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313 Years of Ireland Japan relations

Who do you think was the first Irish person to set foot on the shores of Japan?

2017 St. Patrick's Day Parade in Tokyo was 25th Anniversary. So, we put together a list of events made an impact on Irish and friends community in Japan. If we are forgetting something please forgive us.  313 Years of Ireland Community in Japan.

Here is a list with events involving Ireland and Japan, Irish topics that made an impact on Japan, and cultural Interchanges between the two countries. Do you remember these? If you know any other facts that you think should be included, please contact INJ. By the way, year 2017 will be Irish Network Japan's the 30th birthday.


  Cultural and Community Interchange General Events
1704 Robert Jansen, from Waterford, was seized off the coast of Kyushu. With five companions had escaped from the Dutch East India Company in the Philippines and set sail in a small boat hoping to reach Canton. Jonathan Swift's 'A Tale of a Tub' is published
1864 Thomas James Waters, born in Birr, County Offaly in 1842 came to Japan and stayed until 1877. American Civil War (1861-1865)
1868 John W.Fenton, born in Kinsale, County Cork, bandmaster of Britain's 10th Foot Regiment arrived in Yokohama Meiji Restoration. The transfer of the capital to Tokyo.
1869 Fenton composed the first version of Kimi ga Yo, the national anthem of Japan  
1871 Japan Mint in Osaka designed by Thomas James Waters First Rugby Union International, Scotland beat England 4-1
1872 The Iwakura Mission, over 100 Japanese Government experts and students eager to learn about the latest technology and educational practices for the Meiji government's programme of modernisation, visited Dublin First official Soccer International, Scotland and England draw 1-1

Mary Celeste found empty

1873 After Ginza was devastated by fire in 1872, Thomas James Waters was asked to design and build a new, modern street plan by government. He designed the two-story Gregorian brick buildings, influenced by the architecture of Dublin. Levis Strauss start making Jeans

Heineken Brewery Founded

1882 Charles Dickinson West, born in Dublin in 1842, was hired by the government of Japan as a foreign advisor, to teach steam engine mechanics, mechanical drawing, engineering, and naval architecture at Tokyo University.  
1890 Lafcadio Hearn arrived in Yokohama, and became a teacher of a school in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Grey is published
First Election of Japanese Diet
1891 Lafcadio Hearn married a Japanese woman and became a naturalized Japanese, taking the name Koizumi Yakumo. They move to Kumamoto.  
1894 Koizumi took a journalism position in Kobe First Sino-Japanese War (to 1895)
1897 Koizumi introduces the word 'Tsunami' to the English speaking world, through his literature The word "computer", meaning an electronic calculation device, is first used
1896 Koizumi began teaching English literature at Tokyo University The first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era in Athens
1904 September 26, Koizumi died of heart failure at the age of 54 in Tokyo Russo-Japanese War (to 1905).
1906 Revd William Thomas Grey, who was a missionary at Keio University,former member of Trinity College hockey team introduced hockey to Japan. 'The Story of the Kelly Gang', the worlds first feature film is released
1914 The Hearn Society was established in Matsue  
1957 Ireland and Japan formally established diplomatic relations on 5 March.  
1963 Japan-Ireland Society was established JFK Assassinated
1964 Residency of Japanese embassy was opened in Dublin Tokyo Olympics
  Sapporo Breweries starts importing Guinness to Japan  
1965 The Yeats Society of Japan was established  
1971 The Bernard Shaw Society of Japan was established  
1973 Residency of Irish embassy was opened in Tokyo Ireland joined the EU
  Japan Ireland Economic Association (JIEA) is formed  
1974 CTT (Coras Tractala, the Irish Trade Board) established its Tokyo office -Rory Gallagher plays his first gigs in Japan
-Japanese World War 2 soldier finally surrenders in the Philippines
-FIFA World Cup West Germany
1975 The Oscar Wilde Society of Japan was established  
1976 IDA Ireland established its Tokyo office Montreal Olympics
1980   Thin Lizzy toured Japan for the first time
Moscow Olympics
1983 President Hillery visited Japan U2's first concert in Japan during their "War Tour" at the Nakano Sun Plaza.

Thin Lizzy performed in Japan in mid year, before breaking up soon after

1984 The first 8 participants of the FÁS Overseas Graduate Programme come to Japan, Over the years 700 Graduates have been places all around Japan Los Angeles Olympics
1985 Crown Prince and Princess visit Ireland  
1986 Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. (now called Astellas) established a factory in Ireland FIFA World Cup Mexico
1987 INJ was established 250th Anniversary of World's First St. Patrick Day's Parade (in Boston)
    Rugby World Cup New Zealand
1988 The first Irish JET ALTs came to Japan. Since then 1000 have arrived here Ray Houghton scores a great goal (At Euro'88)
    Seoul Olympics
1989 Taoiseach Charlie Haughey comes to Japan  
  The James Joyce Society of Japan was established  
1990 Fujisawa Pharma set up in Ireland. "My Left Foot" was released in Japan
FIFA Italia '90, Ireland gets to the Quarter Finals
1991 The first Irish Pub in Japan opened in Osaka "The Commitments" was released in Japan
  CCE Japan was established Hothouse Flowers perform in Japan
    The Chieftains came to Japan first to take part in a musical festival
Rugby World Cup Britain/France/Ireland
1992 The first St. Patrick's Day Parade in Tokyo (Also first in Japan and Asia) Irish topic became a trend of Hollywood movies
    "Far and Away", "Patriot Games", "Bram Stoker's Dracula" was released in Japan
  First Gaelic Game played in Japan, at the INJ Sports Day  
    Barcelona (Summer) /Albertville Olympics (Winter)
  The first Celtic Festival  
1993 The INJ Hibernian Players' first show "The Crying Game" was a hit with Boy George's song
  The Ireland Fund of Japan (IFJ) and Emerald Ball founded  
  Kanto Celts Football Club was established J League (soccer league) started
  Eddie Irvine comes 2nd in the Japan F3000 Championship Roddy Doyle won the Booker Prize for the novel "Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha"
1994 The Celtic Society of Japan was formed Success of Irish movie directors continues:
    "In the Name of the Father" , "Interview with the Vampire" released in Japan
    Kansai Airport opened / FIFA World Cup America /
    Lillehammer Olympics
1995 The first Irish Pub in Tokyo opened in Roppongi, serving the first Draft Guinness in Asia imported from Dublin The Cranberries' first concert in Japan
    Pierce Brosnan became 007 and "GoldenEye" was released in Japan
  President Mary Robinson visited Japan Great Hanshin Earthquake
    Rugby World Cup South Africa
1996 Japan representitives attend the first Asian Gaelic Games in Manila Clannad's first concert in Japan
  Irish Culture Society was formed The Corrs' first concert in Japan
  Taoiseach John Bruton visited Japan for the 5th EU Summit Atlanta Olympics
1997 Travel writing on Ireland by Isao Moriyasu (Tokyo Shoseki) attracted many Japanese to Ireland "Michael Collins" was released in Japan; A film about Irish history became a major Hollywood movie.
    "Titanic" was released in Japan, which interested many Japanese people in Irish dancing and music
  A band from Tokyo community, "Yer Mot's a Dog" made the first gig "The Boxer" and "The Devil's Own" also released in Japan
    Hong Kong Handover
  Takeda Ireland Ltd was established in Bray Death of Princess Diana
1998 Arrival of Irish bobsled team for Nagano Enya won Japan Gold Disc Award
    Altan performed in Japan
  Japan GAA is officially formed U2 came to Japan for Popmart Tour
  Enterprise Ireland established , through the amalgamation of the Irish Trade Board and other Agencies Nagano Olympics
  A Japanese book [Crazy About Dancing in Ireland] by Rieko Yamashita (Tokyo Shoseki) boosted popularity of Irish Dancing FIFA World Cup France
1999 Japan Rose entered Rose of Tralee competition. Riverdance made the first show in Japan
    Nuclear accident in Tokai-mura
    Rugby World Cup Britain/France/Ireland
2000 Japan team's first victory for Asian Gaelic Games tournament "Angela's Ashes" was released in Japan
    "Ordinary Decent Criminal" was released in Japan
  Japanese national Rugby team went to Ireland Sydney Olympics
2001   Westlife's first concert in Japan
Events of September 11
2002 Izumo and Chiba hosted the Irish national soccer team for the World Cup Irish team for FIFA World Cup (Korea-Japan) came and made it to second round
