Activities Supported

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation accepts applications for UK-Japan relations and exchange in the fields of: Arts and Culture; Humanities and Social Issues; Japanese Language; Medicine and Health; Science, Technology and Environment; Sport; Youth and Education. A full list of awards given each year can be found in our Annual Reports. Some projects supported recently include:

Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Kansai Yamamoto
A grant from our Tokyo office supported the ‘Fashion in Motion: Kansai Yamamoto’ event at the Victoria and Albert Museum, at which archive and specially made pieces from across designer Yamamoto’s four-decade career were on show.
  Embryos of Japanese pufferfish. Photo: Dr Gareth Fraser
Our grant helped fund a research project between Sheffield University and Japan’s Misaki Marine Biological Station on the Japanese pufferfish. The team examined how their biological tooth replacement process operated and to apply their findings to advance the treatment of tooth loss in humans.
  Installation view of Yokohama Triennale 2014
Michael LANDY, Art Bin, 2010/2014
Photo: KATO Ken
A grant from our Tokyo office helped the Yokohama Triennale 2014 to display the British artist, Michael Landy’s ‘Art Bin’, a giant container for the disposal of failed artworks.

Junior members of the Kodokan Kendo Club demonstrate their skills at the Atsugi International Kendo Festival.
Photo: Atsugi Kendo Federation
The Foundation has helped UK kendo teams at both local and national level to participate in festivals and championships in Japan and to compete with and learn from practitioners there.
  Photo: Alastair Macdonald
A Butterfield Award collaboration between Glasgow School of Art and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University researched ways in which the quality of life for the elderly might be improved through person-centric design and technological interventions, such as this car accommodating wheelchair users.
  Photo: Clifton Scientific Trust
The Clifton Scientific Trust has been running its UK-Japan Young Scientist Workshop Programme since 2001 and the Foundation has given the initiative regular support, with school students from the UK and Japan taking part in joint science and engineering workshops.

Ryoichi Kurokawa, unfold, 2016. Photo: Brian Slater
A grant was awarded to FACT in Liverpool for the first UK survey of Japanese audio-visual artist Ryoichi Kurokawa in his largest exhibition to date. It included a new commission, exploring the birth and evolution of stars using data provided by astrophysicists, as well as a live performance, a talk event with the artist, and a range of workshops and screenings.
  Miyakobashi, Yokohama. Matthew Walker, 2015
We awarded a grant to the University of Manchester to enable graduate students to conduct research on sociospatial transformation using the Miyakobashi Shopping Centre in Yokohama, completed in 1964 to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics, as its example.
  Conducting a radiometric survey at the Fukushima Prefecture Fruit Tree Research Institute.
Photo: Professor David Sanderson
A grant to the British Cartographic Society enabled it to hold a series of post-disaster scenario workshops, 'Restless Earth', in schools across the UK based on the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. And following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, we supported visits by the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre to key Japanese institutions and sites.

Back to Top

Other Programmes

As well as our regular awards and Butterfield Awards programmes, we also initiate our own projects. These currently include:


  The Japan Experience Study Tour group from the Whitehaven Academy, at Kiyomizu-dera with their guide, a resident Buddhist monk.

Our annual Japan Experience Study Tour was launched in 2002 to give UK sixth formers a direct experience of Japanese culture and society. The students stay with Japanese families, spend the day at a local high school, visit an old people’s home, interact with the latest technology, listen to a talk from an A-bomb survivor in Hiroshima, and tour a temple in Kyoto with a Buddhist monk. The Tour gives them the opportunity to compare and contrast a very different culture to their own, challenging their most fundamental perspectives, while building confidence and self-reliance.


  SOAS PhD student Lois Barnett addresses the audience for a reception to celebrate the Studentship Programme, held at the Embassy of Japan.

The Nippon Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation launched the Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship Programme in 2014, a five-year grant programme under which the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation is providing further support to the development of Japanese Studies in the UK, offering up to 30 postgraduate studentships (each worth £10,000) per year. As well as the Studentship Programme, limited travel grants of £1,000 are also given to PhD students wishing to conduct fieldwork and research in Japan.

The UK-Japan Global Seminar Series

  His Excellency Keiichi Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, gives the opening address to the UK-Japan Global Seminar, with Tatsuya Tanami, Executive Director, The Nippon Foundation, and Dr Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House.
Photo: © Matt Link/Chatham House

Held in partnership with Chatham House and funded by The Nippon Foundation, the five-year UK-Japan Global Seminar Series was launched in London in 2013. The project is examining the extent to which both countries are adapting to a changing world and how they might better work together in confronting a number of critical global challenges.

Back to Top