国際交流基金 The Japan Foundation Performing Arts Network Japan

Performing Arts Network Japan is a website produced by The Japan Foundation introducing Japan’s performing arts in all their rich diversity. Along with updates on the latest arts information and topics is open access to an invaluable archive of some 300 in-depth interviews of contemporary Japanese artists and international arts presenters, and to an extensive collection of about 250 synopses of contemporary Japanese theater works.

Vol. 148 Updated Mar. 29, 2021

Perfoming Arts in Japan 日本の舞台芸術

Artist Interview アーティストインタビュー


The Music of OKI’s World
Rooted in the Tonkori and the Unique Expression it Inspires

OKI is a musician active around the world, whose innovative music is based on the tonkori, a string instrument of the Karafuto Ainu people. This in-depth interview introduces the world of OKI, who is also active as a music producer and who blurs the boundaries of musical expression by interweaving music rooted around the world—including reggae, dub, R&B, jazz and world music—with Ainu traditional music.

Takuya Murakawa

Eyes that Focus Like a Camera on its Subject
The Vision of Takuya Murakawa

Takuya Murakawa is an emerging director and film artist working from his base in Kyoto. With a clear influence coming from the documentary films he studied while doing theater as a college student, Murakawa has developed a unique style of theater, creating works as if focusing a camera on his subject, or with a working method similar to editing film footage. Although his work is sometimes categorized within the genre of documentary theater often introduced in Japan in the 2010s, Murakawa’s interest actually lies in a different direction. In this interview, we look at his representative works and hear his thoughts about the fundamental questions he brings to his theater-making.

Takuya Murakawa

With コロナの視点
An Interview with Kuro Tanino
Revealing a new “With Corona” Perspective

With a parallel career as a psychiatrist, Tanino Kuro (leader of the theater company Niwa Gekidan Penino) has created a unique world of theater that presents the viewers with stage art that is detailed to the point of obstinacy. In addition to his activities in arts festivals in Japan and abroad, in recent years he has conducted programs to high acclaim at the Aubade Hall in his native Toyama City in Toyama prefecture that are deeply oriented toward the local citizenry. The new condition brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic have prompted Kuro to venture into virtual reality (VR) methods, resulting in two works presented as Dark Master VR and Egao no Toride ’20 Kikyou (literally: The Fortress of Smiles ’20 Homecoming). In this interview, we talk with Kuro about his creative work and the potential of VR in this time when the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a state of seclusion on people.

International Presenter 世界のプレゼンター

Presenter Interview プレゼンターインタビュー


With コロナ の視点
With Corona” Perspective
Akane Nakamura (producer) Interview

As producer of the private sector production company precog Co., Ltd., Akane Nakamura (born, 1979) works with such artists as Toshiki Okada (chelfitsch), Yudai Kamisato, Mikuni Yanaihara (Nibroll), Teppei Kaneuji and Norimizu Ameya on productions in the fields of theater, dance, fine arts, literary arts and interdisciplinary works, while constantly seeking contemporary relevance and developing the potential of artistic expression. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the challenge for the company to seek new forms of online presentation of works and the establishment of the Theatre for All platform (Approved by Agency for Cultural Affairs) focusing on audience that preciously found theaters difficult to access. In this interview Nakamura talks about her beginnings in production and on to her latest projects for presenting the arts.

Tatsuki Hayashi

With コロナの視点
Tatsuki Hayashi (Dramaturg) Interview
The “With Corona” Perspective

Tatsuki Hayashi (b. 1982) has been employed by the Mousonturm (Künstlerhaus Mousonturm) theater in Frankfurt, Germany since 2019 as a project curator (dramaturg). In this interview he discusses the German performing arts scene under the COVID pandemic. Also, as a dramaturg who has worked on projects with Akira Takayama, with Takuya Murakawa in his involvement with the Rohm Theatre Kyoto project, as well as initiating an approach to Yuji Kinoshita, Hayashi gives us insights into his view of the dramaturg as “process-maker.”

