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

Programmes about Japan on BBC4, Join JSNW at the Edo Pop exhibition - Click here to learn more


Upcoming JSNW Events

Red Dogs

Friday 14 July 2017    7:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Red Dogs are a three-piece all-female punk band from Osaka, who formed in 2012. Their sound can best be described as a mixture of hardcore punk and garage rock, a fierce blend that marries high energy thunderous music with great tunes and spine-tingling vocal harmonies. The band consists of Haruka on vocals and bass, Kazumi on drums and Maimai on guitar.

Red Dogs will be touring the UK in July 2017, with Japan Society North West hosting their headlining date at the Star and Garter pub in Manchester. The Star and Garter is a legendary venue that has seen gigs by many Japanese bands.

Please come and see them, it is sure to be a great night. Entry is £6 on the door and tickets are also available in advance from Eventbrite

Venue: Star and Garter, 18-20 Fairfield Street, Manchester  M1 2QF

JSNW Social and Japanese Conversation Evening in Manchester

21 July 2017    7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Let’s have a drink, enjoy food, and meet someone new. Our former Newsletter Editor,Yuko Howes, will host this fun event. You don't need to be able to speak Japanese, so you can just relax.  

If you would like to attend this event please email

Remember, it's on Friday!

Venue: Samsi, 36-38 Whitworth Street, Manchester M1 3NR


Lesley Downer:  ‘Aliens Invade!’  The Barbarians and the Shogun

Saturday 29 July 2017    2:30 to 4:30 pm

A talk by internationally best-selling author Lesley Downer.

"To Japanese the arrival of Commodore Perry and his Black Ships in 1853 was almost as shocking as if Martians had landed.  One of the few who were not fazed was the far-sighted daimyo Shimazu Nariakira.  One of the most brilliant and powerful men of his day, he’d built a whole factory complex in Satsuma, far from the eagle eye of the shogunate, with blast furnaces, a glass factory and his own fledgling steam ships.  He was the first person in the country to acquire a daguerreotype camera.  

I will start by setting the scene on the cusp of Perry’s arrival and will tell the story of the Black Ships from both Japanese and American viewpoints - what each side saw and what each made of the other.  Among much else I will describe the sudden and suspicious death of the shogun right after Perry’s first visit and how Perry’s men blacked up and performed a black and white minstrel show to the bemusement of the Japanese on their second visit. 

I’ll go on to talk about Townsend Harris, the first American consul, and how he and his trusty secretary, Hendrick Heusken, the first two westerners in Japan (other than the Dutch), travelled to Edo to have an audience with the shogun, all of which was recorded in great detail in both their diaries.  That shogun too died mysteriously ... My talk will be illustrated with contemporary documents and pictures - woodblock prints of Perry and Harris as seen through Japanese eyes, and American drawings of the Japanese, along with Heusken’s own drawings."

If you would like to attend this event please contact our Events Co-ordinator. This event is free. Both members and non-members are welcome.  Tea will be provided.

Venue: The Institute, The Quaker Meeting House in Liverpool, 22 School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BT

A Japanese Conversation Evening in Liverpool

TBA August 2017   7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Angela Davies, a very experienced instructor of Japanese, will host an evening of Japanese conversation, over delicious food at Etsu restaurant.

If you would like to attend this event it is essential that you contact our Events Co-ordinator.  Etsu is a small restaurant - places are limited.


Venue: Etsu Japanese Restaurant, 25 The Strand, (off Brunswick Street) Liverpool, L2 0XJ



What's On

On BBC4 and iPlayer

Handmade in Japan: Samurai Sword   

Handmade in Japan: The Kimono

Handmade in Japan: Mingei Pottery

Hokusai: Old Man Crazy to Paint

MCM Manchester Comic Con

72nd Anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atamic weapons attack

Sunday 6 August 2017 10:30 am to 11:30 am

See poster for details.




Living Worlds Gallery, Manchester Museum, Manchester University, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

Like Father, Like Son

1 September 2017   

Like Father, Like Son is a 2013 Japanese drama film directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, starring Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Keita Nonomiya, Shôgen Hwang, Yōko Maki, and Lily Franky.

Ryota Nonomiya (Fukuyama) is a businessman, driven so much by money and success that he neglects his wife, Midori (Ono), and son, Keita (Nonomiya). One day the couple learn that Keita had been accidentally switched at birth with their biological son Ryusei (Hwang). When DNA tests prove the error, they must now make a life-changing decision to either keep Keita, the boy they raised as their own, or switch him for their biological son.

Ryota and Midori meet with the other couple, Yukari Saiki (Maki) and Yudai Saiki (Franky), a family short on money and ambition, but abundant with love and a clear understanding of the importance of child and parent bonds. They share photos, and for the first time, Ryota and Midori see their biological son, Ryusei. After several meetings, they couples decide to switch children for one day, which goes well. After several further meetings, they  decide to exchange their children. As all involved struggle in various ways with their new lives, including a mutually profound sense of loss, the film explores the complex dynamics of the situtation with some deeply moving, gentle and funny moments.

Venue: Hoylake Community Cinema, Hoylake Community Centre, 31 Hoyle Road, WIRRAL CH47 3AG  

Edo Pop: Japanese Prints

26 May - 24 September 2017

This intriguing exhibition features a series of colourful Ukiyo-e wood block prints depicting the contemporary culture of nineteenth century Japan.

On loan from local collector Frank Milner the exhibition comprises more than 40 prints brimming with urban celebrities, actors, sports champions, fashion icons and villains.

The lively, colourful prints were ‘mass produced' by hand and eagerly sought after by fans of Edo's (now Tokyo) pop culture. The exhibition reveals the skill of leading printmakers such as Kuniyoshi, Kunisada and Kunichika, the last great master of the Kabuki actor print.  

Venue: Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight Village, Wirral CH62 5EQ

Edo Pop: See, make, do 

Wednesday 31 May, 26 July, 16 August and 30 August 2017     1 - 4 pm

Join Japan Society North West and try origami, a chopstick challenge and Manga colouring. Ideal for accompanied children 10 years and under. More

Venue: Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight Village, Wirral CH62 5EQ

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


It's Alright - Official song for Japan

This song was composed by JSNW member Adrian Summersell. Adrian asks all who enjoy hearing this song, to please make a small donation directly to Sanaburi Foundation Japan. See the song information under the video on YouTube to learn more.


Japan Photos

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




Search WWW Search jsnw.org.uk