Grassroots Japanese Activities in Glasgow

The 12th Hina Matsuri - Saturday 2 March

'Participation and exchange at the grass-roots level' was the theme for Japan 2001, a UK-wide celebration of Japanese culture that took place in 2001, and it has remained the guiding principle for Japanese activities organised by the Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow (JMG), a recognised Scottish charity, and Japan Desk Scotland. JMG is a direct outcome of Japan 2001, and now runs two Japanese festivals a year. The 12th Hina Matsuri will be held on Saturday 2 March at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, where you will see Scottish people teaching origami and pupils from Hillhead Primary performing Taiko. The pupils will have finished four Taiko workshops as part of their school curriculum by then. In addition, the participants of the Taiko Fun Workshops will perform. The majority of the volunteers are those learning Japanese at the Saturday Japanese Class run by Japan Desk Scotland. They will also perform some Japanese songs. Asian sweets will be available and visitors can experience wearing a kimono and writing their names in the Japanese alphabet. Travel information on Japan will be distributed thanks to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). This year’s admission-free event is supported by the Japan Society of the UK, which also supports the Japanese Class.

Japan Matters
- Sunday 10 March

The second anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake will be observed in Glasgow on Sunday 10 March at a special Japan Matters event at St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, where ‘Our friends in Fukushima’, a video of the interviews Japan Desk Scotland has conducted with people from Fukushima University, will be screened. In addition, a feature video created by the students at Fukushima University, “My Ex in Fukushima, a new friend in Tokyo, and I” will be shown. Through screening these new videos, JDS hopes to provide an occasion for people in Glasgow and beyond to reflect on the disaster through the viewpoints of people living in Fukushima. This year’s Japan Matters is supported by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Japan-themed workshops

Various Japan-themed workshops are run by JDS throughout the year, and on Monday 4 March pupils at St Bridget Primary will hear the testimony of a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb via video link, thanks to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The pupils have learned about Sadako and have made origami cranes to be sent to Hiroshima. The pupils at Hillhead Primary have also learned about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and have made paper cranes. This year’s Japanese workshops at schools, including a weekly Japanese class at Cumbernauld High School, are supported by the Toshiba International Foundation.

Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow: http://www.japanese-matsuri-glasgow.org.uk/

Japan Desk Scotland: http://www.japandeskscotland.com/


Yushin Toda
Founding member and Chair of Japanese Matsuri for Glasgow and Producer of Japan Desk Scotland