Lecture on Martin Luther King and Gospel Performance

Makoto Fujimura, the artist and the author of the books Silence and Beauty and Culture Care, brings Fujimura Fellow and Gospel Singer/Producer September Penn, and New York Times writer Ivan Penn to Tokyo. There will be lectures and a Q&A by Makoto Fujimura and Ivan Penn, along with a performance by September Penn with an accompanist.

Fujimura will lecture on “Dr. King and Culture Care.” Tracing the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, he will connect Dr. King’s work with his thesis of Culture Care using his own work. Ivan Penn will lecture on “Journalism, Theater and Martin Luther King’s Papers.”

EVENT: Lecture and concert focusing on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHEN: Tuesday, December 11, 2018; 16:50 ~ 20:00
WHERE: 青山キャンパス ガウチャー記念礼拝堂 Goucher Chapel

September Penn

RSVP: This is a free event and prior registration is not necessary here.
LANGUAGE: Both Japanese and English
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and fans of gospel music.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist minister and social activist, who led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968.

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Performance of ‘A Hound of the Baskervilles’

Members of Black Stripe Theater will perform an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic masterpiece ‘A Hound of the Baskervilles’, a story of mystery, murder, and the supernatural. Based on one of the best-loved novels of all-time and featuring the investigatory quick-witted duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, this humorous version has been adapted by actor and writer Brandon Francis and reworked for four actors.

EVENT: Dramatization of the story “Hound of the Baskervilles”
WHEN: December 6th (Thursday); 3rd period 13:20~14:50 AND an additional performance at 4th period 15:05~16:35
WHERE: Room 1123 — Building 11 on the 2nd Floor at 3rd period and Honda Auditorium (17-610) at 4th period
TARGET AUDIENCE: IE students and any other interested parties who love live theater

Download a comic version of ‘A Hound of the Baskervilles’ and try reading it before the performance. [Click on the image below.]

You might also prepare your students for the performance by having them perform this dramatization of the story.

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Special Lecture on Animal Protection

The speaker, Airi Yamawaki, will show movie clips and photo images from her organization’s activities in both Kenya and Japan. She will talk about how complex it is to protect wildlife, especially a species like the African Elephant, where some countries justify traditional use whilst ivory is being traded for easy cash by criminal syndicates and terrorist groups. One of the documentary films she initiated shows that some of the ivory from Kenya was being smuggled by Islamic extremists. She will also talk about the ongoing efforts by her organization in Kenya to work with local communities and tribes, such as the Maasai, to protect wildlife.

Airi Yamawaki is a producer who is adamant about wildlife conservation because of her unique background. She grew up in South Africa. After graduating university, she spent the next decade filming African stories, covering such personalities and topics as Nelson Mandela and lions that hunt elephants. 2011 was the turning point for her. 10% of the world’s African Elephant population was lost in that year to poaching and habitat loss. She was inspired to start the NGO “Tears of the African Elephant” and, ever since, she has been involved in various efforts to resolve Japan’s ivory issue and to protect the elephants from poaching and illegal trade.

EVENT: Talk on impact of global consumption of wildlife products on African people/wildlife
WHEN: Thursday, November 22, 2018; 13:20~14:50–3rd Period
WHERE: Room 940–Fourth Floor of Bulding 9 on the Aoyama Campus of Aoyama Gakuin University Click here.
LANGUAGE: English (without Japanese interpretation)
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone who cares about animals and about their future on this planet.
WHAT TO PREPARE: Prepare by accessing the home pages of WildAid and Tears of the African Elephant

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Talk by Filmmaker Linda Ohama

Speaker: Ms. Linda Ohama

Topic: “Obachan’s Garden” and Wartime Internment of Japanese Residents of Canada and America

Location: Aoyama Campus, Room 17-610 (Honda Auditorium)

Date: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Time: 1:10 PM to 2:40 PM (3rd period)

Ms. Linda Ohama is an award-winning Japanese Canadian filmmaker who produced and directed the film Obachan’s Garden ( http://culturevulture.net/film/obachans-garden/ ) and the documentary film “Tohoku no Shingetsu” (“New Moon Over Tohoku”), which concerns the experiences of people in Tohoku who were affected by the earthquake/ tsunami/ nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011 and its aftermath.

The speaker will show scenes from her film Obachan’s Garden and talk about one of the historical events depicted in the film, the internment of Japanese Canadians in internment camps. After she toured comparable internment camps in the United States recently, she came to reflect on the similarities and differences between the Japanese Canadian and Japanese American experiences during this deeply troubled time in history. Those reflections will also be featured in Ms. Ohama’s lecture and film screening.

To be even better prepared for the lecture, you may wish to download and read an article reviewing “Obachan’s Garden” that Gregory Strong contributed to the Daily Yomiuri. The article appeared on November 14, 2002, as the film was being screened throughout Japan for the first time. The article is followed by some skimming and scanning, and comprehension questions.

Finally, it would useful for students and teachers who plan to attend the lecture to do some background reading on the internment of Japanese by the Canadian government during the war. You can check out Wikipedia’s page on Japanese internment and an entry in the Canadian Encyclopedia about the history of the Japanese in Canada.

Here is a photograph of the Murakami Visitor center in Steveston, a small community near Vancouver, the former home of Asayo Murakami (Linda Ohama’s Obachan).

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Veggie Food Festival in Yoyogi Park

The annual Tokyo Veggie Food Festa at Yoyogi Park—in the area in front of NHK Hall—will be held on the 21st and 22nd of October 2018. The festival features approximately 100 food booths, talk shows, and entertainment.


The event is a great way to learn what vegetarians and vegans eat. Although the name of the festival has “veggie” in it, the food at the event is entirely vegan (without any animal products whatsoever). Among the diverse range of stalls participating, you will find macrobiotic cafes, organic vegetable sellers, and fair trade products. There are opportunities to communicate with people from a variety of countries in a convivial atmosphere.


