Finnish-Swedish minority celebrated in Tokyo for a week

The Finnish Institute in Japan organized a Finnish-Swedish Culture Week called HALLÅ TOKYO! on 5-9 November to celebrate and bring awareness to the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. The week was filled with program focusing on themes such as identity, well-being, female artists and design.


Finnish-Swedish Language Café. Photo: Elina Suominen

HALLÅ TOKYO! started on Monday with a Swedish language café at Finland-themed restaurant Finland Kitchen Talo. At the relaxed event, the participants enjoyed discussing about differences between the Swedish language in Sweden and Finland, among other things.

Kaisa Kepsu speaking at the Finnish-Swedish Heritage Day Seminar. Photo: Elina Suominen

The official Finnish-Swedish Heritage Day “Svenska dagen” was celebrated on Tuesday November 6th, with an academic seminar at the Embassy of Finland. Head of Research at Think Tank Magma, Kaisa Kepsu, was invited from Finland to talk about the identity of the Swedish-speaking Finns, while Associate Professor Erika Takahashi from Chiba University presented her research about the welfare system and eldercare among Swedish-speaking in the Finnish archipelago.

Artist Maria Wolfram. Photo: Elina Suominen

On Wednesday, an artist talk was held with Finnish-Swedish painter and installation artist Maria Wolfram at the newly opened artist residency ALMOST PERFECT. Wolfram discussed her sources of inspiration and how her art is expressed through a female perspective.

Fashion designer Rolf Ekroth. Photo: Elina Suominen

Fashion and textile design was in focus on Thursday at a talk event together with rewarded fashion designer Rolf Ekroth, textile designer Emma Hagman and Japanese textile designer Yuki Kawakami. A few pieces from Rolf Ekroth’s Hyères Fashion Festival collection was also on display at the venue.

Crayfish party at the Embassy of Finland. Photo: Elina Suominen

On the final day of the Finnish-Swedish Culture Week, the Finnish Institute made history and organized the first ever crayfish party held at the Embassy of Finland. Traditional schnapps songs were sung and crayfish from both Finland and Japan were eaten more than anyone could count.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the events! If you missed the Finnish-Swedish Culture Week or the crayfish party, don’t worry as it will be organized again next year, November 2019!

20th Anniversary Conference of the Finnish Institute in Japan – Tove Jansson: Visual Artist.Writer. Landscape Enthusiast. Woman.

20th Anniversary Conference of the Finnish Institute in Japan – Tove Jansson: Visual Artist. Writer. Landscape Enthusiast. Woman.

21–22 November, 2018 at Meiji-Kinenkan, Tokyo

Organised by:
The Finnish Institute in Japan

Supported by:
Moomin Monogatari Ltd.

Tove Jansson.
© Moomin Characters™

The Moomin books are widely known in Japan, but who was the woman behind them? This conference will focus on the character of the multitalented Finnish artist Tove Jansson, especially her creativity, identity and womanhood, thus giving new perspectives on her life and art.

The presentations will be held in English and Japanese (there will an interpreter). The Institute’s 20th anniversary reception with a Moomin related music performance will be held after the first conference day on November 21 at 6pm.

Free admission, advance registration required. The first-arrived 200 applications will receive a special anniversary gift from the Institute.

Online registration (link below) ends on November 16, 2018.


(download PDF format)


DAY 1 / NOVEMBER 21, 2018, 9:15-20:00

Moderator: Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan
9.15 Registration

10:00 Welcome
Anna-Maria Wiljanen
10:15 Greetings
Sophia Jansson, Moomin Characters Ltd.
10.30 Opening of the Conference
Mr. Pekka Orpana, Ambassador of Finland

10:50 KEY NOTE 1
Boel Westin, University of Stockholm

12:00 LUNCH

13:00 SESSION 1
Moderator: Anna Maria Wiljanen

13:05 Tove Jansson as a visual artist.
Miki Tokoyoda
13:35 A woman’s road: Tove Jansson from comics to cartoons and back to comics.
Juhani Tolvanen
14:05 Tove Jansson and Matisse.
Azu Kubota

