Reigakusha: Gagaku & Bugaku
[Concert] September 21, 2:30 PM
Known for its ethereal tones and timbres, gagaku has been the official music of the Japanese imperial court for over a millennium and has become synonymous with the luxurious court life of the Heian period (794—1185). Founded by Sukeyasu Shiba, a former member of the gagaku ensemble at the Imperial Household, the distinguished gagaku ensemble Reigakusha presents a full spectrum of the world's oldest surviving orchestral music for this rare U.S. appearance. Reigakusha will perform from the ancient ceremonial repertoire including a bugaku piece (music ensemble with accompanying dancers) as well as contemporary works by Toru Takemitsu and Shiba himself
Next event9/21/2019 2:30 PM
Introduction to Gagaku for Musicians
[Workshop] September 22, 1 PM
Delve into the enchanting melodies of the world's oldest form of orchestral music. The members of Reigakusha will introduce the individual instruments in a traditional gagaku ensemble, providing a rare opportunity for amateur and professional musicians alike to try their hand at making these otherworldly sounds.
Next event9/22/2019 1:00 PM
OBSERVER TICKET: Introduction to Gagaku for Musicians
[Workshop] OBSERVER TICKET: September 22,1 PM
Next event9/22/2019 1:00 PM
Workshop: Japanese Nerikomi Pottery
[Workshop] September 27, 6:30 PM
At this workshop, try out the mesmerizing Japanese pottery-making technique of nerikomi. Stack and slice strips of colorful clay to reveal striking patterns, creating one-of-a-kind designs. Instructor Risa Nishimori of the NY Togei Kyoshitsu studio will lead guests through the process of creating their own unique pieces of nerikomi ceramic art.
Next event9/27/2019 6:30 PM
Tora-san's Dear Old Home
[Monthly Classic] October 4, 7 PM
While passing through the historic city of Kanazawa, Tora-san encounters three young women on vacation who all take delight in his boisterous hijinks, especially Utako (Sayuri Yoshinaga). When she shows up in Shibamata for more entertaining distractions, Tora-san is more than delighted to oblige his newfound "Madonna," but Utako soon confides that her father refuses her marriage to the man she loves back home. Heartbroken yet ever-well-intentioned, Tora-san resolves to set the matter straight.
Next event10/4/2019 7:00 PM
[5 SESSION COURSE] Japan Goes Global: History and Impact of International Exchange
[Educator Program] 5-SESSION Course
October 5, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
October 19, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
November 2, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
November 9, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
December 7, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
A five-session interactive, collaborative program designed to equip educators with an overview of Japanese history in the context of global history. This two P-credit and/or CTLE course will help participants develop the resources and skills to create and refine lesson plans for middle school and high school social studies, literature, global history and geography, and arts classrooms. Key content includes the origin of the Japanese people; early relationships with neighboring Asian countries; Japan's early contacts with European countries and changing foreign policy during the Age of Exploration; the modernization of Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the development of imperialism; and Japan's postwar role as a peaceful economic and cultural superpower.
Next event10/5/2019 9:30 AM
[Session 1] Japan Goes Global: October 5, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
[Educator Program] Individually Priced Session #1 - Ancient Japan: Relationship with China and Korea
Peopling of Japan
Theories of migrations from Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia will be introduced with consideration of archeological, linguistic, and genetic evidence in understanding premodern history. The course also includes examination of the archeological relationship with Korean peninsula, as well as spoken and written language in relationship with Southeast Asia and China.
Classical Japan : Nara period (710-794) and Heian Periods (794-1185)
Session will introduce participants to classical Japan, and how direct contact with China’s Tang and Song dynasties played a pivotal role in Japan’s development. Key topics include the exchange between China and Japan in the Nara and Heian periods through Japanese delegations to China (Buddhist Missions) and the complex cultural influence of China on the development of Japan’s political system, language, and religious practices.
Next event10/5/2019 9:30 AM
Current Work: Rirkrit Tiravanija & Atelier Bow Wow
[Gallery Talk] October 11, 4PM
Momoyo Kaijima and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, founders of architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow, focus their work on behavioral relationships in living environments, and how human interaction can affect the cityscape as well as society. Innovative contemporary artist Rirkrit Tiravanija, who splits his time between New York, Berlin and Chiang Mai, is known for his "relational" artistic practice offering real-time experience and aligning social engagement as art. In this discussion, they will talk about their current works and share views on living, art and architecture.
