For the last month, seven cutting-edge artists brought together by the UK-based Grizedale Arts have been re-enacting Akira Kurosawa’s film “The Seven Samurai” in the rural hamlet of Toge, Nigata. The film was chosen because the artists see themselves as analogous to the film’s vagrant samurai in how they are able to create sense in the face of cultural change.

The Grizedale Arts’ Seven Samurai project (www.sevensamurai.jp) is the core event for the First Ikebukuro International Art Festival (www.artfes-ikebukuro.org). After a live performance in collaboration with Toge villagers on July 23, which opens the Echigo Tsumari Triennial (www.echigo-tsumari.jp), the seven artists will join four others who have been working on the Seven Samurai theme with residents of Ikebukuro. Together they will be presenting an exciting weekend of live performances July 29 & 30, 4 p.m.-5 p.m. at East Ikebukuro Central Park (Sunshine City), and 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at Ikebukuro West Gate Park, as well as July 27 from 8 p.m. at SuperDeluxe in Roppongi.

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