Browse through our archives to read out about past Genius Table events and the unique venues in which they were held.


Nishijin Ori “Hosoo”



John Burnham

Talent Agent

Partner at ICM Partners, a talent and literary agency representing clients in the fields of publishing, motion pictures, television music, and theater. ICM, a privately held corporation, is one of the predominant agencies in the United States and Europe, with its principal offices in Los Angeles, New York, and London.
John represents clients including Academy Award nominees and winners, Emmy Award nominees and winners, and Pulitzer Prize winners. His client list includes Woody Allen, David Mamet, Al Pacino, Barry Levinson, Brian De Palma, David Milch, Diane English, Stephen Frears, David Twohy, Peter Weir, Walter Hill, Kelly Reilly, Phil Kaufman, Marshall Brickman, Scott Foley, Kim Cattrall and Caroline Thompson.


Some traditional skills has been passed on from one generation to another for a long time. The Nishijin silk, which has received lots of compliments from the noble and the rich citizens since 1200 years ago, is exactly one of these. The Nishijin silk house where we had lunch talk with the genius today was set in 1688. The second floor has become a display room now, therefore, we had lunch at the first floor. The genius today-John owns a performance agency known as ICM. He came to japan mainly to have a look at the Nishijin which is known as the mix of traditional and modern art. The traditional Nishijin is now becoming more and more famous through the whole world. As lunch, we prepared Tennpura for John. We asked the opinions of John about how he thinks of his job while we enjoy Tennpura. Talent agent is a job that is not known very well in Japan, and it is very delicate and creative to show the talents to the world. Therefore, John said that his job is bond with huge responsibility, “ That is why I think my job is very meaningful.” Said by John. When he said these, his eyes are glowing and as clear as a boy. “ Passion and profession cannot be set apart, just like the fish and water.” John was the passionate professional worker who has pride in his work.


established in 1688 and it's and old shop for Kimono and Obi in nishijin-ori. Recently, it's challenging new markets abroad for fabric.

Ryogaemachi-Sanjo agaru Nakagyo-ku Kyoto
+81 75-221-0028


Tomohiro Nakata


John came to Japan in order to see the fabrics of Nishijin. Actually, they were very beautiful when we were showed after Genius Table by owner of Hosoo. I could find that people who have good sense visit Kyoto in order to touch the value of Japanese traditional cultures.

Manabu Kondo

I was interested in Genius Table when I knew some of people who came to Kyoto from abroad were talented parsons. I wanted to meet them and talk with them. So, today’s lunch talk was so special because I could talk with John very casually. (Also, Obento was so delicious:) ) He works for the talent agency in America. He seemed so smart. I learned a lot of things from his value for working. I was satisfied with this time.

Seiya nishino

office worker

I have interesting in international fellowship. I heard Genius Table give us the opportunity of interactive communication with genius people who visit Kyoto. So I participated in. Today, it was best lunch talk for me because it was small so I could talk casually with genius . It was so impressive that his image about Kyoto citizens was “elegant and humble”. Very fresh and precious time. Thank you.