14:35 BREAK

15:05 SESSION 2
Moderator: Boel Westin

15:10 KEY NOTE 2
Sirke Happonen, University of Helsinki

16:20 The Return of the Groke. A modern horror story in the wake of Tove Jansson.
Bengt Lundgren, Södertörn Högskola
16:50 Tove Jansson and Japan.
Eija Niskanen
17:20 World in few millimeters: how Tove Jansson described the fears and the hopes of common people in his political cartoons for Finnish Garm during the World War II.
Ville Hänninen




DAY 2 / NOVEMBER 22, 2018, 10:00-17:00

Moderator: Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan

10:00 Welcome

Anna-Maria Wiljanen

10:05 KEY NOTE 3
K.A. Laity, College of Saint Rose (New York)

11:15 Solitary and nature.
Hiroko Yokokawa
11:45 The Importance of landscape in Tove Jansson’s art.
Satsuki Uchiyama

12:15 LUNCH

Moderator: Boel Westin

13:15 Moomin characters of Our Lives. Which Moomin Character Are You? (or Realise You Have been)?
Sirke Happonen
13:45 Muminalism.
Björn Sundmark
14:15 The Moomin Books by Tove Jansson from a perspective of multiple address.
Hanna Dymel-Trzebiatowska

14:45 BREAK

Moderator: Anna-Maria Wiljanen

15:15 Tove Jansson and the artistic inspiration at Klovharu.

Michiyo Okabe
15:45 Tove Jansson -the lyricist.
Emma Klingenberg


Anna-Maria Wiljanen

※Contents and schedule may be subject to changes.



Tove Jansson: Visual Artist. Writer. Landscape Enthusiast. Woman.
– 20th Anniversary Conference of the Finnish Institute in Japan

Date: November 21–22, 2018
Venue: Meiji-Kinenkan, Tokyo, Japan

  • Free admission, advance registration required
  • The first-arrived 200 applications will get a special anniversary gift from the Institute

Jazz sensation Alexi Tuomarila Trio to embark on a big Japan tour

The Finnish Institute in Japan has granted TelepART mobility support for Alexi Tuomarila Trio’s Japan tour. The trio will perform in seven cities across Japan between October 31 and November 4, 2018.

Alexi Tuomarila is a well known figure in the Finnish and European jazz scenes both as a strong pianist and composer who has collaborated with numerous other artists. Bassist Joonas Tuuri and drummer Jonne Taavitsainen – both up and coming jazz artists of the younger generation – are joining him for this tour. The multitalented trio draws inspiration from different genres, thus creating a mature and rhytmic unique atmosphere.

For more information on the tour and concert venues, visit Alexi Tuomarila Trio’s website.

Playing with shape and colour – artist Man Yau commenced Shigaraki Ceramic Culture Park’s residency

Supported and selected by the Finnish Institute in Japan and Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, the Helsinki-based sculptor, designer and installation artist Man Yau has started her 1,5 month residency period in Shigaraki.

Overarching themes in Yau’s works are the colourful and industrial expression in form and shape as well as the seemingly plastic, often full of contrasts finish. Her works have been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad – including Seoul, Berlin and Milan. Her latest exhibitions have been held at Jingdezhen in China, Fiskars Summer House project and department store Stockmann in Helsinki.


More information:

Artist Man Yau selected for the institute’s and SCCP’s ceramic residency

Shigaraki Ceramic Culture Park

Man Yau

Comedy, suspense and intertwined destinies at Finland Film Festival in Tokyo 3.-9.11.

Photo credit: Finland Film Festival

The Finnish Institute in Japan is supporting Finland Film Festival which has been working to promote Finland and bring attention to Finnish films and culture for the past ten years. The festival is held at EUROSPACE cinema in Shibuya, November 3-9, 2018.

This year’s selection includes five very different films ranging from documentary film to heavy metal comedy and suspense drama. All films are shown in their original language and have Japanese subtitles. Tickets (JPY 1,500) can be purchased in advance through EUROSPACE’s website or at the cinema’s ticket office during the day of the screening.

More information on the films, screening times, ticket sales and the venue is available in Japanese on the Finland Film Festival’s official website, Facebook page and Twitter.

FIN/JPN LAB at the Finnish Institute showcases intercultural AIR programs

The Finnish Institute in Japan is hosting a FIN/JPN LAB -event to celebrate and showcase the intercultural artist residency programs between Finland and Japan on October 31, starting at 6PM.

