Heritage Open Days: Japanese performers in 19th century Norwich

Event - Sainsbury Institute

Saturday 16 September, 2023
2:00pm BST - 3:00pm BST

This event is now sold out – please check back on the Heritage Open Days ticket website for any cancellations. 

Find out more about the history of some of the first Japanese performers who came to Norwich and Norfolk and the process of cross-cultural exchange that followed.

Possibly the first person of Japanese heritage to be born in Norfolk was the child of one of the Japanese performers who came to the UK in the late 19th century. With them, they brought new traditions in performing arts and costumes that had not been seen before in the UK, but also new ideas around family traditions and the learning of crafts and skills. By tracing the lives of the individuals involved, this talk will explore how the traditions of Japan and Britain merged and influenced each other at the time, and how these Japanese performers continued their business and craft across generations once in the UK. Join us to explore this fascinating story of immigration, cultural exchange and creativity.

This talk will be given by Pernille Rudlin, leader of Ninjin – the Digital museum of Japan-UK (show) business project. The project explores the connections between Norfolk and Japan in the 19th and 20th centuries, from the first Japanese people to settle in the UK, to the merchants and designers who were born in Norwich but became increasingly involved with Japan at this time. The project explores the individuals on both sides of this exchange to better understand the environment and context of cultural exchange at the turn of the 20th century.

This event is ticketed – please visit the Heritage Open Days website to book (registration opens 21st August).


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