Tove Jansson and the Impact of Japan Conference



The Finnish multitalented artist Tove Jansson (1914-2001) is widely known in Japan. She visited various places in Japan and filmed her experiences, but what was the impact of Japan to her literary production and to her as an artist? Come and listen to Finnish, Swedish and Japanese researchers intriguing presentations and panel discussion! Lunch boxes are available on both days, and conference attendees can participate in an excursion to Saitama Moominvalley Park on November 29th (see details on Peatix, link below)!

Conference days:
November 27th (Wed) 10:00 – 17:00 and reception
November 28th (Thu) 10:00 – 16:00

Excursion day:
November 29th (Fri)
Bus leaving from the Finnish Institute in Japan at 09:00


For more information and registration (deadline November 24th):


CONFERENCE PROGRAM  (Changes are possible)

Day 1: Wednesday, November 27th

10:00           Registration

10:30           Welcome, Anna-Maria Wiljanen

10:40           Opening of the Conference, Mr. Pekka Orpana, Ambassador of Finland


11:00           KEY NOTE 1

A hundred miles of silence. The Moomin stories of Tove Jansson

Boel Westin, Professor Emeritus, University of Stockholm


12:15           LUNCH




Moderator:   Anna-Maria Wiljanen


Tove Jansson and Japanese Aesthetics

Miki Tokoyoda, Independent researcher, The Moomin Museum



“Moomins changed everything” – The influence of Moomin animations to Japanese animators

Eija Niskanen, Researcher, University of Helsinki



Tove Jansson and Japonism

Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director, The Finnish Institute in Japan


14:45           BREAK




Moderator:   Boel Westin


Lost in Translation? How much the translation is truthful to its original text?

Miki Tokoyoda, Independent researcher, The Moomin Museum



Thingumy, Bob and Too-ticky in Moomin franchise

Harri Ruohonen, Researcher, Daito Bunka University



”What will happen to “Moomin without Tove Jansson”? From the survey of 100 Japanese teenagers

Kimiko Matsui, Children’s Books Journalist, librarian, CEO of MightyBook


16:45           Summary of the first day


17:00           RECEPTION


19:00           END OF THE DAY


Day 2: Thursday, November 28th

10:00    Welcome, Anna-Maria Wiljanen



Moderator: Anna-Maria Wiljanen

10:05    KEY NOTE 2

Solitary Wanderers and the Fear for Being Average: The Paths and the Barriers of Young and Old Individuals in Tove Jansson’s Literature

Sirke Happonen, Associate professor, University of Helsinki



Seasons and nature as a metaphor

Miki Tokoyda, Independent researcher, The Moomin Museum



Music plays inside Moomin Art and Stories of Tove Jansson

Heikki Mäenpää, Executive producer, Harjula Production Oy Ltd.


12:15    LUNCH




Moderator: Boel Westin


Tove Jansson and Japanese Creators

Hiroko Yokokawa, Editor



Why do we love ‘Moomin’  – a Japanese perspective

Arisa Kawasaki, Creative Director


14:15    BREAK



Moominvalley Park

Robert Hirst, Chairman, Moomin Monogatari Ltd.


15:15    PANEL DISCUSSION with the conference speakers

Moderator: Anna-Maria Wiljanen



Anna-Maria Wiljanen


Organized by:    The Finnish Institute in Japan

Supported by:    Moomin Monogatari Ltd.



Finnish-Swedish Week HALLÅ TOKYO 2019! was held 4th – 8th of November


Five days of fun, humor, in-depth discussions and traditions under the theme Creators & creations!

The Finnish-Swedish week Hallå Tokyo 2019! was extremely well-received!




The week started with a talk event together with famous TV personality Mark Levengood, funny and inspiring stories from his life and identity as a Swedish-speaking Finn living in Sweden. Such a heartwarming evening!




Next day was all about comedy and music when Finnish-Swedish band Humorgruppen KAJ performed in Harajuku. Combining funny and witty lyrics with catchy music of different genres, KAJ’s first gig in Japan was a great success!




