General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that applies as of May 25, 2018.

The Finnish Institute in Japan wants to offer current information of the Institute´s activities and events to all its audiences. To enable this kind of communication we need, among others, e-mail addresses.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the EU will apply as of May 25th 2018. The Finnish Institute in Japan will review its own privacy practices and comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Law to increase transparency. In the future, the Institute will also strive to clearly state its data protection policy when it comes to

  • Why and how personal data is collected?
  • To what purpose personal information is used for?
  • How personal data is distributed?
  • How personal data is stored and protected?

Furthermore, we tell who is responsible for collecting and managing personal data. We also highlight the rights of the public regarding data protection and the legal grounds for the processing of personal data.

You find more information about the Finnish Institute in Japan´s privacy policy and the applied changes to it here.

The Institute’s first monthly knitting club was a success!

On May 21st, the Finnish Institute in Japan held its first monthly knitting club “Ompeluseura”. “Ompeluseura” is a Finnish word, referring to women who regularly gather to knit or sew together. The purpose of this new event is to inspire and empower women in Japan by creating a comfortable space for socializing. At each gathering, a short presentation of an influential Finnish woman is given. This time, director Anna-Maria Wiljanen highlighted the life of Finnish art collector and co-founder of Artek, Maire Gullichsen (1907-1990).

The event sparked a lot of interest, collecting a room full of eager knitters. Each participant was provided with yarn and needles from Finland. The task for the day, was to start knitting socks. There were both newcomers and more experienced knitters, but the Institute’s experienced knitter, director Anna-Maria, made sure that no one was left behind.


Read more about the knitting club in general HERE

The next knitting club gathering will be June 11th, please register in advance at



The Finnish Institute in Japan’s TelepART funding programme helps emerging performing artists showcase their work internationally. The rapid-access style funding is designed to support the expenses for Finnish artists travelling to Japan or Japanese artists travelling to Finland. The Finnish Institute in Japan promotes artistic collaboration between Finland and Japan. TelepART funding will help Finland’s most exciting new performing artists to break into the international scene. The funding is designed especially for emerging talent in performing arts (theatre, circus, music and dance).

The programme enables artists to react quickly to opportunities due to its new rapid-access funding. Grants will only be considered for projects where the organiser, performer and their representatives are committed to the production. Applicants must be able to demonstrate high artistic value, the production must be a collaboration between at least two countries and the performer(s) must receive reasonable compensation for their work. TelepART funding is open for applications throughout the year.

The Finnish Institute in Japan makes the grant decisions with the expert performing arts organisations Music Finland, Dance Info Finland, TINFO and CircusInfo Finland. Applications will be processed within two weeks.

TelepART was launched by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux in 2016.

The project is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Wihuri Foundation and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.


Apply for TelepART funding HERE.

More information: telepart(at)



The Institute launches monthly knitting club to empower women in Japan

In the light of its 20th anniversary, The Finnish Institute in Japan is announcing a new monthly event: Ompeluseura  –  a knitting club empowering women in Japan. “Ompeluseura” is a Finnish word, referring to women who regularly gather to knit or sew together.

The knitting club is a monthly event where one can knit and socialize. The event is linked to two of the main themes during the Institute’s 20th anniversary: New openings and women’s empowerment. The event is especially catered towards women, aiming to create a safe, comfortable and empowering environment. At each monthly gathering, there will also be a short presentation of an influential Finnish woman.

In addition to women’s empowerment, the event is connected to wellbeing, as knitting has scientifically been proven to have many health benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety, depression and social isolation, lowering blood pressure, as well as improving concentration and memory.

Event info:

  • Monthly knitting club, follow our Facebook page for updates
  • Upcoming events: May 21st, June 11th, August 22nd 
  • Free event, you only need to register in advance
  • The institute provides all material, but you are also welcome to bring your own knitting equipment
  • You do not need to have previous experience in knitting

When: May 21st, 3:00-5:00 PM (register by May 18th)

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


MAX 20 participants

Woman of the month: Finnish art collector and co-founder of Artek, Maire Gullichsen (1907-1990)

The Finnish Institute in Japan is part of the Academic Institutes’ Open Research Data project

The Finnish Institute in Japan is part of a project of the Finnish Academic Institutes that focuses on the institute’s digital research material and its open sharing.

It is a two-year project (2018-2019) of the Institutes of Athens, Japan, Middle East and Rome. The project is funded partly by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland.

During the project the best ways of digitalization, digital conservation and open distribution of the research material will be surveyed. These will be used for creating fitting principles and operating models for the conservation and distribution of internationally and nationally important research material.

