Are you interested in Japan? Its people? Its culture? Its language?

If so, come and join us!

Japan Society North West holds regular Japan-related events in the Manchester / Liverpool / Cheshire / Lancashire region.

What’s On

The Bizen Osafune Japanese Swords: Centuries of Tradition and Art  - Click here to learn more

Upcoming JSNW Events

Our 2018 programme of events is supported by the The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.




Getting to Noh - from Page to Stage

Saturday 27 October   2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

‘Noh’ is classical Japanese theatre which combines elements of dance, drama, music and poetic text into a highly aesthetic form of art that has been performed continuously for 650 years. In contrast to its minimalist stage, noh uses elaborate costumes and exquisitely carved wooden masks. This Illustrated talk and reading is designed to introduce audiences to the key elements of noh and to have a close up and interactive experience of how a new noh is developed from page to stage.

The new noh “Between the Stones” brings together three iconic Japanese cultural forms (noh, karesansui gardens and furin wind chimes). It was written following the deaths of family members and a mentor and friend close to the author. The piece explores how the burden of grief turns into an understanding and celebration of life, death, friendship, beauty and love; as well as the transformative power of gardens to nurture and heal the soul…

The author of this two-act English language noh drama, Jannette Cheong, will share her experience of noh and how a new noh is developed from the poetic text in preparation for a stage production.

This event is FREE.  Optional: £2.00 for tea or coffee and biscuits. If you would like to attend this please contact our Events Co-ordinator.

Venue: International Society, William Kay House, 327 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PG


Saturday 8 December 2018   2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Kintsugi (金継ぎ, "golden joinery") is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold.

Learn all about kintsugi in this talk by artist and sculptor Chris Fittock. Chris has professionally restored Japanese Meiji Period 1868 - 1912 antiques and works of art for the past 24 years. His venturing into authentic Japanese lacquer Kintsugi ceramic repairs stems from that background, so he has much to talk about and a rare in-depth knowledge of Japanese craft skills. He has given a number of public talks in the past, at Haworth Gallery in Accrington and Towneley Hall in Burnley as well as Uclan in Preston. He has also had radio and television appearances. 

This event is FREE for JSNW members, and £5 for non-members.  Tea and cake is included.

If you would like to attend this event please email

Venue: The Tim Parry Community Centre, Cromdale Way, Warrington WA5 3NY

What's On

Scored in Silence

The atomic bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the world and Japanese deaf artist Chisato Minamimura wants to share how they changed people. Prepare to be mesmerised as Chisato’s performance triggers visuals, sound and vibration, blending sign language with vibrotactility, relaying the stories of the remaining deaf ‘hibakusha,’ survivors, scored in silence. Learn more

Performance times and dates: Friday 19 October 2018, 2pm – 2.45pm and 8pm – 8.45pm; Saturday 20 October 2018, 8pm – 8.45pm

Venue: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY

Kaminari UK Taiko Drummers - Journey

On Saturday 1st December Kaminari Taiko Drummers are bringing 'Journey' to the Wirral. A show of thundering Japanese drums combined with dynamic movement and theatrical flair! Don't miss out on this musical tour of Japan and beyond. A blend of traditional and contemporary pieces to stir the imagination and excite the senses! Michael Graham will be joining us on Japanese string instruments 'koto' and 'shamisen', providing magical melodies to add to the show.

Saturday 1st December 2018 Claremount Rd Methodist Church, Wallasey, Wirral, Cheshire, CH45 6UE Doors 7pm, 7.30pm start (lasts approx., 2 hours) Adults £8.00* / Children 15 and under £5.00* Family (2 adults, 2 children) £24.00* (*plus booking fee for online bookings) Book your tickets now, online at:   https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/564477 Visit  www.kaminari-uk.com for more info.

Have a go at playing the Taiko Drums! There will also be a workshop the following day at the same venue, for those who would like to try their hand at this exciting drumming style!

Sir Peter Parker Awards for Spoken Business Japanese

Date of contest: Wednesday 13th February 2019 at SOAS, University of London.

