For William Andrews's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Jul 23, 2016
In 2008, a previously obscure novella by Takiji Kobayashi entered the best-seller lists in Japan. "The Cannery Boat," a tale of worker exploitation originally published in 1929, acquired new resonance in the fallout from the global economic meltdown. Kobayashi features prominently in "For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature."
May 28, 2016
The first dance in Japan may well have been a mythological striptease. In one of the most famous episodes from Japanese folklore, the goddess Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto entices Amaterasu Omikami, the sun deity, to come out of hiding by ripping off her clothes and dancing. The elemental irreverence of this moment is still visible today in butoh, a style of dance also known as ankoku butoh ("the dance of utter darkness").
Apr 28, 2014
Nov 18, 2013
Sep 18, 2009
Seminaked men, shaven-headed, their bodies covered in white makeup, move with intent slowness on the stage: Anyone who has ever seen Ankoku Butoh — Japan's most famous dance export — will recognize this description. But, as good as the likes of internationally acclaimed dance troupe Sankai Juku are, there is in fact a lot more to Japanese dance.
Jul 24, 2009
The auditorium at Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo's Sangengaya district was filled with the mostly female fans of actor Masaaki Uchino, patiently waiting for the play "Blackbird" by David Harrower to begin. The taunt and provocative drama that subsequently unfolded no doubt caught some of them by surprise.
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