Our Aim

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation seeks to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between the UK and Japan through financial support for activities in a number of fields, from Arts and Culture to Humanities and Social Issues, from Japanese Language and Sport and Education, from Science and Technology to Medicine and Health.

The Foundation’s Head Office is in London and there is a Liaison Office in Tokyo.

The London office has three annual deadlines for their awards, and the Tokyo office has two annual deadlines. For further details on our grants, please click here.

The next deadline for applications to our UK office, including our annual Butterfield Awards in Medicine and Health,
is 15th December 2021 for consideration in March 2022.

The next deadline for applications to our Japan office is 30th September 2021 for consideration in October 2021.


  • Tōhoku: Ten Years On

On 11th March 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami devastated the Tōhoku region, as well as leading to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. A decade later, we remember the thousands of lives lost and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected. The Japan Society has compiled a list of events taking place to commemorate the disaster. Also, The Fukushima Youth Sinfonietta has released a video reflecting on their experiences of the tragic events and how music and international concert performances with Keys of Change have helped them since.

  • Change of CEO

Message from Brendan Griggs, CEO until November 2020

It has been a pleasure and a great privilege to have led the Foundation over the past four and a half years. I am most grateful to all our partners and friends for their support and encouragement in recent years: it has been truly inspiring to work with you all in making such a significant contribution to the Japan-UK relationship. I am delighted that the Board of Trustees has appointed Jenny White as my successor. Jenny comes to us with a range of experience in cultural relations from her time with the British Council (including a lengthy period in Japan). She has a strong interest in Japanese contemporary culture, as well as in sustainability and innovation. I am confident that she will make a significant contribution to the development of the Foundation’s work in the coming years.

CEO Jenny White writes:

I am delighted and honoured to be joining the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and continuing the excellent work of my predecessor. This is truly an international organisation, supporting and celebrating what can be achieved when people connect and share culture and ideas. I am very much looking forward to working with my colleagues, our Trustees and partners to develop these connections to make a real difference in UK-Japan relations and help find solutions to some of the many global challenges we face today.

Recently Funded

  • ‘Leiko Ikemura: Usagi in Wonderland’ presents a selection of paintings, sculptures, drawings and photography by the Japanese-Swiss artist in her first UK exhibition, the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, 18th July – 12th December 2021.
  • House of the Setting Sun is a programme of events by Lakeland Arts, Cumbria, celebrating artistic exchange between Britain and Japan, including an exhibition ‘The Lure of the Floating World: Japan and its enduring influence’, 18th May – 10th October 2021.
  • VAMOS NIPPON!, is the fourth instalment of the Naughton Gallery’s sports exhibition series, at Queen’s University Belfast, specially programmed to coincide with the Tokyo Summer Olympics, offering an insight into Japanese sports and culture, 20th July – 29th August 2021.
  • A major exhibition ‘Tokyo: Art and Photography’ at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, explores Tokyo through the varied and vibrant arts it has generated over 400 years, 29th July 2021 – 3rd January 2022.
  • Dundee Contemporary Arts presents the first exihibition in Scotland by Chikako Yamashiro – ‘Chinbin Western’, whose work spans performance, filmmaking and photography, focused on stories from overlooked or unheard voices, 21st August – 21st November 2021.
  • Fabula Collective presents HUMAN., a choreographic triple bill inspired by the stories of William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and Oscar Wilde, premiering at The Pit, New National Theatre, Tokyo, 28th and 29th August 2021.
  • Drawing Room in London presents FIGURE/S: drawing after Bellmer, an exhibition exploring the influence of Hans Bellmer on modern and contemporary artists, including Japanese works by Fuyuko Matsui, Kumi Machida and Tabaimo, 9th September – 31st October 2021.
  • An exhibition celebrating Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988), one of the most experimental and pioneering artists of the 20th century, is at the Barbican Centre, London, 30th September 2021 – 2nd January 2022.
  • Queer East Film Festival runs from 15th to 26th September 2021 in cinemas across London, including a focus on Japanese cinema, with new and classic movies being screened.
  • The British Museum presents ‘Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything, a collection of rare drawings by the artist for an illustrated encyclopedia that was never published, now gathered together in a book and exhibition, 30th September 2021 – 30th January 2022.
  • A festival celebrating Japan at Kew Gardens, featuring artistic displays and a programme bursting full of cultural activities, runs 2nd – 31st October 2021.
  • Japan: Courts and Culture for the first time brings together highlights from the Royal Collection of the exchanges between British and Japanese royal and imperial families in a forthcoming exhibition expected to open in Spring 2022 at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.

More information on projects funded by the Foundation can be found in our Annual Reports.

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation is not responsible for the content of external websites.

The Japan-UK Season of Culture is a series of wide-ranging activities to celebrate and encourage relations between the two countries.
Please click the logo below to find out more.