Japan Season 2021: Celebrate the Rich Histories, Literatures and Languages of Japan

Japan 2021 – TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, University of Oxford – 22 October – 10 December 2021

We are pleased to support The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities’s programme, Japan Season 2021, celebrating the rich histories, literatures and languages of Japan with a range of online and in-person events. 

Japan encompasses many different contributions to the world – and this is reflected in the diverse ways in which it is studied and researched at Oxford.

Bringing together artists and performers based both in the UK and in Japan, the events series will engage the wider public through public events, grounded in collaboration.

We are glad our support has been directly associated with the following events and workshops:

Anagama Kiln Firing (8-18 October) – Based in Oxford’s Wytham Woods, the traditional Anagama Kilns were recreated together with expert potters from Japan, and Dr Robin Wilson. Anagama means ‘cave’ and the kiln was constructed to plans based on archaeological investigations of this ancient type of pottery kiln.

Japanese Calligraphy Kana Shodо̄: The ‘Women Hand’ Kana Characters and Empowerment of Women (19 October) – Women’s empowerment and the fourth-wave feminism in the 21st century is gaining steam by social media and new communication methods. However, it is not widely known that there was an era in Japan a millennium ago, when women enjoyed their freedom by expressing and sharing their ideas freely with new communication tools they acquired.

Drummers Unite! Joji Hirota and Spark! (29 November) – Joji Hirota and The London Taiko Drummers was founded in 80’s and is regarded as a highly established Japanese traditional and contemporary Taiko Drumming Group. Spark! is a medium-scale street theatre show performed by five to seven characters that combines high-impact drumming, dynamic choreography and beautiful lighting design. 

This festival will both showcase the work of creative performers and artists and reach diverse large audiences in Oxford; it will also have a global reach where the material goes online. We will connect with key organisations and artists as we bring together and celebrate the arts and culture of Japan. Oxford will be alive with opportunities to celebrate Japan in 2021. Alongside the Olympics, in Oxford there will be a major exhibition hosted at the Ashmolean Museum (TOKYO: Art & Photography, July-December 2021). 

Opening with a large-scale launch event, the Japan 2021 cultural festival programme will include 10 events over October-November and into December 2021. Each event will speak to an area of Japanese arts and culture and connect with global and local public audiences through performances and creative productions by artists, as well as musicians, writers and theatre groups.

For more information about the programme visit https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/japan#/

The Japan Season 2021 is organised and curated by TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and it is supported by Bagri Foundation, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, and the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.

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