The collaboration between the Finnish Institute in Japan, Youkobo Art Space and its Finnish counterpart Waria Artbreak Air has a long history. The aim of these artist exchange programs is to introduce Japan and Japanese culture to Finnish artists, and Finland and Finnish culture to Japanese artists.

Artists-in-residency Naoko Chiba, Chie Kamekura, Venni Ahlberg and Saara Ekström will present the results of their stays and take part in a panel discussion which will be moderated by Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan. Kaisa Kerätär will tell the Waria Artbreak’s point of view to this appreciated exchange.

Naoko Chiba: The Stone Said (2011)


Date & time: October 31st, 2018, 6-8PM

Venue: The Finnish Institute in Japan, 3-5-39 Minamiazabu, Minato, 106-8561 Tokyo


RSVP to, by Monday, October 29th 2018

HALLÅ TOKYO! Finnish-Swedish Culture Week in November

The Finnish Institute in Japan is organizing a 5-day event on 5-9 November to celebrate and bring awareness to the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland.  Focusing on this theme has been a long-term goal of the Institute, as many in Japan are not aware of the Swedish-speaking minority and its historical and cultural impact on the Finnish society.

This year the Finnish-Swedish Culture Week comprises of a 5-day program with academic seminars, artist talks and other social events focusing on identity, well-being, female artists and design. Speakers invited from Finland include Kaisa Kepsu (Head of Research, Think Tank Magma), visual artist Maria Wolfram, fashion designer Rolf Ekroth and textile designer Emma Hagman.  Invited speakers from Japan are Associate Professor Erika Takahashi (Department of Anthropology, Chiba University) and textile designer Yuki Kawakami.

The last day of the Finnish-Swedish Culture Week is celebrated with a traditional crayfish party – ensuring an unforgettable experience filled with schnapps songs, funny hats and – of course, crayfish!

To participate in the events, please register below


Registration open until November 4, 23:59 JST




Finnish-Swedish Language Café

Time Monday, November 5, 16:30-18:30
Come and practice your Swedish-language skills at a relaxed event in Finland Kitchen Talo! Besides practicing your Swedish conversation skills you can learn about the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland and the difference between the Swedish language in Finland and Sweden. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.
※In order to participate, you need to have Swedish-language skills at a conversational level. Native Swedish-speakers also welcome!
Place Finland Kitchen Talo, 6-4-1, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Max 40 participants


Finnish-Swedish Heritage Day Seminar
Identity and well-being among the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland

Time Tuesday, November 6, 16:30-19:15 (followed by reception)
On this day we celebrate the official Finnish-Swedish Heritage Day with an academic seminar, focusing on the identity and well-being of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. The Finnish-Swedish Heritage Day (in Swedish “Svenska dagen”) is celebrated on 6th of November in Finland to appreciate the culture and history of the Swedish-speaking population.
  Kaisa Kepsu (Head of Research, Think Tank Magma)
Finns or Swedes? The identity of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland
  Erika Takahashi (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Chiba University)
Welfare system and eldercare among Swedish-speaking in the archipelago (in Japanese)
Place Embassy of Finland, 3-5-39, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Max 60 participants


Artist talk
Finnish-Swedish Women Artists

Time Wednesday, November 7, 17:30-19:30
Come and listen to a presentation about Finnish-Swedish female artists and an artist talk with Finnish-Swedish painter and installation artist Maria Wolfram discussing her art and sources of inspiration.
Presentation Director of the Finnish Institute, Ph.D. Anna-Maria Wiljanen
Artist Maria Wolfram is a Finnish-Swedish painter and installation artist who lives and works in Helsinki and Hong Kong. In her art she focuses on identity, interaction, human condition and power from a female perspective.
Place ALMOST PERFECT, 2-3-2 Kojima, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Max 30 participants


