィス業務の引継ぎ等も行いました。今後、ロンドンオフィスが学生たちの相談室としてますますの発展を遂げる事を心から願っています。/The contents of the questions varied from the prices of renting apartments to short term study abroad programs and studying abroad through the Japanese government however the impression I got was that there was very little exchange of information occurring between fellow students. Last year we held a study abroad guidance meeting for the students but this year due to the Japanese conversation practice and the office open day, it became individual guidance meetings. When the previously mentioned study abroad guidance meetings are held multiple times over one year I personally think that they aid the construction of networking between students. I felt that both individual counseling at the office (Japanese conversation practice and consultations regarding studying abroad) and the study abroad meeting (regarding studying abroad as a whole) were both necessary. Also from next month, following from the appointment of the new project coordinator we conducted the handover takeover preparations. From now on at the London office, we are hoping to achieve further development as a place for students to come and discuss any issues they may have.


SOASオフィスコーディネーター 亀田裕子/SOAS Office Coordinator Kameda Yuuko

GJO-SOAS-201512-01GJO(SOAS)日本語会話レッスンの企画として、「Open Office & Casual Conversation Day」の計画・準備に入りました。まずはオフィスの存在を学生さん達に広く知ってもらう事を、第一の目的とし、実験的に1月19日・26日の二日間それぞれ4時間ずつ行います。広報活動の一環としてGlobal Japan Officeのフライヤー作成し、その中でこの企画についても紹介しています(右イメージ)。来年度、こちらのフライヤーをオフィス扉・掲示板に載せ、さらに日本語科の最高責任者の先生、及びJapan Year Abroad Support担当者に広報のご協力をお願いする予定です。/The Global Japan Office (GJO) has begun plans and preparations for a Japanese conversational get-together titled “Open Office & Casual Conversation Day”. The main aim of this event is to allow students to get to know more about the GJO. It will be held for 4 hours on both January 19th and January 26th. Fliers (pictured right) have been made that detail the plan for the event which will be plastered on doors and notice boards. The help of head teachers within the Japanese language department, as well as those in charge at the Japan Year Abroad Support, is also being called for.

この企画の内容として、オフィスの存在を学生さん達に広く知ってもらうことを念頭に、日本語を実際に使う場を提供する事にあります。又、TUFS留学に関する質問が出る場合にも備え、9月に行われた留学相談会の際、TUFS職員の方が作成くださったパワーポイントとパンフレットを準備しています。日本語を話す時に、慌ててしまったり、恥ずかしがったりする学生さんもいる事、一人一人の学生さんのお話を良くお伺いしたいので、最大2名(各30分〜1時間程)として事前にメール予約としました。そして、これからのオフィスと学生さん達とのネットワーク構築に向け、オフィス来訪者の名前・所属・学年・訪問目的・内容を記録していきたいと考えています。/The event offers the chance to use Japanese within a real environment while teaching the students about the existence of the office. PowerPoint presentations and pamphlets are being prepared by TUFS staff about the TUFS Informal Meeting that was held in September for exchange students, so students will have the opportunity to ask questions relating to studying abroad. We want to hear each student’s stories on times they have become flustered or embarrassed when speaking Japanese, so we will have 2 people per session (each session 30 mins-1 hour), for which they will need to reserve a place prior to the event by sending an e-mail. We would also like to document the name, position, school year and reason for attending of those visiting the office to strengthen the network between the office and the students.

本年度は、1月に英国でご活躍されるTUFS卒業生の先輩方をSOASにお招きし「ロンドン・グローバルビジネス講義/TUFSグローバル・コミュニティ会合」及び「外語会新年会」が行われ、英国に滞在する多くTUFS在学生・卒業生が参加、キャリア構築に関する先輩方の貴重なお話を伺うとともに、親睦を深めました。8月から9月には事務職員国際研修にTUFS職員の方お二人が参加し、SOASにて夏期英語研修・ワークシャドーウィングを受講されました。さらに9月にはGJO開設後、初めてのイベントとなる「TUFS Informal Meeting」(TUFS留学相談会)を開催いたしました。TUFSとSOAS両校に関わる様々な方々のサポートとご協力を経て、確実にオフィスの存在と活動の幅を広げています。その上で、2016年度はオフィスとSOAS・TUFS学生とを結ぶネットワーク構築に追力して参りたいと考えています。/Graduates from TUFS have been active this January in the UK, and were invited to SOAS where the events “London Global Business Lecture/TUFS Global Community Meeting” and “Foreign Exchange New Year’s Party” were held. Many TUFS students and graduates who are residing in the UK participated in the events where they were able to hear valuable stories regarding career building from their seniors, and where they could deepen their amity. Two members from the TUFS Global Administrative Exchange Programme also attended the events and held a lecture on shadowing as part of the English Summer Course at SOAS. Moreover, the GJO held their first ever event in September titled “TUFS Informal Meeting”.


SOASオフィスコーディネーター 亀田裕子/SOAS Office Coordinator Kameda Yuuko

GJO開設後、初めてのイベントとなる「TUFS Informal Meeting」(TUFS留学相談会)を開催いたしました。イベントの目的は、SOAS学生が日本への留学に向けて、不安や疑問に思っている事柄などを直接相談できる機会を設けることでした。対象は、TUFSに留学する学生のみではなく、広く日本に留学する予定、日本留学に興味がある学生と致しました。/After the establishment of the GJO, the first event “TUFS Informal Meeting” was held. The purpose of this event was to establish an opportunity for SOAS students who are approaching their year abroad to directly discuss their questions and doubts. The focus of this event was not solely students who will study abroad at TUFS, but also students who will come to a variety of regions of Japan as well as students who are interested in studying abroad in Japan.

開催にあたっては20151007-001、SOAS側の日本語担当教員およびJAPAN Year Abroad担当者に協力をお願いし、オフィスで作成した広告を日本語学科の学生、全員に配布、掲示板への記載をお願い致しました。又、SOASで事務職員国際研修に参加されているTUFS職員のお二人にご協力をお願いし、当日は事前に連絡のあった人数を上回る8名の学生さんに参加頂きました。この時期は夏休みですので、ロンドンを離れている学生も多く、8名の学生さんが集まったことは、とても幸運なことでした。また、SOAS学生にとっては、TUFS職員と直接お話しができる機会は、とても貴重なことであり、多くの質問が寄せられました。/When the event was held we asked the Japanese principal lecturer who is also year abroad coordinator for their cooperation, to distribute the advertisement created in the office to all students who are studying Japanese and to put the information on the noticeboard. We also asked two administrative staff from TUFS who are taking part in international training at SOAS for their cooperation, and on the day of the event 8 students took part which exceeded the number of people we contacted prior to the event. Due to it being summer vacation many students are away from London so to have 8 students gather was incredibly fortunate.

今後の予定として、今回のイベント参加者にアンケートをとり、SOAS日本語担当教員の先生及び、JAPAN Year Abroad担当者と連携を図りつつ、活動を広げていきたいと考えております。/The schedule from hereafter will be to gather feedback from questionnaires filled out by the participants of this event and whilst cooperating with the Japanese principal lecturer and year abroad coordinator of SOAS, we are looking to expand our activities in the future.

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