Yukio Ninagawa's "cherry-blossom" staging of "Macbeth" at the Edinburgh Festival in 1985, with actors in that famously Scottish play sporting kimono rather than kilts, was a sensation due to its radical reimagining of so revered a work.

Since then, the 79-year-old director's uniquely visual productions of 29 of Shakespeare's 37 plays have continued to amaze and astonish audiences and critics worldwide — whether his "A Midsummer Night's Dream" staged in 1995 and '96 with a Zen stone garden replacing the enchanted forest; his beautiful 2005 kabuki version of "Twelfth Night" set in medieval Japan; or his "Coriolanus" in which samurai battled on a temple's steep stone steps.

However, perhaps nothing is more astounding than the fact that Ninagawa has already staged no fewer than seven versions of "Hamlet," the Bard's longest play that he wrote between 1599 and 1602. Nothing, that is, apart from the fact that his eighth take on the tragedy has just opened in Saitama before heading off to Osaka, Taipei and London.