On 30 July 2017, Mrs. Mari Miyoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, presented the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Mr. Bon Koizumi and Mrs. Shoko Koizumi for their outstanding contribution to the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Ireland.
Mr. Bon Koizumi is the great-grandson of the writer and translator Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), perhaps “Japan’s best-known Irishman” (John Moran) who was born on Lefkada Island, Greece, to an Irish military surgeon and a Greek mother. He is also known as Yakumo Koizumi in Japan where he found a home, married Setsu Koizumi, the daughter of a Matsue samurai, became a citizen and wrote 14 books on cultural subjects.
Bon and his wife Mrs. Shoko Koizumi have been introducing the life and works of Lafcadio Hearn to countries around the world including Japan, Ireland, and Greece since 1990. Hearn’s understanding of Japanese culture and his ‘open-minded’ spirit helped many to nurture mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Ireland. As board members of the Sanin Japan-Ireland Association, Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi have been involved with various activities for the purpose of not only publicising Bon’s great-grandfather but also introducing Irish culture to Japan. Matsue City, where Lafcadio Hearn used to live, has a strong relationship with Dublin, often exchanging reciprocal visits.
At the presentation ceremony, Ambassador Miyoshi said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi for their outstanding contributions to deepening the mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and Ireland over the last decades”, and continued, “On this occasion of the 60th anniversary of Japan-Ireland diplomatic relations, it gives me great pleasure to award the Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi’’. Mr. Masuo Nishibayashi, Ambassador of Japan to Greece, also sent Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi a congratulatory message.
Mr. and Mrs. Koizumi commented, “It is an honour for us to accept this award for our activities. We are grateful for the support of the Japanese Embassy in building bridges of understanding and friendship between Ireland and Japan”.
The Ireland Japan Association (IJA) is delighted to welcome one of the leading European airlines – Finnair – on board IJA as a Corporate member and is looking forward to a long lasting and successful cooperation promoting links between Ireland and Japan.
Flying from Dublin Airport via Helsinki, Finnair offers the geographically shortest route, smooth and uncongested transits, and straighter flights that generate fewer emissions between more than 70 European destinations and 17 Asian megacities.
The travel time with Finnair from Dublin Airport to Tokyo is 14hr 30 mins, Dublin to Hong Kong is 13hrs 25 mins and Dublin to Beijing is 13hrs 30 mins to mention but a few saving passengers between four to five hours on other airlines connections from Dublin Airport.
Finnair flies to four destinations in Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka (27/4/17-28/10/17), six destinations in China: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Xian and Guangzhou. Finnair also fly to Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok and Delhi. Finnair fly direct to Krabi Phuket and Goa (new service) in the Winter season (Nov-Mar).
For more information of Finnair go to www.finnair.ie
Telephone: +353 (0)1 695 0015 (local network charge)
Open: Mon–Fri 8 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat-Sun and public holidays 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
The Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund (JEC Fund) has announced their new grant programme that offers support to projects in various fields such as international cultural exchange, international goodwill, academic study, education, and so forth.
The JEC Fund was established with a part of the revenue from the Japan World Exposition held in 1970 under the cooperation of domestic and international organizations and enterprises with many exhibitor countries across the world. Since its establishment in 1971, the Fund has been carrying out its grant projects only by using its investment income of the Fund without any financial assistance from the government.
The Grant is offered to domestic and international activities of the following categories:
1. Activities contributing to promotion of international mutual understanding
- Projects contributing to international cultural exchange and international goodwill
- International projects in the fields of academic study, education, social welfare, medical care, and hygiene and public health
- International projects designed for conservation of nature and the human environment
2. Cultural activities
- Projects contributing to the handing down and promotion of Japanese traditional culture
- Projects related to arts and local culture
In 2014, the JEC Fund pledged to provide financial assistance up to 6,000,000 Yen to Waterford County Council for the “Koizumi Yakumo Memorial Garden” project. The garden was officially opened in 2015.
In 2016, the JEC Fund provided 1,000,000 Yen to bring an exhibition of Tomoko Sawada artwork to the MART Gallery in Rathmines.
In 2017, it provided 250,000 Yen for the ‘Silent Film Live Show’ at the Chester Beatty Library and 600,000 Yen for a seminar at Trinity College.
Deadline for application submission is between 1 August and 2 October 2017.
