Culture

This Week in Japan, June 26-July 2

Every Monday we serve top picks for this week’s events in Japan. To list your event, contact the editor of GaijinPot.

By 5 min read

From Brazilian rhythms to sacred Shinto rites to VR hackathons, there’s something for everyone this week in Japan! If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed.

Monday: Brazilian-American rhythms

Arto Lindsay

The Brazilian-American guitarist, singer, producer and experimental composer has just released a new album, "Cuidado Madame," his first since 2004. The album is titled after an infamous 1970 Julio Bressane film about oppressed housemaids revolting against and brutally murdering their mistresses. The literal translation is “Careful, Madame.”

When & Where
June 26
7:30 p.m.
Shangri-La, Osaka - Map
¥8,000
More Info

Tuesday: Modernist giant

Photo:

Collection Fondation Marguerite et Aimé Maeght

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) was one of the 20th century’s most important European sculptors. Initially, the artist admired African and Oceanic sculpture, cubism and the surrealist movement, which he joined in the late 1920s. Then, in 1935, he began working with models to develop his own unique creative style. Drawing primarily on the collection of the Fondation Maeght in southern France, this exhibition offers a full-scale retrospective of Giacometti’s career, with 132 works including sculptures, oil paintings, sketches and prints.

When & Where
June 27-Sep. 4
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The National Art Center, Tokyo - Map
¥1,600
More Info

Wednesday: NYC underground

Venus X

Called “one of the bravest female performers” by M.I.A., Venus X makes her way to Tokyo’s Contact, a venue in Shibuya. In 2009, Venus X launched “GHE20G0TH1K” in NYC, which quickly became a hit party. The boundary-smashing DJ/impresario was chosen to play at an event called “Warm Up” curated by MoMA’s PS1 and was featured in Red Bull Music Academy’s New York edition for her contributions to New York’s fashion and underground party scene.

When & Where
June 28
10 p.m.-late
Contact, Tokyo - Map
¥1,500
More Info

Thursday: Japan’s avant-garde

Hiroshi Fujimatsu

One wouldn’t associate Yomiuri with anything radical today, but the Yomiuri Independent exhibition served as the launch pad for many radical Japanese artists in the 1950s and ’60s. Among them was Hiroshi Fujimatsu (1922-1996), who was inspired by the work of action painter Jackson Pollock. This traces the career of the Nagano-born artist through 60 pieces, starting with his Yomiuri days and spanning the 1960s.

When & Where
June 29-July 8
10 .a.m-6 p.m.
Kashima Arts, Tokyo - Map
Free
More Info

Friday: Sacred mountain

Photo:

Fujisan Omichi-biraki

Two Shinto ceremonies mark the start of the season for climbing Japan’s tallest and most sacred peak. "Omichi-biraki" or literally “path opening” takes place at Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja shrine and sees priests pass through a torii gate to pray for the safety of the climbers. On July 1, Yama-biraki marks the official start of the climbing season at Komitake-jinja Shrine on the fifth station of the Yoshida-guchi trail.

When & Where
June 30
3 p.m.
Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja - Map
Free
More Info

Saturday: Poetry in motion

Giselle

First performed in Paris in 1841, this is one of the greatest works of romantic ballet. Since the Mariinsky Ballet performance of Nicholas Sergeyev’s version at the New National Theatre, Tokyo in 1998, this piece has been performed many times over. The work richly reflects the romanticism of its time: an evocation of the supernatural, undying love and the soul. The core essence of romantic ballet is evident throughout. It’s seen in the dramatic interpretation by the dancer playing the simple peasant girl Giselle, from her betrayal by her lover to her delirious death scene and the subtle and profound scenes in Act 2 requiring masterful pointe work of the corps de ballet.

When & Where
July 1
2 p.m.
The New National Theatre, Tokyo - Map
¥3,240-¥10,800
More Info

Sunday: Hacking VR style

Japan XR Hackathon

The free Japan XR Hackathon welcomes folks interested in VR, AR or MR to view the 20 best projects from the Hackathon and let them test the experiences for themselves. Participation is free and entry is on a first-come-first-serve basis. This year, the focus is on humanitarian action and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is offering USD$40,000 to fund completion of the best project so they can eventually make use of it in the field. Participants will have access to new technology like Microsoft Hololens and Noitom's new Hi5 VR Glove.

When & Where
July 2
12 p.m.-5 p.m.
Tokyo Teleport Center - Map
Free
More Info

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