Ever wanted to learn more about Japanese culture but not been sure where to go? Why not try visiting two exhibitions featuring the works of renowned Japanese artists.

The Dugdale in Enfield has announced a new exhibition called Pop Japan by Japanese artist Sonoko Obuchi, which explores what it means to live as a Japanese artist in a cosmopolitan city such as London.

Having been established in London for more than 16 years, Sonoko has had many experiences in the city. She has studied, graduated, worked, got married, had children and also witnessed the 7/7 London bombings, the 2012 Olympics, the Brexit vote and, most significantly, the arrival of proper Tonkotsu Ramen noodle restaurants from her home town Hakata.

Amidst all of this, Sonoko found herself in the grip of an identity crisis, but through a range of mediums including Manga graphics, photography, 3D work and film, Sonoko explored feelings of isolation and identity as she searched for an understanding of who she had become.

She was the first ever artist in residence for the Historic Royal Palaces in Kensington Palace, Tower of London and Hampton Court and while she was there, she produced a contemporary film which became part of their permanent collection in 2009. She also created a brand character for Anna Lou of London, a jewellery company and produced many illustrations for their products which featured in magazines including Grazia and Guardian on Sunday and sold in Selfridges, Topshop and in luxury fashion stores in Japan.

As well as all this, Sonoko had been a music stage designer for the Standon Calling boutique music festival between 2008 and 2015. Gilles Peterson, Hawkwind, DJ Yoda and Acid Mother’s Temple have performed on the stages she has designed and she has even been a stage set designer for pantomime shows at Millfield Theatre in London for the last 5 years, and worked on this year's Aladdin.

Speaking about her new exhibition, she says: “I am very excited to show my latest collection of works at the Dugdale.

“This is a deeply personal exhibition that explores my experience of London in this moment in time, at a time of pivotal change.

“I believe that that my experience is not unique and I hope that these works will appeal to many people living in this city, regardless of culture.”

The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow is also holding a Japanese themed exhibition, which will be comprised of important Japanese paintings, prints, furniture and ceramics that belonged to the personal collection of the Gallery’s founder, Frank Brangwyn RA (who died in 1956).

The exhibition called Sheer Pleasure- Frank Brangwyn And The Art Of Japan, will be a rare opportunity to view the works in the Brangwyn collection, many of which will be displayed publicly for the first time and alongside examples of Brangwyn’s own work.

Marking the 150th anniversary of Brangwyn's birth, the exhibition will explore the influence of Japanese art on Brangwyn’s own work, as well as his relationship with renowned Japanese artist Yoshijiro Urushibara (1888–1953).

During the 1910s, Brangwyn met Yoshijiro Urushibara in London and they began collaborating printmaking and combining the bravado of Brangwyn’s designs with the subtle and distinctive techniques of Japanese printmaking.

The exhibition will also tell the story of Brangwyn’s relationship with his patron Kojiro Matsukata and their plans to open a gallery of Western art in Tokyo. Matsukata became a long-standing patron of Brangwyn’s after they were introduced in Europe and in turn Brangwyn acted as an art advisor for the Matsukata collection. Brangwyn, like many artists in the mid-19th century, began collecting woodblock prints, ceramics and paintings and eventually amassed a significant collection of Japanese art, part of which he donated to the William Morris Gallery.

An English painter and graphic artist, Brangwyn was an apprentice to William Morris from 1882 to 1884 and shared Morris’s belief that art should be as widely accessible as possible, rather than restricted to a wealthy elite. Brangwyn donated a significant number of his own works, along with his personal collection of Japanese art, to the founding collection of the William Morris Gallery as “a humble offering to the people of Walthamstow in the hope that they will enjoy art and remember Morris.” As a result, the Council-run William Morris Gallery now holds the second largest collection of Brangwyn's work in England.

Pop Japan, The Dugdale Centre, Thomas Hardy House, London Road, Enfield EN2 6DS until Saturday, February 11, details: dugdalecentre.co.uk

Sheer Pleasure- Frank Brangwyn And The Art Of Japan, William Morris Gallery, Forest Road, Walthamstow, E17 4PP, Saturday, February 4 to Sunday, May 14, wmgallery.org.uk

If you want to experience the culture of Japan but don’t want to travel to other side of the world, why not explore some of London’s top Asian attractions and restaurants…

Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime

Yugenism: Animated Soundscapes of the Japanese Sublime is the new experimental music and animation project fronted by British producer and sound artist Verity Lane. Verity has worked with three animators and one traditional Japanese dancer to create four sonic installations that present an alternative take on classical Japanese music.

T Chances Arts & Music Centre, High Road, Tottenham, N17 6QN, Saturday, February 25, 7pm, details: eventbrite.co.uk/e/yugenism-animated-soundscapes-of-the-japanese-sublime-tickets-31004527376


A short walk away from Finsbury Park Station, Dotori is an intimate restaurant that serves compact Japanese and Korean dishes. There is a range of sushi tempura and a seemingly endless array of noodle and ramen dishes for a taste of traditional Asian cuisine.

Dotori, Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2DQ, details: 020 7263 3562


The décor is more memorable than the food at Asakusa. The restaurant is filled with low ceilings and a 1970s style, with banquettes served on small characterful tables.

Asakusa, Eversholt Street, Kings Cross, Camden Town, NW1 1BA, details: asakusa.co.uk

Life Bar

Popular for post-work drinks and dancing at the weekends, the Life Bar has beer, sake, sochu, umeshu and cocktails on tap. If you’re in the mood to sit back and relax, there is even a projector that screens films.

Life Bar, Old Street, ECIV 9AA, details: life-oldst.com


For a Japanese night out that is also cheap, Yoisho serves imbibe sake at £11 a bottle, if you order a snack to go with it.

Yoisho, Goodge Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 2PS, details: 020 7323 0477