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Strings between older people and Japanese arts. Azuki Foundation. Azuki Foundation. Azuki Foundation was set up in October 2012 to increase public awareness of the culture and music of Japan. Azuki Foundation’s initial focus is on “culture and wellbeing ”.

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Azuki Foundation

AzukiFoundation was set up in October 2012 to increase public awareness of the culture and music of Japan.

Azuki Foundation’s initial focus is on “culture and wellbeing”

It will provide workshops for older people using movements and elements unique in Japanese arts and culture, such as Bon dance, Ayatoriand Otedama.

David Cameron’s “challenge on dementia” in 2012. The UK has 800,000 people living with dementia. In Japan, there are 4.6 million.

London Borough of Islington

Back Ground

Thought Traditional Bon DanceCreated original Bon Dance

Ran a 5- week Bon dance workshop for older people as part of Big Dance 2012.

Introduced “Fukuchiyamaondo” - 16 sts preps of movements - Helpes to prevent dementia(local government’s research)

- Men in Islington:thelowest life expectancy in London - Women in Islington: the third lowest (Cultural Matters- A Cultural Strategy for Islington Council 2012- 2015)High rates of physical and mental illness.

Back Ground

Bon Dance

Provides modest physical exercise

Promotes social contact and health

Simple, elegant, slow and smooth movements to music.

Bon Dance is a traditional Japanese community dance.

Back GroundFeedback

Interest from media

(ex. Asahi News paper)

Great feedback from participants and organisers.

Benefits Improves body coordination / Concentration/ Helps create new community groups/ Inspire people’s imagination

New Project 1) OTEDAMA

Play individually or in a group

Rhythmic and Playful

Economical, anywhere, anytime

Japanese bean bag juggling

Gentle physical movement

New Project 1) OTEDAMA

Scientific evidence UK and Japan

- New Scientist (UK) reported juggling improves brain activities.

- There is an ability to alleviate depression(A Japanese psychologist, Dr Kazuhiko Nakahara)

Benefits Improves body posture / Improves coordination / Concentration

New Project 2) AYATORI

Cat’s cradle or string figures

Visual imagination

Play individually or in a group


Economical, anywhere, anytime

New Project 2) AYATORI

Scientific evidence- There are clear differences of the brain activity level before and after practicing ayatori(Dr Satomi Noda of St. Mary’s College Nagoya (2009)

- The International String Figure Association provides several research on ayatori

BenefitsManipulation of the fingers / Imagination / Creativity / Concentration

How we deliver workshop?

Basic structure

●Learn sequence of Bon Dance ●Step by step making AYATORI●Practice OTEDAMA

ChallengingCreative AccessibleInteractiveGreat fun



For example…●Change from original movements to own movements●Making shapes using by different body parts instead of fingers

●Create New Bon Dance routinesAyatori and Otedama as an art form●Performance

Our Aims

Introduce unique Japanese arts and culture

Promote health and well-being to help alleviate dementia and depression

Stimulate people’s imagination and creativity

Provide opportunities to create new communities for people to help avoid isolation

Improve self-esteem and confidence

Improve sense of physical and mental well-being for older people

Action Plan

Community Centres in Islington

Project starts September 2013(supported by Award for All, Big Lottery )

Supported by Award for All, Big Lottery

Thank you