... loading slideshow ... Sir Hugh Cortazzi GCMG


‘Bridges - Anglo-Japanese Cultural Pioneers 1945-2015’ covers interviews with ten prominent people in the field of Anglo-Japanese exchange, showing the rich cultural diversity and interaction between professional people in the UK, Europe and Japan during the last 70 years since 1945. 

Coming from diverse backgrounds, diplomats, scholars, musicians, business people, journalists, gardeners, and humanitarian activists, all of whom have made an impact in the field of international understanding, and contributed to the social history of our era.


“I’d like us to approach Japan, and to see Japan as a key factor in the world, which it is, to appreciate its good points and to see where there are problems.”

Sir Hugh Cortazzi

“As a diplomat in Japan one of my jobs was to represent agricultural importers, which, I recall, involved discussions about importing bull semen and embryos.”

Phillida Purvis

“When you are building bridges between societies, it is essential to have a solid academic base.”

Professor Ian Nish

“His favourite place, he talked about the “Kyoto effect”, in his poetry he talks about Japanese aesthetics; for Geoffrey the sounds of Japan were very important.”

Wiesia Cook Bownas

“After the Tsunami I arranged the folk music of the three prefectures which were heavily affected, because I thought their folk music had such a strong message, about life, relationships, love, nature, everything.”

Joji Hirota

“A measure of a gardener is how well he arranges his stones, not necessarily how well he arranges the planting,”

Robert Ketchell

“I had absolutely no idea what to do with Japanese music as my upbringing was with Western music.”

Junko Kobayashi

“I think after Panasonic and Toyota, the best Japanese export is women actually! They’re a very good Japanese export!”

Setsuo Kato

“What is East, and what is West?  A lot of what we think of as West  actually consists of a lot of East, it gets blurred! The border territory, that’s where all the exciting things happen.”

Professor Toshio Watanabe

“Without faith in Christ, I would not have done anything.”

Keiko Holmes

Paperback: 194 pages – Size: 15.7 x 23.5 cm (6 ¼ x 8 ¼ inches)

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A short video with all ten contributors in their own words