Based on the theme “Approaching Tokyo Tradition”, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) offers diverse projects and programs for people who are not familiar with traditional arts and culture, as well as for people overseas and children to enjoy Japan’s authentic traditional arts and culture. Many scheduled programs, however, had to be cancelled or postponed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Arts Council Tokyo has decided to implement five programs of traditional Japanese culture, part of which has started from this fall, to transmit the appeal of arts and culture of Tokyo to both in and out of Japan, taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Our project consists of four categories of Festivals, Traditional Performing Arts Program, Programs for Foreign Visitors, and Kids program.
“Kagurazaka Street Stage O-edoTour 2020 -Japanese Traditional Culture Festival”, which was scheduled to take place in May as one of Festivals programs, and “Noh online: Funa Benkei, Legendary Hero, Riding the Wave from Tokyo to the World” a program for people overseas who cannot come to Japan due to COVID-19 will be visualized and released online.
In “Kagurazaka Street Stage O-edo Tour 2020 – Japanese Traditional Culture Festival”, the videos provide the sound and performances unique to Kagurazaka area including interviews with local people and artists in a city-walking style. The videos of two versions of Japanese and English are scheduled to be released after December. “Noh Online: Funa Benkei” with English subtitles, scheduled to be released at the end of January, utilizes a variety of camera work, including filming from close proximity to the performers on stage. This provides a dynamic Noh experience, which is different from the usual Noh play viewing. Both of them will be posted on the official YouTube channels, where people overseas would enjoy.
As Traditional Performing Arts Program, the popular program “Oedo Vaudeville Show and Traditional Geisha Dances X” which celebrates its 10th year will be held at Meijiza Theater in March 28, 2021. This is an entertaining performance that allows you to simultaneously enjoy the dance and music by geisha and the yose vaudeville show including rakugo the traditional storytelling performance that blossomed in the height of the townspeople’s culture in the Edo Period.
“Traditional Performing Arts for Kids”, the program that children receive the direct lessons from professional performers for months to make a final public performance in a formal way on stage, has started in November. As we eventually have up to nearly 1,400 applicants, we really feel the high level of interest in this program due to lack of children’s activities under the COVID-19 crisis.
“Traditional Culture and Performing Arts Experience Program for Kids”, which sends young performers to schools to provide children the opportunity to contact with Japanese traditional culture and performing arts and to learn diversity of cultures, has started in September. This program is planned to be implemented at 40 schools this fiscal year.
We take measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in each project.
Full press release (PDF) is available here.
Outline of the traditional culture programs in FY2020. Five programs to be implemented including first online exclusive video distribution programs.