Every Institute realizes a pilot project, where materials and publications of the research projects are digitalized and openly published.

The aim is to stabilize the digital management of the Academic Institutes’ research material according to national and international requirements. The project reinforces the openness and internalisation of the science and research of the Institutes. Other aims are permanent partnerships with national experts, international research institutions and cultural memory organizations, attempting to find a mutual, cross-bordering solution to the digital management of research material and its long-term conservation.

The expected results are:

1. Guidelines for the principles and practices of open sharing of data collection, for research permits and digital management (conservation and use), adapted to the local conditions of the Institutes fields of study.
2. Permanent partnerships for managing and sharing research material with international research institutes and memory organizations.
3. Increase the awareness and effectiveness of the Institutes research, of Finnish research.
4. The institutes’ research becoming a part of international and national research infrastructure.
5. More visibility for the Institutes’ research in Finland and supporting citizen science by improving the accessibility of materials.

The progress is tracked by a steering group formed by a representative from every collaborating Institute and four expert members. The project is managed as a whole by the Finnish Institute in Rome and its sustaining foundation Institutum Romanum Finlandiae.

Members of the steering group:

Tuomas M. S. Lehtonen, Rome
Arja Karivieri, Rome
Paula Havaste, Athens
Vesa Vahtikari, Athens
Patricia Berg, Middle East
Anna-Maria Wiljanen, Japan
Päivi Happonen, The National Archives of Finland
Maria Niku, The Finnish Literature Society (SKS)
Jyrki Ilva, The National Library of Finland
Jyrki Hakapää, The Academy of Finland
Laura Nissin, Rome

More information:

Tuomas M. S. Lehtonen, president of the steering group

Laura Nissin, project researcher

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

The Finnish Institute in Japan and Shigaraki Ceramic Culture Park have selected Man Yau (b. 1991, Helsinki) to participate in the institute’s and SCCP’s ceramic art residency. Man Yau is a 26-year-old sculptor living and working in Helsinki. Yau has graduated from the Bachelor Degree Programme in Ceramic and Glass Design of Aalto University.

Man Yau. Photo: Emma Sarpaniemi

Yau has exhibited both solo and with other artists in Helsinki and abroad, including Paris and New York. At the moment she is working on an artistic project “Uniikki”, which will be located in Jingdezhen, China. She is also in the process of designing a series of sculptures for department store Stockmann, which will be released during Helsinki Design Week in September.

Yau has described herself as an artist whom working method is sculpting. For Yau, the most relevant aspect of her work is the physical side of sculpting and stretching the essence of the material at hand. In the process everything from the artist`s own experiences to the surrounding reality is incorporated into the work at hand. The imprints of Yau’s work is often plastique and glossy. She wants to highlight the meaning of handicraft and natural materials. At the same time Yau strives to remove every trace that could reveal the process behind the piece.

Man Yau: Planer HER-BB (2017). Galleria Sculptor.

Yau’s initial interest towards the residency program was rooted in the scale and size of works she would be able to produce in Shigaraki. Besides scale, she plans to explore the combination of different materials and use of colors in addition to taking a closer view of Japanese culture. Yayoi Kusama and Taro Izumi have been the inspiration for her through their dedication of describing the local culture and daily life.

“Ultimately, I wish that I will discover something I can’t yet even anticipate or envision, to learn and advance in a new manner, whether through working with a different size, a new working environment or the surrounding culture, or the new inspiring people I will meet during the residency”, she says.

Taking place during fall 2018, the 1,5-month residency is organized for the second time.

The 20th anniversary year of the Finnish Institute in Japan 2018

The 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Finnish Institute in Japan will be 18.11.2018. The theme of the anniversary year is New Openings, which will be made in all the fields that the institute works with: science, culture and higher education cooperation. The theme New Openings will also be included in the institute’s residency programs.

The anniversary year program focuses on interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity, the cross sections between science, art and culture, demographic developments and innovations affiliated with it as well as enhancing higher education cooperation between Finland and Japan.

A wide variety of events will be organized during the anniversary year: exhibitions, panel discussions, infos, seminars and conferences. In addition institute will establish a new alumni network.

For further details visit Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

A warm welcome to join our celebration!

OPEN CALL for the Tokyo Art & Science Research Residency in Japan

The Bioartsociety is calling for Finnish artists or artists based in Finland to apply for a one month art & science research residency in Tokyo Japan in autumn/winter 2018. The residency will be hosted by BioClub Tokyo in partnership with the Finnish Institute in Japan.

