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: http://www.petrikumela.com/calendar

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 / http://christallinarox.wordpress.com


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: https://bioartsociety.fi/posts/christina-stadlbauer-selected-for-the-tokyo-art-and-science-research-residency or https://christallinarox.wordpress.com/


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
anna-maria.wiljanen@finstitute.jp by October 19, 2018

Inquiries and more information:

Director Anna-Maria Wiljanen
anna-maria.wiljanen@finstitute.jp, +81 (0)80 4069 7846

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

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20th anniversary exhibition sparked huge interest in Finland and Ivana Helsinki

By its closing time on September 24th 2018, ”Love Stories, Road Trips and Dresses” – 20 years of fashion and lifestyle by Ivana Helsinki successfully gathered nearly 3000 visitors interested in fashion, design and Finland.

In many ways, Ivana Helsinki returned to their roots with this exhibition. Established in 1998 by Paola and Pirjo Suhonen, the now renowned fashion and lifestyle brand first came to Japan very early on. This, along with the history as well as the future of the brand, was also discussed in the talk event on September 20th. Lead by Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Head of the Finnish Institute in Japan, and prompted by questions from the audience, the Suhonen sisters also discussed their life philosophies as well as their creative process.

A new Ivana Helsinki book was delivered to the exhibition directly from the printing company. The book portrays the brand’s history through 100 printed fabrics and the stories behind them.


Collaboration between the Finnish Institute in Japan and Ivana Helsinki will continue in the future with a project combining science and culture.

Ivana Helsinki 20th Anniversary Exhibition in Tokyo


The Finnish Institute in Japan is organizing the 20th anniversary exhibition of the Finnish art, fashion and lifestyle brand Ivana Helsinki. “Love Stories, Road Trips and Dresses” – 20 years of fashion and lifestyle by Ivana Helsinki  showcases the journey of Ivana Helsinki from an idea to a recognisable and internationally renowned fashion and lifestyle brand. Finnish Institute in Japan is also celebrating its 20th anniversary and focusing especially on the multitalented Finnish women as role models for the women of today.

Created by Paola and Pirjo Suhonen, Ivana Helsinki is most known for their unique, timeless and functional products. They have since broadened their fashion brand to a whole new lifestyle concept, expressing their own style and values – be it through unique collaborations, handmade rugs or private music shows.



”Love Stories, Road Trips and Dresses” – 20 years of fashion and lifestyle by Ivana Helsinki

Date: 19 – 24, September 2018

Time: 11:00AM – 8:00PM (Closure at 6:30PM on October 19th)

Open everyday & admission free

Venue: Spiral Garden (Spiral 1F)

Address: Spiral 1F, 5-6-23 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo



Ivana Helsinki: Talk event

Date: September 20 (Thursday)

Time: 6:00-8:00PM

Location: Spiral Garden (Spiral 1F)

Presenting the fascinating story of Ivana Helsinki and a panel discussion about fashion and lifestyle with Paola & Pirjo Suhonen, moderated by the Director of the Finnish Institute in Japan, Anna-Maria Wiljanen.

Limited seats, RSVP to info@finstitute.jp (by Monday September 17)


Documentary film premiere Avanto-Erkki

Time: Shown daily during the exhibition at




Location: Spiral Garden (Spiral 1F)

Avanto-Erkki, a documentary film by Paola and Pirjo Suhonen, will have its Japan premiere during the exhibition. The film focuses on the 93-year-old war veteran Erkki Makkonen enjoying his life, while preparing for the Winter Swimming World Championships in Siberia.

The duration of the film is approximately 1 hour, and it will be screened daily at 11:00AM, 3:00PM and 7:00PM during the exhibition.


Organizer: Finnish Institute in Japan

Cooperation: Ivana Helsinki

Planning support: Spiral

Venue offered by Wacoal Art Center

TelepART grant awarded to musician Petri Kumela

The Finnish Institute in Japan has granted its first TelepART mobility support to Finnish musician Petri Kumela, who is touring Japan later this autumn. Petri Kumela is one of Finland’s most sought-after classical guitarists, known on the international scene for his originality and versatility. He has released nine recordings that have all gained critical acclaim.

Guitarist Petri Kumela in Helsinki, Finland in July 2010. Photo: Saara Vuorjoki

Kumela will perform in Hiroshima, Sapporo, Tokyo and Kawasaki from October 28 to November 4. The concerts include solo recital and chamber music together with mezzo soprano Yukari Komagamine and composer Ichiro Hirano.

Click here for more information on Petri Kumela.

More information on his Japan tour dates.