At Wednesday’s seminar we discussed sustainability and green lifestyle with excellent speakers Mariko McTier (Social Innovation Japan & MyMizu), Ran Nomura (@zerowaste.japan on Instagram) as well as Finnish-Swedish blogger Julia Degerth ( Many interesting topics and questions that we hope to see more of in the future!





Next day, fashion designers Carolina Forss and Wataru Tominaga shared their stories and views on the fashion industry! They talked about their inspirations as well as their own creations that were on display at the event.




SKÅL! KIPPIS! KANPAI! On Friday the Finnish-Swedish week culminated in a traditional crayfish party! The once again fully-booked party was filled with funny hats, schnapps, singing and of course – crayfish!


Thank you to everyone who participated in the Finnish-Swedish week and to our excellent guests from Finland, Sweden and Japan!


Stay tuned for the events of next year!


Photos: Finnish Institute in Japan

HALLÅ TOKYO! Finnish-Swedish Week



The Finnish Institute in Japan is celebrating the Finnish-Swedish week Hallå Tokyo 2019! on November 4th-8th, 2019. This event is organized to tell about the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. 

This year the theme is Creators & Creations with focus on identity, artistic creativity in music, design and fashion, but also on creativity in problem solving when talking about for instance climate change.

During the week we will present creators within different fields from both Finland and Japan! Design, fashion, music, books, blogs, startups, activism and identity – all creative work and connected to all of us! Come and be inspired!




MONDAY 4th of November



Talk with Mark Levengood, the famous TV personality and author about identity, the Finnish-Swedishness and how one should be proud of one’s roots.

Photo: Stellan Herner Time: Monday 4th of November, 18:00 – 20:00 (+ Reception)

Place: Spiral Room (Spiral 9F)

Register at:



TUESDAY 5th of November


Performing in Japan for the first time, Humorgruppen KAJ (consisting of Kevin, Axel and Jakob) treats the Japanese audience to an exclusive show! Combining comedy and music, KAJ writes all their songs in their local Finnish-Swedish dialect which makes the sound very unique.


Photo: Eva Lingon Time: Tuesday 5th of November, 19:00 – 21:00 (Doors 18:30)

Place: Harajuku Strobe cafe

Register at:



WEDNESDAY 6th of November



Inspiring seminar on sustainability, climate change and environmentally friendly lifestyles such as zero waste! Participating is Finnish-Swedish blogger Julia Degerth, Ran Nomura who is behind @zerowaste.japan and Mariko McTier, Director of Social Innovation Japan. Check also the poster session about plastic waste in Japan made by a group of university students!


Time: Wednesday 6th of November, 18:00 – 21:00

Place: Embassy of Finland

Register at:


Julia Degerth is a Finnish blogger who inspire her readers to live a greener life. Her blog is called Grön i Åbo ( and she writes in Swedish and English. Julia has also written a book “Min lilla gröna” about an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Ran Nomura runs the popular instagram account @zerowaste.japan where she documents her transition towards a zero waste life and give tips to her readers on how to live more environmentally friendly.  
Mariko McTier is Co-Founder and Director of Social Innovation Japan, Co-Founder of Japan’s first free water refill app, MyMizu, and an independent consultant focused on sustainability and circular economy projects.
Photos: Julia Degerth, Ran Nomura, Mariko McTier  




THURSDAY 7th of November



Talk with fashion designers Carolina Forss and Wataru Tominaga about their work, sources of inspiration and the similarities between Finnish and Japanese design! 


Time: Thursday 7th of November, 18:00 – 20:00 (+ Reception)

Place: Spiral Room (Spiral 9F)

Register at:

Carolina Forss is a Finnish fashion designer with a love for 20th century fashion history combined with a modern focus. She holds a Master’s degree in Textile, Clothing and Fashion Design from Aalto University in Finland.
 Photo: Emma Sarpaniemi


Wataru Tominaga is a fashion designer and artist who has lived in Helsinki, Tokyo, Paris and London. He holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea Collage of Arts and received The Grand Jury Prize Première Vision at The 31th edition of the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography.



Photo: Rene Habermacher


FRIDAY 8th of November



It’s partytime! The last day of the Finnish-Swedish Week belongs traditionally to a crayfish party – which was sold out in half an hour! Thank you! An event filled with schnapps songs, funny decorations and – of course, crayfish!

