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

2018年9月 活動日誌 / 2018 September Monthly Report

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

For my September London report, Dr. Nathan Hill who is head of the East Asian Department has agreed to my request for an interview. Dr. Hill is very keen on participating in TUFS activities at SOAS, and has attended all of the TUFS-SOAS friendship meetings over the last two years.
Dr. Nathan Hill has worked at SOAS for the last ten years. He spent his first three years teaching the Tibetan language. After that, he became a researcher as a post-doctoral fellow for three years. Then, he became head of the department of East Asian language and culture.
東アジア言語文化学部は一年前までは、Japan & Koreaと China に分かれていましたが、やはり東アジアを一つにまとめた方が良いという見解から、今はジャパン、コリア、チャイナそしてチベットが一つの学部として統合されました。4つの国を一つのまとまった文化圏としてとらえるためだそうです。ヒル教授が理想とする東アジア言語文化の在り方は、漢文学を基礎として学べる環境を作ることだそうです。
Until one year ago, the department of East Asian language and culture was divided into two sections: Japan & Korea, and China. But there was a view that it would be better to put all the East Asian studies into one. Hence, China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan came under one umbrella. The idea is that the four different nations are considered as one cultural entity. The ideal environment for the study of East Asian culture and language according to Dr. Hill is one in which Chinese Classical literature is one of the starting points for understanding the region’s cultural and linguistic heritage.
SOAS was the first educational institution in the UK to implement a system of sending students abroad to study their selected subjects; an innovative idea for its time. Over the years, many universities took up this system and it has now become the normal thing to do. According to Dr. Hill, it is time to change the current SOAS system of studying a year abroad for a new one, as the original system is dated and needs to be renewed.
Currently, SOAS students only have a choice of studying abroad for a year. The ideal for Dr. Hill would be as well as this to set up a system of SOAS students studying a shorter time abroad. He believes that each student should have the opportunity to learn and experience cultures of their choosing directly, this would lead to a deeper understanding of their field of studies.
The following statement is the introduction to the Department of East Asian Language and Culture by Dr. Nathan Hill:
“Demand for specialists with advanced proficiency in the languages of this region has significantly increased in recent years. We offer more or less intensive study of East Asian languages, both at SOAS and at our many prestigious partner universities.
The cultures of China, Japan & Korea have become increasingly familiar to Western audiences over the course of the twentieth century. TV shows and film, food, fashion and computer games, Manga and anime, K- and J-pop, have become an important part of global popular culture. Many also continue to be drawn to the rich diversity and dynamism of East Asia’s pre-modern literary, religious, artistic and philosophical traditions.
Our expertise allows you to gain specialist knowledge in the regions of your interest, in their classical traditions as well as their contemporary developments.”
London is a city which embraces multi-culturalism and diversity. In this open environment, where the differences between people are appreciated and valued, East Asian culture has no trouble in thriving.


ネイサン・ヒル教授 Dr. Nathan Hill

2018年8月 活動日誌 / 2018 August Monthly Report

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

For my August London report, I am going to talk about some of the societies managed by the SOAS student union.
As regards club activities, they are categorised into two major groups: Sports Clubs and Societies. Amongst the many kinds of societies existing, I will talk about societies related to Japanese culture.
There are four different Martial Art societies. One of them is the Airenjuku Aikido Society. This society was established twenty-one years ago and has been going strong at SOAS ever since. The second Martial Arts society is the Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido. It aims to practice developing Ki and teaches breathing techniques using Ki.
Both of these Aikido societies respect harmony. They practice developing mental and physical strength and spirituality using the concept of harmony as a base. At the same time, they practice self-defence. The important concept behind Aikido is not that of fighting with an opponent but that of co-working with an opponent and developing together through practice. It is not an aggressive or competitive sport, and is open to any age group and physical size to join and practice. It is ideal for maintaining health, flexibility, core strength, body coordination, and reaction.
The third martial arts group is the Japan Kenpo Society. This society is little known at the moment. It is dedicated to a modern physical fighting sport developed through scientific research. Protective armour is worn to avoid injuries. The fourth group is the Shorinji Kenpo Society. This martial art aims both to develop self-defence and self-development. It is a self-defence technique using Eastern philosophy and meditation, which at the same time, teaches self-discipline and awareness by co-operating with people and helping each other.
Japanese Animation is well established and popular in the UK. SOAS has its own Anime Society. Their main activity is to get people who are big fans of Animation and Manga to meet up every week and watch Anime together.
The next society to introduce is the Studio Ghibli appreciation society. The society aims “To invite and unite students together in the appreciation of the world-renowned animation studio, Studio Ghibli”. There are many Miyazaki fans all over the world now. The society furthers the appreciation of the stories, animation art works and concepts of the fantasy collections created by Studio Ghibli.

