Japanese Tea Ceremony: Omotesenke
[Workshop] February 26, 6:30 PM
The Japanese art of tea ceremony is a time-honored tradition still widely practiced today, but with so many tools and so much etiquette, learning this beautiful practice can seem daunting.
Next event2/26/2020 6:30 PM
Creative Play: Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival)
[Creative Play] March 1, 1 PM
Hinamatsuri is the early-spring tradition of families wishing for the health and happiness of young girls in Japan. Each year, grand collections of beautiful hina dolls are put out on display in honor of this festival. At this program, families will have the opportunity to view an authentic collection of these traditional dolls and join in on other Hinamatsuri crafts. All children are welcome!
Next event3/1/2020 1:00 PM
Family Workshop: Japanese Folk Dancing
[Family Workshop] March 1, 2:30 PM
Traditional Japanese dance has a long history and many variations, often borrowing movement from nature, animals, and life. At this workshop, families will have the unique opportunity to embrace a joyful Japanese tradition! Learn, create, and dance with the Hanagasa Kai group from the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York. All abilities welcomed!
Next event3/1/2020 2:30 PM
Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics
Boro ("rags" or " tatters") are patchwork textiles hand-pieced by peasants in Japan in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The inability to cultivate cotton in the northern climate of Tohoku necessitated the practice of stitching used fabric into utilitarian items, including blankets, coats and mittens. These garments—reworked over generations—express essential principles of Japanese ethics and aesthetics, such as an appreciation for distinguished imperfections and the avoidance of waste, a subject central to the upcoming 2020 Summer Games. For the first time in the U.S., this exhibition assembles over 50 pieces from the personal collection of Chuzaburo Tanaka ( 1933-2016), a renowned folklorist and cultural anthropologist.
Next event3/6/2020 12:00 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
Kyoichi Tsuzuki: The Beauty of Survival
[Lecture] March 7, 2 PM
Kyoichi Tsuzuki is an editor and photographer whose photo-reportage Tokyo Style, first published in 1997, proposed a full immersion into the private lives of the Japanese through photographs and texts written by Tsuzuki. His works, while eloquently commenting on living conditions of ordinary people, do not reflect the distant gaze of a sociologist analyzing the world. Rather, Tsuzuki's seemingly banal photographs of everyday environments uncover the hidden value and beauty of textiles born out of necessity for survival in Tohoku.
Next event3/7/2020 2:00 PM
Japan's Alcohol Traditions: Sake, Shochu, Whisky & More
[Lecture] March 10, 6:30 PM
The scope of alcoholic beverages in Japan encompasses traditional drinks like sake, as well as Japanese interpretations of historically Western beverages. Japanese whisky, whose early fans included such luminaries as Jean-Paul Sartre and Ian Fleming, is today acclaimed as some of the world’s best.
Next event3/10/2020 6:30 PM
[Film] March 13, 7 PM
In this wry comedy adapted from the semi-autobiographical work of legendary cartoonist Yoshiharu Tsuge, a hapless manga artist disillusioned with drawing comics turns his attention to selling rocks that he finds in a nearby river – a hopeless endeavor that only further estranges him from his poverty-stricken family.
Next event3/13/2020 7:00 PM
Japanese Textiles: New Perspectives
[Gallery Event] March 15, 11 AM
Elizabeth Wilson, co-founder and owner of Asiatica, a fashion retailer that specializes in making artisanal clothing from vintage and contemporary Japanese textiles, will be in discussion with Thomas Murray, author of the recently published Textiles of Japan (Prestel, 2018). The conversation, which will center on boro and other Japanese textiles, will be moderated by Dr. Monika Bincsik of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Next event3/15/2020 11:00 AM
Gentle Motions: Atsushi Wada's Short Animation
[Special Screening] March 21, 3 PM
Atsushi Wada (b. 1980, Hyogo Prefecture) is an award-winning Japanese animator whose distinctive hand-drawn style emphasizes a minimalist aesthetic and evocative use of negative space. His whimsical and surrealist works, often involving animals and soft humans with blank expressions, utilize sudden shifts in perspective, sound effects and idiosyncratic gestures to express the comic absurdity and poetry of everyday life.
