I track down the South Bank Shapeshifters

Takayuki Hara at Unit 24Sometimes I go to some odd places in pursuit of a blog post – bits of London I’ve never been to before, trips out of the capital or out of my comfort zone (or both). But this exhibition was one of the oddest. For one thing, I couldn’t find it. ‘Just behind the Tate Modern,’ it said. Not too challenging, you’d have thought. But I walked up and down the street twice before I spotted the gallery – disguised as a Dry Cleaners. Continue reading

England meets Japan – four hundred years ago

Tokugawa IeyasuOn 18th April 1611 the British East India Company ship, the Clove, captained by John Saris, set sail from England headed for Japan. It arrived at Hirado near Nagasaki on 11th June 1613, the first British ship ever to reach Japan.

Hang on, I hear you say. What about William Adams? Wasn’t he the first? Continue reading