What we do

  • Finished

Environmental improvement and creation: beyond the promotion of barrier-free appreciation of the arts

Arts Council Tokyo Grant Program: Activity Report of Social Grant-Session 4

Arts Council Tokyo started the Social Grant Program in 2015 to support activities that address social issues through artistic/cultural activities and endeavors connecting a wide range of people – people with disabilities, the elderly and children, and people from other countries – with the arts and culture. This grant supports arts-related activities that people from diverse social environments can participate in together and with which they can demonstrate creativity while respecting each other’s individuality; programs that tackle a variety of social and urban challenges by leveraging the special qualities of arts and culture; and pioneering activities that propose a new meaning for arts and culture in society and promote an approach to art that is open to all.

Taking part as panelists in the fourth Activity Report session introducing activities covered by this grant program will be two organizations: Joint company Chupki, which operates“Cinema Chupki Tabata,” a movie theater in Kita-ku’s Higashitabata neighborhood which offers “universal screenings,”accessible moviegoing that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of disabilities or other obstacles; and Monogatari Group☆Polan no Kai, a theater group which focuses on reader’s theater stagings of Kenji Miyazawa works, and which also promotes and popularizes audio guides for the visually impaired and works on expressive activities with artists who have different characteristics such as visual and hearing impairment.Through the reports of both groups, we provide an opportunity to reconsider the significance of promoting barrier-free appreciation of the arts, and to reconsider the possibilities for new creation that this engenders. In Part 2’s roundtable session, we exchange opinions and share challenges with participants, with the aim of building a network between organizations and individuals.

*Photographs, audio and video footage will be taken during the Activity Report session for the purpose of the organizer’s publicity and records. Video recordings will not be made available as archive material.
*After the Activity Report session, reports, articles etc. will be made available on the Arts Council Tokyo website and elsewhere.
*Accessibility is available in the form of Japanese sign language interpreting and the speech-to-text app UD Talk.

Joint company Chupki(Chihoko Hiratsuka)
Monogatari Group☆Polan no Kai(Kaori Saiki, Tetsuro Ishigami)

Tomonori Ogawa

Graphic Facilitator
Mihoko Seki

Japanese Sign Language Interpreter
Yuko Kato, Yuko Setoguchi

Tomoko Matsuoka (Senior Program Officer, Grants Division, Planning Department, Arts Council Tokyo)

Program (Schedule)

18:15 Venue opens
18:30 Part 1:
  ・Activity report by the organization
   Part 2:
  ・Round table discussion
21:00 Close

Outline of activities under the grant

Joint company Chupki

Monogatari Group☆Polan no Kai

Speakers profiles

Joint company Chupki
CINEMA Chupki TABATA is a movie theater funded and founded in 2016 by City Lights, a barrier-free movie-viewing promotion organization that has been creating movie-viewing environments for the visually impaired since 2001. It is Japan’s first “universally accessible” move theater, providing an environment enabling not only visually impaired people but also hearing impaired people, developmentally disabled people, wheelchair users, customers with small children, and other people with various disabilities to watch movies with confidence. Chupki produces audio guides and Japanese subtitles for movies, and the cinema offers daily open-to-all “universal screenings.”

Chihoko Hiratsuka
Representative of Chupki. Born in Tokyo. After graduating from the Department of Education in Waseda University’s School of Education, she worked in restaurants and movie theaters. In 2001 she set up the volunteer organization City Lights, which continues to put its efforts into the creation of movie-viewing environments for the visually impaired. In 2016 City Lights founded Japan’s first accessible“universal theater,”CINEMA Chupki TABATA.

Monogatari Group☆Polan no Kai
Established in 2004, the group exclusively stages Kenji Miyazawa works under the theme of “living.”In 2021 it won the Ihatov Encouragement Award. The group produces audio guides for the stage and engages in theater accessibility practices. Since 2020 the group has been involved in subtitled video production, and gives performances created with performers who use sign language.

Kaori Saiki
Representative of Monogatari Group☆Polan no Kai. In 2013, she took a barrier-free course at the Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy after working as an audio guide narrator. She is currently involved in accessibility services – creating text and doing narration for audio guides, etc. – for organizations that include New National Theatre, Tokyo, Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, and True Colors Festival.

Tetsuro Ishigami
Member of Monogatari Group☆Polan no Kai. In 2014 he made his first appearance in Polan no Kai’s “Night on the Galactic Railroad,” the group’s first production to feature audio guides. In addition to dubbing and narrating audio guides, he MC’d for World Autism Awareness Day 2022. Ishigami is involved in theater not only as an actor but also on the technical side in video and sound production.


Tomonori Ogawa
Director of NPO ST Spot Yokohama since 2014, in charge of projects connecting education, welfare, community, and art-related environments. Since 1999 he has been involved in the planning and production of projects and activities promoting the arts. His focus is the revitalization of the nonprofit sector, for example his involvement in intermediate support organizations in the field of art.

Graphic Facilitator

Mihoko Seki
Born in Kagoshima Prefecture in 1990. Majored in cultural anthropology at Kagoshima University. She has worked independently since 2017, following stints working for a travel agency and as part of a regional development cooperation volunteer program. She currently runs a “one-on-one dialogue × visualization service for organizing thoughts” called Kashi Café (“Visible Café”) and does visual facilitation for meetings and workshops.


40 (Advance reservation required. First-come-first-served basis.)



How to reserve

Please fill out the form in the following link. *In Japanese

Reservation deadline
Friday, July 14 2023, 12:00 noon

*Reception will close as soon as capacity is reached.
*Your personal information will be handled as strictly confidential and used only to send you information from the organizer about this event.
*Please note event details are subject to change.


Activity Report of Social Grant Session
Operation office(syuz’gen LLC)
E-mail: act_ss@syuzgen.com
FAX: 03-4333-0878


Arts Council Tokyo, 5th floor, Meeting room (Kudan First Place 5F, 4-1-28, Kudankita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 〒102-0073)



Organized by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)
Operation by
syuz'gen LLC