JSNW/ JET AA TATTON PARK Japanese Festival.

Welcome to the TATTON PARK Matsuri; Celebrate with your hosts, JSNW and JET AA UK.
11 am to 4 pm on Sat 29th July.

*Entry to the Matsuri is free. Standard parking fees and entry fee to the Tatton Gardens Apply.

Tatton Park Japanese „Village Shrine“. Venue: – Tatton Park (Japanese Gardens), Knutsford WA16 6SG.

Activities include Koto Performances, Japanese Enka Singing, Tea Ceremony,
Japanese Food and Drink, Japanese Martial Arts, Iaidō, Calligraphy, Kimono Dressing, Arts and Crafts, …
… and Taiko Drumming by Tengu Taiko.

Art & craft stations for Kamishibai, tanzaku, calligraphy, origami, etc. Sushi by SushiCraft and Curry Buns by “Maki’s Curry Buns.”

This event is also supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.


Tatton Park Japanese Garden Tea House.

POETRY IN MOTION: Kabuki Dance and the Onnagata.

POETRY IN MOTION: Kabuki Dance and the Onnagata. This has been cancelled due to a Train Strike on Sat 26th August.
Venue: Unit 2, Chancery House, 98 Paradise Street, Liverpool, L1 3HJ.

For information please email: events@jsnw.org.uk.

Fuji Musume (The Wisteria Maiden, 藤娘) is one of the most popular dances for onnagata in the Kabuki repertoire. It features the spirit of the wisteria plant transformed into a beautiful maiden. Her dance describes various aspects of a young woman’s love affair.

A Kabuki presentation by Paul Griffith.
Paul will give a presentation about Kabuki dance and the onnagata female role specialist.
His talk will include DVD clips and copious illustrations of actor prints from his own and other collections.

Paul Griffith was formerly an associate professor at Saitama University (Education Faculty). He read for a D.Phil., degree at Oxford University in the field of Japanese theatre history.
He has been a translator and narrator for the Earphone Guide Co. Ltd. at the Kabukiza and the Tokyo National Theatre. He is also a translator and narrator for many Kabuki DVDs, and has written subtitles for Cinema Kabuki.

Previously, he worked in the Japanese department of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and continues to work as a volunteer for the British Museum’s online database of Kabuki actor prints.

This event is supported by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.


A talk about JAPAN and the UK- and our Japan Society AGM.

Annual General Meeting.

For the JSNW to continue, we need you to vote in a new committee. Your Support is essential. Please come, and see how the Society is performing and have your say.
——– Saturday 3rd June @ 2:00 to 4:30 pm. ——–

This year we have a Talk by JSNW Chairman Samuel Rosen. The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations.

Free to Members.

Venue: Tim Parry Community Centre search for Cromdale Way Pre-School, Cromdale Way, Warrington WA5 3NY.

FOR CLARITY DO NOT GO TO the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace, on Peace Dr, just off Cromwell Avenue. This is not the venue.

Send enquiries to Nigel at JSNW events: events@jsnw.org.uk .
We need to know how many members will be attending. So let us know.

Traditions: Bōnen-kai and Shinnen-kai

By Angela Davies

All over Japan company employees, club members, societies and many other groups celebrate a Bōnen-kai (忘年会) or a “forget the year party/get together”. These start about the middle of December, and a bit like Christmas parties in the West, it’s a time to “eat drink and be merry”. Drinking as much as you can (飲み放題- nomihōdai) is a feature of these get togethers. They are held in restaurants or more commonly an Izakaya (居酒屋) which is like a pub, but with really nice food. Both places have the facilities for
Kara-oke as well, which is a big feature of Bōnen-kai. Bōnen-kai are also an opportunity for old friends, who haven’t seen each other for a while, to get together.

Bōnen-kai celebrations
December 2022 Conversation Evening group at Etsu, Liverpool
Photo courtesy & copyright of Angela Davies
Read More

A Piano Recital by Mariko Ishiyama

Saturday 10th December @ 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Welcome to our next event, “A Piano Recital” with Mariko Ishiyama (piano), Midori Tramaseur (violin), and Natsumi McDonald (euphonium).

The programme will include among other pieces:

Mozart          – Violin Sonata F dur KV 376,

H. Bellstedt    – Napoli,

Michio Miyagi – Haru no Umi (Spring Sea), (… originally performed on koto and shakuhachi);

Japanese Shoka, (children’s songs put to music).

Instruments: Violin, Baritone horn and Piano.

Midori is a violinist in the BBC philharmonic orchestra and Natsumi is a euphonium player. Both are Japanese and both graduated from RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music).

Mariko Ishiyama
Midori Tramaseur
Natsumi McDonald

Kuunatic at The Talleyrand, Manchester

By Tim Evans

The three-piece band Kuunatic played Manchester as part of their European tour on a warm and
pleasant night in the suburb of Levenshulme.

Kuunatic were formed in Tokyo in 2016, their name being taken from “Kuu” (the Finnish word for moon). The concept behind the music they produce is that it emanates from the fantasy planet “Kuurandia”, giving them the freedom to play around with sound, vocalisation and influences exactly as they like. I would describe them as tribal and shamanistic, with elements of second-album Slits or the Doors plus traditional Japanese elements thrown in. But their influences could come from anywhere.

Kuunatic performing in Manchester May 2022
Photo courtesy of © Tim Evans

The Talleyrand is a small venue on the A6 about three miles from Manchester city centre and is
named after an 18th century French diplomat remarkable for surviving successive French
regimes (royalist, revolutionary, Napoleonic and restoration) with what some might say was
extraordinary cynicism.

Kuunatic took to the stage at 9pm wearing blue face paint and long white robes that were
decorated with symbols representing each band member. Their music was easy and mesmeric to
listen to, bassist Shoko swaying gently to the music as their performance grew accompanied by Yuko’s
languorous yet beautifully synchronised drumming and Fumie’s hypnotic keyboards.

All three shared vocals / chanting. You could easily be listening to a ritual or ceremony, in fact Japanese audiences have described them as resembling shrine maidens. Kuunatic have stated they hear traditional music and chanting everywhere at summer festivals in Japan and this influence has been imprinted upon them as a familiar sound. Unlike some conventional gigs where attention can sometimes wander they
were lovely, hypnotic and restful from start to finish. Kuunatic finished playing just before 10pm, and following their set they chatted to audience members and signed merchandise that was available. I bought and had signed a CDr of their live 2018 performance at the Lexington bar in London.

It really is nice to hear a band whose sound is so far removed from the rest of the music scene. From what I have seen of the rest of their European tour they have been very well received by large audiences on the continent, so hopefully it won’t be too long before they are back again. Given their name they are very easy to find on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube if you want to hear their music for yourself.

This Article by Tim Evans is one of many originally published in Issue 69 of the JSNW Newsletter, issued quarterly to society members. See here for more details on becoming a member.