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) 


Download PDF version

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, (, 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:



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: 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: by June 13, 2018.


Organised by: Finnish Institute in Japan

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



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.