Applications are submitted online via an online form including a research plan, portfolio and CV. The submission deadline is 1st of March 2018.

The selection will be made by the board of the Bioartsociety together with BioClub Tokyo and the Finnish Institute in Japan.

The residency will cover local and international travel and accommodation costs, access to workshops and local art & science communities for one artist.

During the residency, the facilities of the BioClub Tokyo and FabCafe & FabCafeMTRL, both located in Shibuya, will be available for the artist. This includes a fully-equipped BSL1 lab, as well as a co-working space with fabrication equipment such as a laser cutter and a 3D printer. Depending on the equipment and facilities chosen by the artist, there might be some costs to be covered by her/himself. The residency will also support research visits within the wider network of BioClub Tokyo and the Finnish Institute in Japan like the metaPhorest Art & BioMedia Group at Waseda University and to the BioLab at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media.

The usage of the above mentioned facilities is not a must and we encourage artists to also apply with research ideas beyond biology and life sciences.

During the stay the selected artist will be required to write a blog on the website of the Finnish Institute in Japan and to deliver a final report of the work carried out after the residency finished.

This residency is a pilot with the aim to establish an ongoing exchange of artists between Finland and Japan working within the art & science field.

For further questions, please, contact Pirtta Puhto at

The Bioartsociety is developing, producing and facilitating activities around art and natural sciences, with an emphasis on biology, ecology and life sciences. Since 2010 it runs the Ars Bioartica art & science residency program at the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki.

The BioClub Tokyo is a Community Bio Space in Shibuya. It was started in 2015 by Georg Tremmel and Shiho Fukuhara and is supported by Loftwork and co-located with the FabCafe MTRL space. The BioClub organises weekly meetings, a range of entry-level hand-on courses and aims to create a playful, yet critical approach to the emerging biotechnologies and their impact on society.

Artists’ Kalevala in Japan and Kerava

Artists’ Kalevala in Japan –project introduces Finnish folklore through modern art from a Japanese perspective. The aim of the project is to promote mutual cultural understanding and artistic cooperation between Finland and Japan, as well as to broaden the way we interpret mythology and folklore. The project is organized together with Kalevalaseura as a part of a larger Artists’ Kalevala -project.

The project began in 2016, when Japanese contemporary artists Kotobuki Shiriagari, Yuji Ohta, Ayumi Tanaka, Tomoko Konoike and Hideki Iinuma as well as the curator of the exhibition Kenji Kubota visited Finland to familiarize themselves with the Finnish national epic Kalevala, Finnish art and culture. The artist Yusuke Asai visited Finland later.

Each artist was commissioned to produce a new piece of art after the trip, based on their experiences of Finland and their interpretation of Kalevala. Their work reflect both Finnish mysticism and the Japanese way of thinking, and the story of Kalevala is told through many different mediums and genres. The exhibition brings together painting, photography, sculpting, video and installation art. Sculptor Hideki Iinuma for example depicts Kalevala’s strong female characters as modern versions, whereas Tomoko Konoike reflects on the raw human emotions and the violent nature of man in her multimedia work.

An exhibition based on the project, Universal Nature – Rediscovery of Kalevala by 6 Contemporary Japanese Artists, was organized in Sezon Art Gallery in Tokyo 6.8.-27.8.2017. In Finland the same works became part of the exhibition Echoes from the Past – Tokyo | Berlin | Kerava, which opened 26.1.2018 at Kerava art museum curated by Arja Elovirta. Besides Universal Nature, the exhibition includes works from the Artists Kalevala exhibition Do you remember produced by the Finnish institute in Germany.

The Echoes from the Past exhibition kicks off the Finnish institute’s 20th anniversary year and is open until 15.4.2018. Several events will be organized during the exhibition.

Personnel changes at the institute


PhD, M.Sc. Anna-Maria Wiljanen started as the director of the Finnish Institute in Japan on 1st of January 2018. Wiljanen completed her doctoral thesis in art history at the University of Helsinki in 2014. She has extensive networks and diverse experience from marketing and communications in both the field of culture and the world of business. Wiljanen has previously worked as the Executive Director of the UPM-Kymmene Cultural Foundation and Communications Manager and Development Manager at the Finnish National Gallery.

MA Suvi Laakso started as the new project manager of the institute on 15th of January 2018. Laakso has a diverse experience from the Finnish cultural and academic institutes. She has previously worked, for example, as a coordinator for the Finnish institute in Middle East.

The institute’s new interns are FM Ella Karman (started on 1st of February 2018) and FM Katja Sjöström (started on 5th of February 2018).