Applications are now being accepted for entry to the Sir Peter Parker Awards for Spoken Business Japanese. 

The fantastic first prize comprises a premium economy ticket to Japan plus a Japan Rail Pass plus £1500 cash!

Open the flyer to learn more.



The Bizen Osafune Japanese Swords: Centuries of Tradition and Art

Thursday 18 October 2018   6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Japanese swords are known around the world as the primary weapon of the legendary samurais.

Nowadays, Japanese swords no longer serve as weapons, rather they are appreciated both in Japan and overseas as items of mystical beauty and symbolic protection. Setouchi City, in Okayama Prefecture, is a region with one of the longest and richest histories in sword production, from where many great master swordsmiths originated. Almost half of the Japanese swords designated as national treasures and cultural properties are from this area. This region is thus known as the home of the Japanese sword.

During this event, the coordinator for international relations of Setouchi City (and proud Leeds University Alumni!) Sophie Dillard and the master swordsmith Hiroyasu Ando who forges Japanese swords at the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum will invite you into the world of the Japanese sword, a world still unknown in the UK. Details  Photo courtesy of the Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword Museum. 

Venue: Leeds University Union, 2 Lifton Place, Room 'Function', Leeds LS2 9JS

Doki Doki

Saturday 10 November 2018

Audio Book: Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji)

The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first romance novel, or the first novel to still be considered a classic.

The Genji was written for the women of the aristocracy (the yokibito) and has many elements found in a modern novel: a central character and a very large number of major and minor characters, well-developed characterization of all the major players, a sequence of events happening over a period of time covering the central character's lifetime and beyond. The work does not make use of a plot; instead, much as in real life, events just happen and characters evolve simply by growing older.

NOTE: this is a highly condensed version of the text, running to just under 200 pages, whereas the original is nearly 1000 pages long!   librivox.org

In Our Time: Hokusai

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), the Japanese artist whose views of Mt Fuji such as The Great Wave off Kanagawa (pictured) are some of the most iconic in world art. He worked as Japan was slowly moving towards greater contact with the outside world, trading with China and allowing two Dutch ships to dock each year. From these ships he picked up new synthetic colours and illustrations with Western compositions, which he incorporated in his traditional wood block prints. The quality of his images helped drive demand for prints among the highly literate Japanese public, particularly those required to travel to Edo under feudal obligations and who wanted to collect all his prints. As well as the quality of his work, Hokusai's success stems partly from his long life and career. He completed some of his most memorable works in his 70s and 80s and claimed he would not reach his best until he was 110.   BBC iPlayer Radio

NHK World

Kabuki is a world-class theater with a history of over 400 years, but is also exciting entertainment. What is the secret of its enduring attraction? Ichikawa Somegoro, brilliant member of the younger generation of actors, guides us through the world of kabuki.

This is a monthly series on NHK World

You can watch NHK WORLD TV Live Streaming and


Japan Society Events

The Japan Society in London organises a wide range of events. Visit their web site for a full list of upcoming events.




In Our Time: Japan's Sakoku Period

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Japan's Sakoku period, two centuries when the country deliberately isolated itself from the outside world. Sakoku began with a series of edicts in the 1630s which restricted the rights of Japanese to leave their country and expelled Europeans living there. It was not until 1858 and the "gunboat diplomacy" of the American Commodore Matthew Perry that Japan's international isolation finally ended.  BBC iPlayer Radio

Noriko Ogawa in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

An interview with Japanese pianist, Noriko Ogawa which took place in December 2012 at Jaques Samuel Pianos in London.

Find out what kind of child Noriko was, and what kind of sound world she lives in in this biographical interview.


Study Tours to Japan


Visit Akemi's web site for more information.



Japanese Food in Lymm

Japanese Food Specialists TK Trading set up shop in Lymm High School every other Saturday - see their web site for the schedule.

Venue: Lymm High School, Oughtrington Lane,  Lymm, Cheshire WA13 0RB


Japan Photos

Explore JapanPhotos.org.uk for a high resolution tour of Japan.




Search WWW Search jsnw.org.uk