Next event10/11/2019 4:00 PM
Shohei Shigematsu & Atelier Bow Wow on the Past & Future of Architecture
[Gallery Talk] October 11, 6:30 PM
Tokyo's architectural landscape is constantly shifting in response to social conditions, and the fast-approaching 2020 Summer Games have been a significant impetus for current changes. From the eyes of architects, what is the challenge of Tokyo and what is the fascination of this metropolis? Atelier Bow-Wow sparks a conversation on Tokyo's changing architectural landscape with Shohei Shigematsu, a Partner at OMA and the Director of OMA's New York office, who is engaged in Tokyo's current phase of urban development with projects like the highly anticipated Toranomon Hills Station Tower and the New Museum's second building in New York, whose design has just been unveiled.
Next event10/11/2019 6:30 PM
[Session 2] Japan Goes Global: October 19, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
[Educator Program] Individually Priced Session #2 - Medieval and Early Modern Japan: Encounter with Mongol Empire and Europe
Kamakura Period (1192-1333) and Pre Modern Periods
In this morning session, participants will examine the political rise of warrior (samurai) class with particular focus on how two attempted invasions by the Mongol Empire influenced Japan’s domestic policies. The course also includes how Japan responded to the early contacts with Europeans (Portugal and Spain) and how the introduction of Christianity influenced Japan’s domestic politics, arts and culture.
Age of Global Explorations and Isolation in Tokugawa Period (1603-1868)
The afternoon session will introduce participants to Japan’s seclusion during the Age of Exploration and examine reasons for restricting contact with foreign countries during the early Tokugawa Period. Participants will then examine how global pressures and increased contact in the 19th century helped open Japan to the world through the lens of surging imperialism.
Next event10/19/2019 9:30 AM
Embrace Rural: Why it Matters
[Innovators] October 22, 6:30 PM
From Nebraska to Niigata, rural communities are being neglected out of existence. Rural life is giving way to the muscular expansion of the megacity. And yet, those of us who inhabit places like New York and Tokyo are dependent on rural areas for the energy we consume and the food we eat, and crave a little green corner of the planet to breathe clean air and enjoy the natural environment. Are we dismissing rural communities at our peril? With more than 50 years of experience between them, two key leaders in rural reinvention, Tsuyoshi Sekihara, founder, Kamiechigo Yamazato Fan Club in Joetsu, Niigata and Janet Topolsky, Executive Director, Community Strategies Group, Aspen Institute in Washington, DC, share their experience and insights. They are joined by Richard McCarthy, Slow Food International, and the evening's moderator, New Food Economy editor Kate Cox.
Next event10/22/2019 6:30 PM
Forest Bathing: Seeking Wellness Through Nature
[Lecture] October 23, 6:30 PM
In Japan, the practice of shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing" is hailed for its therapeutic effects. Proponents believe that by simply immersing ourselves in the atmosphere of a forest, we can soak in the healing power of trees. In a fast-paced world, forest bathing is a chance to be mindful of our surroundings, and to connect with nature through our senses. At this talk, Dr. Yoshifumi Miyazaki, former deputy director of Chiba University's Center for Environment, Health, and Field Sciences and author of Shinrin Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing, examines the scientific evidence behind the concept of forest bathing and its potential to enhance wellness and happiness. Discover how you can connect with nature through this Japanese tradition, wherever you live.
Next event10/23/2019 6:30 PM
Kwaidan - Call of Salvation Heard from the Depths of Fear
[Theater] October, 24, 7:30 PM
Japan's scariest ghost stories are brought to life by acclaimed actor Shiro Sano through his dynamic reading of Kwaidan, a collection of Japanese folktales from writer Lafcadio Hearn ( 1850-1904). Also known as Yakumo Koizumi, Hearn was attracted to the beauty of Japan and Shintoism, which incorporates worship of nature, spirits and ancestors. Sano's reading, accompanied by powerful and exquisite live music by distinguished guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto, illustrates Hearn's open-minded view of Japan and the world. Preceding the live performance, folklorist Bon Koizumi, the great-grandson of Hearn and Director of the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum in the city of Matsue, will give a short lecture.
Next event10/24/2019 7:30 PM
Creative Play: Yokai (Creepy Creature) Mask
[Creative Play] October 27, 1 PM
Children will meet some of Japan’s favorite spirits (yokai) like tengu and kappa, and create their own hybrid creature masks in the spirit of Halloween.
Next event10/27/2019 1:00 PM
Family Workshop: Kowai/Kawaii (Spooky/Cute) Clay Bento
[Family Workshop] October 27, 2:30 PM
Children will make kawaii Halloween-themed clay bento that can be enjoyed and played with again and again. Charaben is a style of elaborately arranged bento (Japanese boxed lunch) which features food decorated to look like people, characters, animals and plants.
Next event10/27/2019 2:30 PM
[Session 3] Japan Goes Global: November 2, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
[Educator Program] Individually Priced Sessions #3 - Modern Japan: Beginning of US-Japan Relationship to WWII
Beginning of the US-Japan Relationship - Meiji Period (1868-1912)
Participants will examine the rise of Japan on the international stage during the Meiji period with particular focus on the relationship between the United States and Japan. Key topics include the rise of Japanese imperialism, Japan’s connections to other Asian neighbors, and the economic rise and prosperity of Japan within the global economy.