The TelepART mobility support program is a funding program launched by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux in 2016. The programme is made for artists in performing arts, such as theatre, circus, music and dance. Through a rapid-access funding model the programme enables artists to quickly react to opportunities.

Apply for the TelepART here.

20th Anniversary Conference of the Finnish Institute in Japan

Tove Jansson:

Visual Artist.Writer.Landscape Enthusiast.Woman.

Photo: © Moomin Characters™


21–22 November, 2018, Tokyo

Organised by:

Finnish Institute in Japan, Tokyo


Proposals due 8 October 2018

The Moomin books are widely known in Japan, but who was the woman behind them? This interdisciplinary conference aims to concentrate on the character of the multitalented Finnish artist Tove Jansson. The proposals can, for instance, discuss the following questions: Which roles and goals did Tove Jansson have for her art and literary works? What were Tove Jansson’s views on politics? How did the different landscapes (above all, her summer cottage Klovharu in the Finnish Archipelago) affect her paintings and books? What was Tove Jansson’s creative process? What was the source of her creativity? The conference also encourages papers that focus on the identity and womanhood of Tove Jansson as well as her impact on today’s women in Japan and Finland.


Call for Papers

We invite 20-minute paper proposals that address issues and discourses arising out of the four subtitles of this conference, which are:

  • Tove Jansson as a visual artist
  • Tove Jansson as a writer
  • Tove Jansson and womanhood
  • The importance of landscape in Tove Jansson’s art

Papers will be peer-reviewed for inclusion in panels. The participation fee will be waived for selected papers. Kindly send your 250-word abstract at the latest on 8 October 2018 to:



Panel Proposals

We also welcome proposals for additional panels, consisting of three to four papers, which develop or expand on the themes of the conference. Kindly send your 250-word panel description, as well as a 250-word paper abstract for each speaker, at the latest on 8 October 2018 to:



Conference Details

Date:                           21–22 November 2018

Venue:                         Meiji-Kinenkan, Tokyo, Japan

Attendance Fee:          JPY 2,000 and JPY 1,000 (for students) 


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Pasi Järvinen elected as the new Project Manager of the Finnish Institute in Japan

The Foundation of the Finnish Institute in Japan has elected Bachelor of Arts Pasi Järvinen as the Project Manager of the Finnish Institute in Japan for a three-year period starting on 1 October 2018. The Project Manager is responsible for planning and coordinating the events and activities of the institute. The institute is located in Tokyo.

Photo by Pasi Järvinen

Järvinen has previously worked as the Managing Director of the Friends of Ateneum. He also has work experience in international organizations and advocacy work.

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 education, and it also helps potential partners to find each other between Finland and Japan, as well as Eastern Asia on a wider level.

The Finnish Institute in Japan is looking forward to eventful three years. This year will mark 20 years since the founding of the institute. In 2019, the institute will take part of the celebration of 100 years of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan, and, in 2020, 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, (anna-maria.wiljanen@finstitute.jp, tel. +81 80 4069 7846).

Professor Timo Honkela presents the Peace Machine Concept in a 2-day seminar in Tokyo

What if we allowed a computer to listen to everything we say and read everything we write, and then to analyse the material? According to Timo Honkela, Professor of Research into Digital Information at the University of Helsinki, this could offer a chance for an unprecedented level of understanding – and even world peace.

Honkela’s vision leans on machine learning. While listening to a person and reading her texts, the machine would learn the individual and context dependent meaning that the person give to words and concepts. If machines were to analyse everyone’s way of using language, it would be easy to detect conflicts in meaning. This would essentially reduce misunderstandings and help avoid arguments over the meaning of an agreement. It could also reduce conflicts. In fact, Honkela has named his idea the peace machine with elements related to communication, emotions and society.

Professor Timo Honkela (Photo: en.wikipedia.org)



Professor Timo Honkela will discuss about his Peace Machine Concept together with Professor Shugo Nakamura, INIAD Toyo University. The event will be followed by a reception.

Date & time: Tuesday 19 June, 3:00-5:00 P.M.
Place: Embassy of Finland, 3 Chome−5−39, Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Capacity: First-arrived 70 applications (Free admission, reservation required)
Registration: info@finstitute.jp by June 13, 2018.


Professor Timo Honkela will give a lecture about his book “Peace Machine”.

Date & time: Wednesday 20 June, 3:30-5:30 P.M.
Place: INIAD Toyo University, Akabane Campus, INIAD HALL (Akabanedai 1-7-11, Kita-ku, Tokyo)
Capacity: Free admission, reservation required.
Registration: info@finstitute.jp by June 13, 2018.


Organised by: Finnish Institute in Japan

Supported by: INIAD Toyo University, Embassy of Finland, Tokyo, Business Finland, Tokyo