Japan Meets Italy: Networking aperitivo - 1st edition

Here we are with a new event organized by Japan Italy Bridge, we are talking about "Japan Meets Italy: networking aperitivo".

As you well know by now, the purpose of Japan Italy Bridge is to bring together and promote Japanese companies in Italy and vice versa. Through digital marketing, the creation of websites and the management of events, we aim to help Japanese companies to promote themselves on the Italian and European territory and vice versa.

After talking to various realities in the area, we noticed a lack of chances to create new connections between the various companies. For this reason, we decided to create "Japan Meets Italy: networking aperitivo", a recurring appointment to give the Japanese companies in the area the opportunity to make themselves known, create new connections and spend pleasant time together.

On January 30, 2020, we invited 30 companies on the Italian territory to join us for an evening of sharing. The first meeting held in TENOHA Milano found great success among the participants. A moment not only of joy and light-heartedness but also a beautiful occasion where the participating companies were able to create new connections. A networking evening where Japan met Italy to strengthen this friendship that has lasted for more than 150 years and to create even stronger partnerships between the companies of the two countries.

Some of the participating companies shared updates and presentations of ongoing projects in order to generate a connection between the realities of the territory.

We want to thank all the companies and all the people that have joined us to celebrate this evening. Japan Meets Italy will return in the spring with a brand new edition and many other opportunities to meet and connect with each other.

For more information and to participate in the next edition: angela@japanitalybridge.com
Photographer: Alberto Moro



Hidetoshi Nagasawa at Palazzo Reale in Naples - "Under the sky and above the earth"

The connections between Japan and Italy are increasingly present on our territory and the exhibition by Hidetoshi Nagasawa at the Royal Palace of Naples is proof of this.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

"Under the sky and above the earth" is the name of Hidetoshi Nagasawa's exhibition at the Royal Palace of Naples until 10 March 2020. However, before going into the heart of the exhibition, let's briefly see who the artist is.

Who is Hidetoshi Nagasawa

Nagasawa was born in 1940 in a small village in Manchuria where his father served as a medical officer of the imperial army. Following the invasion by the Soviet Union, the family was forced to abruptly leave the country. The theme of the trip will deeply mark the heart of the artist and a large part of his artistic production.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

The great journey

At the age of twenty-six, married for only six months, he decided to quit his career as an architect to devote himself exclusively to the artistic activity. So he left Japan with only five hundred dollars and a bicycle. The bicycle trip lasted a year and a half and led him to visit most of the countries of the Asian continent to reach Turkey. However, as he was about to return, listening to a Mozart opera on the radio prompted him to continue his journey. So he left on a ferry that would take him to Greece and, from there, with his bicycle, he arrived in Brindisi.

Once arrived in Italy, Hidetoshi Nagasawa visited Naples, Rome, Florence, Genoa, and Milan. Here, just like from the title of the famous movie, they stole his bicycle and so he decided to stop in August 1967.

The artistic evolution

Hidetoshi's first exhibition dates back to 1969 at the Sincron Gallery in Brescia. The production of this period is linked to conceptualism. These are verbal games engraved on metal plates, "actions" in the Lombard countryside and videos.

Since 1972 he has dedicated himself to sculpture and creates demanding works with the use mainly of gold, marble, and bronze. It is precisely in this period that Nagasawa's language takes on a precise physiognomy and originality. In fact, his style is characterized by the fusion of mythical and religious elements in a continuous dialogue between Eastern and Western culture.

In the eighties he began to create environments, operating on the border between sculpture and architecture. Here he decides to experiment with the creation of "anti-gravity" works and these works represent the focus of his research.

The garden became a predominant element in the nineties. Starting from the Zen gardens of the Japanese tradition, Hidetoshi Nagasawa arrives at a hybrid result. In fact, once again a continuous elaboration and personal reflection are born. We can, in fact, say that the themes at the center of research and the creation of "places" are the fence and the passage. The garden is no longer a simple landscape or architectural element but becomes a real living organism.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa: Under the sky and above the earth

With his innumerable journeys, Nagasawa came into contact with various cultures all different from each other. "To understand a culture, you always need another" he said in one of his last interviews and this seems to be the most effective quote for the exhibition at the Royal Palace of Naples, curated by Anna Imponente.

Created in collaboration with the CAMUSAC-Cassino Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art in Cassino, directed by Bruno Corà, with the valuable contribution of Ryoma Nagasawa, the exhibition focuses on a series of large sculptures.

In fact, in the court of honor we find the majestic "Well in the sky", 1995-2014 (200x1000x1000 cm). Boat, 1983-1988 (60x350x80 cm) of brass and paper clings to the walls of the monumental access staircase. Il Groviglio di quanta, 2014 (525x40x40 cm) and Matteo Ricci, 2010 (50x360x360 cm), composed of eight Carrara marble and steel elements lying on the ground are works in which iron and marble create a game of seemingly vacillating joints.

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

However, the beauties of Hidetoshi Nagasawa do not end there. In fact, we also find a selection of graphic works in wax and charcoal. These works configure galaxies and landscapes and echo the idea of a delimited and concluded space typical of oriental gardens.

"Nagasawa's installations lowered into the rational architecture of the late Mannerist geometric forms of Palazzo Reale," says Anna Imponente, "express, in opposition, the aesthetic and philosophical concept of the "Ma", the interval of the "empty" space between multiple elements structural, in indefinite and suspended positions ".

Hidetoshi Nagasawa

If in these last winter weekends you don't know what to do, we suggest you make a small stop in Naples and enjoy this exhibition in all its beauty and grandeur.

Details on the exhibition

When: From 10 December 2019 to 10 March 2020
Hours: Thursday to Tuesday 9: 00-20: 00 (last admission 19.00); Wednesday closed.
Where: Royal Palace Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples
Ticket price: Royal Palace and exhibition € 6 - Reductions and gratuity according to current legislation
Contact and information: polomusealecampania.beniculturali.it

Source: napolidavivere.it

TENOHA &| TASTE: it's Setsubun time

Spring is approaching and with the beginning of the lunar year the Setsubun also returns to TENOHA Milano.

Setsubun Setsubun TENOHA Milano

Stetsubun is a very important occasion, considered as important as "new year's eve" in Japan. With the start of the lunar new year, this anniversary purifies the evil of the previous year and chases away the evil spirits of the new one. The term Setsubun derives from change (bun) and season (setsu). The ritual of purification from evil is called Mamemaki and consists of throwing soybeans against Toshi Otoko (年男, man of the year), the man of the family born under the zodiac sign of the incoming lunar year or in his absence the oldest family member in the house. He will be the one to wear a demon mask and have soybeans thrown at him while shouting "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" or "Demons go out! Good luck come inside!". The children then collect the beans and eat one for each year of their age.

Setsubun can be celebrated in TENOHA Milano this year too! There will be an aperitif full of unique and special contents! Would you like to know more?

Each person will have the chance to eat a whole roll of Ehomaki (one roll is about 20 cm) facing the direction of luck which is different each year and depends on the zodiac sign of the new year. The Ehomaki contain ingredients of seven different colours that represent the seven deities of society. If you can eat all the Ehomaki roll according to the rules, you will have a very lucky year! In this case, you will have a very lucky year of the Mouse. Are you ready to try?


The Setsubun is the ideal time for those who want to live a different experience together with your friends and loved ones, feeling in Japan without taking the plane. As you well know, TENOHA Milano often gives you this possibility. Renew your energies, do it in joy and with determination! It will be the talisman against all evil that will allow you to live the new year in a very Japanese way!

Details for the Setsubun aperitif event

When: from 31 January to 3 February from 18:00 to 20:30
Where: TENOHA &| TASTE, Via Vigevano 10, 20144 Milano
Cost: 12€ aperitivo

* buffet + Ehomaki + drink
* Powered by ASAHI

Further information: tenoha.it

Photo credits: ilikemilano.com

The year of the Rat in Milan with Cathay Pacific

2020 is the beginning of a new decade but also the beginning of a new cycle of the lunar calendar, we have in fact entered the year of the Rat and in Milan, Cathay Pacific celebrates it as well. From 24 to 30 January, Corso Como will host a large scenography installation to celebrate a happy Year of the Rat together.

Cathay Pacific  Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based airline, has strengthened its grip on the route to Japan in recent years. Here in Milan, for the second consecutive year, the airline has been celebrating this important anniversary in a truly unique and special way.

In conjunction with the celebrations for the Chinese New Year, an ambient media will enliven the city of Milan from 24 to 30 January, inviting the public to be teased by the exclusive offers from Cathay Pacific.

A large mouse-shaped scenographic installation, over 2 meters high, will be located in Corso Como at the corner with Viale Pasubio. A week of celebrations in the city, attracting the attention of adults and children of the Asian community and beyond. On this occasion, it will also be possible to discover Cathay Pacific'sl the new offers and destinations towards Asia, to fly in comfort, absolutely not to be missed!

The hashtag #DecollaColTopo will allow you to share your photos on social networks with the cute mouse signed by Cathay Pacific. We are waiting for you there!

Tokyo 2020, everything you need to know about the Olympics

The new year has finally arrived and there are only a few months to go before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 Tokyo 2020

The Olympics are always a time when the whole world comes together. It is the moment when we all become experts in fencing, discus throwing and weight throwing. In the end, the whole world is like a small town, but the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are shaping up to be a breathtaking show.

All the details on Tokyo 2020

Less than a year after opening, the first official news and programs begin to come out. The opening ceremony will be held on July 24, 2020, and the closing ceremony on August 9, while the Paralympics will take place from August 25 to September 6 of the same year. You can find a complete program of all competitions on the official website.

Tokyo 2020 Olimpiadi 2020

Where the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will take place

For this occasion, Tokyo has prepared more than 40 places and buildings around the city. The last summer games hosted in this city date back to 1964, the first Olympics in Asia. However, the capital of the rising sun has twice hosted the winter Olympics, in 1972 and 1998.

The logo

Throughout history, the checkered pattern has become very popular in several countries and for various reasons. In Japan, this formally became known as "ichimatsu moyo" in the Edo period (1603-1867). This checkered design in the traditional Japanese colour of indigo blue expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.

Made of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of "unity in diversity". It also expresses that the Olympic and Paralympic Games seek to promote diversity as a platform for connecting the world.

Olimpiadi tokyo Tokyo 2020

Where to find tickets for Tokyo 2020

At the moment, unfortunately, and as expected, the tickets are all sold out. However, a new wave of tickets will be available in the spring.

The new sports

As it often happens with every Olympiad, there are also new competing specialities for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Despite missing the London and Rio edition, Baseball and Softball officially entered the competition thanks to the strong popularity in Japan. Five nations will compete with the hosts for the gold medal on the diamond field.

Tokyo 2020 Tokyo 2020

Together with these, we can also find Karate, climbing, surfing and skateboarding. In the same wave, basketball adds three-on-three tournaments for eight nations. Rugy seven will not be less, a variant involving only 7 players per side. In addition, golf returns after its debut in Rio.

The medals

Not to be overlooked are the medals that athletes will win during these 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. In fact, for this occasion, Tokyo has created a special project to make these Olympics a little greener. This special project, the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project, will have the task of collecting more than 80,000 tons of mobile phones and small electronic devices to be recycled throughout Japan. These will then serve to create the wonderful medals of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Games.


Tokyo 2020 medaglie

The project's website said over 6 million mobile phones from a two-year-long national donation were used.

Sport and technology together for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The 2020 Summer Olympics are already shaping up to be spectacular, but the surprises don't end here. Japan is famous for being at the forefront of research and development in various technological fields. In fact, during the opening ceremony, Sky Canvas, with the help of the research company ALE, will illuminate the night sky. The two companies will launch "the ingredients for a shooting star" into the atmosphere using a small satellite device.
In addition, we know that fireworks are very important in Japan and for this occasion, the city plans to create its own controlled meteor shower.

Tokyo 2020 torch

But curiosities continue. Inside the Olympic village, humanoid robots will be available to provide information on nearby accommodation and attractions. However, Japan is not satisfied yet and wants to do things big. In fact, a technology that will allow holographic updates of events inside the stadium is also being developed.

Tokyo 2020 transportation

In terms of transport, Tokyo is known to be one of the most advanced and connected cities in the world. For these 2020 Olympics there will be special measures in place. In fact, to go to your hotel, you can use only one magnetic card for trains, hotel room and taxi without a driver. That's right, a driverless taxi whose road tests are already underway in Tokyo.

But the news regarding transportation in Tokyo 2020 does not end here. In fact, the city will once again introduce the fastest train in the world. Although it will not operate until 2027, Maglev will make its debut at the Tokyo Olympics. This train has broken all ground speed records and is capable of reaching speeds of around 600 km/h.
These futuristic trains operate thanks to the principle of magnetic levitation, allowing the trains to remain suspended on the tracks. It is the absence of friction that allows trains to reach these speeds, while continuing to comply with strict Japanese safety standards. In short, a taste of that science fiction future that until now we have only seen in movies.

Shinkansen N700s Supreme

During the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the new Shinkansen N700S series, also called Shinkansen Supreme, will debut.
Completely redesigned in a more intelligent and silent mode, this train will operate on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. Being 11 tons lighter than the previous generation, it will consume less energy and will run between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations.

Shinkansen N700s supreme Tokyo 2020

The new station of the Yamanote line

In honor of this event, the Yamanote line will also inaugurate a new station: Takanawa Gateway Station. Located between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations, the new one will offer access to Haneda Airport Monorail and the JR Keihin-Tohoku line. Designed in the eki naka style, the Takagawa Gateway station will rise on 4 floors with a public area that will host a great shield for watching the 2020 Olympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 Takagawa Gateway

We are very much looking forward to these Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and you?

Sources: olympic.org, mainichi.jpkyodonews.nettimelapsetokyo.com, japan-forward.com

TENOHA & | SHOP: B-SIDE LABEL is finally here!

B-Side Label, the most famous stickers in the world, have arrived at TENOHA MILANO!

B-Side Label  B-Side Label

If you have been to Japan you have come back with a suitcase full of these stickers, because you could only find them there and online. Afterwards, when you got home, you filled the computers, cars and anything else with these stickers, confident that they would never come off. Yes, because they are magical stickers...

What is B-side Label?

Let's find out a little more about these magical stickers. B-Side Label was created by Japanese artists who use their flair and their art to create special and above all unique stickers in the world. In 2003, in Osaka, they began to be produced and sell to passersby on the sidewalks. Their magic begins from that moment, in which they give birth to a smile on the face of the person who buys them.

Why? Because, although they are not essential, they give a touch of happiness and depict our favourite characters, yes, exactly the ones we would like to always carry with us! The numbers to date are absolutely impressive and very different from the sales on the sidewalk, which however remains a spontaneous and very sweet start. We are talking about over 5,000 different sticker designs with 50 new ones every month. How can we not fall in love with them? Impossible.


Every time you go to Japan you spend hours in the B-Side shop choosing among the many stickers and the first desire is to take them all home. Not only are they beautiful, they are also all waterproof and covered with UV protective film. You don't have to be afraid to put them somewhere other than your PC, you can decorate everything from the car to the bicycle, from the surfboard to normal bottles of water. In fact, you can customize everything with B-Side stickers because they will not come off for any reason, at least for three good years they are insured to what you have attached them to.


For this reason, they are magical, could something beautiful and safe be defined as magical? Among other things, they are now available, for the first time in Italy, at TENOHA Milano. Yes, just TENOHA Milano, the place that allows you to experience Japan without taking the plane. You can find these B-Side label stickers right here, at your fingertips in the TENOHA Milano shop.

So what are you waiting for? Go fill your eyes, hearts and hands with these stickers and, as always, experience the magic as if you were in Japan.

Where: TENOHA &| SHOP - https://www.tenoha.it/shop/
BSIDE LABEL Official Website: https://bside-label.com/


Akira Isogawa: Japanese Australian legend

Japan is famous and attractive not only to Italy’s eyes but also worldwide and Akira Isogawa’s work is an example. With the opening of Japan to the world, Japanese people have travelled and moved to different countries. Akira Isogawa is now Australia’s most famous Japanese resident.

Akira Isogawa Akira Isogawa

Who is Akira Isogawa

Born in Kyoto, Japan in 1964, he emigrated to Australia in 1986 and he is now one of the most famous Fashion Designer in the land down under. He studied fashion at the East Sydney Technical College drawing inspiration from contemporary Japanese design. By the late 1990s, he was known internationally together with his womenswear label Akira. His clothes appear under his own label and are sold in Australia and New Zealand, and 10 other countries. As of now, he is one of the few Australian designers to exhibit and sell his clothing in Paris.

Akira Isogawa

The Australian Legend

In 2005, caught by surprise, he became an “Australian Legend” and he was invited to appear on a commemorative postage stamp. This honor is just one of the many awards received by Isogawa for his achievements in over 25 years of career

He told The Japan times “To be honest, I had no idea that Australia Post was so progressive and innovative in their marketing,” he says, laughing. “I thought you had to be dead to appear on a postage stamp, let alone working actively in your field. I still have so much yet to do!”

Akira Isogawa Akira Isogawa

Life in Australia

Australia and its fashion scene have embraced Akira Isogawa as one of their own. He feels very closed to his adoptive home, also thanks to a maternal cousin living in the New South Wales town of Mittagong.
The government launched a Working Holiday visa program that gave Isogawa the chance to realize his ambitions of studying and working in fashion.

Arrived in Australia in the mid-80s and having some difficulties in the first weeks of his stay, things got better after the city’s groundbreaking RAT (Recreational Arts Team) dance parties were born. Here Isogawa could connect with like-minded people and let his talent flourish.
After enrolling in a fashion course at the East Sydney Technical College, he opened his first shop using all his savings.

