2014 Artists

Patrick Donnelly, Writer

April 1 – July 1, 2014

Patrick’s poetry is deeply inspired by the profound traditions of ancient Japanese poetry, especially the Buddhist waka of the Heian Period. He comes to Japan on a pilgrimage to discover how his own poetry will evolve by spending three months steeped in the remnants of Heian culture. He plans to visit temples and shrines in and around Kyoto, Nara, Uji and the sacred Buddhist mountain centers of Mt Hiei and Koya. He will also visit places associated with the Heian literature such as The Tale of the Genji, The Tale of the Heike, Tales of Ise


PJ Hirabayashi, Taiko Artist

August 27 – November 27, 2014

PJ has been the leader of one of America’s foremost taiko groups, the San Jose Taiko, for 38 years. Her indefatigable efforts over the last four decades have popularizedtaiko in the US and influenced many local taiko groups. In her retirement, she plans to spend time in Japan to deepen her relationships with people and communities through taiko. She wants to connect with artists who keep their cultural traditions alive in their own communities, especially those who have faced hardships and challenges in Japan, like the Okinawans, buraku-min and the Ainu communities. Her numerous contacts with Japanese scholars, taiko groups and taiko makers insure that she will have a rich pallet of resources with which to work.


Akim Ndlovu, Multidisciplinary Artist

March 18 -June 17, 2014

Hip Hop artist Akim (“Akim Funk Buddha”) has been captivated and inspired by Japanese art and culture from his earliest days. Since his work in the Hip Hop world has attracted many Japanese artists who have been fascinated with Urban arts performances, Akim realized that Japanese and the Urban style of dance had much in common and provided fertile ground for interaction. While in Japan, he proposes to interact with Japanese dancers and musicians in a social context to develop an “Urban Tea Ceremony” and construct a portable tea house for theatrical use. He also intends to continue his studies of karate, study aspects of the Japanese culture and undertake various workshops while in Japan.


Mina T. Son, Media Artist

June 23 – September 21, 2014

Ten years ago, Mina participated in the JET Program to teach English in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. She dreamed of returning someday, but after the events of March 11, 2011, she realized that the reason for her return would be for very different reasons. Residents of Rikuzentakata lost everything in the tsunami – possessions, loved ones, the town itself. Mina plans to return to the area to make a documentary film about the residents who chose to stay and rebuild. As an exploration of the different ways people heal from tragedy, the film will offer a poignant portrait of a community for whom almost everything has been physically erased.


Hans Tutschku, Composer

May 9 -August 8, 2014

The compositional method of Hans, music professor at Harvard University, is to use original recordings and transform them into sonic images, creating bridges between east and west. While in Japan, he intends to further research into two major cultural interests: the themes of slowness and the perceived passing of time, especially as expressed in the commitment the listener must make in listening to gagaku or other forms of traditional Japanese performing arts, and the recording of temple bells. He has made contacts with professors from Kunitachi Music University and Tokyo University of the Arts in Tokyo to further his objectives.


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