Behind the Scenes

Reflections on 2017 and looking forward to 2018

Mami Mizutori, Executive Director
Mami Mizutori, Executive Director

In this edition of our e-magazine my colleague Kaz Morohashi writes about events and projects in which Sainsbury Institute was involved over the last three months. This is a new regular feature of the e-magazine that started from the last edition. We have always been eager to convey what will be happening in the future through our website and e-magazine. We also realise that it is equally important to share our achievements with our readers. Hence, the new feature.

As the end of the year approaches, at the Sainsbury Institute we are looking back with happiness at our busy and productive year. Our success would not have been possible without our supporters, friends, and our lively audiences. I would like to thank you all. I would also like to commend the hard work of my colleagues. Working at the Institute may to some be an office job, but I have always felt that there is a strong sense of dedication and commitment beyond the regular call of duty.

Turning our gaze towards the future again, the coming year will bring a lot of Japanese culture and arts to the UK. Taking advantage of the rare occasion when Japan will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019, and then the Olympics and the Paralympics Games Tokyo in 2020, the Governments of the UK and Japan have agreed to bridge the two events by celebrating the Japan-UK Seasons of Culture for a whole year from the autumn of 2019. This means that a multitude of events and projects surrounding culture and creative industry and technology involving both Japanese and British artists and academics will be taking place in the two countries at the same time. Japan will be featured in the UK, and the UK will be highlighted in Japan in parallel fashion.

This initiative was agreed on by the two Prime Ministers when Theresa May visited Japan at the end of August and was included in the official signed document, the Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Prosperity Cooperation.

Sainsbury Institute endeavours to be part and parcel of this exciting season. Our academic staff are busily working on many exciting projects to be executed during the designated period. So, watch this space!

In the more immediate future, next year, the Japanese Government will open a new and exciting cultural space in the heart of London. This brand new institution, called ‘Japan House’, is intended to be much more than a building introducing and promoting Japan and its culture. It aims to be a hub where people, projects, ideas and concepts about Japan will interact. London has been chosen as one of the three global locations where the first set of Japan Houses will be established, along with Sao Paolo and Los Angeles. Our Research Director, Professor Nicole Rousmaniere, and I are both on the Advisory Committee of the Japan House UK.

Mami Mizutori
Executive Director, SISJAC
Special Advisor for Japanese Studies, UEA

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