Apr 2, 2014

Aichi's thriving drama grassroots

This year is set to be a good one for English theater in Japan, from Shakespearean comedy to original works, from intimate black-box stagings to a rock’n'roll musical. It’s not Tokyo or even Osaka serving up this feast, though — but Nagoya, which is ...

The Ise Stories

| Mar 22, 2014

The Ise Stories

Before there was “The Tale of Genji,” the “The Ise Stories” (“Ise Monogatari”) presented ancient Japanese audiences with a titillating series of loosely connected episodes of love that are believed to be based on the romantic encounters of the poet and aristocrat Ariwara no ...

Genders revel in Bausch's iconic 'Kontakthof'

Mar 19, 2014

Genders revel in Bausch's iconic 'Kontakthof'

To watch “Kontakthof,” Pina Bausch’s masterpiece of dance theater, is to be like a voyeur peering from behind a one-way mirror into the everyday battlefield of male-female interaction. The dancers, too, seem to treat the audience as a mirror, slicking back hair, adjusting bra ...

Paris Opera Ballet chief hails Japan 'challenge'

Mar 12, 2014

Paris Opera Ballet chief hails Japan 'challenge'

Thanks to Louis XIV’s love of dance, French is the language of ballet and Paris has remained the center of the art for more than 300 years since the Sun King’s splendiferous 72-year reign ended with his death in 1715. Yet for a company ...

Doraemon, the robot cat, gets your tongue

Mar 1, 2014

Doraemon, the robot cat, gets your tongue

An earless blue robotic cat, one pocket bulging with gadgets from the future and a lifelong fear of mice: Who is he? Japan roars the answer — but English readers may be stumped. Because, even though he’s a government-appointed “cultural ambassador” and a familiar ...

The Pillow Book

| Feb 22, 2014

The Pillow Book

Written by Japan’s original blogger, a mistress of wry observation and scalding wit, Sei Shonagon’s “The Pillow Book” retains its fresh, authentic appeal more than 1,000 years after its inception. Shonagon was a contemporary and presumed rival of Lady Murasaki, author of the “The ...

Flux

Feb 22, 2014

Flux

Flux, the new collection of poems by Japan-based poet Jane Joritz-Nakagawa, reveals a myriad of fluctuations and transitions in style and theme. From the poet’s diverse choice of form to her penetrating eye on the collection’s wide range of subject matter, the poems here ...

Tokyo Ballet turns 50 in romantic style

Feb 5, 2014

Tokyo Ballet turns 50 in romantic style

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Tokyo Ballet, and the company plans to celebrate every step of the way. To launch a full year’s commemoration of its ethos — creative exchanges in dance on a national and global stage — the company’s ...