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Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex

An Unincorporated Association

Honorary Patrons:
Alexander Rosenblatt, George Logan (Dr Evadne Hinge), Michael Soumei Coxall, Kazue Yanagida

Japan Representative:
Kazue Yanagida

Please see Links for more information on our patrons

Special Advisor:
Jackie Wright

Godfrey King

Web Site:
Phil Ronan, Steve Rice

Established 1996


Music school for children & adults with the
Alexander Technique

Ryoko Izitsu – Director
Piano & Alexander Technique teacher
Mobile: +44 (0) 75 38188537



Printing services

For more than 5 years Kallkwik have looked after AJSW's printing needs for which we sincerely thank them

Special Features

YouTube Site

View all our Playlists and features

Annual Reviews

See Godfrey's Blog for AJSW Review 2013 / 2014 and previous years.

Click to view blog

Other blog categories:

Pascal's Triangle

Click to play video

Carol I Need You (click to play video)

See Pascal's Triangle feature on our Audio and Video Archive page.

Musician's Chapel Dedication

See the Musicians Chapel dedication January 2nd, 1955 on our Events page.

What we do

柳田 和江(名誉パトロン)AJSW日本代表

Click here for biography



Film Of The Week

Full length feature films

( registration. Just click and go)

*enlarge screen by clicking on the panel at the bottom right hand corner of the video

from week to week we will build up a program of eg Japanese films / documentaries as well Hollywood musicals

This week:



Some Videos To Entertain and thoughts for the romantic.

Click to play video
Katherine Jenkins and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing "The Prayer"
(Click on image to play video)

David Foster says, 'A Moment' that should never be forgotten. I know Katherine Jenkins will never forget that 'moment'. Enjoy it also!

Click to play video
Freddie Starr & the Jordanaires - falling in love
(Click on image to play video)

The great comic Freddy Starr started performance life in a beat group in the 1960's...the Beatle's era (The Rocking Berries)...he went on to be the group's funny man then a solo career. But he loved to sing especially Elvis Presley songs. It must have been a life's dream to find he could have backing him the Jordanaires who from the start of Elvis' RCA and Film career were heard on all his recordings until he returned from his film career to the stage. Sadly Freddie is a broken man today due to false accusations relating to sexual conduct. With a superb backing group and The Jordanaires has 'Can't Help Falling In Love' ever been sung better....even by Elvis! As a tribute to Freddie and for romantics ....the words to this song say it all.

Click to play video
Amanda Lear - Suspicious Minds
(Click on image to play video)

The great French Disco Queen Amanda Lear around since the 1980's, recently had a revival with superb videos, musical support and stage presence. This is from her CD of Elvis Presley songs from a 'year or two' ago. Forget those suspicions and let love rise again!

Click to play video
Acker BILK : Down In Nempnett Thrubwell
(Click on image to play video)

I was born in Somerset as was Acker Bilk. He died in 2014 - a wonderful clarinetist. The sights of Somerset (or Zummerzet!) never to be forgotten.

Click to play video
Janine Jansen Jules Massenet Meditation from Thas
(Click on image to play video)

My contribution to International Women's Day. I will not repeat all I wrote save arguments! Soft power...unique to a woman. Longfellow wrote a line in his Hiawatha poem:- "Woman is to the man as the bow is to the arrow".

Click to play video
St. Philip Street Breakdown - New Orleans Jazz Hounds
(Click on image to play video)

The Japanese jazz band 'New Orleans Jazz Hounds' in their regular spot at The Hub, Tokyo (known as 'The British Pub') where so many of their performances are captured on video by 'Friend' Giichi Oya . Here they are on April 1st displaying the growing talent of Makiko Tamura....). It was 10 years ago in a school jazz concert organised by the now world famous banjo player Ken Aoki.

Click to play video
Nat King Cole - Unforgettable (Live in HD)
(Click on image to play video)

Nat King of the most recognisable vocalists and hit recording artists of all time. Here he is singing live 'UNFORGETTABLE'.....that he is.


Click to play video
Kaori Muraji - The flowers are blooming
(Click on image to play video)

Compiled by Godfrey King for the AJSW



Have a listen to a sample from the CD...

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The AJSW is proud to promote member Hiroko Sherwin's critically acclaimed, controversial and well researched book "Japan's World War II Legacy"

(Click above image to show full size)

Scenes from "Grave of the Fireflies"

"Grave of the Fireflies" is a Japanese animation that potrays the human cost of World War II Japan through the eyes of two children.

Click to play video
Grave of the Fireflies, Home Sweet Home
(Click on image to play video)

Click to play video
Grave of the Fireflies - Official Trailer
(Click on image to play video)

"Japan's Word War II Legacy" is published by Quartet Books.
Further details at
or by email


Click above to play our 2016/2017 Christmas Playlist 'Alternative Top of The Pops'

If you missed last year's playlist...

Click above to play our 2015/2016 Christmas Playlist 'Alternative Top of The Pops'

Or even 2014's playlist...

Click above to play our 2014 Christmas Playlist 'Alternative Top of The Pops'


The AJSW's Christmas mini-CD with The Pascal's:
Steve & Aska Holtz

Great songs -- Great Music as Steve and Aska sing for us
to share and express all our 'CHRISTMAS HOPES AND WISHES'

(Click image to show contents)

£8 plus £2 postage (£10)

Cheques payable to 'Anglo-Japanese Society of Wessex'

Order from:

Address: AJSW, 18 Ronald Buckingham Court, Kenning Street, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4LL


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(Click on image for PDF)

Click here for detailed event information.