Showa Japan: Foreign Relations and World War II:
Participants will explore the topic of the early Showa period in Japan, with a particular focus on political and foreign policy leading into WWII. Participants will consider and compare different perspectives of imperialism, Japan-U.S political negotiations during this period, and the events of the Asia-Pacific War.
Next event11/2/2019 9:30 AM
Composing for the Sun: A Conversation with Philip Glass
[Performing Arts Talk] November 6, 6:30 PM
In conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera’s presentation of a new production of Akhnaten, Japan Society hosts a conversation with the opera’s celebrated composer Philip Glass. The opera’s title character, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, moved his society toward the worship of a single god and considered himself the only son of the sun. His sun-god focused religion suggests interesting comparisons and contrasts with Japanese imperial mythology that described the emperor of Japan as a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu. Glass sits down with Professor Tom Hare of Princeton University—a specialist in Japanese and ancient Egyptian literature and arts—to talk about how he was inspired by and drawn to the Egyptian pharaoh’s story, his strong interest in Japan, and more. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who will sing the title role in the production, performs an excerpt from the opera.
Next event11/6/2019 6:30 PM
[Session 4] Japan Goes Global: November 9, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
[Educator Program] Individually Priced Session #4 - Post War Japan
Post-war Japan: Occupation and Recovery
Participants will examine Japan at the end of the war. The session also prepares participants to teach the occupation of Japan, its democratization under the guidance of the US, and how Japanese society was impacted. Key topics to be covered include US impact on the Japanese Constitution, Occupation policies designed to create “democratization,” and the rebuilding of the US-Japan relationship.
Rapid Economic Growth and Decline
Participants will examine Japan’s post-war economic boom and the impact of foreign relations on its economy during the Cold War, Vietnam and Korean Wars as well as the Olympics in 1964. The session will also explore Japan’s period of economic stagnation, known as the “Lost Decade” (1991-2000) in which economic growth abruptly ended and whose consequences Japanese policymakers continue to grapple with.
Next event11/9/2019 9:30 AM
Creative Play: Autumn Foliage (Momijigari)
[Creative Play] November 10, 1 PM
Next event11/10/2019 1:00 PM
Family Workshop: Japanese Architecture
[Family Workshop] November 10, 2:30 PM
Next event11/10/2019 2:30 PM
Taiten: Noh & Kyogen PERFORMANCE ONLY
[Traditional Theater] November 14, 7:30 PM
November 15, 7:30 PM
November 16, 7:30 PM
Rarely performed in the last century, Taiten is a modern noh play that was created to celebrate the Taisho emperor's enthronement in 1912. In recognition of the arrival of the Reiwa era under Emperor Naruhito, Kuroemon Katayama X, a renowned noh actor and scion of the Kyoto Kanze Association, remounts this historic noh play. Per tradition, the noh play is paired with a comedic kyogen piece. Noritoshi Yamamoto from the prestigious Yamamoto Tojiro Family performs Kagyu (The Snail), one of the most popular pieces from the traditional kyogen repertoire.
Next event11/14/2019 7:30 PM
Taiten: Noh & Kyogen PERFORMANCE & SOIREE
[Traditional Theater] November 14, 7:30 PM
November 15, 7:30 PM
November 16, 7:30 PM
Rarely performed in the last century, Taiten is a modern noh play that was created to celebrate the Taisho emperor's enthronement in 1912. In recognition of the arrival of the Reiwa era under Emperor Naruhito,
Kuroemon Katayama X , a renowned noh actor and scion of the Kyoto Kanze Association, remounts this historic noh play. Per tradition, the noh play is paired with a comedic kyogen piece. Noritoshi Yamamoto from the prestigious Yamamoto Tojiro Family performs Kagyu (The Snail), one of the most popular pieces from the traditional kyogen repertoire.
Next event11/14/2019 7:30 PM
The Basics of Noh
[1-DAY Performing Arts Workshop] November 15, 1 PM
Learn basic movements from one of Japan’s most distinguished theatrical traditions that has been passed down for over 600 years. Led by noh actors from the renowned Kyoto Kanze Association, the workshop will focus on noh’s stylized movements. Enjoy a rare chance to view noh masks and costumes up close as the actors share their expertise and knowledge on this centuries old tradition.
