YOUR ONLINE SOURCE TO EVERYTHING JAPANESE & FILIPINO | BEHIND THE BYLINE - MARIA FLORENDA N. CORPUZ a.k.a. Keiko Kurane is a freelance journalist and editor with over eight years of professional experience in writing. Aside from being a freelancer, she is the Editor-in-Chief of FilJap Magazine and the Japan Correspondent of Pinoy Gazette, publications catering to Filipinos living and working in Japan. She was also the former Editor-in-Chief of Philippine Digest and Philippine Correspondent of Maharlika, magazine publications based in Tokyo, Japan. Page Rank Personal - Top Blogs Philippines

Sponsors & Ads

Posts tagged "japan foundation manila event"

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) in cooperation with the National Museum of the Philippines, the Embassy of Japan and The Photographic Society of Japan brings to Manila the traveling exhibit “TOHOKU- Through the Eyes of the Japanese Photographers”, an exhibition composed of 123 photos representing the different aspects of life in Tohoku from its past, present and the future.

The Tohoku Region is the northeastern section of Honshu, the largest island in Japan. It is divided into six (6) prefectures: Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Miyagi and Fukushima. The region is blessed with a beautiful and abundant natural environment of seas, mountains, rivers and forest. On March 11, 2011, an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 hit Japan and the worst damaged was concentrated in the region. The media coverage of the destruction made many people familiar with the names of Tohoku cities and prefectures, but few are likely to have a broad knowledge of other aspects of the region.


Driving off Sparrows, Kitsubezaka, Taiyu Village c. 1943 (Teisuke Chiba)

The exhibition is composed of works by nine photographers and one photographers’ group: Teisuke Chiba, Ichiro Kojima, Hideo Haga, Masatoshi Naito, Masaru Tatsuki, Hiroshi Oshima, Naoya Hatakeyama, Meiki Rin, Nao Tsuda and the group led by Toru Ito. Curated by Kotaro Iizawa, a recognized photography critic in Japan, the exhibit showcases the natural and cultural backdrop of Tohoku as well as its people and their way of life. Photographs taken in the early 50s and 60s are presented together with photos of the present Tohoku to illustrate the varied points of view and generation of each individual photographer.


Statue of Osawabutsu, Ourani Sanpou Koujin, Dewa Sanzan 1981-82 (Masatoshi Naito)

“TOHOKU-Through the Eyes of the Japanese Photographers” will be on public view at the Gallery XVIII, Old Legislative Building at the National Museum from January 30 to March 17. An Art Talk from Mr. Kotaro Iizawa and Mr. Nao Tsuda will be held on March 9. Film screenings will also be held during the exhibition run.

The National Museum is located at Padre Burgos Avenue, Manila. The museum is open every Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The exhibition is part of the celebration of the Japan-ASEAN 40th Friendship Year. For inquiries, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila at telephone numbers (02) 811~6155 to 58 or or visit

(Press release: The Japan Foundation, Manila)

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) in cooperation with the Yuchengco Museum is bringing to Manila Hiroko Takahashi, one of Japan’s up and coming artist/designer for a one-day lecture on Japanese Design on November 24, 10 am at the Yuchengco Museum in Makati City. 

Takahashi Hiroko (1977) is a Fashion Design Major graduate of the Saitama Prefecture Niiza Comprehensive Technical High School. She studied dyeing at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music where she finished her masters in 2002. In 2003, she re-enrolled in the university for her doctorate and worked as an artist at The Cité Internationale des Arts upon the invitation of the AFAA of French Ministries of Foreign Affairs in 2005. After successfully holding two exhibitions in Paris, she returned to Japan in 2006 to establish her original brand, Hirocoledge. In March 2008, Hiroko received her Doctorate in Fine Arts.

The signature feature of Takahashi’s Hirocoledge is its eye-catching, graphical patterns composed only of dots and straight lines. Using various materials and techniques like chusen (the Japanese traditional dyeing method), Takahashi’s patterns are expressed on the traditional form of Japanese clothing such as kimono, obi sashes, yukata, tenugui, t-shirts and other items. She has also collaborated with artisans and craftsmen to create new product designs for lamps and other home furnishings.

Hiroko Takahashi’s lecture will focus on the use of modern product design principles in traditional Japanese crafts. The lecture is part of Yuchengco Museum’s “Design as Art” theme under their 2012 Culture and Development Program. A short workshop on origami will also be held after the lecture. 

