Hallå Tokyo!


The Finnish Institute in Japan will be hosting the annual Finnish-Swedish Week from Monday November 8th to Friday November 12th. This year’s events will discuss the Finnish-Swedish people in politics, entrepreneurship and entertainment outlining the impact of they have made both in Finland as well as internationally! The week will traditionally end with the ever so popular crayfish party! The events this year (with exception of the crayfish party) will be held as hybrid events.You can join us in the Metsä Pavilion or online in Zoom. Please check our website for further information!
Register for all events at: https://hallatokyo2021.peatix.com/


Monday, November 8th
Alexander Stubb

The Finnish Swedish Week will begin with the interview of Professor Alexander Stubb. He is the Director of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland. Come and listen to Professor Stubb’s thoughts about the impact of Swedish in culture, business and politics but also about the future of the second official language in Finland!

The interview will be followed by a networking reception!
Come and be inspired!

Date and time: 8.11.2021 18-20
Place: Metsä pavilion and online (ZOOM)
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87922562475?pwd=RytVVHdkYUZrSHM0VUhCYXJtUFRoQT09

Tuesday, November 9th
Green Light District

On Tuesday it’s time for music! The hiphop-meets-big bind group Green Light District is a Finnish-Swedish band from Helsinki, known for their covers and original hits. The band of 10 musicians actively explores the borders and limits of different genres due to the vast musical experience and influences between the members.

Date and time: 9.11.2021 18-19:30
Place: Metsä pavilion and online (ZOOM)
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88228990519?pwd=MTR5aFNqUDZCdVNadWduMVRjeGhrZz09

Wednesday, November 10th
Johanna Gullichsen

Finnish designer Johanna Gullichsen will be interviewed about her art, her story as a female entrepreneur and about the sources of her inspiration. Johanna Gullichsen is widely known for her graphic interior textiles. Her sophisticated designs tell a story of their own combining the traditional patterns textile types. Gullichsen has received many prizes-the most recently Kaj Franck Design Prize 2021.

Date and time: 10.11.2021 18-19
Place: Online (ZOOM)
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81812246082?pwd=T0Zrd3gwY2FsT0lucGZNNXd3TFAzUT09

Thursday, November 11th
Ted Urho

Finnish-Swedish week continues on Thursday November 11th with an online talk event “And that’s why Finland celebrates the day a Swedish king fell off his horse and died on a battlefield in Germany in 1632” by Mr. Ted Urho. He will be talking about why the Finns speak Swedish in Finland, the advantages and disadvantages of being a Finnish Swede as well as discussing the story of the dead king and his horse. Ted Urho is the executive manager of the liberal think tank Agenda since 2019. He has previously worked as a journalist, producer and host of the breakfast show.

Date and time: 11.11.2021 18-19
Place: Online (ZOOM)
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87602467035?pwd=bGtWMVRUR25xekVjcGhRaFc1WTNIQT09

Friday, November 12th
Crayfish Party

Date and time: 12.11.2021 18-21
Place: Metsä pavilion

Finland Film Festival 2021

Finland Film Festival 2021 introduces five new Finnish films to Japan:

“Lady Time” (original title: Neiti Aika)
“Any Day Now” (original title: Ensilumi)
“Forest Giant” (original title: Metsäjätti)
“Laughing Matters” (original title: Naurun varjolla)
“Eden” (original title: Eden)

The festival runs from Saturday November 13th until Friday November 19th at the Eurospace in Shibuya, Tokyo.
For timetable and tickets, please visit www.eurospace.co.jp

Photo: Finland Film Festival

European Literature Festival 2021

Finnish author Sami Hilvo will take part in the European Literature Festival 2021.
He will have an online talk event on November 25th, 2021 at 18:00 in Japanese.
An excerpt of his latest novel Species-typical Behaviour (2020) can be read on the festival website.
For more information, please visit https://eulitfest.jp/.

Sami Hilvo (b. 1967) is a Finnish author, translator and interpreter. Questioning and new perspectives are at the heart of his literature.

