IHJ Art Programs/ Concerts 2013

[IHJ Artists’ Forum/ Reading] Ordinary Transformations: Where Story Comes From

  • Date: Thursday, November 21, 7:00 pm
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Speaker: Bruce Holland Rogers, Writer, US-Japan Creative Arts Fellow
  • Language: English and Japanese
    (The works will be read in English with texts provided.)
  • Co-sponsored by the Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC)
  • Admission: Free (reservations required, Seating: 70)

The writings of Bruce Holland Rogers, presently in Japan on the US-Japan Creative Artists Program, have won such prestigious awards as the Pushcart Prize, World Fantasy Award, Nebula Award and many others. He teaches writing in the MFA Program at Northwest Institute of Literary Arts in Oregon.

He spent the previous three months in Kyoto experiencing the environs and gaining a deeper understanding of how Japanese literary traditions find expression in his own writing. Bruces’s writing transforms his numerous quotidian experiences into stories that take on a life of their own when shared with his readers. This Artists’ Forum will feature some of his readings and discussion of his stories, including the ones he wrote in Kyoto.

Bruce’s Blog


[IHJ Artists’ Forum/ Reading] A Ghostly Tale from Tohoku

  • Date: Tuesday, November 5, 7:00 pm
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Speaker: Marie Mutsuki Mockett, Writer, US-Japan Creative Arts Fellow
  • Language: English and Japanese
    (with consecutive interpretation and translated text)
  • Co-sponsored by the Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC)
  • Admission: Free (reservations required, Seating Capacity: 70)

Marie Mutsuki MockettThe writer Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to a Japanese mother and an American father. After the 3.11 tragedy, she wrote a widely acclaimed Op-Ed piece for the New York Times, “Memories, Washed Away.” During her time in Japan, she visited her mother’s home town, Iwaki City in Fukushima and other Tohoku areas. She explored the religious and cultural frames within which the Japanese cope with death and disaster. In the midst of all the death and destruction, she found a message of hope from an ancient zashiki warashi, a child-like, benevolent spirit she came across in Tono City in Iwate. She wrote about this episode in a new piece “Message from the Other World,” which was published in the quarterly magazine Sendaigaku. Mockett will read excerpts from this piece.


[KODO Special Ensemble Concert] Taiko―Japanese Pulse

  • Date: Friday, October 11, 2013, 7:00 pm (Doors open at 6:30 pm)
  • Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
  • Admission: 3,500 yen (IHJ Members, non-Japanese & students: 2,500 yen)
  • *One Non-Japanese guest accompanied by an IHJ member can be invited free of charge. These complimentary admissions are limited, so please make your reservations early.
  • Seating Capacity: 170 (reservations required)
  • Performers:
    KODO (Fujimoto Yoshikazu,
    Kojima Chieko, Fujimoto Yoko,
    Yamaguchi Motofumi, Miyazaki Masami,
    Kusa Yosuke, Komatsuzaki Shogo),
    Kinjo Mitsue

    In order to introduce and share Japanese traditional culture with non-Japanese residents in Japan, the I-House will present a concert by the world famous taiko (Japanese drum) performing arts ensemble, KODO. Based on Sado Island in Niigata, KODO travels the world performing taiko, folk dance, song and music. The performance at the I-House will feature a core group of KODO’s senior members performing a selection of their most representative works. Ryukyu (Okinawan) dancer Kinjo Mitsue will make a special appearance for this concert.


    [IHJ Artists’ Forum] Haptic Gaze—Searching Material Sensibility

    • Date: Thursday, August 1, 7:00 pm
    • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
    • Speaker: Karl Burkheimer (US-Japan Creative Artists Fellow)
    • Language: English & Japanese (with consecutive interpretation)
    • Co-sponsored by the Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC)
    • Admission: Free (reservations required, Seating Capacity: 70)
    Visual artist Karl Burkheimer, presently in Japan on the Japan-US Creative Artists Program, is traveling through the rural and urban landscape, seeking the sources of the inspiration that sustains his creative practice.
    Trained in design and carpentry, he is specifically drawn to architectural spaces and vernacular environments associated with utility, ceremony, respite, and seclusiveness: teahouses, hermitages, sheds, and shacks. In his opinion these structures possess a building vocabulary, material sensibility, and modest presences that he considers especially vibrant and meaningful in Japan.
    During his talk, Karl will present his work, particularly the practice and motivation behind it, including the importance of his journey within Japan.
    In Site
    Five Fourths
    Five Fourths