Next event3/21/2020 3:00 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
Visible Mending with Christina Kim
[Workshop] April 4, 10:30 AM
This workshop introduces foundations of stitching, mending and patching boro textiles, offering a reinterpretation on the Japanese folk tradition. Artist Christina Kim explores this creative process as a personal history and meditation on repair and reuse.
Next event4/4/2020 10:30 AM
Creative Play: Sakura Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing)
[Creative Play] April 5, 1 PM
Each year in Japan, as cherry blossoms bloom, thousands gather to admire the pinks and whites of this national symbol. Hanami, or flower viewing, is a time for family and friends to gather for picnics and parties under these stunning trees. At this program, experience the beauty of cherry blossoms with a playtime picnic and creative sakura crafts!
Next event4/5/2020 1:00 PM
Family Workshop: Shibori: Japanese Tie Dye
[Family Workshop] April 5, 2:30 PM
Shibori is the art of creating patterns on dyed fabric by tying, twisting, rolling, and folding. A beautiful pattern emerges once the fabric dries and can be used for all kinds of things, from fashion accessories to household decorations. Join us to create your own one-of-a-kind Shibori piece!
Next event4/5/2020 2:30 PM
Painting Edo: Early Modern Masterworks from the Feinberg Collection
[Lecture] April 7, 6:30 PM
Japan’s Edo period (1615–1868) was an immensely innovative time, during which painters belonging to lineages old and new produced a wide spectrum of visually alluring works. Their paintings both reflected and constructed the pivotal early modern era, and the vibrant city for which it was named.
Next event4/7/2020 6:30 PM
Sumo Do, Sumo Don't
[Film] April 10, 7 PM
Before receiving global acclaim for the smashing success of Shall We Dance? (1996), director Masayuki Suo had another major hit with this light-hearted comedy about a ragtag group of misfits who eventually find their self-worth by resurrecting a nearly defunct university sumo club.
Next event4/10/2020 7:00 PM
[Film] April 11, 2 PM
Made under the watchful eye of the Japanese wartime government, Akira Kurosawa’s first film as a director is an adaptation of a popular novel about the legitimization of judo, based on the life of one of its earliest disciples, Shiro Saigo, and his training with the martial art’s founder Kano Jigoro.
Next event4/11/2020 2:00 PM
I Will Buy You
[Film] April 11, 4 PM
Before taking on the Japanese feudal system in anti-establishment jidaigeki masterpieces such as Harakiri (1962), director Masaki Kobayashi turned his attention to the world of professional sports with this scathing indictment of the baseball industry and postwar capitalist greed. Battling against rival teams, a talent scout for the major league Toyo Flowers goes all out to sign a star college baseball player—a cutthroat process involving bribery, deception and back room deals—at the risk of losing his humanity.
Next event4/11/2020 4:00 PM
[Film] April 11, 7 PM
One of the rare non-jidaigeki films directed by Kenji Misumi—best known for his contributions to the Lone Wolf and Cub and Zatoichi swordplay film series—The Sword nevertheless evokes the bushido spirit through the story of an exceptionally talented kendo club captain whose ascetic devotion to the centuries-old practice draws the ire of his less-disciplined assistant.
Next event4/11/2020 7:00 PM
[Film] April 15, 7 PM
Initially lured by the prospect of getting close to a beautiful new coach, five awkward students at an all-boys high school sign up for a synchronized swimming club despite having little athletic ability and even less coordination, finding some help from an eccentric dolphin trainer along the way.
Next event4/15/2020 7:00 PM
The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine
[Film] April 18, 3 PM
Amid the sociopolitical turmoil following the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, a group of radical male anarchists who call themselves the Guillotine Society cross paths with an itinerant female sumo troupe and form a bond strengthened by their shared resistance to rising militarism and racist vigilante nationalists targeting socialists and Koreans.
Next event4/18/2020 3:00 PM
Aim for the Best!
[Film] April 18, 7 PM
Following the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics and the domestic excitement surrounding Japanese athletes, the sports manga and anime genre (supokon) became popular in Japan in the late 1960s and ’70s, including several shojo (youth female-oriented) series. Among the most iconic and influential of these is Aim for the Best!, created by Sumika Yamamoto, about an insecure high school girl who strives to become a professional tennis player with the guidance of a mysterious coach and the rivalry of an older teammate.