Hilvo’s first novel Viinakortti (The Liquor Ration Card) was published in 2010 and got nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat Literature Prize. It was translated into German in 2012, and a play based on the novel got its Finnish premiere in 2013.
His second novel Rouva S. (Madame S.) came out in 2012 and takes place in the 21st century Tokyo as well as in Kyoto a thousand years ago. It was nominated for the Tulenkantaja Literature Prize.
Hilvo’s third novel Pyhä peto (Holy Beast) won the Tampere City Literary Award in 2016.
His fourth novel, Lajityypillistä käyttäytymistä (Species-typical Behaviour) was published in 2020.

Hilvo has lived Tokyo and Warsaw, Poland, and now resides in Helsinki. He is currently working on his fifth novel.

Photo: Tuukka Ervasti / Tammi

Eliel Saarinen exhibition in Iwaki

Eliel Saarinen and His Beautiful Architecture in Finland

Finland is renowned for its beautiful forests and lakes. It is also home to Finnish modernism, an architectural style that is also popular in Japan. One major figure who helped develop the style was Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950). Saarinen founded an architectural firm with university friends Herman Gesellius and Armas Lindgren. One of his first jobs at the firm, designing the Finnish pavilion at the 1900 Paris World Fair, won him considerable praise. Initially, Saarinen worked in a style that was dubbed National Romantic, which while influenced by art nouveau was more focused on expressing the country’s traditional cultures. The nationalist ethos behind this style struck a chord with the people of Finland at a time when they were seeking independence from Russia.

Saarinen and his partners eventually built Hvitträsk, a complex designed to be a cross-genre work of art presenting an ideal lifestyle: living quietly in nature inside a home that also served as a venue for social functions with other artists. Saarinen gradually expanded his work into residences, commercial buildings, public buildings, train stations, and urban design. Through this varied portfolio, Saarinen played an important role in modernizing architecture throughout the first half of the 20th century. What began as a multicultural style with a strong focus on traditional Finnish culture gradually morphed into something more distinctive and modernist, presenting a new kind of Finnish identity.

This exhibition focuses on Saarinen’s work in Finland from the time before his emigration to the United States in 1923. Architectural drawings, photographs, and designs of furniture and lifestyle items shed light on Saarinen’s style, at once revolutionary and grounded in nature and the local environment. He was also skilled at using light and shadow to imbue his work with richness. At a time when many people find themselves pausing to rethink their ways of life, visitors may find Saarinen’s works speaking to them at a visceral level.

Iwaki City Art Museum, Fukushima
Dates November 6 – December 19 2021

More details at the Iwaki City Art Museum website

This exhibition has previously been shown in the Panasonic Shiodome Museum of Art in Tokyo, July 3 – September 20 2021.

Photo: Finnish Heritage Agency, Historian kuvakokoelma

Hallå Tokyo 2021! Interview with Alexander Stubb

The Finnish Swedish Week began with the interview of Professor Alexander Stubb. He is the Director of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland. Come and listen to Professor Stubb’s thoughts about the impact of Swedish in culture, business and politics but also about the future of the second official language in Finland! Watch and be inspired!

Taishi Watanabe exhibition

You can visit Dr. Taishi Watanabe’s exhibition Unity Architecture in Finland and Japan -3 Projects, 3 Exhibitions, 18 Objects- through this online presentation. The exhibition was held in Tokyo’s Metsä Pavilion in September 2021, but due to the state of emergency could not be opened to public. On the video Dr. Watanabe discusses the exhibition with the director of the Finnish Institute in Japan, Dr. Anna-Maria Wiljanen.

The exhibition is on display in Espoo, Finland, in Aalto University’s Learning Center Lobby Gallery 7.–20.10.2021, and will continue to Germany in 2022.
For more information visit http://www.f.waseda.jp/watanabetaishi/kougei.html.

Video: Akiko Osaki
Photo: Taishi Watanabe

Åland online-lectures

The Finnish Institute in Japan holds an Åland 100-themed online lecture series. The lectures will be held in Zoom in English and are interpreted in Japanese. Pre-registration to the lectures is via Peatix.

The series starts on Friday, October 8th at 18:00PM. In the lecture Ms. Eva Mikkola-Karlström will be talking about the Godby Shipping Ab – a privately owned shipping company that offers high class sea transportation for the forest industry and liner operators.

