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

Audio Book: Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji)  - Click here to learn more

Upcoming JSNW Events

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




Bookbinding Workshop

Saturday 29 September 2018    2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

A demonstration of traditional Japanese bookbinding by Sandra McFarlane. Sandra will show you how to make a four hole notebook, and then you'll get to make your own! All materials will be supplied.

Refreshments will be provided.

This event is free to JSNW members, and £5 to non-members.

If you would like to attend this event it is essential that you contact our Events Co-ordinator by 15 September at the latest, to give us time to prepare materials. 


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



Japanese Conversation Evening in Manchester

Friday 5 October 2018    7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Tim Evans will host this fun event.

Please note we will be at a new venue for this conversation evening,  the lovely Oishi-Q restaurant at the top end of Oxford Road near Oxford Road station. You can practice your Japanese or just socialise at this event,  so please come along and enjoy yourself!!

If you would like to attend this event please email Tim Evans at Newsletter@jsnw.org.uk


Venue: Oishi-Q, Hulme Street,  Manchester M1 5GL 

Tsugaru Shamisen and Japanese Folk Song Performance and Workshop

Saturday 13 October 2018    2:00 - 4:00 pm

JETAA North West and Japan Society North West present a unique opportunity to experience Japanese traditional music.  At this free event, Hibiki Ichikawa, a Tsugaru Shamisen player, will be accompanied by singer Akari Mochizuki in performing traditional Japanese folk songs.  Originating in Aomori, in North-Eastern Japan, Tsugaru Shamisen is played on the largest size shamisen, which has a deep, rich and percussive sound. In addition to a fascinating performance, there will be a workshop where members of the audience get a chance to try their hand at playing instruments, join in with the songs, and interact with the performers.

Hibiki Ichikawa has been playing Shamisen since he was 20.  He came to the UK in 2012 and has been becoming a world-leading Shamisen performer.  He was granted the "Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa" to perform in the UK. Currently, Hibiki teaches Shamisen to more than 20 students and he has performed across the UK and in Berlin.  Additionally, he played shamisen for the soundtrack of the BAFTA-winning animated film Kubo and the Two Strings.

Akari Mochizuki is the only Japanese Blues (enka) singer in the UK.  She started singing enka as a young child and, after moving to the UK, she studied drama in Cambridge and contemporary music in London.  She started her career as a professional enka and folk singer in 2009 and has since performed at many events such as WOMAD 2010, HYPER JAPAN, and Japan Matsuri 2009, 2010 and 2012. In 2018, she appeared as a guest for the BBC Radio 3 programme ‘The Verb,’ performing several songs.

The is a joint JETAA North West / Japan Society North West event. If you would like to attend please contact nwevents@jetaa.org.uk by 6 October.  This event is free.

Venue: St Peter’s Chaplaincy, Precinct Centre, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9GH

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

Japan Matsuri

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