Fashion and textile design talk event

Time Thursday, November 8, 18:00-20:00
This day focuses on Finnish-Swedish people in fashion and textile design, together with fashion designer Rolf Ekroth, textile designer Emma Hagman and Japanese textile designer Yuki Kawakami. The designers will tell about their work accompanied by a discussion of the similarities between Finnish and Japanese design, aesthetics and sources of inspiration.
  Rolf Ekroth (Fashion designer) is currently one of the biggest names in Finnish menswear fashion. His collections draw inspiration from sports culture in the 1990s and has been worn by artists such as Jared Leto and Finnish singer Alma. At the beginning of this year he launched a collection in collaboration with Finnish outdoor brand Halti at the Pitti Uomo Fashion Fair.
   Emma Hagman (Textile designer) has studied textile design in Paris, where she specialized in print design. She has many years of international experience in textile-, garment- and graphic design, working for brands such as Ikea, Finlayson and Nokia.
   Yuki Kawakami (Textile designer) is a textile designer based in Kiryu, working closely with fashion brands in Japan. She has also collaborated with Rolf Ekroth and studied in Finland as an exchange student at Aalto University.
Place Spiral Room, Spiral 9F,  5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Max 40 participants


Finnish-Swedish Crayfish Party (FULLY BOOKED)

Time Friday, November 9, 18:30-21:30
As the highlight of the week there is a traditional Finnish-Swedish crayfish party! Crayfish parties (in Swedish “kräftskiva”) are fun and relaxed events, usually held at the end of summer, filled with schnapps songs, funny hats and – of course, crayfish!
Place Embassy of Finland, 3-5-39, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Max 60 participants


Visionary guitarist Petri Kumela’s large-scale Japan tour

Photo by: Marek Sabogal

The Finnish musician Petri Kumela, who was granted TelepART mobility support by the Finnish Institute in Japan, will be touring Japan between October 28th and November 4th 2018. Kumela is known for his open-minded and versatile approach to classical guitar, and will perform in Hiroshima, Sapporo, Tokyo and Kawasaki.

Kumela has performed in many concert series and festivals, and co-operated with chamber musicians as well as contemporary musicians and ensembles in Japan, Europe, The United States, South America and India. Furthermore, he has also released several albums and recordings for radio and television networks both in Finland and abroad.

More information about the concerts and performers:

Christina Stadlbauer has started her Art and Science Research Residency in Tokyo

Earlier this year, the Finnish Institute in Japan, the Bioart Society and the BioClub Tokyo selected a Helsinki based Austrian researcher and artist Christina Stadlbauer for the Tokyo Art and Science Research Residency.


Photo by: Christina Stadlbauer /


During her one month residency, Stadlbauer will be focusing on a project called Ceramic Scar Tissue. A Kin Tsugi Experiment to Grow Instead of Glue Broken Ceramics. Her innovative project combines the Japanese kin-tsugi tradition of repairing broken ceramics and contemporary biotechnology in an attempt to create a living fixing agent – ”scar tissue of biomatter” – to mend and heal the fragments.

Stadlbauer has been working with kin-tsugi for years and is also leading a practice group in Helsinki. During her stay Stadlbauer will also be giving presentations at the Finnish Institute in Japan (details to be announced soon) and the metaPhorest seminar at Waseda University on Friday, October 12th at 7:00PM. The welcome reception will be held at the BioClub Tokyo on Tuesday, October 16th at 7:00PM and the final residency presentation and farewell party will be in the same location on Tuesday, November 6th at 7:00PM.

More information on Stadlbauer’s residency and projects: or


Vacant position at the Finnish Institute in Japan


The Finnish Institute in Japan (FIJ) promotes Finnish science, culture and higher education supporting and enabling co-operation and
dialogue between Japan and Finland. The Institute identifies and
recognizes trends and co-operation possibilities connecting potential
collaboration partners. The Institute is part of Team Finland in Japan and one of the 17 Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes.

The Finnish Institute in Japan is looking for an Academic Research
Coordinator from January 1, 2019 or according to agreement.

As the Academic Research Coordinator you will observe scientific trends and communicate with universities and other academic institutions in Japan and Finland. Other tasks include promoting academic exchange as well as coordinating FIJ’s academic activities such as conferences, symposiums and meetings.
The Coordinator will work under the guidance of the Director of the FIJ.

In order to manage the task successfully, the applicant should have

  • An academic degree
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Native-level Japanese language skills
  • Ability to work in a small but dynamic organization where tasks and duties may vary
  • Knowledge of Finnish culture and experience of studying and/or doing research in Finland

The employment contract will be made for a period of three years with an option for renewal.

Please send your motivation letter and CV, in English, to by October 19, 2018

Inquiries and more information:

Director Anna-Maria Wiljanen, +81 (0)80 4069 7846

Available for phone inquiries on Wednesday October 10, at 2-4pm.

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