  Ralph Firman wins the Motor Racing Nippon Championship "Gangs of New York" was released in Japan
Introduction of Euro coins and notes / Salt Lake City Olympics
2003 Special Olympics Japan team went to Ireland for Summer games Hibernian Players' director, Stephen J Martin published the first book, "Superchick".
    "The Magdalene Sisters", "In America" was released in Japan
  Popularity of Irish Pubs increased noticeably after the World Cup Miss Ireland was crowned Miss World 2003
    Iraqi War / Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster
  The first St. Patrick's Day Parade Kyoto Rugby World Cup Australia
2004 The first Irish Trad Festival Ireland was named best country in a quality of life survey by the Economist magazine
  Irish U-16 soccer team came for Toyota International Youth soccer Championship Blooms Day 100th Anniversary
  Taoiseach Bertie Ahern visited Japan for the 13th EU-Japan Summit Athens Olympics / Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami / Niigata Chuetsu Earthquake
  The first St. Patrick's Day Parade Yokohama, and Ise  
2005 President Mary McAleese visited Japan Irish National Rugby team came to Japan for friendly matches
    "Intermission" was released in Japan
  The Japanese Emperor and Empress visited Ireland The Pogues were reunited and had concerts in Japan
    Expo 2005 Aichi Japan
  The first St. Patrick's Day Parade Nagoya Shunsuke Nakamura joined Celtic Football Club of Scotland
2006 The first St. Patrick's Day Parade Sendai "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" based on C. S. Lewis' novel was released in Japan
    "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" , "Breakfast on Pluto" released in Japan
    The 100th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Beckett
    Japan became the first champion of World Baseball Classics
    FIFA World Cup Germany / Torino Winter Olympics
2007 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations. Tokyo Tower, Ise Grand Shrine Torii and other monuments turned green to mark this. "Once" was released in Japan
  Ireland and Japan concluded a Working Holiday Visa Agreement, which allow for the exchange of young people between the two countries Rugby World Cup France
  The first St. Patrick's Day Parade Matsue/Kumamoto/Okinawa  
2008 The first St. Patrick's Day Parade Tsukuba Beijing Olympics
  Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce (IJCC) replaces the JIEA  
2009 Taoiseach Brian Cowen visited Japan Irish U-20 Rugby Team came for Junior World Championship
  First Annual Celtic Ceili in Kanagawa 250th Anniversary of Guinness
2010 1st Rory Gallagher Festival in Japan  
  Princess Mako visited Ireland to study English at University College Dublin. Vancouver Winter Olympics / FIFA World Cup in South Africa
2011 1st Parade in Osaka, rebirth of Kyoto Irish festival, 1st Parade Queen Gala. Many events cancelled because of Tohoku Disaster Great Tohoku Earthquake on March 11th
  The Government of Ireland announced that the Government will provide relief money of 1 million euro to Japanese Red Cross. (March 16th)  
  H.E. Mrs. Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, H.E. Mr. Enda Kenny, Taoiseach (the Prime Minister of Ireland), and H.E. Mr. Eamon Gilmore, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade sent letters of sympathy to the government of Japan.  
  Many of Irish people donated and had charity events for Japan in Ireland and Japan.  
2013 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an official visit to Ireland on June 19 as the first incumbent Japanese prime minister.   
  Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D. visited Japan on December 2.  
2014 First "I Love Ireland Festival" at Yoyogi Park Sochi Winter Olympics / FIFA World Cup in Brasil

150th Anniversary of the birth of William Butler Yeats


2016   100th Anniversary of Easter Rising 
    UK EU membership referendum
2017 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Ireland and Japan Rugby Challenge Cup 2017 (Ireland vs Japan) in Shizuoka and Tokyo
  25th Tokyo St. Patrick's Day Parade  
  First St.Patrick's Day Fukui / Okayama  

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