Surprisingly, there is also a society called In-Yo: Kissaten by day, Izakaya by night. As the title says it is a café (Kissaten) in the afternoon and changes to a bar at night. A selection of Matcha, Japanese green tea, Sencha, Hojicha, Genmaicha and others is available at the Café. They also serve delicious smoothies. There are choices of traditional Japanese Sweets (Wagashi) as well. In the evening, it changes to a bar (Izakaya) and there is a selection of drinks such as Japanese Sake, Japanese whisky, Shōchū and Sake cocktails on offer, as well as tasty snacks. There are some interesting activities as well. They offer Sake tasting and talks, board games, live performances, film, an Onigiri making workshop and Karaoke if requested. In-Yo Kissaten and Izakaya seem to be bursting with ideas.
The reason for calling themselves Yin-Yang Kissaten/Izakaya is explained by them as “We chose the name In-Yo (Yin-Yang), because we would like our members to feel free to be active or passive, according to where they are in their work-rest-play cycle. In practical terms this means you can either simply be entertained and enjoy our high-value, high-quality refreshments, or you can devise and deliver your own idea/ mini-project, or volunteer to wo/man the bar or cafe. In this way the offering can be co-created and co-delivered by and for the group. “It sounds a real ‘chill out’ place, as Londoners say.
Another classic association is the Origami society. Origami culture has been firmly established in the UK for some time now. The SOAS Origami society has its own uniqueness and aims to develop skills including “imagination, creativity, memory, dexterity, patience and geometry.” They encourage the development of Origami art and have a number of projects on offer which are available to all levels of skill from beginners to advanced.
Next, we have the Japan Society. The SOAS Japan Society meet regularly and are currently planning to have language exchanges and put on film screenings and various cultural events.
There is also a society called the J-Pop Karaoke Society. Unfortunately, there is no information available on this group.
There is a SOAS Minyō Group as well. As you may already know, this group is formed and managed by Dr. David Hughes. This society is open to anyone (including non-SOAS members) who is interested in Japanese traditional folk music. They practice every Saturday. They are a very popular group and participate in many cultural events related to Japan all over the UK. Recently, they have started to perform accompanying plays. It is a very energetic and musically excellent group.
SOAS has its own radio station as well.
The societies mentioned here are the ones related to Japan. As you can see, there are many unique societies at SOAS. The nature of a society is that students plan, start up, and manage the society by themselves. In order to form a society, you need to have six like-minded people prepared to get ideas together. It is an ideal place to learn how to develop ideas and practice sharing and cooperating with other people before entering the professional world.

2018年7月 活動日誌 / 2018 July Monthly Report

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

七月のロンドンレポートは、ヴィジターズ特集です。ロンドンの大学は長い夏休みに入り、9月末まで4か月、大学生及びほとんどの教授陣は休暇でそれぞれ大学を離れます。(大学院生は、これから個人の特別課題の執筆にかかります。) しかし大学が閉まるわけではなく、短期間の様々なサマーコースが始まります。先月ご紹介したミュージックサマーコースもその一つです。多くの学生が世界中のいたるところから、夏休みを使って学びに来ます。東京外国語大学の学生も毎年、冬と夏、短期留学でロンドンに訪れます。
For the July London Report, I am going to write about the visitors from TUFS to SOAS. Universities in London go on a break in June for the summer holidays which last for four months until September. The students and most of the teaching staff are having a holiday and have left the campus (except MA students who begin writing their individual dissertation). Although the university has broken up for the summer, it doesn’t mean the university is closed. On the contrary, it is the beginning of various summer courses which are open to external students who visit SOAS from all over the world. One example is the music summer course which I talked about in my June report. Many students from TUFS visit SOAS in the winter and the summer every year for a short study visit.
Every year one member of the administrative staff who works at TUFS attends the Staff Learning and Development programme. This year, we had Ms. Tomomi Kikuchi from the Academic Affairs Division. The programme consists of three- weeks intensive English learning and one-week work shadowing. I saw her a few days after she began the English course. According to her, it sounded like it was a very demanding course with a tight schedule and a lot of homework. She had to give a presentation in front of the class at the end of her stay, and because of the demands of the programme there was little time for sightseeing. However, it was a very satisfactory course. Work shadowing aims to give the participant experience in different departments of the SOAS administrative system. Ms. Kikuchi said she enjoyed the programme and learnt a lot from the experience.


Kimberly, Tomomi and Becky at the office of Staff Learning & Development


At the front entrance of SOAS


Along the canal near the dormitory

The second visitor was Assoc. Prof. Kenji Okano whom I introduced in the March report. He is a researcher in the Burmese language and teaches at TUFS. Assoc. Prof. Okano stayed for six months in his previous visit and this time he will be researching at SOAS for two months. He was involved in setting up the TUFS office at Yangon University in the past and is currently involved in creating the Burmese language database. Assoc. Prof. Okano is very passionate about his work in the development of the Burmese language.


Assoc. Prof. Okano at the TUFS office at SOAS

The third visitor was Assoc. Prof. Shintaro Arakawa. Assoc. Prof. Arakawa researches the Tangut language at The Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. He has visited SOAS as a visiting scholar in the past and when he was here last time he kindly joined our TUFS-SOAS friendly event. It was on a short visit of just a week this time in which he was extremely busy with research. Assoc. Prof. Arakawa is a good friend of Assoc. Prof. Okano and I had an opportunity to join them at a Greek restaurant to celebrate their reunion in London. I had a very enjoyable time in their company.


Gathering at Greek restaurant. Assoc. Prof. Okano, Mrs. Okano, myself and Professor Arakawa

July is the graduation season. Recently the SOAS graduation gown has been renewed and become exclusive to SOAS with its own colour. Many students wearing the grey gown with yellow hood passed by with a big smile on their faces.


BA and MA students wearing a grey gown with yellow hood, PhD student wearing orange gown with yellow hem in the centre of photo.

2018年6月 活動日誌 / 2018 June Monthly Report

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

The examinations at the end of academic year have finished, and a relaxed and energetic atmosphere has returned to the campus once again. This year, we have had continuous hot summer days in London. The summer in the UK, unlike the hot and humid Japanese summer, is not humid, so you can cool down when you go under the shade and feel dry. For this month’s report, I am writing about the Japan’s ethnical minority cultures (Korean, Chinese and Okinawan) in London.
On the first Saturday after the end of examinations an event was organized by various Korean societies in which students were able to learn about different types of musical instruments and singing and dancing. I wrote about it last year, so some of the readers are already familiar with this event. I managed to find time to rejoin the Korean drumming society. It was a very enjoyable evening.
Korean societies are very active and feature Taegum (bamboo flute), Gayageun (zither), Pansori (singing and storytelling), Korean traditional dance and Samur nori (Korean drumming). There is a choice of beginners’ class and advanced class. All the students from the society were involved in making the event successful, and it was a very professional presentation.


