French idol reflects on her Japanese droid son

Nov 26, 2014

French idol reflects on her Japanese droid son

by Mana Katsura

As a playwright, stage director, Osaka University professor, manager of the Komaba Agora Theater in Tokyo and leader of the city’s Seinendan theater company he formed in 1983, Oriza Hirata — whose “contemporary colloquial theater” set the scene for much of Japan’s new drama ...

Komanosuke Takemoto: a rare voice of tradition

Jan 22, 2014

Komanosuke Takemoto: a rare voice of tradition

by Ayako Takahashi

The traditional performing art of bunraku (ningyō jōruri) involves three puppeteers together operating a cast of single puppets, with a gidayū bushi to the side comprising a story-teller (tayū) and a shamisen player (shamisen- hiki) seated on a round platform (yuka). Originally, the gidayū ...

Jo Kanamori talks dance in Japan

Jan 8, 2014

Jo Kanamori talks dance in Japan

by Nobuko Tanaka

A15-minute drive from Niigata Station, just across the mighty Shinano River pouring into the sea from the Northern Alps, a massive oval-shaped hall sits amid rich green parkland. This is Niigata City Performing Arts Center, aka Ryutopia — the nation’s only public theater with ...

Top billings of 2013

Dec 25, 2013

Top billings of 2013

by Nobuko Tanaka

Although all Japan’s 50 reactors have been shut down since September, cleaning up in the wake of the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is making very slow progress and tens of thousands of people still live in temporary ...