Photo: Elina Suominen  

Time: Friday 8th of November, 18:00 – 21:00

Place: Mace Sendagaya

Registration full!



All events are free of charge but registration is required.



European Day of Languages


Let’s celebrate European Day of Languages together!

Do you want to know more about the diversity of the European languages? EUNIC Japan, which the Finnish Institute in Japan is now serving as a president country, will organize an interesting event for the language and culture lovers!! You can learn simple phrases in Finnish, French, English, German, Italian or Polish from native speakers. Also, it is a great opportunity to win gorgeous prizes while participating in the stamp rally and the reception! Free admission but registration required!

●Date: 5pm-8pm 28th September Saturday, 2019
●Venue: Hosei University, Ichigaya Campus, Boissonade Tower 26th floor
(Address: 2-17-1 Fujimi, Chiyoda, Tokyo)
●Participating countries: Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the UK
●Organized by EUNIC Japan/Co-organized by Hosei University
法政大学 Hosei University
Co-organizing institutes:
Finnish Institute in Japan
Instituto Italiano di Cultura Tokyo
Institut Français Japon
Goethe Institut
Instytut Polski Tokio
British Council

Registration: Please register through Peatix
Deadline is 11pm on 26th September Thursday. We can accept up to 120 guests

Finnish Language Course at the Institute



FINALLY HERE! A Finnish Language course at the Finnish Institute in Japan starts in September!

The Finnish language course is for absolute beginners and begins on September 20th.


Place: The Finnish Institute in Japan (3-5-39 Minami-Azabu Minato-ku Tokyo)

Time: Fridays 15:00-17:00 (dates: 20.9., 27.9., 11.10., 18.10., 25.10., 1.11., 8.11., 15.11., 22.11., 29.11.)

Teachers: Raija Okuda, Raija Hashimoto, Anna-Maria Wiljanen

Course Fee: 20,000 JPY


Registration starts on September 1st (Sun) at 13:00. The course can accommodate 15 students, in order of registration. Registration is binding. The students register for the whole course and will purchase the course material themselves. Register by sending your name and e-mail to You will get a confirmation e-mail.


Lämpimästi tervetuloa!

AI to Bridge the Borders conference



Interested in different possibilities of AI within the context of aging, art and good life?

The Finnish Institute in Japan will organise a conference AI to Bridge the Borders that will be held October 10th 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. The conference aims to link the Finnish and Japanese AI research and the relevant themes concerning technology, science, culture, the aging society and younger citizens. The conference also aims to bring together leading academic researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results, but it also provides an opportunity to all those interested in AI to come and listen. The conference languages will be English and Japanese.

Date and time: 10th of October 2019, 9:00 – 17:30 conference, 17:30 – 19:00 reception.

Place: Meiji kinenkan, Tokyo.

In addition to keynote speeches, there will also be four different sessions with the following themes: 1) AI to bridge borders: societies for co-evolving intelligence, 2) AI to bridge humans and artificial agents: societies for social agents, 3) AI to bridge elder and younger citizens and 4) AI to bridge art and technology: societies for good life.

Conference is admission free but registration is required. Please register at October 4th, 2019 at the latest. 


Call for Papers

We invite you to send a 20-minute paper proposal that address issues and discourses arising out of the theme of the conference.  Kindly send your 250-word abstract at the latest September 23rd 2019 to:



Call for Papers for Tove Jansson and the Impact of Japan Conference

Conference: Tove Jansson and the Impact of Japan

Date:                27–28 November 2019, Tokyo

Organised by:    Finnish Institute in Japan


Proposals due 31st of October 2019

This year marks the centennial of the diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan. It also gives an excellent platform to study the impact of the both cultures to one another. The Finnish multitalented writer, visual and comic artist Tove Jansson is widely known in Japan. Jansson made her first trip to Japan in 1971 and the second in 1990. She visited various places and was filming her experiences but what was the impact of Japan to her literary production and to her as an artist?


