Tag Archive for: Japanese Culture

IJA launches Japanese Book Club | Join today!

We are delighted to announce the launch of the IJA Japanese Book Club! Our purpose is to create a vibrant community of book lovers who share a passion for Japanese literature, culture, philosophy, business, history, and more.
We are dedicated to exploring a diverse range of books each month, engaging in thoughtful discussions, expanding our knowledge, and fostering friendships among members. What’s more, we won’t limit ourselves to just Japanese authors; we’ll also delve into the works of Irish authors with connections to Japan.
With our official launch scheduled for September, we have conducted two trial runs with a small group of participants during the summer break. It was truly fascinating to see how different perspectives and insights emerge, even when reading the same book. We believe that sharing our reading experiences with others can deepen our understanding and appreciation of literature.
Wouldn’t you like to be a part of this exciting literary journey with us? Whether you’re a seasoned reader or just starting to explore the world of books, our book club welcomes everyone. Together, we’ll embark on a fascinating exploration of Japanese literature and beyond.
Please let us know if you are interested in joining our book club and send us an email to: info@ija.ie. We look forward to having you as a fellow book enthusiast and a valued member of our growing community. Open to the IJA members only.
More details about the first club meeting and book of the month:

Summer Ikebana Workshop | PHOTO GALLERY

To celebrate summer and all the beautiful seasonal flowers, the IJA Council organised a beautiful, seasonal Summer Ikebana Workshop for our members. The workshop was presented by the IJA member and Ikebana instructor Mrs. Tomoko Ozaki on 26th August.


Workshop participants had a unique opportunity to learn about Ikebana traditions and principles, make their own Ikebana arrangement and change the way how they think about floral displays. We would like to thank everyone who attended this event and hope it was a great experience and learning opportunity for everyone.

A wonderful surprise for our workshop participants was the visit by H.E. Mr. Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland, and Ms. Keiko Nakata, Embassy of Japan in Ireland.



We would like to thank Eva Reavley, IJA Council, for all her work and support to make this event such a success, and our event hosts – Oomi Travel – for welcoming us at their cosy and beautiful office, and looking after us during this event, and Gopan Bakery for very tasty Japanese baked treats.


Join Japanese Summer Fest celebrations this summer!

Mark your calendars and gather your friends and family for a day filled with Japanese cultural delights at the Japanese Summer Fest. Whether you’re a Japan enthusiast, a food lover, or simply curious about other cultures, this festival promises an unforgettable experience.

Experience the vibrant summer traditions and rich cultural heritage of Japan right here in Ireland!

Date: Saturday, 1st July 2023
Time: 12 – 4 PM
Venue: Cherrytree Pub, Walkinstown Cross, Walkinstown, Dublin 12, D12 EY19
Admission: FREE / Please note that there may be a charge for some activities.



Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich traditions and cultural delights of Japan with a plethora of exciting activities!

Mouthwatering Japanese Cuisine
Savor the delicious flavors of Japan with a selection of authentic Japanese dishes. We have carefully curated a menu featuring a few tantalizing Japanese delicacies that will transport your taste buds to Japan. Don’t miss this opportunity to indulge in the flavors of Japan!

Bon Odori (盆踊り) – Traditional Japanese Dance
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as we celebrate Bon Odori, a traditional Japanese dance performed during the summer festival season. Join the spirited circle dance with fellow festival-goers. Let the rhythm of the music guide your steps and experience the joy of this cultural tradition.

Origami and Calligraphy Workshop
Discover the beauty of Japanese art forms through our origami and calligraphy workshop. Learn the art of folding intricate origami designs and master the graceful strokes of calligraphy. Our experienced instructors will guide you through the process.

Tanabata – Make Your Wishes Come True
Participate in the enchanting Tanabata celebration, where you can write your wishes on colorful strips of paper and hang them on bamboo branches. Feel the magic in the air as the festival brings together people’s hopes and dreams, creating a tapestry of aspirations.

Sushi Demonstration
Ever wondered how to create perfect sushi rolls? Attend our sushi demonstration and watch as our skilled sushi chefs unveil the artistry behind this beloved Japanese culinary delight. Learn the techniques, appreciate the precision, and gain insights into the world of sushi-making.

Suikawari – Watermelon Splitting Game
Cool down with a fun and refreshing game of Suikawari, a traditional Japanese activity where participants are blindfolded and attempt to split a watermelon with a stick. Unleash your inner competitor and see if you can strike the sweet spot!

Japanese Language Theatre – Ordinary People 普通の人々
Be captivated by the magic of Japanese language theatre as talented performers take the stage to showcase traditional and contemporary plays. Let the expressive gestures and melodious tones transport you to the world of Japanese drama and storytelling. Please book a ticket here!


For more information and event programme:

Japanese Calligraphy Workshop 2023 | Photo Gallery

On 22nd April, the IJA organised Japanese Calligraphy Workshop together with artist, educator and writer Azumi Uchitani. Participants were invited to learn the ancient wisdom and value of Japanese symbols, unplug from every day’s hustles and bustles, and experience a ritual with a brush and ink on paper.
During the workshop everyone had a chance to learn basic principles and techniques of calligraphy, including different brush strokes, practice body movements and mindful meditation, as well as practice calligraphy and create their own calligraphy art.
Huge thanks to our inspiring teacher Azumi san for bringing everyone on a mindful journey to discover this very unique and wonderful part of Japanese culture, and sharing her knowledge, skills and passion! Calligraphy workshop was followed by a tea & coffee break, and wonderful musical performance on violin by Kevin O’Neill.
Our event was hosted by ElectroRoute, IJA Patron member, and we would like to thank our hosts for welcoming us and looking after everyone on the day.
(Click on the images to enlarge!)

Winners Announced! | JLTI Japanese Language Contest 2023

We are very happy to announce the winners of the annual JLTI Japanese Language Contest 2023. This year, the theme for contest was “Diving into the world of Japanese”, and organisers invited entries in the form of speech or Japanese language soundtrack videos which tie in with this theme.



The entries were evaluated on a variety of criteria such as language level and expression, creativity and performance. The judging panel took into account the language background and learning experience of the entrants which was documented through their application forms.

The winners of 2023 contest:

Open Category
Japanese Language Award: Marco Perez-McKay
Language Achievement Award: Nadia Lagrutta & Xiadani Ortega Ramirez
Special Mention Award: Maria Mardiki

6th Year
Japanese Language Award: Andy Yu
Language Achievement Award: Ben Whelan
Special Mention Award: Meenakshy Bino
Language Recognition Award: Weronika Strek

5th Year
Japanese Language Award: Stefanie Reji
Language Achievement Award: Aeryn Noble
Special Mention Award: Aimee Fanning
Language Recognition Award: Cáit Whitmore

We congratulate all the winners and would like to thank everyone for the participation this year! Each winner have received comments from the judges and a voucher that will allow them to purchase Japanese-related textbooks, books, manga, accessories, origami, etc. as prizes.

Japanese Language Contest in Ireland is organised by the Japanese Language Teachers in Ireland (JLTI) with the support of the Embassy of Japan in Ireland, Post-Primary Languages Ireland, and the Ireland Japan Association in order to encourage and promote Japanese education in Ireland.

For more information:


Japanese Film Festival 2023

The Japanese Film Festival 2023 returns for its 14th edition this April, with an exciting programme that will bring the best of Japanese cinema to audiences across Ireland.

Ireland’s only truly national film festival will showcase more than 20 films this year, from the latest anime hits to exciting indie discoveries. The festival will run from April 8 – 28, with screenings in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford, Dundalk and – for the first time – Wexford town.



The festival includes screenings of powerful drama A Man, which recently won eight awards – including Best Film – at the Japan Academy Film Prize ceremony in Tokyo, the acclaimed superhero reboot Shin Ultraman, and exciting new anime titles such as Blue Thermal and The Tunnel to Summer, the Exit of Goodbyes.

Whether you’re a festival regular or have never been before, we can’t wait to welcome you at our screenings.

Dundalk – An Táin Arts Centre: April 8
Limerick – Belltable: April 12-13
Sligo – Sligo Film Society @ The Model Arts Centre: April 13
Cork – Triskel Christchurch: April 15 and Gate Cinema: April 24-27
Waterford – Garter Lane: April 18-19
Wexford – Wexford Arts Centre: April 20 & 25
Galway – Pálás: April 20-23 and Eye Cinema: April 24-28
Dublin – Light House Cinema: April 20-27

The full list of film screenings is available here: https://www.jff.ie/screenings.html


“As the newly appointed ambassador, I am delighted to hear that Irish audiences have enjoyed previous Japanese Film Festivals in Ireland. I am looking forward to visiting Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford, Dundalk and Wexford where the 2023 Japanese Film Festival is taking place and seeing many of the films on offer this year. I would like to thank access>CINEMA for all their commitment and hard work devoted to making the Japanese Film Festival such a successful annual event since we started our collaboration in 2008. I hope that everyone will enjoy this year’s films and get to know more about Japanese life and culture.” – Mr Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to Ireland



“After the disruption of the past 3 years, we’re excited to be finally able to return our Festival activity to pre-pandemic levels, and are grateful to everyone who loyally supported us during that difficult period. JFF has always been about bringing the diversity of contemporary Japanese cinema to Ireland, and this year we’ve pulled out all of the stops to ensure that the programme has something for everyone. As ever, we’re delighted to be able to bring the Festival to sites across Ireland – with Wexford a new addition to the schedule this year. Whether you’re a Festival regular or have never been before, we can’t wait to welcome you at our screenings nationally.” – Maeve Cooke, director of access>CINEMA


More information: https://www.jff.ie/

JFF 2023 is co-organised by The Embassy of Japan and access>CINEMA .