最後のグループ写真Group photo at the end of the evening

The Wednesday in the second week of June was SOAS music day. During the day, music from all over the world was played on the campus. It is an event that signals the end of the year at the same time advertises the beginning of the SOAS music summer courses. For two weeks, there are music summer courses organised every year open to the general public as well as students.
Unfortunately, it was my work day, so I can not give a full report of the event. I did however see some performances of Chinese music while I was passing by. One of the performances was given by the SOAS Chinese Traditional Folk ensemble led by Dr. Hwee San Tan who received a PhD in music from SOAS. It is an ensemble consisting of Pipa, Urhu, Sanshen, Gujen, percussive instruments and flute. There was also a performance of accompanying music in the style of the Beijing Opera. It was followed by Ms. Beibei Wang who is a graduate of RSM and teaching Chinese percussion at the SOAS music summer course, who performed powerful drumming with her students.
When I was leaving the building, I saw a big band orchestra playing Cuban style Latin music (although I am not certain) with singers, creating a carnival-like atmosphere. I thought music from all over the world was played throughout the day. It was just like a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The third report is about Okinawa day which is associated with Okinawa Memorial Day, something I wrote about last year as well. It is the tenth anniversary, so there was a special program in which musicians from Japan were invited. The event started with the most well-known and important classical tune, Kajadefu, with singing and dance, and was then followed by folk music from Amami Oshima, various styles of Okinawan folk songs, music mixing Okinawan and Reggae by Kanako Horiuchi, Tsugaru Shamisen by Hibiki Ichikawa, folk music from Miyakojima, Okinawan Tea Ceremony-Bukubuku cha, and Eisaa performance. Dr. David Hughes was there of course busily participating: playing drum, Sanshin, sanba and singing.

Local Karate groups participate every year demonstrating various Karate forms and exercises. The young Karate masters’ movements are very cool. I am grateful to the members of London Sanshinkai who organise the event every year and many volunteers who help provide such a pleasant time and ensure the event runs smoothly. When I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of Sanshin, even in the middle of the busy Banking district, I felt I was close to the sea. I am looking forward to next year’s event already!

2018年5月 活動日誌/2018 May Monthly Report

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

Final exams take place between early May and early June in UK Universities; the campus is very quiet and one can feel the tension in the air. The usual format an examination is that you have to choose four questions and answer them within three hours (language courses are an exception) in essay form. It obviously requires a lot of concentration. It is also physically exhausting, as one has to write by hand continuously for three hours. When you are under stress, it can cause a huge strain to your mind. So, the Student Advice and Wellbeing Service operated by the Student Service Department offers classes such as hypnotherapy, yoga and relaxation classes for the students to cope with the pressure.
It is the end of the academic year in the UK universities. In contrast, the new academic year started in April in Japan and I am sure that students have by now settled in to the classes and lectures. I heard that Dr. Philip Seaton who started teaching at TUFS from this April was visiting SOAS. Despite his busy schedule in the UK, Dr. Seaton kindly agreed to talk to me for a short time.
Dr. Seaton has lived in Japan for more than twenty years, and taught at Hokkaido University for fourteen years before he moved to TUFS. He is affiliated with the Institute of Japanese Studies at TUFS. Dr. Seaton’s special areas of research are Media, Culture and Tourism Studies, focusing on War Memories.
Dr. Seaton’s main reason for visiting SOAS this time was to explore the possibility of setting up a dual degree program between SOAS and TUFS. Dr. Seaton said that it was only the starting point and it was difficult to say at this point in time how the project would develop in the future.
Currently, students from TUFS come to study at SOAS either for a short-term study abroad in winter or summer or for a year-long study abroad. We look forward to the future development of this program.


Dr. Philip Seaton in the Staff Common Room at SOAS フィリップ・シートン教授、SOAS職員休憩室にて

2018年4月 活動日誌/2018 April Monthly Report

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

For this month’s report, I would like to introduce the SOAS Centre of Translation Studies which features the translation of Japanese among the courses it offers, something which directly relates to my report of play reading in March.
There is a course called MA Translation in the School of Language, Culture and Linguistics. MA Translation are also a part of the activities of the Centre of Translation Studies (CTS).
翻訳学研究所主任でいらっしゃる、佐藤=ロスベアグ ナナ教授(以下、佐藤先生)に、翻訳学のコースと内容に関してお話を伺ってきました。
I visited Dr. Nana Sato-Rossberg (Sato Sensei hereafter), who is the Chair of the SOAS Centre for Translation Studies.
Sato Sensei has been teaching at SOAS for the last four years. She previously taught at the University of East Anglia (where Mr. Kazuo Ishiguro who won a Nobel Literary prize did his MA in creative writing) for three and half years.
Sato Sensei explained that Translation Studies was begun in the Europa in the 70s and advanced rapidly in the 90’s in the UK. The SOAS Centre for Translation Studies was established in 2008 aiming to promote translation studies of non-European languages and cultures. Currently, there are MA and PhD courses available at SOAS.
The compulsory subjects for the MA in Translation are Translation theory, Translation study and methodology, and a dissertation which is a translation project or translation theory.
According to Sato Sensei, one immediately thinks that translation means that there is a source text and then a translation. However, Translation Studies are more complex and involve much more than practical translations. In academic terms, for example, it means becoming aware of the translation process taking place in one’s brain during translation. Students learn translation processes through theory and method.
When translating, there is always a choice of words and style. To be able to choose suitable words and style for the text, an understanding of different cultural backgrounds is required.
Currently, there are 24 students learning Translation Studies. Students are free to choose their desired language/s. There is a choice of 7 languages pairs; Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, Turkish and Persian (from/into English). The students who are currently taking the course are not necessarily native speakers of the language. There is a case of students learning the Japanese language in BA choosing to go on to study Translation Studies in MA, for example. There are also students who studied English literature or English, some working in the literary profession, some working in business who wish to become translators in their chosen specialities.
One of the purposes of Translation Studies is to provide opportunities for students who have skills in language/s to move on to the next level in their careers. Among the specialities available after gaining an MA degree are: business translation, researching as a PhD student, teaching or teaching related occupations and literature. The areas of translation feature literature, business, film and journalism among the options.
Sato Sensei’s future plans are firstly to increase the awareness and understanding of Translation Studies by developing Translation Studies academically especially the field of area-based translations studies in order to expand the Centre of Translation Studies. The Second objective is to connect Asia and Africa through Translation Studies.