Caring for Japanese Art at the Chester Beatty Library is a memoir of Yoshiko Ushioda (translated by Etsuko Kanamori), looking back at more than five decades of life in Dublin.
The story begins in 1960, when she traveled from Tokyo with her young son to join her husband, a research-fellow at University College Dublin. Beginning as a volunteer at the Chester Beatty Library in 1970, she would go on to become curator and accompany masterpieces loaned by The Chester Beatty Library to special exhibitions all around the world. Both inspiring and heartfelt, Mrs. Ushioda’s memoir will be of interest to both lovers of Japanese Art and those interested in Irish-Japanese relations.
Yoshiko Ushioda was born in 1931 in Mito, Japan, and moved to Dublin in 1960. In 1970, she began volunteering at the Chester Beatty Library, and was promoted to curator of the Japanese Arts Collection in 1980. She retired in 1996, and currently lives in Dublin with her huband. Mrs. Ushioda is also a founder member of Ireland Japan Association.
Etsuko Kanamori was born in 1959 in Nagasaki and has worked as an interpreter and translator for Ericsson Japan, Fukuoka, Shin-Yokohama and Yokosuka Research Park. She currently lives in Dalkey, Ireland.
This summer is bringing lots of amazing Japanese talent to Ireland and we are delighted to announce the concert tour of renowned Japanese pianist Satoko Inoue in three concerts taking place across Ireland this June.
Concerts will be focusing on classical music and music of living composers from Ireland and Japan, celebrating the links between Ireland and Japan with four new works written specially for these concerts featuring pianist and speaker. All the texts (ghost stories and folk tales) are by Lafcadio Hearn/Koizumi Yakumo.
- C.P.E. Bach (from ‘Die sechs Sammlungen von Sanaten, freien Fantasien und Rondos für Kenner und Liebhaber’)
- Fantasia Ⅰ (Fünfte Sammlung)
- Rondo Ⅱ (Dritte Sammlung)
- Claude Debussy – Clair de lune
- Toru Takemitsu – Rain Tree Sketch 1 (1982)
- Yuji Itoh – Yuruginaki-Kokoro (2011)
- John McLachlan – Nuance (2003)
- Jean-Luc Darbellay – Ciel étoilé (2014)
- Paul Hayes – Lost in Baha (2001)
- World premieres with texts from Lafcadio Hearn
– John McLachlan – Fragment (2016)
– Paul Hayes – The Second Heaven of Desire in Old Tramore (2016)
Sunday 25th June | 12PM | Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (Admission Free)
- Diana Rotaru (1981-) – Prélude Parisien no.1 DEBUMESSQUISSE (2007)
- Akemi Naito (1956-) – Rain, Calling Autumn (1994)
- Yuji Itoh (1956-) – Yuruginaki-Kokoro (2011)
- Jo Kondo (1947-) – Interlude (2017)
- Paul Hayes (1951-) – 27th January 1995 (1995)
- David Rosenboom (1947-) – Kicking Shadows (2007)
- John McLachlan (1964-) – Fragment (after Lafcadio Hearn) (2017)
Tuesday 27th June | 8PM | Large Room, City Hall, Waterford City (Tickets €10 / €5 at door)
- Toru Takemitsu – Rain Tree Sketch 1 (1982)
- Satoshi Tanaka – Oracle (2011)
- Akemi Naito – UBAZAKURA (2017) – world premiere
- Yuji Itoh – The Reconciliation (2017) – world premiere
- The Lafcadio Hearn pieces – Speaker John McLachlan
- John McLachlan – Fragment (after Lafcadio Hearn) (2016)
- Paul Hayes – The Second Heaven of Desire in Old Tramore (2017)
Lafcadio Hearn, known also by the Japanese name Koizumi Yakumo, was an Irish writer, known best for his books about Japan, especially his collections of Japanese legends and ghost stories.
Pianist Satoko Inoue is renowned throughout Japan, Europe and in United States as a leading interpreter of contemporary solo piano music. She has premiered works by some of Japan’s foremost composers including Jo Kondo, Yori-aki Matsudaira, Yoritsune Matsudaira, and Toshi Ichiyanagi. She is well-known for playing Jo Kondo’s complete piano works and performing works of other contemporary composers such as Toru Takemitsu, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Henry Cowell, Luciano Berio, Giacinto Scelsi, Luc Ferrari, Doina Rotaru, and others.
