To Britain from Japan, in our own words
No one knows how many Japanese women live in the UK.
No one knows their reasons for moving here.
No one knows their varied loves or hates, their achievements or mistakes, their opinions and contradictions.
No one knows their stories...
So we asked them.
From Aberdeen to Huddersfield, Belfast to London, we have collected stories that amazed, shocked and delighted us, upending tired stereotypes and celebrating the multiplicity of voices and experiences of Japanese migrant women.
Tsunagu/Connect is a multi-phased, multi-year project that started in the Spring of 2020. With the help of 12 volunteers, we gathered oral histories from over 30 Japanese women who have settled in the UK since 1945. Inspired and informed by these interviews we have created an immersive theatrical adventure, part exhibition, part promenade theatre, that poses the vital question:
“What price must we pay to create a third space, neither one nation nor the other, where we finally have room to be ourselves?”
Learn about the Oral History project that started it all.
Visit the exhibition which explores themes of migration, identity and culture.
See the production that takes us from Shōwa Era Japan to the present day, via the Empire Windrush’s last voyage and a bedsit in 1990s London.
Listen to the women who are at the heart of Tsunagu/Connect.
Tsunagu/Connect was made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England. Supported by The Japan Society, Museum of London, artsdepot, London Metropolitan Archives, Goldsmiths University of London, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and Shoreditch Town Hall.
Augmented Reality Postcards
Collect a set of 5 Augmented Reality Postcards that will immerse you in the world of our characters.
Listen to our Tsunagu/Connect Podcast available on Spotify, Google, Apple, Anchor and more.
Dive deeper into the project and explore more stories thorough our exhibition programme.
Watch as our young volunteers created their own oral histories with their mothers.
Teachers Resource Pack
Download our free educational pack, suitable for Upper KS2 and KS3 students. Created by Lisa Meech.
Record your story
Regardless of where you are from, share your migration story with us.