The series continues on Monday, November 1st at 19:00PM, when the CEO/Managing Director of the Bank of Åland Plc, Mr Peter Wiklöf will talk about Bank of Åland – innovative, profitable banking with a strong commitment to environmental awareness.

The next lecture will be on December about Åland tourism, more information coming soon.

Photo: FIJ

Online artist talks – Northern Alps Art Festival

The Northern Alps Art Festival in Nagano’s Omachi City is featuring two Finnish artists this year, Maaria Wirkkala and Milla Vaahtera. Their works are on view between October 2nd and November 21st. The Finnish Institute in Japan is hosting online artist talks with the artists

Milla Vaahtera on Wednesday September 29th at 5pm
Maaria Wirkkala on Thursday October 7th at 5pm

Please join us to hear them talk about their artistry and works on the festival, you can register via Peatix:
Milla Vaahtera artist talk: https://vaahteratalk.peatix.com
Maaria Wirkkala artist talk: https://wirkkalatalk.peatix.com

Milla Vaahtera (b. 1981) is an artist and furniture designer, who graduated as a Master of Arts in 2010 from Aalto University, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. She works at the interfaces of sculpture and design.
Her work in Northern Alps Art Festival is Lintumaa (Birdland), an installation of glass and brass sculptures inspired by the small flora of the forest floor. Imaginary plant sculptures are large and they react to the forest around them by colour, sound and movement.

Maaria Wirkkala (b. 1954) is known for her site-specific installations. She has taken part in numerous art festivals around the world and in Japan, i.e. Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial, Yokohama Triennial and Setouchi Triennial, and had her solo exhibition in Tokyo in 2017. She has represented Finland in the Venice Biennial twice, and received numerous art awards and honours.
Her work in Northern Alps Art Festival is an installation with two unoccupied cottages on the shore of Lake Nakatsuna. The work draws its inspiration from an old local legend of temple bells, that were destroyed by an earthquake long ago but can still be heard today, and from the local history of salt road.

Photo: Milla Vaahtera: Birdland installation, 2021. Photo: Hannakaisa Pekkala

Finnish Language Course

Starting from this month The Finnish Institute in Japan will organize TWO Finnish language courses: Finnish language course for absolute beginners starting September 24th as well as an Advanced course starting September 17th!

Place: Online (Zoom) until further notice.
Time: Each course every other Friday 15:00–17:00 JST
Beginners’ course: 24.9., 8.10., 22.10., 5.11., 19.11., 3.12., 17.12.
Advanced course: 17.9., 1.10., 15.10., 29.10., 12.11., 26.11., 10.12.
Course fee: 14,000JPY
Teachers: Raija Okuda, Raija Hashimoto
Textbook for absolute beginners: ニューエクスプレスプラス フィンランド語(山川亜古・白水社), for Advanced course, Selkosanomat and other material provided by the teachers
Cancellation policy: No refund after enrolling.

The registration is now open! The maximum number of participants for the beginners course is 20 and for the Advanced course is 15, so act fast! The students register for the whole course and will purchase the course material themselves. Register by Monday 13th September 2021, by sending your name and e-mail to info@finstitute.jp. You will get a confirmation e-mail.

Nähdään kurssilla! Lämpimästi tervetuloa!

Photo: Shutterstock

Read Hour

The Finnish Institute in Japan is participating in The Children and Youth Foundation’s Read Hour campaign by organizing a Read Hour on September 8th, 2021 from 19:00PM online in Zoom!

We will be reading ”Moominpappa at Sea” by Tove Jansson, so come listen to the exciting journey of the Moomin family across the sea to a lighthouse on a small island. The book will be read in Japanese and Swedish (the original language).

With this read hour the Institute wants to join The Children and Youth Foundation’s mission to encourage everyone to read, as well as introduce the audience to the richness of Tove Jansson’s language!

Read Hour

Date: September 8th, 2021 19:00
Registration through Peatix: https://readhour080921.peatix.com

Warmly welcome!

Photo: The Children and Youth Foundation