Culture

This Week in Japan Oct. 9-15, 2017

From avant-garde theater to EDM fests to ancient spectacle, there’s something for everyone across the archipelago.

By 1 min read

From avant-garde theater to EDM fests to ancient spectacle, there’s something for everyone across the archipelago. If you’re doing something cool, leave us a comment or send us an email to have your event listed here.

Monday: Two plays, two audiences

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In our distance, there is no sorrow

Playwright and director Yukio Shiba has a reputation for highly individual yet universal theatrical portrayals of humanity. His award-winning musical play “Our Planet” was the allegorical tale of both a planet and a girl. Making its debut at Festival/Tokyo, this premiere is a meditation on the theme of distance and the Great East Japan Earthquake, which Shiba was far away from when it occurred. Two plays unfold simultaneously across two adjacent spaces, serving as a metaphor for the distance that causes the mental divides separating us. The audiences in each space will experience fragments of plays based on songs written by the Taiwanese musician Blaire Ko.

When & Where
Oct. 9-15
Various
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre - Map
¥4,500
More Info

Tuesday: Unsung art

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Otto Nebel and His Contemporaries

Under-appreciated painter Otto Nebel (1892–1973), who spent his artistic career in Switzerland and Germany, met Kandinsky, Klee and others in the mid-1920s, forging long-lasting friendships with them. Bunkamura is holding the first-ever retrospective of Nebel’s work in Japan, with full backing from the Otto Nebel Foundation in Bern. The exhibition traces the themes central to Nebel’s oeuvre—architecture, drama, music, the abstract, the Middle East—supplementing the artist’s own works with those of contemporaries such as Klee, Kandinsky and Chagall. The aim is to shed light on the process by which Nebel sought to establish his own brand of art, incorporating and experimenting with style after style.

When & Where
Oct 10-Dec 17
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Bunkamura The Museum, Tokyo - Map
¥1,500
More Info

Wednesday: Garden of multimedia delights

A Forest Where Gods Live

Multimedia installation group TeamLab presents an interactive exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen, a 500,000-square-meter traditional garden in Takeo, Saga Prefecture. “A Forest Where Gods Live” comprises a number of art installations titled scattered through the garden with titles like “Universe of Water Particles on a Sacred Rock.” The show aims to provide an immersive experience and many of the installations require interaction.

When & Where
Oct 11-29
6-10:30 p.m.
Mifuneyama Rakuen, Saga Prefecture - Map
¥700
More Info

Thursday: Retro rock survivor

Wilko Johnson

Diagnosed with terminal cancer four years ago, pub rock hero Wilko Johnson never gave up his will to live. And here he is, back in Japan post-operation and apparently cancer-free. The founder of influential 70s unit Dr. Feelgood, Johnson’s raw sound and belligerent stage antics shaped a generation of punk rockers, a phenomenon ably captured in the documentary "Oil City Confidential."

When & Where
Oct 12
8 p.m.
Club Quattro, Nagoya - Map
¥6,500
More Info

Friday: DJ smackdown

Red Bull 3Style Japan Final

Red Bull’s 3Style World DJ Championships come to the north with their mission of advancing the culture of turntables. The event’s eighth year sees six winners of the initial performance video competing before an international panel of judges for the Japan title. The winners of these events, along with three global wildcards will then make their way to Krakow Poland for this year’s World Finals.

When & Where
Oct 12
8 p.m.~
King Xmhu, Sapporo - Map
¥1,000
More Info

Saturday: Night of EDM horrors

Hanniball Halloween Music Festival 2017

Those in Kyushu who are ready to hop aboard Japan’s ever-crazier Halloween train can get a jump on the action with this EDM horror fest at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park. Billed as Japan’s first monster music festival to take place in a large theme park, Hanniball boasts top-flight EDM DJs like Afrojack, rides and, of course, “a dark night of fantasy.”

When & Where
Oct 14
10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki - Map
¥9,000-¥13,000
More Info

Sunday: Bride of the gods

Saigu Gyoretsu Procession

Nonomiya Shrine used to be the location where Saio, an unmarried princess, purified herself before heading to Ise Jingu to serve the God and emperors. It’s now revered as the shrine to marriage and pregnancy. The Saigu Gyoretsu Procession consists of about 100 people garbed in luxurious period clothes who recreate the scene of “Saio Gunko” in which an unmarried princess was sent to Ise Jingu, a long trip with hundreds of attendants said to take five to six days.

When & Where
Oct 15
12 p.m.
Nonomiya Shrine, Kyoto - Map
Free
More Info

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