Bunkasai Club celebrated its 8th birthday this year. This marks 8 years of encouraging English/Japanese cultural exchanges between a wide variety of attendees.
Formed in 2011 by Akemi Solloway Tanaka, Bunkasai was originally envisioned as a Japanese cultural event. The first event took place at Conway Hall, London in March that year and was seen as the spiritual successor to the Japanese Art Festival (a successful Japanese cultural event organised by Akemi which had been staged annually in London for several years).
The English/Japanese language exchange meetings grew out of that event as a side project. Bunkasai has moved around many different locations, starting with its first event at The Rose pub in Fulham. The event later moved to Waterstones in Piccadilly and also the Slug & Lettuce in Hanover Street before moving to its current location at The George in Soho.
Over the years, Bunkasai has also staged other events for people with an interest in Japanese culture. This includes manga classes, origami sessions, Japanese language tasters, J-Pop Christmas parties and Hanami (cherry blossom) picnics.
Let’s hope that the next 8 years bring even more people together!