For inquiries, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila at (02) 811~6155 to 58; or the Yuchengco Museum at (02) 889~1234;

(Press release: The Japan Foundation, Manila) 

The Japan Foundation, Manila together with the Embassy of Japan invites everyone this July to a month-long feast of Japanese art and culture as it celebrates the 2012 Philippines-Japan Friendship Month.

To jump-start the celebration is the highly-anticipated Japanese film festival, Eiga Sai 2012 which officially opens on July 5 at the Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City with the critically acclaimed film “Villain”.  Eiga Sai will be held at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall from July 5 to 15; Gaisano South Citi Mall in Davao City from July 20 to 22; Cinema 4, Ayala Center Cebu from August 7 to 12 and at the Cine Adarna of the UP Film Institute in Quezon City from August 15 to 21.


The traveling exhibit Sharaku Interpreted by Japan’s Contemporary Artists, takes as its theme Toshusai Sharaku, known throughout Japan and the world for his bust portraits of kabuki actors, and presents posters, paintings and three dimensional works by today’s artists as they freely interpret this foremost master of the ukiyo-e print.  The exhibition will feature 28 reproductions of Sharaku bust portraits, 28 posters by graphic artists and 23 paintings, sculptures, ceramic and woodblock prints by contemporary artists and will be on view from July 10 to September 16, 2012 at the Ground Floor of the Ayala Museum in Makati City.

The friendship month also welcomes the return of the Japanese acoustic duo, Aki & Kuniko for a series of concerts.  The concerts will be held on 13 July (Friday), 6:30 p.m. at the Abelardo Hall at the UP College of Music, Diliman, Quezon City; 14 July (Saturday), 9:00 p.m. at the Conspiracy Garden Café in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City; 16 July (Thursday), 6:00 p.m. at the University of the Cordilleras Theater in Baguio City; 20 July (Friday), 8:45 p.m. at the Jazz n’ bluz Bar and Restaurant in Cebu City; and, on 21 July (Saturday), 4:00 p.m. at the Activity Center of the Ayala Center in Cebu.


Other events for the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month are the following: 2012 JPOP Anime Singing Contest and Mini-Cosplay Contest, Le Velvets Concert and the Anime Film Showing which will all be held at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) on July 21-22.

All events are open to the public free of charge. 

For inquiries and details, please contact the JFM through telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58 or visit the website at

(Press release: Japan Foundation, Manila)

The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) is bringing another fascinating traditional Japanese art workshop to Manila this May.

Kirié is the traditional Japanese paper cutting art of depicting scenery, plants and animals by cutting paper precisely and skillfully with a knife.

The Kirié Paper Cutting Art Workshop by Mr. Shu Kubo will be held on May 25 (Friday) from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and on May 26 (Saturday) from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at the Japan Foundation Manila.

Shu Kubo was born in Japan in 1951 and is presently active as a kirié artist. His bold, graceful and subtle technique was highly acclaimed both domestically and internationally. He was appointed as “Cultural Ambassador” by the Department of Cultural Affairs of Japan in 2009. Since then he has been actively representing Japanese culture across the world.

To complement the workshop, an exhibition of Mr. Kubo’s kirie works will be showcased at the JFM office from May 21 to June 29.  Among the sixteen works included are Sunflowers and Tram, Beautiful Street of Whitewashed Wall and Temple and Hydrangea.

For inquiries regarding workshop application and fees, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila.

Tel: 811-6155 to 58

Fax: 811-6153


Japan Foundation, Manila is located at the 23/F Pacific Star Building, Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. corner Makati Ave., Makati City.

(Press release: The Japan Foundation, Manila)

Prepare for another cool night of Asian jazz music as the Japan Foundation, Manila and SM City North EDSA bring back to Manila the jazz group, Unit Asia, together with Ms. Cooky Chua for a one-night free concert on February 13, 8:00 pm at the SM City North EDSA Sky Dome in Quezon City.

Unit Asia is a jazz group from Asia composed of five outstanding musicians from Japan, Thailand and Malaysia: Isao “Sankichi” Miyoshi (guitar), Hiroyuki Noritake (drums), Shigeki Ippon (bass), Koh Mr. Saxman (saxophone) and Tay Cher Siang (piano). 

Since their Southeast Asia tour in 2008, the group’s music has evolved with the incorporation of rock and pop in their original tunes. In February 2009, they have released an album entitled “UNIT ASIA Debut! From Southeast Asia Tour 2008” which was recorded live during the 2008 tour. In October 2010, they released “Smile for You” which obtained great admiration.