Satoshi Miyagi

With コロナの視点
Satoshi Miyagi Interview
The With Corona Perspective

Last year, Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) had to cancel its annual Fuji no Kuni ⇄ World Theatre Festival Shizuoka, and instead held an online event titled Kumo no Ue (literally: Above the clouds) ⇅ World Theatre Festival 2020. Since then, the Center has launched a variety of projects under the title SPAC GekiHai! (Literally: Theater delivery [to your home]). In this interview held in two sessions in June 2020 and March 2021, we speak with SPAC’s General Artistic Director, Satoshi Miyagi, about dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the latest plans for the 2021 World Theatre Festival that will feature a triple bill of three outdoor theatre productions.

New Plays 日本の新作戯曲

コンとロール 細川洋平 Control Yohei Hosokawa

This play premiered in the opening performances in 2021 of the solo theater company Horobite founded by its leader, playwright and director, Yohei Hosokawa, who is also active as an actor. This work tells the story of man who comes into possession of a game control that is capable of controlling people as well. Using it, he begins to control people around him with fear and violence….

罪と愛 小田尚稔 Sin and Love Naotoshi Oda

This play was a Finalist in the 65th Kishida Prize for Drama. Naotoshi Oda (born 1986) is known for his works that largely reference philosophical and intellectual literature, and this Finalist work takes Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment as a reference point to create a personal short story-like play about men living in poverty. The protagonists are four Man who appear to represent Oda himself. Taking a core image of Man writing stage scripts, the story presents shifting fragmented images from the solitary daily lives of the four Man.

外地の三人姉妹 ソン・ギウン Gaichi no San Shimai
(Three Sisters from Abroad)
Sung Kiwoong

This is a new work by the same pair who staged an adaptation of Chekov’s The Seagull set in Korea during the colonization by Japan in the 1930s, titled Karumegi (adaptation/stage play by Sung Kiwoong and direction by Junnosuke Tada). This new work is an adaptation of Chekov’s Three Sisters set again in Korea in the 1930s in the home of a deceased Japanese military officer named Fukuzawa. The setting is the Fukuzawa home, where conversation goes on in Japanese, pigeon Japanese and Korean. The family consists of the eldest daughter, Yoko (Olga), who is an elementary school teacher, the second daughter, Masako (Masha), the third daughter Naoko (Irina), and the eldest son Akira (Andrei), who has married a young Korean woman, and the play depicts the increasingly stifling state of their lives.

Arts Organizations 世界の支援団体

劇作家・作曲家協会(SACD) La Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD) La Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD)

The prolific 18th century French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais, whose oeuvre includes the dramas The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, was a central figure in the founding of SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers). The membership-based organization was established with the aim of the protection of writers’ and composers’ rights and interests. Today the SACD has expanded its scope to the fields of film, dance, circuses, among others, and has an approximate membership of 56,000 (as of 2019).

緊急事態舞台芸術ネットワーク Japan Performing Arts Solidarity Network Japan Performing Arts Solidarity Network

Japan Performing Arts Solidarity Network was set up in May 2020 to help provide support for the performing arts industry, as it began suffering enormous losses as a result of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The network’s participating members in-clude about 200 organizations, which until now had little or no cooperative involvement with each other, such as public and private sector theaters, theater companies, production and ticket sales companies and stage art companies. Stepping forward to offer their experti-se as consultants and sponsors are some of Japan’s leading promotion companies, producers, performers and legal professionals.

アーツ・エクウェイター Arts Equator Arts Equator

Arts Equator is a not-for-profit organization (NPO) founded in 2016 by Jenny Daneels, the founder of the Malaysian performing arts information platform Kakiseni, and Kathy Rowland. It was established in Singapore as a platform for statements about and critiques of the arts in Southeast Asia, and it receives operating funding from the National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore.