Stuart Varnam-Atkin

For Stuart Varnam-Atkin's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Hop, step and thump

Stage Jan 8, 2014

Hop, step and thump

The audience bursts into applause and a green-, black- and terracotta-striped curtain called the joshiki-maku comes down on a sparkling kabuki performance; rather, it's rapidly pulled across from stage left to right. But as everyone knows, it's not time to leave the auditorium, as ...

Tokyo's 'fayrest that ever was'

Stage Dec 11, 2013

Tokyo's 'fayrest that ever was'

Scene 1: Late evening, Sept. 23, 1990, at the tiny Greek amphitheater, Shin-Okubo, Tokyo 'Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more ... " Dozens of actors, actresses, staff, and hangers-on are sitting on the steps, drinks in hand, watching a distinguished British actor perform ...

The wonderful worlds of 100 <em>waka</em>

Language Dec 30, 2012

The wonderful worlds of 100 waka

The scene: England, Boxing Day 2012. The archetypical Carters are relaxing after a cold turkey lunch (with bread sauce) and are watching the Royal Family's latest sonnets being read on the goggle-box. Time for a game! "'Scrabble'?" "No, it always becomes 'Squabble'!" "'Monopoly'?" "No, Grandad monopolizes the bank!" "Charades?" "No, ...