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One year on: Ceremony held to commemorate the Great Eastern Japan earthquake and tsunami

japanese ceremony image roof garden

6 March 2012

A ceremony was held at SOAS on 6 March to mark the first anniversary of Japan's earthquake and tsunami, which devastated much of the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan on 11 March 2011.

The ceremony was held in the Brunei Gallery Japanese Roof Garden and was organised by the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and SOAS Japan Research Centre.

Camden's Deputy Mayor Councillor Heather Johnson joined special guests to mark the occasion. The ceremony was also attended by SOAS Director, Professor Paul Webley, Minister Hiroshi Suzuki from the Embassy of Japan and representatives from the Japan Society, along with academic colleagues from SOAS.  After brief speeches, a minute's silence was observed.

Dr Angus Lockyer, Department of History, said, “Much has been said in the year since the terrible events in northeastern Japan and much remains to be said.  But an anniversary also calls for some space and time to reflect.”

japanese ceremony image roof garden

Special guests gather to mark the first anniversary of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

The Brunei Gallery has three exhibitions running which relate to Japan, with two addressing the disaster.  The first, Tohoku: Images of a Disaster, a collection of photographs by Japanese and international photographers, is a collaboration between Zen Foto in Tokyo, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, and SOAS, with support from the Embassy of Japan in the UK and the Japan Society.  The second, One Thousand Pots, One Thousand Thoughts, by Yozo Hirayama, is in the roof garden itself.

“We are grateful to the artists and curators who brought the space in the Brunei into being and to all of those who shared their time with us,” Lockyer added.

Visit the Brunei Galley website.