“Our plan is to present a new Unit Asia to audiences who’ve been to our previous concerts that’s advanced further ahead along the evolutionary scale and a refreshing new excitement to those who’ll be hearing us for the very first time,” Miyoshi said.

The concert is part of the Nihongo Fiesta 2012 and the month-long Philippine International Jazz Festival 2012 (PIJazz Fest 2012) which starts on February 11. 

The event is supported by GA Yupangco, Yoshinoya and the Philippine International Arts and Jazz Festival Foundation, Inc.

For inquiries and reservations, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila through telephone numbers 811-6155 to 58, or, or visit the website at  For PIJazz Fest calendar of events, please visit

(Press release: The Japan Foundation, Manila)

The  Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) is bringing once again to Manila a different kind of musical show featuring the Japanese trio, Trinity on November 16 (Wednesday), 7:30 pm at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the RCBC Plaza in Makati City

A number of inspiring joint improvisation and collaboration performances with Kei  Wada and Miki Maruta led Chikudo Takahashi — the last apprentice of renowned master Chikuzan Takahashi, who established and spread the solo playing style of Tsugaru shamisen (traditional Japanese music instrument) — into forming the trio “Trinity” in 2006.  Experienced percussionist Wada enjoys collaboration work with artists from various musical genres, while also engaging in the direction and production of play accompaniments. Well-established Koto player Maruta handles a broad range of different music, from classical to contemporary, while Takahashi collaborates with a wide range of musicians, and boasts a reputation as a talented Tsugaru shamisen,  Okinawasanshin and kokyu (Chinese fiddle) performer. 

From Tsugaru folk songs, Asian and European music to the Beatles’ classics, Trinity’s new and uniquely arranged musical performance will surely be another treat for music aficionados.

“Sound Fusion” will also feature Japanese singer, Taiko Matsumuto and Filipino group, Bandang Malaya.

A workshop for students will also be held on November 17 (Thursday), 10:30 am at the School of Music of the Philippine Women’s University in Taft, Manila.

The event is free admission. For inquiries and reservations, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila through telephone numbers 811-6155 to 58, or, or visit the website at

(Press release: The Japan Foundation, Manila)

Japanese film enthusiasts and the general public can look forward to another round of exquisite Japanese cinematic event this August featuring 9 highly-acclaimed Japanese master pieces that portray slices of Japanese culture. Following its successful screenings held at  the Shang Cineplex Cinema 4, Shangri-La Plaza (July 1 to 10), Gaisano Grand Citimall, Davao (July 22-24), and Ayala Center, Cebu (August 2-7), the Eigasai now goes to the UP Film Institute for its final leg, which will run from August 17 to 20.


Included in the forthcoming screening is the much-admired film, “The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones” by Director and screenwriter Daisaku Kimura. It tells the story of 2 teams of mountaineers out to reach the peak of Mount Tsurugidake in 1907, in order to complete a map. Mt. Tsurugidake is located in Tateyama mountain range in the Northern Alps in Toyama Prefecture which stands 2999m above sea level, and at that time is renowned as a “Mountain of Death” for its inaccessibility. The film illustrates both the touching and humbling story of mountaineers who risk their lives in trying to survive the most extreme weather conditions just to achieve their goals while the film audience is treated to a wonderful and stunning journey to a place most of us would never reach.

In the film, “Feel the Wind” by Sumio Omori, the movie creatively uplifts and inspires viewers to engage in relay marathon/running as a routine sports which helps develop inner strength and gives joy by feeling the wind while developing an incredible level of fitness. The dynamics behind each player of the team to achieve one’s personal goal is to remind viewers how priceless one’s determination and the bond formed through their training that they can accomplish a seemingly impossible dream.

Equally interesting is the film, “The Chef of South Polar” by Toshikazu Nishigaya, which is a heart-warming comedy based on the famous essay written by a chef who went to the South Pole in 1997. The films depicts with humor the hilarious and touching story about a meal and the South Pole experienced by a research team of 8 men dispatched at Dome Fuji Station in Antarctica during their 18 month tour of duty and their hardships while waiting for it to be over.

The Eigasai 2011 is hosted by the Japan Foundation, Manila, in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, The Shangri-La Plaza Corporation, UP Film Institute and supported by Lyric Piano, Click The City, Shang Cineplex, and NET 25 TV.

ADMISSION IS FREE. For detailed screening schedules and inquiries, please access the Japan Foundation, Manila website: or call the JFM at telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58.

