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" During 2001, events will be held throughout the UK - to celebrate and expand the links between Britain and Japan and introduce Japanese culture to a wide UK audience.

Britain is the main pillar of Japan's relations with Europe, and Japan lies at the centre of British policy towards the Asia Pacific region.



Japan 2001 - will develop these relations further and will also increase mutual understanding and appreciation between the people of these two countries.

During the year of Japan 2001 over 3000 events will be held throughout the British Isles and will include not only the arts, but also education and sport.

Colourful participatory events will feature the culture of everyday modern Japan."


- one of which was a workshop in Japanese calligraphy with Rie Yanagisawa ...

which my soul-mate and I attended and experienced Japanese culture first hand - care of those at New Greenham Arts, Greenham Park, Newbury, in Berkshire.



On other occassions throughout the year we also attended an exhibition of contemporary watercolours by members of Yoka, Bunka-Shinko-Kai from Tokyo & ceramics by

Nobuo Okawa



- & once joined traditional Japanese street musicians for an entertainment of song, dance, circus skills and a traditional Japanese Lion Dance ...




topped off with stupendous taiko drumming.



taiko drums


... and in contrast to the Dragon Yang -



" Drinking tea in quiet surroundings was instituted by the 15th century tea-master

Shuko in the time of the aesthete Shogun Yoshimasa. He invented the ceremony of tea

as an art form to be enjoyed in a small room specially designed for it - subsequently 

Sen no Rikyu introduced his own spartan views on the Way of Tea which have since had

a profound influence on both 'tea architecture' and on Japanese aesthetics as a whole.

He promoted spiritual ideals of 'harmony, respect, purity and tranquility ' and in 1582

built his tea room, the Tai-an, in a hut in his native Yamazaki. To this day tea men

maintain that it is the unique aesthetic experience which integrates the spirit of ZEN,

the beauty of art and of mundane things." - Joan Stanley Baker "Japanese ART"



"Let us take a homely illustration, the simpler the better. Each of you, let us say, had

breakfast this morning. While you were eating it you were conscious of it, how it looked

and tasted, and these states of consciousness were imposed on your minds from the

out-side by the action of matter on matter, the matter of the breakfast on the matter of

your nerves of sight and taste. This action is as constant as any other purely mechanical

action, and if your sensory and nervous machinery is in normal running order, the

resulting states of consciousness are as constant as the cause that produces them.

All these forms of consciousness, I repeat, were imposed on your minds from

without in the form of distinct sensations, as we call them, sensations existing

at that particular time and place." - William Sturgis Bigelow - "Buddhism and Immortality "



Sen no Rikyu was a Zen Buddhist who had a profound influence on the Japanese tea

ceremony. Assuming the position of tea master at the age of 58, he brought the concept

of ichi-go ichi-e to the ceremony. Meaning literally "one time, one place," ichi-go ichi-e

embodies Rikyu's ideal that each meeting between people is sacred  for it can never be




"ZEN teaches that our approach to today determines our whole approach to life.

The Japanese call this attitude Ichi-nichi issho : 'EACH day is a LIFEtime.'


We arise in the morning newly born.

As we pass through the day, we age and gain experience.

When we tire at day's end, we 'die' and take our rest

That one arc serves as a miniature of our entire life."

                                                                                           - ZEN 24/7

The touring exhibition Textural Space: contemporary Japanese textile art

opened in April 2001 as one of the first events of ‘Japan 2001’ and was

an extremely successful project. The breathtaking spectacle of the monumental

work in ‘Textural Space’, assimilating aspects of architectural space including

construction, light, materials and perspective was made possible through the

technical facility of the artists. The artists brought together a combination

of material understanding and intention that the completed work would work

in harmony with its surrounding space.

"The lessons of silence are peerless & are unmatched by anything else under Heaven"

I know of no better "black & white" truth of this statement
than the exquisite photographic genius of Michael Kenna







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Michael : catalyst-producer

over 3 years later

Michael said

The ART of ZEN , left-handed calligraphy & the TRUTH, BEAUTY and GOODNESS

of the works of Hayao Mitazaki for The Studio Ghibli Collection and also the

seventh heavenintegral sculptures of Japanese masters such as Shiro Kamibeppu.

Leave Your Wise and Insightful Comment

Views: 244

Comment by Michael Grove on September 18, 2012 at 7:47

Following the 2011 Tsunami in Japan - Takenori Noda, the Major of Kamaishi town in north east Japan, said - “We thought we were at the cutting edge, but the tsunami was taller than we anticipated,”   and went on to conclude - “The biggest lesson we should learn is NOT to be complacent.”


As Philip Aldrick has written in his Daily Telegraph article entitled - 

Japan and UK economies have 'eerie parallels'

"If Japan - where experts fear a debt and deficit disaster -

is Britain’s future - there is much to fear."

Comment by Michael Grove on June 16, 2013 at 22:16
Comment by Michael Grove on June 17, 2013 at 9:13

Japan’s Venture Republic invests in price comparison site Telunjuk,...


Indonesia-based price comparison site Telunjuk has landed an undisclosed round of funding from Japan-based Venture Republic, which marks the firms’s first deal in Indonesia.

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