Sato Sensei at her office. 佐藤先生のSOASオフィス


MA Classroom 大学院授業風景 Camila França Photography

2018年3月 活動日誌/2018 March Monthly Report

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

The first item in the March London Report concerns the TUFS-SOAS friendship meeting.
The event is comprised of a presentation by Okano sensei and Shinagawa sensei, both of whom had been at SOAS as visiting scholars from last Autumn. After the academic presentation, Dr. Hughes, Professor Barnes and two SOAS students from the SOAS Minyo group joined us singing and playing music to celebrate the TUFS-SOAS friendship event.
As a coordinator, it was my responsibility to organise the event. I started preparing food to take to the event from 9 o’clock in the morning. I thought hard about a menu which would consist of cooked dishes that could be eaten when they are cold. I came up with the following menu: Inarizushi, cucumber rolls, eel & cucumber rolls, seasoned and boiled Daikon and carrot, Kinpira style sautéed burdock, salmon fishcake, and Taiwanese style deep fried pork.
After 8 hours of hard work, I managed to finish all the cooking by five o’clock and then headed to SOAS. On my arrival at SOAS, I received a phone call from one of the TUFS students who has been studying at the University of Westminster saying she got lost. We communicated with each other and arranged to meet up near the main building.
When we arrived at the venue, Okano sensei and Shinagawa sensei were finishing their preparations for the talk. They helped me to set up the table and lay out the food and drinks.
We waited for people to arrive and started the event around 5:45 p.m.
In attendance were three TUFS students studying at SOAS, one of two students studying at Westminster University (the other student wanted to come, but couldn’t attend as she had a busy schedule due to the fact she was leaving the UK the following week), one of two SOAS students who are going to study at TUFS from this Autumn, Dr. Nathan Hill (Head of the Japan Korea section of the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture) and Professor Screech (Professor of the History of Art) who has stayed and taught at TUFS in the past and had been invited by Okano sensei for this event as they were taking the same Burmese language class. Dr. Hughes, Professor Barnes and two SOAS students also joined us after their performance.
The event started off with Okano sensei giving a talk about his research on old Burmese language texts, their structure and how information was created in the archive using visual images.
His talk was followed by Shinagawa sensei presenting his research on the Bantu language. He explained the complicated relationship between regions and languages in Africa using language distribution maps, so that beginners could easily understand the topic.
After a short break, the SOAS Minyo group consisting of Dr. Hughes, Professor Barnes, a Japanese language fourth year student, and a music student, played some excellent Minyo music further adding to the excitement of the event.
Dr. Hughes and Professor Barnes also played some fantastic Okinawan music in the folk tradition. I also sang two tunes from the Okinawan classical tradition.
To close the event, we played a celebratory tune called Iwai-bushi, in the hope that academic and cultural exchange between TUFS & SOAS keep growing in the future. It was a splendid way to end the friendship event for 2018, I am so grateful to the people who collaborated and the people who attended the event. Thank you so much everyone.


Okano sensei giving his talk on the Burmese language


Shinagawa sensei giving his talk on the Bantu language バントゥー語を紹介する品川先生


Dr. Hughes singing a Japanese folk song about chasing cows with one of his students in the role of a cow 南部牛追い唄の途中で牛を追いかけるヒューズ先生と牛役の学生


Dr. Hughes playing the Tsugaru Shamisen, while one student sings a Japanese traditional folk song, another student plays the bamboo flute and Professor Barnes plays the Sasara


Dr. Hughes singing an Okinawan folk tune and playing Sanshin, Professor Barnes playing Sanba ヒューズ先生が沖縄の民謡を三線を伴奏で歌い、サンバでリズムをとるバーンズ先生


Dr. Hughes and the TUFS GJO coordinator at SOAS playing and singing the Celebration Tune (Iwai Bushi) ヒューズ先生とTUFSコーディネーター田口が最後に祝い節を演奏

今月の2件目のレポートは、文化庁海外研究制度(短期)で、ロンドンに演劇、演出分野で研修滞在中の鹿目由紀さん(劇団あおきりみかん主宰、劇作家、演出家)がノッティングヒルゲートにあるCORNET劇場(映画ノッティングヒルでも登場)の中にあるClub Roomでお芝居のリーディングを行うという事で、ラッキーにもコーディネーターの佐藤章子さんにご招待いただき、そのリハーサルと本番を見学させてもらいました。

The second item in the report of this month is about the playwright, theatre director and leader of the theatre company Aokirimikan), Ms. Yuki Kanome who has been staying in London as she was selected as a researcher of the Japanese government’s programme of overseas studies for upcoming artists. The coordinator, Ms. Akiko Sato invited me to the play reading at the Club Room of the Cornet Theatre situated in the heart of Notting Hill Gate (this theatre was used in the well-known film, Notting Hill). I was lucky enough to witness both the rehearsal and the actual reading in front of an audience.


Ms. Kanome has received many prizes related to the theatre in Japan in the past. I got the impression that her visit this time is a step towards introducing and developing her talent at a global level.

リーディングの前準備として今回のお芝居の翻訳家で、SOASの翻訳学と日本語(Translation Studies and Japanese)というクラスで定期的にワークショップを担当する阿部のぞみ教授の劇翻訳ワークショップにSOASの学生達ともに参加されたそうです。

For the preparation of the reading of the play, Ms. Kanome joined the theatre translation workshop at SOAS given by Dr. Nozomi Abe, who gives workshops periodically at a class called Translation Studies and Japanese. Dr. Abe is also the translator of the play that Kamome put on at Club Room.