(Press release: The Japan Foundation Manila)

The  Japan Foundation and the Ayala Museum in cooperation with the Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito in Japan, will bring to  Manila the traveling exhibition, “Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Comics Today” 

It is widely known that Japanese manga and anime are attracting global attention today as the leading media of Japanese visual culture. Starting from manga comics by Osamu Tezuka, the master cartoonist of postwar Japan, this country’s manga has established a distinctive style that is different from American comics or French bande dessinée. Once depreciated as children’s amusement or a subculture, the public perception of these media has been changed considerably in recent years. Japanese manga and anime are now regarded as the main culture as the soft power that represents Japan today.

The exhibition which will be on view from August 16 (Tuesday) to October 2 (Sunday) at the Ground Floor Gallery and at the Glass Lane and Luna and Amorsolo Rooms at the Third Floor of the Ayala Museum will showcase nine manga artists and their works including Ninomiya Tomoko (Nodame Cantabile); Harold Sakuishi (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad); Asano Inio (Solanin);  Anno Moyoco (Sugar Sugar Rune ); Igarashi Daisuke (Children of the Sea); Kuramochi Fusako (Five Minutes from the Station); Kyo Machiko (Sennen-Gaho); Matsumoto Taiyo (No. 5); and Wakaki Tamiki (The World God Only Knows). During the exhibition run, other activities including lectures and workshops will be conducted.

From its first exhibit in Art Tower  Mito, Japan, the exhibition has traveled to Artsonje Center in  Seoul, South Korea and to the  Vietnam Fine Art Museum in  Hanoi, Vietnam where it has received considerable acclaim.

Manga Realities: Exploring the Art of Japanese Manga Today is presented by Ayala Foundation and the Japan Foundation; additional support is provided by Lyric Piano and Organ, Acer and Via Mare.

For inquiries, please contact the Japan Foundation, Manila at telephone numbers 811.6155 to 58 or visit

Ayala Museum is located at Makati Avenue corner de la Rosa St. Greenbelt Park, Makati City. The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday (9:00 am to 6:00 pm) and Saturday to Sunday (10:00 am to 7:00 pm). For more information, please call Ayala Museum at telephone numbers 757.7117 to 21 or visit

(Press release: The Japan Foundation Manila)

AMONG the many colorful elements that make up Japan’s popular culture, anime and manga are two of the most celebrated not only among the Japanese. With the immense popularity of Japan’s many animated works and comics extending to a worldwide audience, the Japan Foundation, Manila, together with the Embassy of Japan, celebrates the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July with the traveling exhibition, “Japan: Kingdom of Characters.”

 The exhibit, to start on July 7 (Thursday) at the Tall Galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, focuses on the characters that fill the world of anime and manga and how they have come to permeate into the daily landscape of Japanese life. Beyond Akihabara and Harajuku, ground zeroes for anime and manga geekery in Tokyo, one can find the characters even on bank passbooks and train passes, in supermarkets and vending machines. “Japan: Kingdom of Characters” gives Philippine anime and manga fans a chance to closely examine the cultural and historical background behind the Japanese love of characters and the future of characters in contemporary Japan.

Divided into three sections, the first part of the exhibit examines the changes in Japanese society from the 1950’s (when Astro Boy made his manga debut) to the present and the characters that have emerged in each decade—from the classic geek favorites Ultraman, Masked Rider and Mobile Suit Gundam to more recent beloved children characters Chibi Maruko Chan, Pokemon and Tamagotchi, among many others.


The second section showcases the bond the Japanese have with characters from a faithful reproduction of a high-school girl’s room completely filled with Hello Kitty. A final section, dubbed “The Future of Characters,” looks at the emerging forms of characters. It also gives a glimpse on some of the factors that play a vital role in their future development, such as the rise of new Internet and computer software and the prevalence of anime-based cosplay.

“We hope that through this exhibition, the viewer might come to better understand the close and extremely futuristic relationship that the Japanese people have with characters,” says Aihara Hiroyuki, President of Character Research Institute Co., Ltd in Japan. 

The exhibition is organized with the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and supported by Toshiba (Philippines) Inc.

Japan: Kingdon of Characters is open to the public on July 8 and will run until August 20 at the Tall Galleries. The Met Museum is located at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Blvd., Manila. Museum hours are from Monday to Saturday, 9am – 6pm.  For inquiries, call 523-0613 or Visit us and .