Call for Papers

We invite 20-minute paper proposals that address issues and discourses arising out of the theme of the conference. The proposals can, but are not limited to, discuss the following topics:

  • Japanese translations of Tove Jansson’s books
  • The philosophy and language in Tove Jansson’s books
  • Female characters in Tove Jansson’s literary production
  • Agelessness of the characters in Tove Jansson’s books

The conference also encourages papers that focus on Tove Jansson’s impact on the roles of today’s women in Japan and Finland. Kindly send your 250-word (maximum) abstract in English by October 31th  2019 at the latest to: The participation fee will be waived for selected papers.


Conference Details

Date:                             27–28 November 2019

Excursion day:                29 November 2019

Venue:                           Meiji-Kinenkan, Tokyo, Japan

Rumi Okamoto elected as the new Office Manager of the Finnish Institute in Japan


The Foundation of the Finnish Institute in Japan has elected Bachelor of Arts Rumi Okamoto as the Office Manager of the Finnish Institute in Japan for a three-year period starting on May 20th, 2019.The institute is located in Tokyo.

Rumi Okamoto has previously worked as the Client service assistant manager at Sotheby’s Japan. She also has work experience from various art galleries in Japan. 

The Finnish Institute in Japan is an academic and cultural institute operating in Tokyo. It identifies and anticipates the development and cooperation needs of Finland and Japan, especially in the fields of science, culture and higher education, and helps potential partners to find each other between Finland and Japan.

 The Finnish Institute in Japan is in the middle of eventful years. This year marks the celebration of 100 years of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan and next year Tokyo will host the Olympic Games.

  Finland has 17 cultural and academic institutes in total around the world. The Finnish Institute in Japan is currently the only office in Eastern Asia.

 For more information, please contact the Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan, Dr. Anna-Maria Wiljanen, (, tel. +81 80 4069 7846).      

Registration for the Finnish Language and Culture Course in Joutseno has started!!

Come and experience Finnish life, learn Finnish language and culture in Joutseno, Finland this autumn! You can participate in Finnish language lessons, handicraft workshop, sauna, walks in the nature and many other activities! Please register now since we can only accept maximum 25 people. 


September 15th (Sun.):We will meet up in Helsinki Airport, then travel to Joutseno, where we will stay for 5 days.

September 16th (Mon.) ~ 20th (Fri.) : You’ll have large varieties of activity everyday! 

(Finnish language lessons, picking up berries and mushrooms in Finnish forests, Lecture on Finnish society, handicraft workshop, visit to schools, preparing traditional sweets, sauna and lots more! )

Septemer 20th (Fri.): Travel back to Helsinki


[Participation Fee]

Adult:137,000 JYN

Child under 2 years old: 10,000 JYN / Children between 2 and 6 years old: 18,500 JYN 

・Included:Accommodation (either 1 or 2 room) for 5 nights, 15 meals and coffee time, materials for workshop, train ticket between Helsinki-Joutseno-Helsinki

・Excluded:Flight ticket between Japan-Finland-Japan


[Application and Inquiries]

Please download and fill in the application form. You can send it via email or post. 

The Deadline for the application will be on Wednesday 31st July 2019.

Practical matters:Akari Hara (Academic Research Coordinator) 

Tel:03-5447-6036 (Japan)


Address:Finnish Institute in Japan,

                 3-5-39 Minami-Azabu, Minato, Tokyo, Japan


[Download the application form from here (*Japanese Only)]



The Secret Universe Exhibition at Helsinki Design Museum



The Secret Universe exhibition at Helsinki Design Museum presents the work of dynamic designer duo Aamu Song and Johan Olin! They have travelled around the world, seeking folkloristic spirit in traditional crafts techniques and manufacturing skills. These trips have resulted in art objects, clothing, accessories and furniture made together with local masters of crafts.

The exhibition will present Song and Olin’s artistic process from travelling to meeting craftsmen, from correspondence to production and to completed objects. Several masters have been invited to Design Museum’s special events, the Holy Days, which will be held during the exhibition. The Holy Days will feature Japan in May, the Finnish craft heritage in June, Russia in August, and Mexico in September. In addition to these Holy Days, workshop events for the visitors will be held monthly. The exhibition will be open until the 22nd of September.

For more information: