What we do

Octopus Monks: Ritual of Forgetting

  • Organization : Arche LLC.
  • Section : Artistic and creative activity in Tokyo
  • Type of Grant Program : Single
  • Art Forms : Theater


Niwa Gekidan Penino has stunned audiences with a highly original world view established by acting refined to the utmost degree, and elaborate, striking stage design. For this production, the company has created a temple-like space inside the theater; not only are audience members invited inside but they become involved in the ritualistic performance by the actors. Repetition and variation of Buddhist prayers, the plucking sound of instruments, the pervading scent and heat. It is not easy to escape from a precarious, immersive feeling of all five senses being mobilized, the body given up to musical pleasure, and a sense of time being lost. What will fall into oblivion when the boundary between what is real and what is fiction melts away?

Written and directed by: Kuro Tanino
Performers: Ichigo Iida, Izuru Kinoshita, Momoi Shimada, Yuko Nagahama, Kanako Nishida, Bobumi Hidaka, Hayato Mori, Ikuma Yamada
Conception: Junichiro Tamaki, Yukiko Yamaguchi, Mario Yoshino
Design: Michiko Inada
Lighting: Masayuki Abe (LICHT-ER)
Music: Yu Okuda
Sound: Koji Sato (Sugar Sound), Yoshihiro Nakamura
Stage direction: Mitsuaki Adachi
Directorial assistant: Yui Matsumoto
Dramaturg: Max Phillip Aschenbrener
Publicity art: Kosuke Yamashita
Production assistant: Hatsumi Kakinoki
Producer: Chika Onozuka


Niwa Gekidan Penino
Niwa Gekidan Penino was formed in January 2000 with members of the drama club at Showa University. There is a crystal-clear vision in the company’s performance spaces and elaborate stage designs, including outdoor performances and the theater space “Hakobune,” created from a remodeled apartment. Niwa Gekidan Penino has been invited to numerous international festivals in Japan, such as “Festival/Tokyo ’09 Autumn,” “World Theatre Festival Shizuoka,” and “KYOTO EXPERIMENT.” The troupe’s work “The Frustrating Picture Book for Adults” was performed in Berlin (Germany) in 2009, and in 2010 it was performed in Zurich (Switzerland) and Groningen (Netherlands), and nominated for the prestigious Swiss theater award the ZKB Patronage Prize 2010. In 2014, the company carried out a five-city U.S. tour of “The Room, Nobody Knows.” In 2015 “The Box in the Big Trunk” was invited to the World Theatre Festival during the Wiener Festwochen (Austria), receiving a rating of five stars from a Vienna newspaper. In 2016 they carried out a four-country European tour of “The Dark Inn,” garnering high accolades. In 2018 the troupe gave consecutive performances of “The Dark Master” and “The Dark Inn” as part of the official program of Japonismes 2018 in Gennevilliers, France.


Chika Onozuka
Company manager
Arche LLC.
BLD Kise 2F, 5-14-7, Higashinakano, Nakano, Tokyo 164-0003
E-mail : niwagekidan@gmail.com


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