WHAT happens when an exceptional acoustic guitarist and a gifted Koto (traditional Japanese 13-stringed instrument) player get together for a musical collaboration? Music fans get treated to an original, seamless and sophisticated acoustic sound from acclaimed instrumental duo Aki & Kuniko.

To celebrate the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July, Japan Foundation, Manila and the Embassy of Japan, bring the two artists to the country for some rare, special performances. On July 20 (Wednesday), a free concert will be held at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati at 7:30 pm. The following day, on July 21 (Thursday), Aki & Kuniko will conduct a workshop at the College of Music in UP Diliman, followed by a performance at Conspiracy Garden Bar along Visayas Avenue in Quezon City at 9 pm.

Formed back in 2002, Aki & Kuniko has brought their unique world sound all over Japan and around the globe, from Europe to the United States, including on the main stage of “Open Strings,” the world’s largest acoustic music festival held in Germany. They have released two albums, HA-AKI & KUNIKO in 2003 on the German label Acoustic Music Records and Over The Top back in 2006.

Acclaimed by music critics, they have been described to “create an innovative musical partnership” and to have “original, genre defying work.” Listening to how Aki & Kuniko skillfully blend the notes from their two string instruments, seamlessly going from forceful to delicate to melodic, one can understand all the positive reviews. Watch them live for yourself on the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month. 

For inquiries and more information, please contact JFM through telephone numbers (+632) 811-6155 to 58 or visit the website at



GET ready for another exciting showcase of Japanese culture and arts as the Japan Foundation, Manila and Shangri-La Plaza Mall present the Seshami Street Boys in a one-night concert on February 26 (Saturday), 7:30 pm at the Atrium, Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City .

The Seshami Street Boys was formed during their college days at the Tsukuba University .  The group composed of Pierre Ono and Torami Yasuto is known for their straightforward and comedic style.  Using the shamisen (a three-stringed musical instrument), the Seshami Street Boys have appeared in various events including street performance festivals such as the Daidougei World Cup and have become a staple of the Tokyo street scene. Repealing the ordinary, challenging its predecessors, and topping off records – the Seshami Street Boys is a must-see professional act can set the festive mood in any event.

The concert is part of the Nihongo Fiesta 2011 which also includes the 38th Nihongo Speech Contest, the 3rd Nihongo Quiz Bee - High School Students and the Paper Plane Workshop of Yoshinori Nishihara.

All Nihongo Fiesta 2011 events are open to the public. For inquiries, contact JFM at (02) 811-6155 or The event is made possible with the support of the Embassy of Japan, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (JCCIPI), The Japanese Association Manila (JAMI), Japan Overseas Enterprises Association (JOEA), Association of Filipino Nihongo Teachers (AFINITE) and Delta Air Lines.



CELEBRATE a weekend of Japanese culture and arts this February as the Japan Foundation, Manila and Shangri-La Plaza Mall present Nihongo Fiesta 2011 on February 26-27 at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall (EDSA corner Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City).

The yearly event, which promotes international cultural and art exchanges between Japan and the Philippines, will include a much-awaited Nihongo speech contest and quiz bee, a shamisen concert, and workshops.

The 38th Nihongo Speech Contest gives the Filipino students and professionals a chance to show off their linguistic skills in Nihongo for a chance to win an all-expense paid week-long study tour in Japan.  In line with JFM’s objective of promoting cultural exchange through Japanese Language Education, participants are required to deliver their own original compositions on a subject of their choice.  High School Students who want to showcase their knowledge in Japanese language and culture can also participate in the 3rd Nihongo Quiz Bee for High School Students.  Both contests will be held on February 26 (Saturday) at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm respectively, Cinema 4, Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

The Seshami Street Boys, a shamisen duo composed of Pierre Ono and Yasutoyo Torami will perform on February 26, 7:30 pm at the Atrium.   They will show their Japanese street style performance using the shamisen (a three-stringed musical instrument). 

The Paper Plane Workshop by Yoshinori Nishihara will be held on February 27 (Sunday) at 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm at the Atrium.  The workshop is open to students and craft enthusiasts who are interested in learning the art of plane paper folding. 

All Nihongo Fiesta 2011 events are open to the public. For inquiries, contact JFM at (02) 811-6155 or The event is made possible with the support of the Embassy of Japan, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Inc. (JCCIPI), The Japanese Association Manila (JAMI), Japan Overseas Enterprises Association (JOEA), and the Association of Filipino Nihongo Teachers (AFINITE).