Yesterday The Japan Foundation held a shogi (将棋) workshop, led by shogi professional and master Madoka Kitao. Madoka Kitao is the inventor of Dobutsu Shogi (Animal shogi), a simplified version of the game that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. Shogi is a type of Japanese chess. It originated in India in the … More Shogi


If you look outside the window, you’ll see that tonight is a full moon. And we’re lucky to have a nice clear sky to see it in. I’m almost certain most people in the UK will not pay much attention to the moon tonight, but in Japan they actually have a special celebration dedicated to … More Tsukimi

Tanabata wishes

Last Sunday the Southbank Center held a Tanabata festival. I wasn’t able to attend, but I dropped by the centre a couple days later to find that a few decorations were still up, and so were some tanzaku. Here are a few cute and interesting ones I found:     I hope those of you … More Tanabata wishes

Tanabata Festival

From 11AM to 5:30PM On Sunday July 13th, Southbank Centre will be host to a well known Japanese festival: Tanabata. Before I tell you a bit about what to expect at the festival, here is the story of Tanabata: Near the river Amanogawa lived the King of the Skies. He had one daughter, Orihime. She … More Tanabata Festival