The Ireland Fund of Japan (IFJ) was founded in 1993. It resulted from a meeting in Tokyo between The Ireland Funds' Chairman Sir Anthony O'Reilly and his wife Lady O'Reilly and the founders of the Emerald Ball. Following the outstanding success of the first ball, Sir Anthony invited the group to join The Worldwide Ireland Funds.
The Irish community in Japan, while small, exerts an influence beyond its sheer numbers. They are joined by a growing number of men and women of all ages who dedicate themselves to the study of Irish culture, arts and literature - from young Japanese students of Irish dance to literary and cultural groups of all ages, as well as Japanese who have fallen in love with the country after a single visit.
The growing ranks of young Irish people who visit Japan for a study or work assignment and remain and marry into the Japanese community exert an additional sphere of influence. The number of Japanese companies with offices or manufacturing facilities in Ireland creates a link to the business community.
We'd love to hear from you.
Are you Irish or of Irish heritage living in Japan? Are you Japanese, or of any other nationality, who simply loves Ireland and enjoys Irish cultural events? Contact us to get involved.
The inaugural “Emerald Ball” in March 1993, was attended by Their Imperial Highnesses Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko.The annual Emerald Ball is a major social event for The Ireland Fund of Japan. This gala evening showcases the best of Irish hospitality and culture and is a wonderful venue to entertain friends and special guests. Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Takamado have been guests at the Ball.
The Irish reputation for mixing serious undertakings with enjoyable events extends to The Worldwide Ireland Funds. The gala dinners ,golf tournaments, and arts and cultural programs attract people from the highest levels of international business, politics and society.
For example, The Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was at the Palm Beach Ireland Fund gala. HRH Prince Albert was at the Monaco Wild Geese Ball. Bill Clinton received The Ireland Funds Peace Award.
Nelson Mandela was at the opening of the Specia lOlympics 2003 in Dublin, Ireland. Japan was among the countries represented. The Ireland Funds were a major sponsor of the event.
Mission and Accomplishments
The Ireland Funds global community of 70 million people is the largest worldwide network of Irish people and friends if Ireland supporting cultural, educational and community projects in Ireland and at home.
They have raised and donated more than $445 million. Individual Funds have supported projects from building a community center in Kobe after the 1995 earthquake to creating a fund for the victims of the September 11 bombings in New York. Funding comes from Ireland Funds events in 70 cities around the World as well as donations from individuals and corporations.
Programs in Development
The Ireland Fund of Japan plans an annual calendar of events based on aspects of Ireland of interest to its Japanese and international members – golfing, horse racing, fishing, sailing and arts and culture.
The calendar will include general membership events and exclusive programs for special sponsors and supporters.
The goal of the programs is to encourage greater cultural and communication links between Ireland and Japan. Funds raised from our events go to a range of projects.
We are developing a program to involve Japanese and Irish companies and individuals in cultural, ecological, archeological, educational and community projects in Ireland and Japan—jointly and individually.
Membership of The IFJ
A membership program with special benefits ranging from invitations to Irish arts and cultural events to exclusive travel and dining promotions and discounts is being developed.
The work of The Ireland Fund of Japan is made possible through the generosity of our sponsors and supporters. We offer companies and individuals a variety of sponsorship opportunities.
Major sponsors receive prominent signage at the Emerald Ball event and in the Ball program in addition to other benefits. A Sponsorship Package is available outlining the alternatives available. The Sponsorship Program may be customized to meet your company's specific needs.