author

 
 

Meta

Ayako Takahashi
For Ayako Takahashi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jun 8, 2017
Ginza's new noh theater seeks to break down cultural barriers
The Kanze Noh Theater reopened in April in Ginza Six, a new upscale shopping complex in central Tokyo that seeks to attract domestic and foreign audiences to a wide range of the country's traditional performing arts.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Mar 21, 2017
Modern dramatist's 'dark and gorgeous' kabuki tests famed brothers
Life and death are major themes for artists, and for dramatists no less.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jan 24, 2017
Celtic noh draws on two cultures' essence
Noh is a uniquely Japanese form of musical drama that dates back to at least the 14th century. However, it took 600 years before this performing art surfaced in Western culture — notably with Irish poet William Butler Yeats' noh-inspired 1917 play "At the Hawk's Well."
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Sep 27, 2016
Noh's drum pair keep it in the family
Japan's musical dance-theater form known as noh was honed to its sublime simplicity in the 14th century by a father and son named Kan'ami and Zeami, and since then it has changed very little.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jul 26, 2016
The Kabukiza's special August season of short plays looks set to be a scorcher
Kabuki never used to be performed in August at the Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo, but in 1990 two of its late, great actors, Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII and Bando Mitsugoro X, instigated the staging of short programs during that sweltering month to help expand the audience.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Apr 26, 2016
Japan's traditional performing arts getting set for the Olympics
Spurred on by the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, many people involved in Japan's traditional performing arts are preparing for the surge in overseas visitors expected in 2020 — notably the Japan Council, which manages the National Theatre, the National Bunraku Theatre and the National Noh Theatre.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Nov 24, 2015
Japan's top ballerina recalls times shared with French star
'Sylvie's retirement fills me with deep emotion. She is truly a ballerina who appears only once in 100 years.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Sep 22, 2015
Star actor Mirai Moriyama shares his delight at being 'in a mess'
As the saying goes, "If you chase two hares, you'll catch neither" — but award-winning actor Mirai Moriyama is proving the exception who's broken this rule by adding "top-flight dancer" to his resume.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
May 26, 2015
Queens' tale speaks to now
Though it's 40 years since Italian playwright Dacia Maraini wrote "Mary Stuart," this story of two queens — Elizabeth I of England and Ireland and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots — remains as relevant now as ever in its portrayal of two women burning with anger about their exploitation by men despite themselves contrasting so much in their outlooks on life and love.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Mar 25, 2015
Top bunraku artist ensures his master's name lives on
Traditional Japanese puppetry, known as bunraku, has its roots in 17th-century Osaka, but in the following century a variant emerged in which, rather than a puppet being handled by just one person, three performers working together operated each puppet in a play's cast.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Mar 18, 2015
All change for Kanze noh theater
Of Japan's many traditional performing arts, noh is the most refined — and among its most prominent figures today is 55-year-old Kiyokazu Kanze, the 26th head of its largest faction, the Kanze School.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Feb 4, 2015
Malakhov brings borscht to ballet
"In my free time when I'm not taking classes or conducting rehearsals, I like to go to theaters and museums — or just go shopping and visit different parts of the city," Vladimir Malakhov, The Tokyo Ballet's new artistic adviser explained during our recent Japan Times interview.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jan 28, 2015
Roppongi Kabuki cites sci-fi, punk
Known for its nightlife, its fleets of Ferraris and condos with sky-high prices, the affluent central Tokyo district of Roppongi will soon go where even that multinational neighborhood has never gone before — when the launch of a program named Roppongi Kabuki will see that ancient form of traditional theater staged there for the first time ever.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jan 14, 2015
Ichiyanagi opera aims to be 'total work of art'
As part of its 40th-anniversary celebrations, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama will stage a world-premier version of "Legend of the Water Flame," an opera by the renowned composer Toshi Ichiyanagi that's scored around a libretto by a fellow octogenarian, the poet Makoto Ooka.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Jan 1, 2015
Curtains up on 2015
Innovation adds sparkle to traditional forms
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Dec 24, 2014
Ballet meets noh in unique 'Feast of Beauty'
No matter what the weather early next year, a really special show being staged once only in Osaka and Tokyo is sure to set ablaze the hearts of noh and ballet fans alike.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Nov 5, 2014
Spain's ballet powers in
After many years at the Paris Opera Ballet, Jose Carlos Martinez left that fabled company in 2011 when he reached its age limit of 42 for an etoile (principal dancer) — and took up the post of artistic director at the Spanish National Dance Company (Compania Nacional de Danza).
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Oct 1, 2014
Singin' ballet star leads top show's Tokyo cast
Any pantheon of classic Western musical comedy films would include 1952's "Singin' in the Rain" starring the legendary actor and dancer Gene Kelly. Set in late- 1920s Hollywood as it was transitioning from silent films to talkies, it depicts a romance between an established leading man named Don Lockwood (Kelly) and novice actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds).
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Sep 10, 2014
DNA eyes its Tokyo dance legacy
An exciting new dance festival named Dance New Air will debut in Tokyo from Sept. 12, featuring performances, symposia, workshops and film screenings at venues in the central Aoyama district.
Japan Times
CULTURE / Stage
Aug 27, 2014
Bunraku meets the Bard in new 'Sir Falstaff'
The type of Japanese puppetry known as ningyō-jōruri (aka bunraku) has its roots in 17th-century Osaka. Since then, though, there will rarely if ever have been a bunraku play drawn from stories written a little earlier on the other side of the world — yet that's what awaits Tokyo audiences next month when the National Theatre presents "Farusu no Taifu" ("Sir Falstaff").

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves