Natsume Date

For Natsume Date's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Theater tale of two cities highlights Tokyo's loss

Feb 18, 2015

Theater tale of two cities highlights Tokyo's loss

Built to commemorate the International Year of the Child in 1979, and opened in 1985, the marvelous National Children’s Castle (Kodomo no Shiro) arts and sports facility in Tokyo’s central Shibuya district was closed this month — along with the 1,200-seat Aoyama Theatre and ...

Language no barrier to 'The River'

Feb 18, 2015

Language no barrier to 'The River'

Playwright and director Go Aoki is one of today’s many leading dramatists who emerged through the shōgekijō (small-scale youth theater) movement of the 1980s-2000s Though he founded his theater troupe Gring in 1997, and with it specialized in detailed and realistic conversational plays, he ...

Rising stars of kabuki run new-year Asakusa gauntlet

Jan 14, 2015

Rising stars of kabuki run new-year Asakusa gauntlet

One of the major sightseeing spots in Tokyo, and indeed in Japan, is the city’s oldest temple, Sensoji, which was founded in 645 in the Asakusa district of present-day Taito Ward. Though perpetually thronged with people, its beautiful precincts attract staggering numbers at New ...

Star Belgian choreographer celebrates manga and more

Jan 7, 2015

Star Belgian choreographer celebrates manga and more

“Tokyo, my brother, my protector” was the tweet posted by Belgian-born Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui — often dubbed “the busiest choreographer in the world” — straight after he arrived here two months ago. Explaining in a recent interview with this writer what had prompted so ...

Curtains up on 2015

Jan 1, 2015

Curtains up on 2015

Innovation adds sparkle to traditional forms Looking into the crystal ball of Japan’s traditional performing arts in 2015 reveals a sparkling blend of change and tradition. In what is its 120th year, the film and theater company and pillar of kabuki, Shochiku, will mark ...

'Entrance/Exit' shows the way for new arts fest

Dec 17, 2014

'Entrance/Exit' shows the way for new arts fest

Bulging like a half moon out into the Seto Inland Sea from Kyushu’s northeast corner, the Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita Prefecture may be remote and lack rail links to the rest of the country, but since time immemorial it has been a crossroads for ...

Sarajevo's fine MESS shines light from yet more darkness

Nov 26, 2014

Sarajevo's fine MESS shines light from yet more darkness

This year is the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and among commemorations worldwide, in Sarajevo, in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, there have been numerous events marking the June 28, 1914 assassination there of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife ...

Who cares what Faust looks like

Oct 8, 2014

Who cares what Faust looks like

German contemporary theater has only begun to be introduced in Japan this century, before when the term “Western theater” was generally associated with works by British or American directors that told a story and diligently portrayed the psychological state of the characters. In comparison, ...