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Japan Institute Lectures

Ties Over Time: Royal Relations Between Japan and Britain

The Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden is hosting an in-person lecture from Jason James, Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation in London, England. One of the United Kingdom’s foremost experts of Japanese culture and its unique relationship with the West, James will offer an intriguing insight into the socioeconomic evolution of Japan through a comparative examination of the royal families of both Japan and the U.K. James will also share the unique cultural relationships that have evolved over time between two of the most famous royal families in the world.

Time and Details:

This lecture is in-person.

Wednesday, Sep 7, 2022

Location: Portland Japanese Garden’s Yanai Classroom in the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center.

Ticket prices (Garden admission is included in ticket price):

  • $25 General Public
  • $20 Members of Portland Japanese Garden
  • $12.50 Students under 25 with valid ID

About the Lecture: Ties Over Time: Royal Relations Between Japan and Britain

This lecture will answer questions such as:

  • How does the Japanese Imperial Family compare with the British Royal Family?
  • How did Japan navigate Westernization after the conclusion of more than two centuries of isolation in 1850?
  • What role did the Emperor and the Imperial Family play in shaping the way of life in Japan?

James will also explore the lesser-known history behind the large-scale export of Japanese antiquities to the U.S. and U.K. and how the 1868 restoration of Emperor Meiji as Japan’s Head of State adopted many aspects of the British model, leading to a greater friendship between the two nations and molding the foundation of American and Japanese friendship today.

About the Speaker, Jason James

Having been fascinated by Japan on a choir tour at the age of 13, Jason James chose to enroll in Japanese studies at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was a double scholar (academic and choral), graduating First Class with Distinction in 1987. James’ interest in Japan is broad, covering the economy, financial markets and tax, as well as Japanese literature and arts.

Before assuming his current position as Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Foundation in 2011, James held numerous positions in the financial sector, mostly specializing in Japanese equities, as well as cultural sector. From 2007-2011, James was Director of the British Council in Tokyo, during which time he also served as Chair of the European Union National Institutes of Culture Japan cluster, Board Member of the Japan-British Society, and Board Member of United World Colleges Japan.

This program is brought to you by the Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden.


Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center

The Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center was designed to be the cultural, educational, and architectural hub of the new Cultural Village. “With a new classroom, library, and performance space, the Learning Center provides an open and welcoming space where visitors can learn more about the culture that gave us the Japanese garden art form,”