Culture

This Week in Japan, July 3-9, 2017

Every Monday we serve top picks for this week’s events in Japan. To list your event, contact the editor of GaijinPot.

By 5 min read

From Southeast Asian art to Japanese skacore to glowing soda, there’s something for everyone this week in Japan! If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.

Monday: Himalayan secrets

The Bhutan Exhibition: A Hint to Happiness

The Himalayan kingdom Bhutan is famous as a country that measures Gross National Happiness. Now there’s a chance to try to understand why its citizens rank so highly. Some of it may have to do with its fierce protectiveness of ancient traditions, including forms of creative expression that have remained largely unchanged for centuries. This exhibition presents approximately 130 precious artworks from Bhutan in three parts: popularity of the Bhutani royal family, Buddhism in Bhutan and lifestyles in Bhutan. Don’t miss this opportunity to view rare pieces on display in Japan for the first time.

When & Where
July 3-Sep 3
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe - Map
¥1,400
More Info

Tuesday: Southeast Asian currents

Sunshower: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia 1980s to Now

With its total population counting around 600 million, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-faith Southeast Asia has nurtured a truly dynamic and diverse culture. Contemporary art from the emerging economic powerhouse of Southeast Asia is currently earning widespread international attention. The “sunshower” – rain falling from clear skies – is an intriguing yet frequently-seen meteorological phenomenon in Southeast Asia and serves as a metaphor for the vicissitudes of the region. This exhibition, the largest-ever in scale, seeks to explore the many practices of contemporary art there since 1980s from nine different perspectives. It aims to showcase the dynamism of Southeast Asia that is somewhat nostalgic yet extraordinarily new.

When & Where
July 4-Oct 23
10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo - Map
¥1,800
More Info

Wednesday: Aussie punk

Ausmuteants

Australia's Ausmuteants front a night of punk and mosh at the Shimokitazawa club Basement Bar. Website Pitchfork says the quartet, “aren't making politically militant or socially conscious songs — they're delinquents indulging in low-hanging fruit, writing about stepping in shit and pissing your pants. Their new record, “Amusements,” offers 12 tracks of ripping, captivating, fun synth-punk.”

When & Where
July 5
8 p.m.
Basement Bar, Tokyo - Map
¥2,500
More Info

Thursday: Mosh yourself silly

Scafull King

Active since 1990, but now celebrating 20 years since their first album, Scafull King are one of Japan’s longest-lived and most enjoyable bands mining the Jamaican ska revolution. Fronted by vocalist and trumpeter Syuta-Low ”TGMX" Tagami, they come from the second generation of ska-core pioneered in the States by the likes of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and never fail to “lively up” the crowd.

When & Where
July 6
7:30 p.m.
Studio Coast, Tokyo - Map
¥4,300
More Info

Friday: Poetic prayers

Tanabata Giant Calligraphy Ritual

The Tanabata festival celebrates star-crossed lovers, but it’s also a time when Japanese celebrate by writing down wishes — sometimes in the form of poetry called “tanzaku.” At Hakozakigu Shrine in Fukuoka, priests engage in a giant calligraphy performance. Using a massive brush, characters are drawn on Japanese paper measuring three-meters long and weighing eight kilos. Local celebrities also write a collective dedication for children’s growth and happiness.

When & Where
July 7
4-6 p.m.
Hakozakigu Shrine, Fukuoka - Map
Free
More Info

Saturday: Beats ’n’ guitars

Room

Room is a mini, all-night festival that combines a live music “room” (club Sunhall) with a DJ space (club Joule). Fronting the lineup from abroad is legendary French house DJ Dimitri From Paris. With over two decades under his belt, Dimitri mines the kitschier end of house and disco with a true crate-diggers’ respect. He’ll be backed by a slew of domestic DJs and bands.

When & Where
July 8
9 p.m.
Joule, Osaka - Map
¥3,500 (Joule only), ¥6,000 (Joule & Sunhall)
More Info

Sunday: Asian flava

Pika Pika Soda Pop-Up Shop

“Pika pika” is an onomatopoeic word for the glow of a lightbulb. Pika Pika Soda is a kind of colorful drink served in a lightbulb-shaped vessel, and it’s apparently all the rage on Asian social networks. For a limited time, Marui in Shibuya is hosting a pop-up shop where you can come to grips with the latest fad to pulse through the continent’s fickle youth.

When & Where
July 9
11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Marui Shibuya, Tokyo - Map
Free
More Info

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