Upfront Extra

Ernesto Neto, hene yube rio jiboia gente é um sopro que atravessa a gente, 2014 Installation view at CCBB Brasilia. Photo: Joana França

As the autumn approaches, why not fall into the world of art and culture at the Tokyo Creative Weeks? The TCW is a seven-week festival celebrating traditional culture and contemporary art in various venues around the city. The festival offers fascinating exhibits, as well as interactive programs. For the season dubbed in Japan as a time for whetting appetites, get immersed in and inspired by the creative side of Tokyo!

Kyogen: Supremacy and Successors

From left to right: Mansaku Nomura, Tojiro Yamamoto and Man Nomura

Kyogen is a kind of spoken drama that is based upon laughter and comedy, an art form passed down from generation to generation, for more than 600 years. It is often performed as interludes in Noh performances, another type of theater with which it shares history. The predominantly male actors have kyogen in their blood, coming from families of performers who pass on the art form from generation to generation. Of them, three particular kyogen actors are deemed living national treasures of Japan. And will perform for the first time in the same show. Witness history in the making! Oct 28, 6:30pm, ¥2,000-6,000. National Theatre of Japan, 4-1 Hayabusacho, Chiyoda-ku. Nearest stn: Hanzomon. www.dento-wa.jp/en/index.html

Tokyo Art Meeting (V): Seeking New Genealogies—Bodies/Leaps/Traces

Image from WALLFLOWER by Inbal Pinto & Avshalom Pollak, July 2014. Photo: Rotem Mizrahi

In an age of uncertainty with an unclear future, people want to affirm their corporeal selves as a solid touchstone. They examine traces on their bodies to find the sources of their feelings, memories and knowledge. In this exhibition, “Seeking New Genealogies—Bodies/Leaps/Traces,” traces of the memory and knowledge that remain in the body have been put into expression across the ages, arriving at a new genealogy born from creativity, with the intention of rethinking contemporary expression. Tokyo Art Meeting welcomes kyogen master Mansai Nomura, who has also been highly appreciated as a contemporary theater director and actor, as its general advisor. His body inherits 600 years of tradition while suddenly leaping forward to today, sharing a variety of forms of contemporary expression and creating new creative genes. Along with new works, the exhibition displays paintings, video works and live performances as an alternative form of an installation. Audiences can appreciate and experience the multifaceted nature of performance in composite, multiple ways. Sep 27, 2014-Jan 4, 2015, ¥600-1,200. Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, 4-1-1 Miyoshi, Koto-ku. Nearest stn: Kiyosumi-Shirakawa. www.mot-art-museum.jp/eng

Senju Pun-Filled Music Festival: 1010 People in Senju

In addition to exhibitions in halls and museums, the TCW also has community events. On October 12 (Sun) from 3pm, a music festival will be held at a Senju district fish market, featuring composer Makoto Nomura and performances by 1,010 other participants. The NPO formed by the citizens and students of Adachi ward seeks to enliven their town through sounds. There will be noted musical pros, and a mixture of various styles and concepts to create beautiful and lively music. A great chance to feel the joy and beauty of music and meet people—or even fall in love. Oct 12, 3-5pm, free. Senju District, Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market, Adachi Market. Nearest stn: Kita-Senju. www.aaa-senju.com

Oct 17, 2014 | No Comments | 5,661 views

Ever want to make the airport luggage carousel look like a kaiten-zushi conveyor belt? Parco now offers nylon suitcase covers that will turn your travel bag into a massive piece of maguro (tuna), ebi (shrimp), tamago (egg) or salmon sushi. Priced at ¥3,024, they’re available at Shibuya Parco Part-1 and Omise Parco on the fourth floor of Narita Airport Terminal 1—though the tamago style is only available at the airport. Or just order any of the four styles online at http://meturl.com/sushicover. Made from polyester, they’re sized for 70-liter bags (42.5 x 30 x 64cm), so monster sushi is for the moment off the menu. Just don’t try to eat your luggage when you’re jetlagged and hungry.


Oct 4, 2014 | No Comments | 3,528 views

Halloween enthusiasts looking for a month-long celebration of everything spooky should head over to Tokyo Dome City’s Happy Halloween 2014, a family-friendly event full of Halloween-themed eats and attractions. There’s plenty to keep the children entertained, such as the Halloween Kids’ Parade (registration required) held on the 18th, as well as face painting 2-4pm weekends and holidays all month. Parents will also enjoy the Baseball Cafe’s Halloween-themed menu, including Black Bat Salad, Soup of Witch and a pumpkin shake. Thrill-seeking event-goers can investigate a haunted house (¥620) built around the story of a witch who falls in love with a married man.

Oct 1-31, Tokyo Dome City. Nearest stn: Korakuen. www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/news/halloween/2014/

Oct 1, 2014 | No Comments | 1,047 views

Reminiscent of U.S. women’s retailer Anthropologie without the clothes, Jiyugaoka’s Timeless Comfort is one of those home shops where you covet everything in sight. The first floor has colorful, useful kitchen items including cast-iron cookware and the usual accoutrements, plus a café ensconced at the back where you can get bagel French toast for ¥702. Floor two offers cozy, quality furnishings—a bit pricey but not ridiculous—while the basement boasts organic products from soaps to fabrics. Any purchase will surely give your home a fashionable, friendly touch!

2-9-11 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku (also in Shibuya). www.timelesscomfort.com

Sep 29, 2014 | No Comments | 1,077 views

Face it: in Japan, the ratio of available seating to time spent waiting just sucks. Smartphone games and apps help kill the time, but what will rescue your poor aching feet? That’s where the ingenious Book Stool from Going Furniture sweeps in to save your soles. This 5cm-thick portable “book” fans out in a flash to become a stool that can support up to 80kg of weary bones. Available online at Amazon (¥3,240), it can be stored in your bookcase when at home. At 1.62kg, it’s a little hefty (think coffee table book), but it’s a fair trade if you consider that it will support you (and your reading material) in return.




Sep 29, 2014 | No Comments | 788 views

For Empowerment of Women (FEW) is inviting all self-identified women to attend its 18th Career Strategy Seminar this October. The event offers a platform for women in Japan wanting to take charge of their careers, presenting an opportunity to listen, exchange information and learn from notable speakers including Lori Henderson, Executive Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Tiziana Alamprese, Marketing Director for Chrysler Japan, and many more. Oct 4, Meguro MG Meguro Ekimae Bldg. See community listings for details. public.relations@fewjapan.com

Sep 22, 2014 | No Comments | 2,173 views