AZUKI FOUNDATION was established in 2012 with aim to introduce Japanese culture to people with limited access to arts and culture in the community. Our unique programme is designed to stimulate people’s creativity and imagination, and experience different culture. The sessions are interactive and help participants feel bonds with people.

Since November 2013, we have delivered over 130 workshops and events for community in Islington.

Our  activities have featured healthy Japanese home cooking and sushi making classes led by top chefs and  nutritionists, as well as workshops involving mild body movement using unique  elements of Bon Dance, Ayatori, Origami and Otedama.


“I don’t know how it happened now. But a couple of years ago the Akuki Foundation made contact with Alsen Day Centre, but for us it has been a marriage made in heaven. Their projects is steeped Japanese culture which has been very interesting for our service users.”  (Lloyd Coombes MBE, Manager of Alsen & New Park Day Centres)

“The Bon dance and Noh movement as well as Ayatori and Otedma workshops encouraged older members to participate in gentle movement which was particularly beneficial to those who are generally inactive.  It also provided some entertainment and insight into Japanese culture.”  (Katie Clark.  Over 55’s Programme Manager, St Luke’s Community Centre)

 “The Japanese Arts and Crafts workshops were extremely well organised. The team had excellent communication skills, a creative way of working, fantastic content in the workshops and a sensitive and productive way of working with the participants. The members from the Azuki Foundation were professional and efficient with Claremont staff, co-ordinating clearly with us and building strong relationships. I would highly recommend the Azuki Foundation. ”  (Dr Claire Marshall Clinical Manager & Centre Manager Claremont Project )

Bon Dance is a traditional Japanese community dance practiced by young and old of both sexes. It is based on simple, elegant, slow and smooth movements to music. Bon dancing provides modest physical exercise for groups of people promoting social contact and health.


Otedama is rhythmic throwing and catching of a cloth bag containing beans. It involves gentle stylised movements and can be performed in groups. Otedama promotes concentration and coordination as the correct body posture is important to accomplish the movements required.


Ayatori involves modifying a loop of string into various shapes and images and may be thought of as a more artistic version of the western children’s game of cat’s cradle. It can be undertaken individually or in groups. It requires concentration and manipulation of the fingers. Although there are thousands of established patterns, participants can use their own imaginations to create new forms thus allowing scope for creativity.


© Japan Ayatori Association.


Download Power point presentation here.