Next event11/15/2019 1:00 PM
[2-DAY] The Basics of Noh and Kyogen
[2-DAY Performing Arts Workshop] November 15, 1 PM
November 16, 1 PM
Learn basic movements from two of Japan’s most distinguished theatrical traditions that have been passed down for over 600 years. The first day will be led by noh actors from the renowned Kyoto Kanze Association, focusing on noh’s physicality and stylized movements. On the second day, members of the Yamamoto Tojiro Family will teach the exaggerated gestures and voice work needed to perform kyogen, noh’s comedic cousin.
Next event11/15/2019 1:00 PM
The Basics of Kyogen
[1-DAY Performing Arts Workshop] November 16, 1 PM
Known for their rigid preservation of this art form’s dignified style, members of the prestigious Yamamoto Tojiro Family of the Okura School of Kyogen will teach the exaggerated gestures and voice work needed to perform kyogen—noh’s comedic cousin. Participants will learn the school’s disciplined sense of physicality as well as hallmark phrases that are spoken by feudal lords and their vassals.
Next event11/16/2019 1:00 PM
[Session 5] Japan Goes Global: December 7, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
[Educator Program] Individually Priced Session #5 - Contemporary Japan and Global Relations
Contemporary Japan and its Foreign policy
Participants will explore key developments in Japanese international relations from 1989 (the end of the Cold War) to the present. Key topics will include the use of Japanese defense forces in overseas conflicts, continuation of Article 9 of the Constitution, and the influence of energy policies on Japanese international relations during this era.
US-Japan Alliance – a Case study: “Operation Tomodachi”
Operation Tomodachi was a United States Armed Forces (especially U.S. Forces Japan) assistance operation to support Japan in disaster relief following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. In this afternoon session, Matthew Freely, PhD., a former Navy captain who engaged in the operation, will share his case study as well as a personal story from the devastation and the US-Japan coordinated relief efforts.
Next event12/7/2019 9:30 AM
Creative Play: Nengajo Postcards
[Creative Play] December 8, 1 PM
Next event12/8/2019 1:00 PM
Family Workshop: Woodblock Printing
[Family Workshop] December 8, 2:30 PM
Next event12/8/2019 2:30 PM
The Unknown Dancer in the Neighborhood
[Contemporary Theater] January 10, 7 PM
January 11, 7 PM
January 12, 1 PM
January 14, 7 PM
Back by popular demand after his North American debut of Girl X in 2017 at Japan Society, Suguru Yamamoto, one of Japan's hottest young playwright-directors and founder of theater company HANCHU-YUEI, returns with his latest one-man dance theater piece. The Unknown Dancer in the Neighborhood features Yamamoto's signature directing style, in which characters’ thoughts are conveyed through projected words, alluding to the millennial generation's preferred mode of communication—texting. Blending movement, photography and colorful lighting,Yamamoto reveals the indifference and tenderness of a metropolis where the lives of complete strangers continuously interact and coalesce.
Next event1/10/2020 7:00 PM
Fruits borne out of rust
[Contemporary Dance] March 6, 7:30 PM
March 7, 7:30 PM
Isolation, contagion and instability: Fruits borne out of rust, conceived of and directed by internationally known Japanese visual artist Tabaimo, uses drawings, video installations and live music to probe these unsettling themes that lurk beneath daily existence. Her intricate animations transform the stage into a wood floor apartment, a large birdcage that traps the dancer with a dove, and a line of tatami mats that swallows the dancer whole. Tabaimo's collaborator, award-winning choreographer Maki Morishita, mischievously blends the subtle movements of the dancer's fingers and toes with the dynamic drive of her limbs and torso, enhancing Tabaimo's peculiar and introspective world.
Next event3/6/2020 7:30 PM
Play Reading Series: Cooking Up
[Play Reading] March 30, 7:30 PM
The real and the surreal come together at a small French restaurant in Japan in Cooking Up, written by emerging playwright and director Shoko Matsumura. One of the finalists for the prestigious Kishida Kunio Drama Award, the play takes an unusual turn when the head chef’s wife asks her husband’s mistress to take the place of their missing house cat. Jordana De La Cruz, Co-Director of the OBIE Award-winning performance venue JACK in Brooklyn, directs this absurd sojourn into the private lives of the restaurant’s employees.
Next event3/30/2020 7:30 PM
[Contemporary Theater] May 8, 7:30 PM
May 9, 7:30 PM
May 10, 2:30 PM
What's going on behind the scenes in the lead-up to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics? One of Japan's most influential theater makers, Oriza Hirata, offers a comedic answer to this question through two one-act plays. Control Officers recounts a single scene in which the top male Olympic hopefuls in swimming undergo a routine doping test. Hilarity ensues when the control officers try to remain neutral as the ongoing interpersonal drama between the swimmers unfolds before them. In addition, Hirata will also write a new companion piece about the Paralympics especially for this New York engagement. Hirata's theater company Seinendan, in its fourth North American tour, performs both pieces.
Next event5/8/2020 7:30 PM