JLTI Japanese Language Contest 2023 | Apply Now!

In order to encourage and promote Japanese language education in Ireland, the Japanese Language Teachers in Ireland (JLTI) are delighted to host their annual Japanese language Contest with the support of the Embassy of Japan in Ireland, Post-Primary Languages Ireland, and the Ireland Japan Association.



This year, the theme is “Diving into the world of Japanese”, and organisers are inviting entries in the form of speech or Japanese language soundtrack videos which tie in with this theme. The Japanese Language Contest takes place online.

The entries will be evaluated on a variety of criteria such as language level and expression, creativity and performance, and the prizes will reward a range of different styles, abilities and effort. The judging panel will take into account the language background and learning experience of the entrants which will be documented through their application forms.

The entries will be evaluated on a variety of criteria such as language level and expression, creativity and performance, and the prizes will reward a range of different styles, abilities and effort. The judging panel will take into account the language background and learning experience of the entrants which will be documented through their application forms.
Applications are accepted for:
* Secondary School Category: TY/LC1 Category & LC2 Category
* Open Category
Application Deadline: Monday, 6th March 2023
Results will be announced in early April.
For application forms, competition guidelines and additional information, please visit:

Stage Beyond Borders | Japanese stage performances online

‘Stage Beyond Borders’ is an online project by The Japan Foundation, which presents outstanding Japanese stage performances with multilingual subtitles for free. The works distributed through this project span the three genres of contemporary theatre, dance performance and traditional performing arts.

Performing arts is one of the earliest forms of entertainment that through strangers and various environments stirs the imagination about ongoing stories and provides hopes and hints about the real world.

For more details and full playlist of performances, please visit: https://stagebb.jpf.go.jp/en/

The ‘Stage Beyond Borders’ playlist is also available on the YouTube channel here:

Photo: The Japan Foundation

Ikebana Workshops in Dublin | PHOTO GALLERY

On 29th October we welcomed our good friend Tomoko Sempo Yanagi, Professor of Ikenobo Ikebana Society and Chairperson of Ikenobo UK and Ireland Group to Dublin for two in-person Ikebana Workshops at the Warrenmount Community Education Centre.

We would like to thank everyone who joined Ikebana workshops, and we are delighted that so many people had an amazing opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of the beautiful and delicate Ikebana flower arranging art together with Ikebana master Tomoko Sempo Yanagi.

Huge thanks to Tomoko san for sharing her passion for Ikebana with all the participants, and inspiring everyone to discover more about this unique and beautiful part of Japanese culture. During the workshop participants created their own Ikebana arrangements using seasonal flowers and plants.

We also would like to thank Warrenmount Community Education Centre and Pauline McGaley for hosting our event, welcoming everyone at the venue and looking after us on the day!

Photos: Raymond Hegarty and Eddie Hughes

Experience Japan 2022 | Join the celebrations of Hanami Festival!

Experience Japan festival will be returning to the wonderful Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park, Dublin on Sunday, 10th April to celebrate traditional Hanami or Cherry Blossom festival with lots of Japanese music and dance performances, martial arts, cosplay and kimono displays, delicious Japanese food, and demonstrations of Japanese culture and traditions.
All events are free and everybody is welcome!
The programme of Experience Japan festival has been published and it is packed with amazing events for everyone to enjoy! 


Dublin Bus Route 37 will drop you at Castleknock Gate (stop number 1669).

Enter Phoenix Park and take the narrow pedestrian path to your immediate right. Walk down this path until you reach the road, and turn right to see the gates of Farmleigh. This is about a 15 minute walk. On a rainy day, it may be muddy and a longer route along roads may be preferred.


Farmleigh is inside the Phoenix Park.  There are 300 free car spaces on site.

We encourage all festival goers to prioritise the parking needs of people with access or mobility issues, and take public transport wherever possible.

It will not be possible to park on White’s Road as Garda traffic restrictions will be in place. Please be wary of sat-nav! There is a 5-7 minute walk from Farmleigh car park to the House, Gallery and Gardens. Full driving directions are here.


There are several Dublin Bike stations close to the shuttle bus stop on Parkgate Street.


Follow Experience Japan for more updates and news!

Tag Archive for: Japanese Culture

IJA Japanese Conversation Group

Join our weekly FREE Japanese conversation group meetings and improve your Japanese conversational skills in an informal, friendly atmosphere!

Meetings take place every Wednesday from 9-10 p.m. via Zoom.

To join the group, please sign up by sending email to: info@ija.ie.

Basic Japanese language skills are required. Each week participants will discuss a topic named in advance, and, from time to time, native Japanese speakers will be joining the group to help with the advice.

Please note that this conversation group is a fun activity for people who enjoy speaking Japanese, and not a language course/class.

This group is open to the IJA members only.

Please contact us for more information: info@ija.ie