Press conferences are usually upbeat affairs, but at the one held to herald Festival/Tokyo — a two-month theater festival that kicks off Oct. 15 — Artistic Director Sachio Ichimura appears looking worried and begins proceedings by bemoaning the event's financial situation and wondering aloud about its future.

It was quite a shock considering F/T is one of the country's top theater happenings, and an annual must-see for many.

So, to discover what was going on, I sought out several people involved with the event. Gradually it became clear to me that the capital's entire arts landscape is in the throes of unannounced seismic shifts.