Art & Design

WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO CONNECT? Japanese Identity and Desire to Pass on the Language and Culture among Japanese Diaspora

16 September 2017, London




Living in the age of global mobility, the concept of being Japanese cannot be stable and remain unchanged. Identity is determined by choices and actions individuals take and current socio-political and economical flow. In search for what makes Japanese themselves feel Japanese, Kazuko Miyake has been interviewing ‘Japanese Diaspora’ who have spent most of their lives outside of Japan. Recently she conducted a survey among the members of Japan Association in the UK (JA) and obtained intriguing results. JA was formed in 1996, the core members of which came to the UK in the 1960-70s and have settled ever since. This talk is about how people living outside Japan hold the Japanese sense of identity.

In the first half of the talk, Miyake will explain briefly the background of the lives of Japanese in the UK after the Second World War, then move on to the present survey. The results of the survey reveal the complexity of determining factors, such as the age of immigration, nationality, families’ language use, retainment and inheritance of Japanese language and culture, position towards Japan, choice of place to spend last days, etc.

In the latter half of the talk, one of the founding members of JA, Momoko Williams, who now leads the Wasurena-gusa project, will speak about the project. The project's aim is to preserve a record of Japanese who have lived and made significant contributions to the Japanese community since the 1950s. Short video clips of interviews that are relevant to the maintenance and inheritance of Japanese language will be shown, followed by Williams’ explanation and Miyake’s comments. The audience will be given some time to discuss in groups and share their opinions with other participants.

参加費:無料  Free entry
言語 日本語 This lecture will be held entirely in Japanese.



16 September 2017
SOAS, University of London, WC1H 0XG(Room B102)
The Japan Foundation