The short play was called Ikenai (English title: Forbidden), and it has a minimalist setting of two actors, one table, one chair and a glass of water.


To summarise the short play, a man who has been living earnestly following rules has been forbidden to drink the glass of water on the table. He comes across a mysterious woman who seems to know all about his past. By talking to the man, she provokes him to break the rule to drink the water. He finally breaks the rule, drinks the water from the glass and collapses on the floor.


The actors were a male actor of Japanese parentage and a Singaporean actress. Their acting was passionate and well-crafted and penetrated the audience’s heart. It was a short play, but a very deep experience indeed.


ガラスのパネルで保存されたエドワード朝時代に壁に書かれた飛行機の絵を背景に立つ鹿目さん Ms. Kanome standing behind a drawing of an aeroplane from the Edwardian period preserved behind a glass panel.


リハーサル風景。時計回りに女優のレベッカ・イェオさん、男優のマーク・オオタさん、コーディネーターの佐藤章子さん、翻訳家の阿部のぞみさん、演出家・演出家の鹿目由紀さん。 Ms. Kanome giving instruction to actors during the rehearsal. Clockwise: Actress-Rebecca Yeo, Actor-Mark Ota, Coordinator-Akiko Sato, Translator-Nozumi Abe, Playwright/Director-Yuki Kanome


熱のこもったリハーサル A very energetic rehearsal

2018年2月 活動日誌/2018 February Monthly Report

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

二月のロンドンレポートは、11月のレポートで特集しましたデーヴィッド・ヒューズ教授(TUFS-CAAS Unit2015)の旭日勲章の授賞式がロンドン日本大使館で行われましたので、その模様をお届けしたいと思います。

In this month’s report, I would like to write about the ceremony in which Dr. Hughes (TUFS-CAAS Unit2015) was awarded The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette honour at the Embassy of Japan in the UK, London.


The ceremony took place in a big hall in the embassy which is situated opposite St. Jame’s Park and near Buckingham Palace. It was a grand event. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, the ambassador’s wife, Dr. Hughes and his wife, Professor Barnes, welcomed the guests at the entrance hall. The Japanese ambassador and Dr. Hughes were both wearing Montsuki Hakama, the formal traditional Japanese costume.


The ambassador began the ceremony by introducing Dr. Hughes. Then, Dr. Hughes was presented with the medal of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette honour by the ambassador. Receiving the order of the Rising Sun is in recognition of Dr. Hughes’ continuous effort towards introducing and promoting Japanese culture to everyone without discrimination everywhere he has been. It is an acknowledgement on the part of the Japanese country to the contribution Dr. Hughes has made to the promotion of Japanese culture.


The great hall was filled with guests who came to celebrate Dr. Hughes’ achievement. There were many people from SOAS as well, of course. After the ceremony, a performance was given by the Min’yo group and London Sanshinkai. Dr. Hughes set up and was responsible for leading these groups’ activities for many years. The award ceremony ended with huge excitement and a merry atmosphere. It was an amazingly relaxed mood in the embassy, which many of us had never experienced before and reflected Dr. Hughes’ friendly character. It was a wonderful experience indeed.


Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mr. Koji Tsuruoka and Dr. David Hughes (photo: courtesy of the Embassy of Japan in the UK)


Dr. Hughes playing Sanshin and singing an Okinawan folk song accompanied by Professor Barnes playing Sanba and whistling (photo: courtesy of the Embassy of Japan in the UK )


I was planning to report on a lecture on the Japanese language at SOAS. Unfortunately, it was cancelled due to the strike taking place amongst UK universities. It has been postponed until the next academic year.


Another event I would like to write about is the Student Tsugaru Shamisen concert.


I have mentioned the Tsugaru Shamisen player, Ichikawa Hibiki, several times in the past already. He teaches Tsugaru Shamisen and has many students in the UK and Berlin. The student concert is organised once a year and this is the fifth year. The event took place in a church in Finchley West in North-west London where there is a significant Japanese community.


A large number of students were featured from beginners to the very experienced. All of them performed Japanese folk tunes and sometime original tunes superbly. Many people also wore traditional Kimonos.


It is rare to have an opportunity to listen to students playing the Tsugaru Shamisen in Japan. There were nearly 30 students performing the Tsugaru Shamisen at that night’s event. The occasion began and ended with a group performance featuring all the participants, creating a powerfully combined sound of Tsugaru Shamisens around the entire church.


There was a highly energetic performance given by a female group calling themselves, Yosakoi London, who performed Yosakoi folk dance at the end of the first half. Yosakoi London was set up last year and this is their second show. Their act was on point and together demonstrating how hard they had been training. They are recruiting members at the moment.


