The Sussex Japan Society was launched by John and Jeannette Simpson who have long had an interest in the country, its history, language and culture. They teach Adult Education classes in Japanese language and had often wished for a forum where their students, and anyone else interested in things Japanese, could learn more about Japan's fascinating culture. They also hoped it would become a place where Japanese nationals living, studying or working in Sussex could come to meet English people and exchange information or even practise each other's language. A meeting was held in July 1996 to see whether there would be sufficient interest to launch a society and, thanks to good support from the local Press, over 50 people attended. That first meeting established a format, adopted a Constitution, and elected a Committee. The Society was non-profit making and aimed to keep membership fees as low as possible, simply covering meeting costs, and minimal administration. Committee members were all unpaid volunteers.
Regular monthly meetings started in August 1996 with "An Introduction to Japan" and from then until 2005 a very rich and varied programme of Japan-related topics was offered at monthly meetings. A more detailed history of the Society, listing all meetings, is available here and we hope that it will serve as a resource for other Japan Societies looking for ideas. In May 2005 we reached a stage where it became too difficult for the dedicated few volunteers to keep the Society going and so it was formally dissolved, but this website, with its resources on Japan, and notice board for advertising local Japan-related events, remains as its legacy and memorial.
Return to John & Jeannette's home page Return to MCW home page Return to Sussex Japan Society home page