Dear friends and supporters, we are experiencing a glorious summer in Norwich. Although both England and Japan were defeated quickly at the FIFA World Cup, we are still enjoying our pints al fresco while the days are long and warm. As our annual July event, the Carmen Blacker Lecture series approaches, Carmen’s husband Dr Michael Loewe writes in this edition an article about how he and Carmen engaged with Japan over decades and why they decided to set up an endowment for the Sainsbury Institute to host the lecture series. You can also read an article by our librarian Hirano Akira about our Edo period books on morning glories, probably the most popular summer flower in Japan. I hope you will enjoy reading the diverse range of articles in this edition while you enjoy the rest of the summer.