The opening piece of the event イヴェントのオープニング


The teacher and one of his students from London 先生とロンドンの生徒の演奏


Performance by Berlin group ベルリングループの演奏


Final group performance 最後のグループ演奏


Yosakoi London dancing to a traditional folk tune 

2018年1月 活動日誌/2018 January Monthly Report

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

新年の一月レポートは北ロンドンに在住の母親コミュニティー, JAMALNE (Japanese Auspicious Mothers Association London North East、将来Totte Mumに変更の可能性あり) が企画、開催する新年会の様子をお届けしたいと思います。
For the January London report I would like to write about a new year event organized by a mothers’ community in North London called JAMALNE (The Japanese Auspicious Mothers Association London North East, which may change to Totte Mum in the future).
This annual event started in 2010 in the house of one of the members. In 2013, it moved to a hired space in a nearby church and has been held there ever since. This year is the sixth anniversary and around forty families attended the occasion. I asked Ms. Kazuko Hohki who is the main organiser, about the background to this New Year event.
Ms. Hohki has been living in the UK for over forty years. After graduating from the University of Tokyo majoring in child psychology, she came and settled in London. Since then, she has worked as a performance artist, as well as writing, producing and acting in many plays of her own. Amongst them, “Toothless” and “Borrowers” which have been very popular and performed at many theatres. Ms. Hohki has also been involved in musical activities and is a leader of a performance group called “Frank Chickens”, which is mainly made up of Japanese women who in their appearances cover such genres as pop, rap and enka. The group was formed in the early 1980’s and has grown in number. They are still active today.
As well as being busy as a performing artist, Ms. Hohki is also the mother of a child, and this led to her establishing the North London Mothers’ community. I asked Ms. Hohki what was the reason for starting this event. Ms. Hohki told me it began with just her and another mother and child and then increased to a much bigger scale when Ms. Hohki, who has a lot of experience in organising and planning events, got in touch with other mothers.
It has been over 450 years since a social relationship was established between Japan and UK, and many Japanese have now made the UK their home. An increasing number of children have been born to couples of mixed Japanese and British parentage, and there are also many children of these second-generation Japanese. They are all part of the Japanese community in Britain.
Recently, in Japan, there have been issues of identity, of what makes a person Japanese. The number of Japanese who can be described as mixed race, who have one parent who is Japanese, has increased and so too has the number of Japanese who since childhood have been brought up outside Japan. As a result, Japanese communities outside Japan have diversified. The positioning and identities of these new type of Japanese communities outside Japan is an important issue in the development of an authentic Japanese global community.
The 2018 New Year’s event took place at the Baptist Church in North London about fifteen minutes’ walk from Seven Sisters tube station. After entering the building, there was a table set up for an Origami and Craft workshop where many children attentively watched a demonstration given by one of the mother/teachers. Children then tried hard to make their own creations under the instruction of the mother/teachers. It was a very exciting scene.
Opposite the workshop, was a table selling sushi. The sushi came from a shop called ‘Sushi Head’ which was opened about a year ago by a Japanese lady. It is very popular amongst Londoners, as the sushi is both affordable and tasty.
A children’s slide was set up in the next room and toys were also provided. It was a fun and creative atmosphere. Surprisingly, there was a table for a raffle. In one corner of the room a microphone and amplifier were set up in preparation for the performance, and chairs were in place for the audience. The entertainment consisted of Okinawan folk and classical music played by me, then Clive Bell who I introduced in the September report, played shakuhachi, shinobue, and a Thai instrument, the kane. The show ended with a performance by a duo, enka and min’yo singer, Akari Mochizuki and Tsugaru jamisen player, Hibiki Ichikawa.
Clive’s performance on shakuhachi and kane, Akari’s enka followed by Hibiki’s instrumental piece, ‘Tsugaru Jongarabushi’ and traditional folk music along with Akari’s singing were enough to take both children and adults back to a home inside their mind, in which they were mesmerised by the sounds. The finale of the 2018 New Year event was ‘Donpan Bushi’ a song which involved audience participation and which was received enthusiastically.
I would like to pay my gratitude to all the mothers who wore a happi coat and worked so hard to bring this event off. It was a valuable and fantastic new year’s experience of Japanese culture which is increasingly hard to come across in Japan nowadays.