    [IHJ Artists’ Forum / Drama Reading and Talk] Philoktetes

    • Wednesday, July 10, 7:00 pm, Lecture Hall, IHJ
    • Writing and Direction: John Jesurun | Translation: Jonathan Scott
    • Performers: KASAGI Makoto (Philoktetes), MANAKO Keiji (Odysseus), NAKAMURA Takashi (Neoptolemus)
    • Assistant Director: YANO Yasuhito
    • Language: Japanese (reading) & English (discussion)
    • Co-sponsored by the Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC)
    • Supprted by T Factory
    • Admission: Free | Seating Capacity: 70 (reservations required)
    Part 1
    John Jesurun, presently in Japan on the Japan-US Creative Artists Program, is a playwright, director and set/media designer, researching Ihara Saikaku for his piece STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS/Part 2. Based in New York, he is well known as an innovative theater artist who explores a wide range of contemporary themes adopting mixed multi-media.

    This Artists’ Forum will present a reading of the Japanese translation of his play Philoktetes. This play, Jesurun’s modern adaptation of Sophocles’ classic on the Trojan War, has been presented internationally on numerous occasions, including a 2005 Kyoto Performing Arts Center production with the late noh actor Kanze Hideo. In addition to the reading, Jesurun will give a short visual presentation focusing on signature aspects of his work integrating the creation of text, direction, set and media design.

    John Jesurun: His presentations mix elements of language, film, architectural space and media. The work is distinguished by his integrated creation of the text, direction, set and media design. Since 1982 he has written, directed and designed over 30 pieces including: the media trilogy of DEEP SLEEP (1986 Obie Award), WHITE WATER and BLACK MARIA, his 60 episode serial play CHANG IN A VOID MOON, FIREFALL and SNOW. His company has toured extensively in Europe and the United States. Fellowships include the NEA, Asian Cultural Council, Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the MacArthur, Rockefeller and Guggenheim foundations. His varied work includes Harry Partch’s opera Delusion of the Fury at the Japan Society, Faust/How I Rose at Brooklyn Academy of Music and Jeff Buckley’s music video Last Goodbye. His work is published by TCG, Performing Arts Journal, NoPassport Press and Theater der Zeit. His latest work STOPPED BRIDGE OF DREAMS/Part 1, premiered at La Mama in January 2012. The first two episodes of his new video serial SHADOWLAND can be seen on Vimeo.

    His website and Vimeo.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/johnjesurun/
  • http://vimeo.com/johnjesurun

    [IHJ Artists’ Forum / Concert] Cartography

    • Tuesday, July 2, 7:00 pm, Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, IHJ
    • Performers: William Roper (Travel Tuba), Nozawa Tetsuya (shamisen)
      Christopher Yohmei (shakuhachi), Leza Lowitz (poetry)
    • Program: Bleu, Cloud Hidden Whereabouts Unknown
      My Mother’s Mother, Optics, Darkest Night
    • Music composed and arranged by William Roper and Glenn Horiuchi
    • Video collaboration with Joseph Santarromana
    • Language: English & Japanese (with consecutive interpretation)
    • Co-sponsored by the Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC)
    • Admission: Free | Seating Capacity: 70 (reservations required)
    In this Artists’ Forum, composer and performer William Roper, presently in Japan on the Japan-US Creative Artists Program, presents a program of solos, duos and trios for tuba and traditional Japanese instruments. Roper’s work is based in narrative and autobiography. In Roper’s music, listeners can hear how he navigates from one piece to the next through the use of similar tonal reference points. The listener is free to make associations between these points or not. What is important is how the listener arrives at the immediate present in the musical experience. All of the compositions in the program were influenced by his long association with Asian-American artists.

    William Roper is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. As a performer of the tuba, his professional experience ranges from the symphony stage to free improvisation groups. He has toured North and South America and Europe as soloist and as a member of jazz, rock and classical ensembles. He has released several recordings as a leader and co-leader. He has played or recorded with numerous artists and ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Elton John, Leon Vlatkovich, Vinny Golia, Wadada Leo Smith, Glenn Horiuchi and many others. In addition, he has played on several major motion picture soundtracks. His works have been commissioned for the Gloria Newman Dance Theater, Dance L.A. and SASSAS. His compositions have been performed in the U.S. and Europe. Roper is a visual artist as well, utilizing the media of painting, assemblage, video and performance art. These works have been exhibited both in the U.S. and Europe.