Have a look at our promotional video...


(Click on image for PDF)

Click here for detailed event information.

Our Wessex Title Explained

Our title and what inspired it is often assumed to cover the region described in Thomas Hardy's novels based on the Wessex Region.....but he was a novelist not an historian and his geographical outline of Wessex described to suit his novels within a defined area and names he used of towns and villages pseudonyms for real places within that area. The real history of Wessex and the area it covered is more complex and over a variable area of the country as its fortunes ebbed and flowed. Our oft asked question "What are you doing in London" sometimes wearisome to answer as little can be explained in a few sentences to a half interested listener and especially the Japanese!

Wessex simply means 'West Saxons' and Sussex (South Saxons), Essex (East Saxons) and Middlesex (Middle Saxons). Wessex, unlike those counties, was never enshrined in the name of a county. The Saxons came from an area of Germany and our present Monarchy are only called the family name of Windsor due to a name change from Saxe-Coburg because of its Germanic connections and the concerns within the UK about the Royal Family's loyalties during World War I due to its relatives within the German Royal Family.

Surpressed post 1066 after the Norman invasion took over the Monarchy of the United Kingdom (s), the region of Wessex shone dimly through the ages almost as a folk memory until Hardy revived interest in it albeit with a novelist's interest to 'tell a good story' but not necessarily a factual one.

But it was the only Monarch called 'Great'...'Alfred The Great'....who established the region of Wessex as a crucial element to everything we now think of as 'English'....the 'Anglo-Saxons' (the English Saxons). Defeated by the Danish forces he hid on what we know as The Isle of Athelney close to Glastonbury in Somerset and from there rose again to defeat the Danes including taking London. Alfred believed the best way to establish national stability was to educate its people. And so began the process that grew into the British Empire that covered nearly the whole world which is why, whatever history's twists and turns may cause, there is some corner of a foreign field 'Forever England'.

Let us say then our title is symbolic of what one man can dream of and bring to a reality 'from a swamp in Somerset'.

Here is a visual explanation explaining some of the history by Ryan M. Reeves:

Click to play video
Alfred and Anglo Saxon England

Further info may be gained from myriad sources and Wikpedia a good place to embark on an expansive and interesting historical quest (see here).

Godfrey King 15.7.14

Want to know more?

Join us.

Two Sites Covering Japanese Events

Enjoying Traditional Jazz

A web site by the sprightly 80 year old Ivan Huke. Ivan took up playing the trumpet when he was 50 and ever busy now gigging and writing. His web site has enough info on bands and aspects of his favored music genre without needing too much from me. And he has kindly given us a credit for some information I helped him with. His up-date on Japanese Jazz musicians reflects our own interest in various musicians first noted when I put together the 2015 and 2016 Xmas Playlists. Wonderful musicians such as Haruka Kikuchi (Trombone), Makiko Tamura (Clarinet) and Ken Aoki (Banjo)...from North Wales James Evans (Clarinet, Saxes, Trombone). James was well known in the London jazz scene before he took off for New Orleans in 2013. The Shotgun Jazz Band is led on Trumpet by Marla Dixon...and her husband is on Banjo...joining them at the side is the renowned Ed Polcer on Cornet with Haruka and James blowing up a storm with: "I Can't Escape From You".

Click to play video
"I Can't Escape From You" - Shotgun Jazz Band
(Click on image to play video)

Previous Concerts


Click here for further details

• • •

MEE HYUN OH (violin)
SOOJIN KIM (piano)

Cheltenham Town Hall and Pittville Pump Room - April 5th

Click here for further details

• • •

YUHKA NAGAI (violin)
KEI TAKUMI (piano)

Bristol Cathedral - March 1st

Click here for further details

• • •

MEE HYUN OH (violin)
LYDIA KWON (cello)

Cheltenham Town Hall - Feb 16th

Click here for further details


AJSW CME musicians play for MENCAP fundraiser Dec 12th

(Click on image for full-size poster)


Inzpir8tion and the AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble

On May 31st, 2013 we held a promotional concert at St James's Church Piccadilly. Watch this space! Concert details are on our events page.

Click to visit home page

Click to visit home page

(Click here for the full size poster containing full event details)

Two recordings made by musicians of the 'AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble and 'Inzpir8tion' pianists recorded live in concert at St George's, Bristol November 10th 2011.

Alexander Borodin (1834 to 1887): 'Nocturne' (Notturno from ‘String Quartet No 2 in D Major 3rd Movement’)
Played by AJSW Chamber Music Ensemble

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C.Saint-Saens (1835 to 1921): Dance Macabre, Op 40
Played by Inzpir8tion

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• • •

4Tune (4 hands on 2 pianos)

On November 7th, 2013 the AJSW 4 hands duo '4Tune' made its debut in a magnificent performance at St George's International Concert Venue, Bristol for a lunch concert performance led by our 'Inzpir8tion' (8 hands on 2 pianos) leader Yukiko Shinohara with Yuki Negishi (click here for event details).

Yukiko Shinohara Yuki Negishi

Yukiko Shinohara and Yuki Negishi

Hear Yukiko Shinohara on a live in concert recording from November 10th 2011 at St George's, Bristol playing Shima Kodomo Uta (Childrens Songs from Okinawa Islands) by Hikaru Hayashi

1. With Your Little Piglet

2. Ear Chopping Boy

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15th Anniversary Concert

On November 10th 2011 we held a special concert at St George's Bristol to celebrate the AJSW’s 15th anniversary.

...See the blog for more information about this concert.