“Sydney is my base,” Isogawa says. “Growing up in Kyoto, I always felt as if I belonged elsewhere. I don’t think I can behave ‘typically’ Japanese and follow societal rules. I understand how such rules are necessary and help Japan to function as efficiently as it does. But I’m a rule breaker, and that’s permitted here in Australia. It’s a real relief.”

However, everyone always misses the homeland. Akira Isogawa too admits a nostalgic longing for the tranquil Kyoto of his childhood. He refers to the Japanese art of “reading the air,” where things are understood, but not necessarily said.


The 1990s

However, it’s in the 90s that Isogawa’s work and his label Akira exploded and was known all over the world. After his debut show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia in 1996, this now became a regular outlet for his work, but not only. In fact, these runways were just the beginning and he landed a spot in Paris fashion shows. Here he caught Joan Burstein’s eye, the international fashion buyer who helped launch names such as Alexander McQueen and John Galliano in the U.K.

Another pivotal moment was Naomi Campbell wearing Akira’s kimono-inspired dress on the cover of Vogue Australia in 1997.

“That cover was a turning point in my career; it can’t be understated. It was amazing,” reminisces Isogawa. “I’m also very grateful to the media, everyone who supported me. But at the same time, it was so stressful. I couldn’t handle everything and ended up with a receptionist, among 25 other full-time staff.”

Akira Isogawa

After the Fashion Madness

In 2004, he met with CEO of Australian Wool Innovation and Isogawa became the ambassador for Australian Wool. The institute was looking for a designer who could update wool’s image so in 2005, Akira Isogawa created a new kind of fabric. A featherweight, fine wool gauze inspired by silk georgette.

“I wanted (the textile) to be light. I wanted wool to be reinterpreted as transeasonal,” he says. “The wool gauze is quite fragile, beautifully soft and 100 percent Australian merino. I still have it in stock.”

Akira Isogawa Today

Now that life is a little bit calmer, Isogawa is free to explore new visions and different outlets for his work. In fact, we can see him collaborating on artistic projects, such as costume design for the Sydney Dance Company.

The Akira womenswear brand is famous for mixing elements of East and West in both terms of textiles, techniques and design. The freedom afforded to Akira’s work and life as an Australian immigrant helped him develop his own personal style.
As a firm believer in slow and sustainable fashion, Akira Isogawa’s garments transcend time, oblivious to trends, and they are to be worn again and again.

Source: japantimes.co.jp
Photos: japantimes.co.jp

2019 Kanji of the year: 令

2020 is finally here and like every year, Japan has elected the “Kanji of the year” and for 2019 the choice was very logical.

Kanji of the year

December and January always force us to do some retrospectives on the year that just passed and the choice for Kanji of the year is not less worthy.
Administered by the Kyoto-based Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation, a single Japanese character is chosen by open ballot. The final choice is meant to embody a deep significance for the year as it comes to a close.

This yearly tradition is announced by Seihan Mori, the head abbot of Kyoto’s historical Kiyomizudera Temple. This is not a normal announcement, in fact, the head abbot writes the kanji with a giant calligraphy brush while standing on the temple’s balcony.

This time, 216,325 votes were cast, and the winner kanji of the year is 令 pronounced rei.

Kanji of the year

Rei means “order” (in the sense of orderly control), however, in some contexts it can also mean “beautiful”. This kanji has become famous during 2019 not just as the winner choice, but also when Reiwa, Japan’s new imperial era, was announced. The Japanese government clarified that the meaning of this new era is “beautiful harmony”

令/rei received 30,427, roughly 14% of the total votes. Considering that the Japanese language has more than 2100 regular-use kanji, this is still a very important result for any single character. Second-place was occupied by 新/shin, meaning “new,” and third-place 和/wa, which means “harmony” and is the second kanji in Reiwa.

2019 was a very important year for Japan since it marked the change in the imperial era since 1989. The selection of 令/rei isn’t much of a surprise. However, it reflects a happier mindset than the Kanji of the Year in 2018 (“disaster”), 2017 (“north,” in reference to North Korean missile launches) and 2014 (“tax,” the result of an unpopular sales tax increase that year).

Hopefully, 令和/rei will be not just a reminder of the significant changes of 2019, but also a ray of hope that more beautiful things are coming in 2020.

And with this, we want to wish a Happy New Year to all our readers, your families and loved ones. 明けましておめでとうございます。

Sources: ©SoraNews24
Images ©SoraNews24, japon-secreto.com