London’s liveliest Japanese Social
Bunkasai Club is a Japanese and English language exchange group that meets every Wednesday in London.
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.
Established as a friendly and informal social event, Bunkasai has attracted a wide variety of people from many different backgrounds and nationalities.
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.
Bunkasai is affiliated with Aid For Japan, the charity that Akemi Solloway founded back in 2011 in response to the tragic earthquake/tsunami that struck Japan’s east coast on the 11th March 2011. As well as the loss of life that this devastating event resulted in, hundreds of children also lost their parents and families.
Aid For Japan was founded by Akemi to support the orphans of this tragedy. Each year, Aid For Japan also stages a summer residential course in Japan designed to provide a wide range of activities for the orphans. The charity also regularly invites the orphans to the UK. Read more about the charity’s work at www.aidforjapan.co.uk.
We ask that attendees make a £1 contribution to Aid For Japan when they arrive at a Bunkasai event as part of the support for the charity.
Bunkasai enjoys a central London location for its socials in the heart of Soho (easily accessible between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road tube stations). The George’s friendly staff are always on hand to help and provide a wide range of beers, craft ales, wine and soft drinks for those attending.
The upstairs function room at The George has become a lively hub of activity for those interested in exploring their English/Japanese language skills. You can find details about the events through our links on Facebook, Twitter, MeetUp and Instagram.
We look forward to seeing you at the next Bunkasai Club event!