Silence is golden in art-comedy for all

Dec 17, 2014

Silence is golden in art-comedy for all

“I’ve been drawing pictures for as long as I can remember,” Kentaro Kobayashi said when I asked him how he came to be such a versatile and popular entertainer. Sporting a smart white shirt, the good-looking Yokohama native went on to explain that he ...

Real-life Japan caricature cuts to the quick

Dec 10, 2014

Real-life Japan caricature cuts to the quick

Tomohiro Maekawa, the 40-year-old playwright, director and founder of Tokyo’s Ikiume (Buried Alive) theater company, is acclaimed in Japan’s theater world for his groundbreaking sci-fi works sometimes bordering on the surreal. Usually populated by ordinary people such as salarymen and working mothers of around ...

Screen icon's son brings women's rights to the stage

Dec 3, 2014

Screen icon's son brings women's rights to the stage

“Since I was a child, I always wanted to devote my life to film as my father did,” Kenta Fukasaku said during a recent chat in which his late, great role model, the charismatic movie director Kinji Fukasaku, often figured. Yet, despite having made ...

Emoto's 'Shrew' questions to provoke

Nov 19, 2014

Emoto's 'Shrew' questions to provoke

“If I were a man doing the same work, no one would make any special mention of my gender, but I find I’m always being referred to by the media as ‘the female director, Junko Emoto.’ I don’t want to say that’s right or ...

Inside the kingdom of Kodo

Nov 12, 2014

Inside the kingdom of Kodo

As world leaders in the performing art of Japanese drumming, Kodo state on their website that their mission is: “To explore the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko (aka wadaiko), and to forge new directions for this vibrant living art form.” ...

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

Oct 29, 2014

High drama at Festival/Tokyo

News in March that 38-year-old Chiaki Soma had suddenly been removed from the post of program director of Festival/Tokyo, which she had held since it started in 2009, set many theater lovers worrying about the future of the flagship drama event whose stature at ...

Noda's 'Half Gods' powers up in all-Korean revival

Oct 8, 2014

Noda's 'Half Gods' powers up in all-Korean revival

In July 2009, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre’s strategic relaunch with an artistic director in place of the suits who formerly oversaw its bookings was somewhat muted. That was because the sets for productions of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Merchant of Venice” by England’s ...

Kafka's worm takes a high-tech turn

Oct 1, 2014

Kafka's worm takes a high-tech turn

“I work a lot in France, where manga and anime are enormously popular, although many theater producers think they are basically for children and are often too violent. However, they regard my robot theater as being an essentially Japanese art form,” the pioneering dramatist ...

As festival's renown goes global, director hails its local role

Sep 24, 2014

As festival's renown goes global, director hails its local role

Since its launch in 2010, Kyoto Experiment has steadily come to rival, if not even surpass, Festival/Tokyo as the nation’s leading annual showcase for cutting-edge performances. Year on year, its vigor and cultural vibrancy have attracted growing audiences of both new and longstanding theatergoers ...