Akemi Tanaka is a writer, lecturer and consultant on Japanese culture based in London.
As the daughter of an old samurai family, Akemi grew up immersed in the traditional arts and culture of Japan. Her name in Japanese means “Bright and beautiful”.
In addition to her university education, Akemi attended the Tchiyoda Gakuin Finishing School, where she formally studied Occidental and Oriental etiquette. She is active in the worlds of business, diplomacy, education and the arts where she strives to combine traditional beliefs, such as Bushido, with the best of modern technology and ideas.
In her presenting and consulting, Akemi aims to promote awareness and appreciation of authentic Japanese culture in an accessible and enjoyable manner.
Since coming to the UK, Akemi has organised many Japanese cultural events in London and also formed the charity Aid For Japan – a charity designed to support Japanese orphans of the 2011 earthquake/tsunami tragedy.
Akemi is the author of the forthcoming The Power of Chowa, a book which explores the Japanese concept of chowa, often translated as ‘harmony’, but more accurately means ‘the search for balance’. Chowa is both a philosophy and a set of practices that can help people get to the heart of what is most important and also change their way of thinking about ourselves and others.
Through a desire to help people understand the traditional culture behind many of the modern aspects of Japanese art and lifestyle, Akemi has worked closely with the anime and manga community, appearing as a guest speaker at many anime conventions. She also has an appreciation for people involved in the cosplay community. In fact, Akemi has described her own use of western clothing in her free time as a form of reverse cosplay, as she spends most of her life dressed in kimonos.
Among her past activities, Akemi has dressed Kelly Osbourne in a kimono for a magazine photo shoot, performed a tea ceremony for the Lord Mayor of London and assisted a prince of the Japanese imperial family with a speech to an international gathering of martial artists. She has appeared on the BBC and Channel 4 and also featured in The Guardian and The Telegraph.