Besides performing in Japan, Satoko Inoue has performed in major European festivals including Darmstadt, the International Experimental Music Festival in Bourges, and had solo recitals in Bucharest, Bern and Buenos Aires. She has featured in solo concerts in the US, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland, Turkey, Romania, Egypt, and Argentina. She has recorded three solo CDs and has further CDs on the labels Edition Hundertmark (Germany), Emec Discos (Spain), and ALM Records (Japan). Inoue is also Associate Professor at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo.
Satoko’s tour is part of the events celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland.
2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the Ireland-Japan diplomatic relationship and this is an important year to enhance further economic ties between the two countries. On 1st June 2017, JETRO organized Invest Japan Seminar in Dublin as one of the events to commemorate this momentous occasion.
Mr. Toshihiko Sakaguchi, Director General JETRO London, gave the opening speech and welcomed Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mrs. Mari Miyoshi, the guest speakers and all the attendees to the seminar.
Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mrs. Mari Miyoshi welcomed all participants to the seminar and encouraged to explore the possibilities offered to Irish businesses in Japan.
The keynote speech on economic outlook and business opportunities in Japan was given by Mr. Koji Yonetani, Executive Vice President, JETRO.
The audience was introduced to a number of presentations given by:
- Dr. Michael Kennedy, Royal Irish Academy;
- Mr. Joe Redmond, Group Executive of FEXCO;
- Mr. Brendan Corr, CCO of Open Hydro;
- Mr. Clive Bourke, President of EMEA & APAC, Daon;
- Mr. Eddie Hughes, Manager, Dairy, Functional Foods/Ingredients, Beverages & Food BREXIT Team, Enterprise Ireland.
Mr. Raymond Hegarty, IP Strategist and IJA Council Member led a panel discussion with all the speakers giving the audience an opportunity to ask questions and exchange opinions and experience about business environment in Japan.
The event concluded with non formal networking while enjoying delicious Japanese canapes and sake.
Ireland Japan Association would like to thank Japanese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mrs. Mari Miyoshi, the guest speakers and everyone who attended the seminar, and we look forward seeing you at future events!
More photos from the event are here!
The Ireland Japan Association and Dillon Eustace was hosting the Brexit Seminar on 23rd May to discuss the opportunities and challenges that Brexit presents for Ireland.
The speakers, Kate Curneen, Partner – Banking and Capital Markets, Dillon Eustace and Philip O’Sullivan, Chief Economist, Investec offered their view on Brexit, how it will affect Ireland and what are the opportunities in the post-Brexit era.
The presentations were followed by questions from the audience and networking breakfast.
On behalf of IJA, we would like to thank our hosts – Dillon Eustace, the speakers and everyone who attended the event, and we look forward seeing you at our events in the future!
More photos from the event are here!
Start your summer with colourful, sun-drenched classical favourites and a performance which, with the presence of Japanese soprano Mari Moriya, celebrates the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Ireland.
Scorching Spanish vitality and heat abound in Turina’s lively gypsy parade La procesión del Rocío, Debussy’s sweltering Ibéria, Ravel’s playful rendering of a jester’s song, Alborada del gracioso and Albéniz’s colourful celebration of Navarra.
With the ‘sumptuous-voiced’ (Opera) soprano and 2007 Veronica Dunne International Vocal Competition winner Mari Moriya, sink into the luxurious melodies of Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne and the haunting beauty of Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileira No.5. Gershwin’s Cuban Overture is a bravura rumba brimming over with bristling energy.
Duncan Ward conductor
Mari Moriya soprano
Presented by Paul Herriott, RTÉ lyric fm
Soprano Mari Moriya’s association with Ireland began in 2007, when she won the 5th Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. Her very successful European début followed later that year with Opera Ireland, as Liù in Turandot, and she returned to Opera Ireland for critically acclaimed performances as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos (2008) and Zerlina in Don Giovanni (2009).
Ms Moriya began her professional career in 2006 and that year made her Metropolitan Opera début as Queen of the Night under the baton of James Levine. This is a role she has sung in numerous productions: for OperLeipzig, Glyndebourne on Tour, Seattle Opera, Volksoper Wien, Baltimore Opera, Pittsburgh Opera and Scottish Opera, to name only some.
Ms Moriya studied at the Musashino Academy of Music in her native Japan and the Mannes College of Music, New York. She was a Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions 2005. Among numerous awards, she received the 2007 Cardiff Singer of the World Concert Prize.