尺八を演奏中のクライブ・ベルさん Clive Bell playing Shakuhachi


オーガナイザーの和子さんとみきさん Kazuko and Miki, the organisers


折り紙、工作ワークショップ Origami and Craft workshop


すしヘッズ出店 Sushi Heads shop


あかりさんと響さんのデュオ Akari and Hibiki performing Min’yo

2017年12月 活動日誌/2017 December Monthly Report

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

For the December report I would like to write about a class on modern Japanese literature that took place at SOAS.
The class was given by Professor Stephen Dodd. Professor Dodd has in the past visited and given a talk at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. So, some of you may already know him. He will be visiting Tokyo University of Foreign Studies from October next year as a visiting scholar. This report can be regarded as a preview of his teaching.
It is the final month of the year, during this period London is preparing for Christmas. The streets are bright with illuminations and decorations which transform the city into a fairy land. However, students still have to write and submit an essay before they go away for the Christmas break.
ドッド博士の授業も、出席を取った後は、まず論文提出日と文字数の確認でした。論文提出が迫っているにもかかわらず、クラスは20人を超える学生で, 教室はぎっしりと埋まっています。聴講を許可された筆者は邪魔にならないように後ろの隅で授業を見学することにしました。
In the classroom, after checking the attendance of the students, Professor Dodd confirmed the submission deadline and the length of the essay. Despite the fact that it was getting so close to the essay deadline, the classroom was filled with over twenty students. Professor Dodd gave special permission for me to attend. I took a seat at the back of the classroom, so that I wouldn’t disturb the lesson.
Today’s class was a discussion of novels by two artists; “Machine” by Yokomitsu, Riichi and “A riot of goldfish” by Okamoto Kanoko. The class started off with a discussion of Yokomitsu’s work. Professor Dodd asked the class for their impression of the story.
The students raised their hands and one by one gave their impressions of the work. Among the reactions were: “violent novel”, “cycle of self-doubt and paranoia”, “don’t understand the meaning of the story or what it is about”, “it is passive, the boss is childlike and strange, giving an impression of being disconnected from the world of normality”, “people were avoiding reality”, “futuristic”, “a riddle”, “illogical”.
Professor Dodd responded to the comment of “illogical” by saying “but it is rational within the world they live in.”, after that, the discussion proceeded. Professor Dodd asked the class whether the story is typically Japanese or not.
One of the students asked “Who is in control?”. He said it seemed as if there was no ending, things just went around in a circle and he felt dissatisfied after reading the story.” Professor Dodd now asked, “What is the effect of the story? Does the novel make you feel disturbed or uneasy? Doesn’t it stimulate your thought patterns and make you think what makes you feel uncomfortable about the novel? Because the sense of unease cannot be pinned down to one point.”
The discussion developed further. Professor Dodd asked the students how they would relate the novel to the situation in Japan in the 1930’s. One student said, “It is a reaction against Naturalism. The characters are controlled by the machine. Everything is connected to science and chemistry.”
“Do you think this novel is modern literature?” Professor Dodd asked the class. The students hesitated to answer. Professor Dodd went on to explain. “The style of expression is the Japanese interpretation of Modernism. Immorality and ignorance are expressed through the thrill of violence and nonsense. But it is a different kind of violence to that seen in slapstick. Here, violence exists on its own. The author is expressing the time he is living in through this kind of depiction. He is being a kind of Zeitgeist of the time. For example, the way he writes sentences which go on and on rather than small sentences. The writer chose this strange writing style on purpose. In one sense, it can be said that there is a similarity with the Dadaist expression method in layout where the spaces are freely filled with sentences with different fonts and sizes, which randomly break with the traditional and ordinary writing method.”
どうして機械というテーマなのでしょうか?とドッド博士がクラスに問いかけます。 一人の学生が「運命、近代主義への批判」、次の学生は、「資本主義社会では個人主義の必需性があり、すべては個人主義に向けられていると思います。」という意見を発言しました。
Professor Dodd talked about the theme of machines in the novel. Among the comments were: “It is a criticism against fate and modernism.” Another student responded, “Under Capitalism, it is necessary for individualism to exist, and everything is designed in terms of individualism.”
Another question from Professor Dodd was, ‘What is the meaning of the individual?’ ‘What is the meaning of the machine?’ There are two alternative interpretations, he said, positive and negative. For instance, let’s think about artists who were creative during the Russian Revolution. One of the images created by Russian Constructivism was a positive image of a large machine moved by a cogwheel. Giving the idea of a new world created through machines. In contrast, one of the great films by Charlie Chaplin, ‘Modern Times’ expressed the negative image of mechanisation in a world where human-beings are driven to despair by machines.
The discussion on this topic had taken up more than half of the allotted time. It had to end at this point and move on to another theme. The subject matter was now “A riot of goldfish” by Okamoto Kanoko.
After taking a look at the characters in the novel, Professor Dodd asked for impressions on the protagonist. One student considered him to be an “escapist” another described him as being “self-pitying”.
Professor Dodd observed that the protagonist, Mataichi, has many ideas and desires. He now needs to take action, but he isn’t able to do so. This situation often occurs in Japanese novels for instance in a novel from the Meiji period titled “Ukigumo” by Futabatei Shimei. In this story, the protagonist doesn’t choose to act. However, in contrast, if we look at Russian novels, the protagonist often decides to take action.
One student said Masako, the daughter of his employer, was out of reach as a lover/partner because of class differences. They also thought the ending was very interesting. Another opinion was that “all the characters were leaving their fates to circumstances.”
Professor Dodd explained that we need to consider the settings of the novels. We have to imagine the 1930’s in Japan from a woman’s perspective. Although, there was a group propagating the women’s liberation movement, it wasn’t a leading movement of the time.
In 1937, Japan invaded Manchuria and began to expand into China. It was the beginning of expansion of Militarism.
Professor Dodd went on to say how Okamoto Kanoko was a Buddhist and that there are many scenes in her novels which feature flowers. This could be a reflection of Buddhist ideas.
One student said, “Masako, the supporting character is depicted as being very modern.” It seemed like the beginning of an interesting debate. But unfortunately, the class had to come to an end at this point. It had been an hour of rich discussion.