Next event4/18/2020 7:00 PM
A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness
[Film] April 21, 7 PM
In need of a new cover girl to boost advertising sales, the top brass of a large sports magazine manufacture the latest Japanese sports star: an amateur golfer who looks good in a bikini. When the golfer’s fame attracts the unwanted attention of a crazed housewife stalker, however, she finds herself terrorized by a blackmail scheme and Suzuki makes a sharp turn into surreal psychological thriller territory.
Next event4/21/2020 7:00 PM
Sake Cocktails: Sakura Celebration
[Workshop] April 22, 6:30 PM
It’s cherry blossom season, and what better way to celebrate Japan’s most iconic blossom than with some sakura-themed sake cocktails? At this hands-on workshop, sake sommelier Chris Johnson guides participants through mixing original sake cocktail creations inspired by the spring blooms.
Next event4/22/2020 6:30 PM
Koshien: Japan's Field of Dreams
[Film] April 24, 7 PM
Every summer in Japan, baseball fans are swept up in the thrill of Koshien, the wildly popular national high school baseball championship named after Osaka’s hallowed Koshien Stadium. On the historic 100th anniversary of the single elimination tournament, documentary filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazaki follows the coaches and players of two promising teams as they undergo rigorous training—a process that reveals a uniquely Japanese and exceptionally martial approach to the Western sport that emphasizes self-sacrifice and spiritual conditioning.
Next event4/24/2020 7:00 PM
Tokyo Paralympics: Festival of Love and Glory
[Film] April 25, 4:30 PM
This summer, Tokyo will be the first city to host the Paralympic Games on two separate occasions. This frank and intimate documentary—recently rediscovered and restored after being forgotten in storage for decades—offers a fascinating glimpse of the first occasion in 1964, the 2nd official Paralympics, by following the journey of several pioneering Japanese athletes whose participation (along with that of over 300 other athletes from 20 countries) helped raise disability awareness and change prevailing stigmas in their home country.
Next event4/25/2020 4:30 PM
Youth: The 50th National High School Baseball Tournament
[Film] April 25, 7 PM
Among the hardest-to-see films in Kon Ichikawa’s oeuvre, this 1968 documentary finds the legendary director approach the subject of Japanese high school baseball with the same lyricism and visual splendor as he did with the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo Olympiad (1965).
Next event4/25/2020 7:00 PM
Designing Kimono: The Meaning Behind the Imagery
[Lecture] April 29, 6:30 PM
Plum blossoms, cranes, maple leaves – so many beautiful kimono have been adorned with these iconic motifs, going back centuries. Designing kimono requires a deep understanding of traditional imagery, combined with a flair for creativity and innovation.
Next event4/29/2020 6:30 PM
Control Officers + 100 Meters
[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 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo? One of Japan’s most influential theater makers and pioneer of the “quiet theater” movement, Oriza Hirata, offers a not-so-quiet comedic answer to this question through two one-act plays. Control Officers recounts a single scene in which the top male competitor 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. For this New York engagement, Hirata will premiere a new companion piece entitled 100 Meters, depicting a tense waiting room of runners before their last qualifying race. The runners’ differing personalities punctuate the unnerving atmosphere—some are silent, some are chatty and some talk about the future, while others reminisce.
Next event5/8/2020 7:30 PM
I am in a body
[Contemporary Dance] June 24, 7:30 PM
June 25, 7:30 PM
June 26, 7:30 PM
With an uncanny and innate ability to express the inexpressible, dancer and film star Min Tanaka returns to New York City with a world premiere performance featuring himself and a cast of five American performers. This landmark piece, which seeks to dissect the relationship between words and the body, will be the first time since 1997 that Min has collaborated with American dancers. In conjunction with the creation of this piece, Min will also perform his legendary site-specific solo performances called ba-odori (or, “dance in a place”) at various outdoor spaces across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Be on the lookout for more details about Min’s ba-odori performances later this spring.
Next event6/24/2020 7:30 PM