EVENT: Tokyo Vegefood Festa 2018/ 東京ベジフードフェスタ2018
WHEN: October 21 & 22 (Saturday & Sunday — from 10 AM)
WHERE: Yoyogi Park, Keyaki Namiki St. (in front of NHK Hall)
SCHEDULE: From 10 AM – 5 PM (until 8 PM on Saturday)

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Meiji Jingu’s “AKI NO SAI” — Autumn Festival

On three consecutive days, at the beginning of November each year, Meiji Jingu holds its “Autumn Grand Festival”–AKI NO SAI.” This event is held in celebration of Emperor Meiji’s birthday and in honor of various deities. You can see traditional dances given as offerings for gods, Noh performances, and an amazing variety of martial art demonstrations. You can even see Yabusame (archery on horseback).

EVENT: Meiji Jingu Autumn Grand Festival/ AKI NO SAI
WHERE: Near JR Harajuku Station

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Seminar on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Just across the street from Aoyama Gakuin University is another university that serves as a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organization, the United Nations University. This unique university is meant to serve as a bridge between the international academic community and the United Nations system. They frequently hold open lectures and seminars. The evening lectures are usually only an hour in length and feature a moderator interviewing a distinguished guest for 30 minutes, followed by Q & A for another 30 minutes. After the talk, there is a buffet and drinks are served. It’s all free of charge!


Recent guest speakers have included Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008, and Alex de Waal, an expert on the mechanisms for the how famines come about and how to fight them. Find out about future events, which are held on an almost weekly basis, at: http://unu.edu/events.

On Thursday, September 20th—from 18:00 at the United Nations University—there will be a a seminar on “Implementing Solutions for the SDGs: The Role of Sustainability Research.” At this event you can learn what SDGs are and how they are being implemented. “SDGs” stands for “sustainable development goals.”

EVENT: Seminar on “Implementing Solutions for the SDGs”
WHEN: Thursday, September 20, 2018; 18:00~20:05
WHERE: United Nations University CLICK HERE for directions
RSVP: This is a free event but register here.
LANGUAGE: There will be simultaneous interpretation
TARGET AUDIENCE: Anyone interested in the world and how it works; at least intermediate English listening ability is recommended.

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The Tokyo International Players invite you to enjoy their production of the comic play “THE GOOD PERSON OF SZECHWAN” (written by Bertolt Brecht, translated by John Willett, and directed by Graig Russell) from October 18th-21st at the Bonbon Theater in Nakano (Nakano St. on JR and Tozai lines). There will be five performances in total over four days.

Description of the play
“Shen Teh, a kind hearted woman from the slums, sets out on a new life after receiving a gift of one thousand silver dollars from the gods. But it isn’t long before needy neighbours, a questionable love affair, and abandonment by the gods threaten to overwhelm the beleaguered Shen. Can anyone be truly good, or must we all rely on a little ruthlessness and cunning to get by? This heartfelt, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud-funny play will entertain and provoke in equal measure.”

WHEN: Oct 18th-21st
WHERE: Bonbon Theater in Nakano’s Pocket Square (Click HERE for a map)

COST: The play is not free but there is a generous student discount

The Tokyo International Players (TIP) was founded in 1896. Its members have mainly been made up of talent from the Tokyo foreign community, but Japanese cast members and supporting staff have also played key roles.

The organization, 100% volunteer-run, provides quality English-language entertainment for international audiences. Over its long history, many active members have appeared in professional theatre in Japan and abroad.

TIP is always looking for new on-stage talent, directors, designers, and backstage crew, as well as people to support their various front-of-house, fundraising, and promotional activities. They consider enthusiasm, energy, and a fun-loving nature to be more important than experience.

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Global Festa 2018 — Learning about the World

Something called “Global Festa Japan 2018” will be held on September 29th and 30th at the Odaiba Center Promenade in Tokyo. There will be films from the UNHCR 13th Annual Refugee Film Festival, a charity run, “talk shows” concerning various environmental issues, photo exhibits, musical performances, among many interesting and enjoyable events. NGOs representing numerous causes and issues will gather there, so it is an excellent chance for students who wish to take part in internships with domestic or international NGOs to see what’s available. Who knows…you might become inspired to change the world!

EVENT: Global Festa 2018/ グローバルフェスタJAPAN2018
WHEN: September 29th & 30th 2018 CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE
WHERE: At Odaiba Center Promenade in Tokyo.

This YouTube video will give you an idea of what a previous year’s Global Festa looked like:

Here are just a few of the NGOs that will have participated in the event in the past:

Oxfam Japan
特定非営利活動法人 オックスファム・ジャパン

Action against Child Exploitation

Amnesty International Japan

TABLE FOR TWO International
テーブル フォー ツー インターナショナル

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UNHCR Film Festival

EVENT: The 13th UNHCR Refugee Film Festival/ 第13回UNHCR難民映画祭
WHEN: September 7, 2018 – October 7, 2018 CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL SCHEDULE
WHERE: At two venues in Tokyo.
COST: FREE (donations gratefully accepted)

The 13th UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) Refugee Film Festival will take place from September 7 – October 7, 2018 in Tokyo at Odaiba Center Promenade and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Tokyo, in addition to screenings in Nagoya and Sapporo.

With serious refugee crises happening around the world, the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival, which is held in Japan each autumn, is more relevant than ever. The films on the festival’s program include dramas and documentaries dealing with refugees from such diverse countries as Lebanon, Myanmar, Iraq, and Syria. Some of the films focus on how the refugees adjust to their places of refuge and cope with day to day challenges.

Download the full brochure of the event!

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