2017年11月 活動日誌/2017 November Monthly Report

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

I would like to dedicate my November report entirely to my teacher, Dr. David Hughes, who you may know already from my past reports. He also taught at TUFS for one term in 2015 as a visiting scholar. In fact, Dr. Hughes and Dr. Iris Haukamp were the first lecturers sent from SOAS in 2015 to start the official TUFS-CAAS Unit project in Japan Studies.
11月のレポートは筆者のBA課程以来の先生であり恩人であるデーヴィッド・ヒューズ教授に関しての特集です。以前、このホームページでも2回紹介したことがあるので、覚えてる方もいらっしゃるのではないでしょうか?ヒューズ教授は2015年10月から一学期間、東京外国語大学(TUFS)の国際日本学ユニット招致の一環で招へいされ学生に教えていらっしゃいます。実際、ヒューズ先生とイリス・ハウカンプ先生の2015年のTUFS訪問が、正式なTUFS CAAS Unit招致事業の始まりであり、SOASから派遣された最初の教授陣でした。
I already wrote about his passion and contribution to teaching and promoting Japanese traditional folk music in the August report 2016 and of his dedication to Okinawan music in the July report 2017.
I am writing about Dr. David Hughes for this report, as this year Dr. Hughes received The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette honour issued by the Japanese Government.
In this report, I would like to share with you some of the contents from the press release issued by the Japanese Government.
“On 3 November 2017, the Government of Japan has announced the conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette on Dr. David W. Hughes, former Head of Department of Music, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and former Chairman of the Center of the Music Studies, SOAS, University of London, in recognition of his significant contribution to promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and the United Kingdom.”
“Dr David Hughes has played a significant role in promoting understanding of traditional Japanese music, particularly folk music, in the UK. He has organised over 200 performances featuring visiting practitioners from Japan and has set up three groups in the UK that are at the forefront of teaching and performing Japanese music, alongside his significant academic achievements relating to increasing understanding of traditional Japanese folk music in the UK.”
“Throughout his extensive career, Dr Hughes has published a wealth of literature in Japanese and English on traditional Japanese folk music. Some of his most notable publications are Traditional folk song in modern Japan: sources, sentiment and society and The Ashgate research companion to Japanese music, the latter of which he co-edited.”
「広範囲の経歴を通して、ヒューズ教授は日本民謡に関して日本語と英語でかなりの量の研究出版をされています。その中で最も顕著な研究書の二つが、『現代日本における伝統民謡:根源、情緒、社会』 、そして共同編集の 『アシュゲート日本音楽研究の友』 です。
“Alongside his academic contributions, Dr Hughes has been a key figure in promoting Japanese traditional art forms to the wider public in the UK. He founded three groups which continue to this day: the SOAS Min’yo Group, the London Okinawa Sanshinkai and the SOAS Noh Group (which has subsequently become part of the University of London Noh Society). These groups successfully contributed to iconic key events including the 1991 Japan Festival and Japan 2001, as well as to Japan Matsuri in recent years. They not only give the public in the UK a unique opportunity to learn and perform a wide variety of Japanese arts but also make them more accessible by demonstrating them extensively around the country. In 2011 Dr Hughes received the annual Japan Society Award for “outstanding contributions to Anglo-Japanese relations and understanding” for his role in making traditional Japanese music better known among people in the UK.”
「学術的貢献に並び、ヒューズ教授はイギリスの一般大衆に向け日本の伝統芸術を広めた主要人物です。現在まで続いている3つのグループを結成されました:SOAS民謡グループ、ロンドン沖縄三線会、SOAS能グループ(現在ロンドン大学能ソサエティーの一部になっています)。これらのグループは, 1991年の日本祭り、日本2001、最近の日本祭りといった日本文化紹介の象徴的イベントに参加し活躍しました。これらのグループはイギリスでいろんなタイプの日本芸能を学び、体験する特別な機会を設けるだけでなく、イギリス国内の各地を訪問しデモンストレーションすることで、さらに多くの人たちが日本芸能に触れる機会を提供しています。2011年には、ヒューズ教授がイギリス国民に日本伝統音楽を広めた功績に対し『日英親善と理解への多大なる貢献』というジャパンソサエティー大賞を授与なさいました。」
“Alongside these activities, he has also personally facilitated or contributed to numerous performances by Japanese traditional performers in the UK. At these events he often acted as an interpreter, translator or commentator so that audiences in the UK could come to understand the social context from within which the pieces had been created. It is no exaggeration to say that many people in the UK owe their exposure to Japanese music or performance art directly to Dr Hughes.”
“In light of these significant contributions to furthering the appreciation of Japanese folk songs and performance art in the UK, Dr Hughes well deserves to be honoured for his exemplary contribution to mutual understanding and the wider UK-Japan relationship.”
Above is a link for further information.
In fact, I am a good example, as I am one of the lucky people who were introduced to and learnt many types of traditional Japanese music from Dr. Hughes: ranging from Noh, Kabuki, Bunraku, Gagaku, Japanese traditional folk, Okinawan classical and traditional folk music, Shakuhachi and Bon dance, right up to contemporary Japanese popular music.
I asked Dr. Hughes about his experience of teaching at TUFS. He replied as follows,
“Of course I’m very honoured to receive this award from the Japanese Government. Japan and its music have been the main focus of my career. And among my many chances to lecture about Japanese music around the world (in thirteen countries), one of my happiest experiences was teaching at TUFS for four months from October 2015.”

2017年9月 活動日誌

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

The first item in the September London report is about the Japan Avant-garde Film Festival, which took place at Kings College, University of London.
I went to see a silent film based on the novel “Mad person’s diary” (Jp. Kyojin Nikki) written by Kawabata, Yasunari, called “A Page of Madness” (Jp. Kurutta Ippeji) directed by Kinugasa, Teinosuke. The film was shown with a Benshi narrating the story and was accompanied by musicians playing live in the auditorium.
I have seen the same silent film with a newly composed recorded sound track in the past. I was excited about the fact that it came with a story teller (Benshi) narrating in English and doing live sound effects, as it would be a rare occasion to see the film in this context.
It is said that the tradition of silent film narrated by Benshi began in 1896 (Meiji 29) as a part of Taisho Modernism. There were a good number of Benshi active in those days as there was very little entertainment around. Nowadays in major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya in modern day Japan there are cinemas where they show silent films with Benshi narration. It is well worth checking it out, if you find the sound of it interesting.

The Benshi narration was performed by Tomoko Komura, who is very small but has an enormous power. Komura is a professional actress who plays all the characters by skillfully changing her voice to fit into the parts, as well as narrating the story. It sounds a little similar to the role of Gidayu in Bunraku tradition. However, the difference is that the puppeteer’s moves are dictated by the Gidayu chanter, whereas Benshi has to fit into the scenes which are developing. The Benshi’s performance is so smooth and natural it makes the story progress in such an authentic manner that you forget you are watching a silent film.
The embellishments for the floating Benshi narration were performed by three improvising musicians. Clive Bell who is a renowned Shakuhachi player and proficient on the mouth organ, Silvia Hallett who is an expert in improvisational music and played the violin, saw and electronics and Keiko Kitamura, who often features in Japanese Classical music ensembles, playing the Koto and doing voice improvisations. Each of them made the best use of their instrument and optimised the sound effects creating tension and appealing to the emotions.

The Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival which organised this event was set up this year. Their major objective is in their words, “to draw connections between classic twentieth century Japanese avant-garde Cinema and contemporary Japanese experimental filmmaking. We provide a platform for these cinematic movements in order to bring them to a wider audience here in the UK. We encourage inclusivity, and propose to foster co-operative discourses between the practical/artistic, scholarly, and fan communities.” I hope they develop this project further and plan more events such as this which was very successful.

The second report of the month is about the Freshers Fair. The new academic year has begun and the campus is filled with new and old students finishing administrative procedures. A part of Senate House which was the headquarters of University of London has become SOAS premises, giving more space for societies to display their activities at the Fresher Fair.
I found a few unusual societies this year. Societies such as the Otaku (Nerd) Game Society and the Drag society! This gives the impression that anybody can form the society they want without any type of prejudice.
The Korean Drumming Society formed a procession which marched from indoors to the courtyard and ended up playing in front of the main door building. They created a welcoming festival atmosphere which made everyone happy.
I believe that SOAS students for yet another year will study hard and play hard!

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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