Akemi can introduce you to Japanese culture through a broad variety of topics and themes.

Akemi is happy to be involved in the planning and execution of your activities, including the design of special preparation courses and workshops in the pertinent aspects of Japanese language and culture. This includes gathering and organising appropriate Japanese people for your activity team, and taking part in the final professional and social situations as an expert in keigo (formal Japanese) and someone with many years of experience in Japanese business, arts, diplomatic, political and social circles.

Japanese Etiquette (gyogi saho)

From the correct way to eat Japanese food to who bows first at a business meeting, Akemi can explain and lead your audience through the beautiful yet potentially confusing rules of polite behaviour in Japan, as well as addressing individual situations related to polite and effective contact with Japanese people.

Bushido

The days of the samurai may have gone, but the influence of the way of the warrior lives on. Akemi examines the tenets and practices of this way of life and death to explain how it can be a force for good or bad in the modern world, and how individuals and organisations can benefit from Bushido today.

The Tea Ceremony (chanoyu)

While leading my audience through this most Japanese of pastimes, I explain how chado (the way of tea) has inspired many of the arts we associate with Japan, as well as the language and character of the Japanese people. It has been called a cult, philosophy, etiquette, a ruse for diplomacy in the age of warriors , an accomplishment for young ladies and stress relief for today's business executives. Oh, yes ... and it is a refreshing drink, too. An understanding of the tea ceremony leads to an understanding of the Japanese mind and view of the world. Therefore, it is a useful accomplishment for many people.

The Kimono

Akemi dresses in a kimono nearly every day and her collection of over 100 kimono has given her a deep understanding of how to wear and care for these precious costumes. Akemi demonstrates how to walk and sit Japanese style, as well as explaining the history and rules of kimono wearing (seasonal patterns, levels of formality and intricate obi knots). She is also happy to tell anecdotes of her adventures while wearing the kimono in England and encourage many questions.

Mary, who attended the kimono workshop at MinamiCon 2008, wrote:

"It was lovely to meet you, and thank you so much for an interesting lecture. It is fascinating to learn about the differences between Japanese and English culture, but so
heart-warming to discover the similarities as well".

"Thank you for arranging for us all to wear kimono as well. I have two yukata at home, but I have always been confused about the correct way to wear them, and so I have more confidence to try now".

Akemi is also available to model wearing kimono for art classses by prior arrangement. She currently provides this service for several art courses, including the London College of Fashion and Harrow Arts Centre amongst others.

OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE

The role of women in Japanese Society
Traditional and modern Japanese lifestyle
Shinto - The indigenous religion of Japan
Shodo - Japanese brush-writing
Keigo - formal spoken Japanese
Soroban - the Japanese abacus

Akemi does not merely present these topics, they are part of her heritage and everyday life. This means that Akemi's kimonos, tea ceremony equipment and calligraphy brushes are in constant use for their original purpose over many years. This gives them a familiarity and authenticity that is lacking in mere museum pieces gathered in cases. It also allows Akemi to really know her subject from an insider point of view, so she can adapt it to fit audiences as varied as school children, learned societies, martial artists and fans of Japanese animation.

When women's luncheon clubs ask Akemi what it actually feels like to kneel and move in Japanese costume, I can tell them and let them experience it for themselves. When fine art students ask why a particular woodblock print depicts a pose or combination of elements, Akemi can recreate the scene for them to explore the possibilities, as well as referring to illuminating incidents from Japanese history and arts.

As noted below, Akemi's professional affiliations give her £10 million public liability insurance. She is also CRB checked.

Akemi can design and present many kinds of activity: formal academic lectures, conference key note presentations, workshops, instruction courses, informal talks and demonstrations, classroom and field trip experiences of aspects of Japanese culture, historical and artistic reconstructions, cameo performances for film and stage, and much more. Akemi is registered with professional agencies for public speaking and educational/cultural workshops, as well as being recommended by the cultural section of the Embassy of Japan. If you would like to know more, including cost and availability to help with your activities, please contact Akemi today.

Affiliations :

  • ATL (Association of Teachers & Lecturers)
  • ALL (Association for Language Learning)*
  • The Japan Society
  • kinu no kai (Kimono Wearing Society)
  • EQUITY (British Actors' Equity Association)
  • RTS (Royal Television Society)

Includes Public Liability Insurance with membership
*Member of the Japanese Language Committee.

Would you like to give a Japanese cultural gift as a birthday present?

Akemi can provide facilities at her place for birthday celebrations including wearing Kimonos, eating Japanese cake and Tea Ceremony.

The costs for these celebration events are:

  • 120 GB Pounds for three people
  • 150 GB Pounds for four people
  • 175 GB Pounds for five people

Each event lasts two hours.