• ISLA! ISLA! ISLA!

    OKAZAKI ART THEATRE

    【Yokohama】2016. 2. 3 wed. ~ 8 mon. @STspot(TPAM show case)

     

     

     

    Yudai Kamisato was born in Peru and brought up in Paraguay, the United States, and Japan (Kawasaki). He has relatives in many places - Okinawa, Hokkaido, Lima, and Nevada. Both playwright and director, he heads Okazaki Art Theatre in an environment marked by a multiplicity of cultures and languages. He continues to create plays with a focus on the various differences and backgrounds of people living in Japan as well as the lives of people who emigrate or are on the move.

    This work contains an cluster of motifs wrapped around the core image of fictional islands whose various cultures, languages, and politics were brought in from the outside and set in motion conflict, fusion, and transformation. Two of these motifs are historical personages who hailed from what is now Japan's Kochi Prefecture: John Manjiro (1827 - 1898) and Koben Mori (1869 - 1945). The life of the former and the abiding interest in the world outside Japan on the part of the latter, who some speculated was the model for the protagonist of "Dankichi the Adventurer," a comic book series that was highly popular before World War Two, hold great meaning for contemporary Japan, which is marked by a prevalent lack of understanding of others and a deep exclusionary streak. As such, they are linked to the issue of "symbiosis with the other," a concern Kamisato has been exploring in recent years. Around the world, cities today are filled with immigrants, and our ability for symbiosis across boundaries of citizenship and nation is being tested. Please look forward to the world now being presented by the Okazaki Art Theatre through its probe of the "island" motif and symbiosis.

     

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    What did you drop in the river, a gold human or a silver human?
    Was it an indigenous or foreign species?

    I fear you. One day you might skin me, auction off my hide, throw my flesh into the river, and use my eyeballs as jewelry. You might kill and burn my family. You might talk endlessly
    at the bottom of the river clinging to your shameful past self, ignorant of language, cut off my nipples, and caress me smiling, like a civil servant. Endless games of pretend
    and a wet curtain. Other divers might gaze upon us, grinning as you do with me whatever you wish. Using nonsense words, flailing your arms in nonsense ways.

     

    The 10,000 year-old alligator, tired of speaking, came ashore. It moved lazily, its back overgrown with moss. As it walked it drooled green and red. The afternoon sun was red and unrelenting. That’s when he arrived!

    ―an excerpt from ISLA! ISLA! ISLA!

    Synopsis

    The king of a fictional group of islands fires up the islanders for war. He emphasizes the efforts he has made to civilize the islands since he was washed up on their shores, and retraces the history of their transformation.

    In time, various people came to the islands, bringing along their respective cultures, languages, and politics. Hakusaburo tries to develop trade in the their sugar cane. Cristóbal and Ranald arrive on a whaling ship. Townsend claims possession of the islands. As the number of immigrants increases and time accelerates, the king insists that he has made a new discovery. The islanders = soldiers do nothing but quiver, it being unclear whether or not they are listening to the king.

    photo:Takuya Matsumi

  • Director's note

    -January, 2016 Yudai Kamisato-

    # Owning

    The question of to whom land belongs is fought over in any age. A legitimate claim in the name of justice appears to be necessary to own something. I have the feeling that we are seeing the rise of values equating ownership with an impassioned assertion of it to others and action accordingly. Or perhaps it was always this way, and I simply wasn't aware of it.

    Why must we act this way?

    Is it somehow required in order to obtain peace of mind about our life, to manifest our own greatness, or to prove our own existence?

    # Fleeing

    I spent much of 2015 on land where I did not belong, for a purpose I described as doing research for a new piece.

    The truth is that I wanted to get away from the impulse to disparage other people and languages in an attempt to assure the superiority of your own people or language, and to hurl ugly insults at individuals or groups with perspectives different from yours. In addition, I felt as if I, too, were an accomplice in such things, which was very hard to take.

    In recent years, I guess I have become inclined to flee from what is a central place to me as far as possible, as also evidenced by "+51 Aviacion, San Borja," my last work.

    # Having a center

    One of the places I visited for research was Ogasawara Islands. I was fascinated by its peculiar history, and absorbed stories and experiences tied to it. In the process, I fell into the illusion that where I was living and what had become important to me there no longer had anything to do with me. I could see things I hadn't seen before by refraining from thinking of my center in terms of physical place, if only for a little while.

    As far as possible, I would like to confirm the existence of many different outlooks and, for example, lifestyles that may even look absurd to me. I believe this process will definitely take the center away from me and enable me to be freer from land.

    To my mind, islands are places which let you know that you have chosen the place, although this might not be true in all cases.

    While what I write may not be distanced from myself in the final analysis, I figured, well if that's the case, I might as well try and write about what I want to get away from, taking islands I chose as the setting.

    # Communicating

    I view actors as messengers relaying the words of another. I had them train so they would be able to keep the words from remaining in their bodies and aim for the ultimate in physical movement and expression without killing the words.

    As the "speech" they personify becomes louder, and its truth, more pronounced, the service delivered by the actors as messengers stands out more clearly. Indeed, it may even look positively beautiful at times.

    In my view, the sharper this contrast appears, the more grotesque it seems.

  • Motifs for ISLA! ISLA! ISLA!

     

     

    - "Boken Dankichi" and "The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria"

    The idea for this work came from comments about "Boken Dankichi" ("Dankichi the Adventurer"), the protagonist of a comic strip which which enjoyed immense popularity before the war, that emerged during an interview with Ryoichi Jinnai in the creation of "+51 Aviación, San Borja," Kamisato's previous work. Mr. Jinnai is a businessman who founded a major consumer loan company before going into farming in Hokkaido. While farming, he continued to furnish his own support to deserving projects overseas, and eventually established the Ryoichi Jinnai Recreational Center, a welfare facility for aged people of Japanese ancestry in Peru.

    Written by Fernando Arrabal, "The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria" is a masterpiece of theater of the absurd. The "emperor" who survives a plane crash on a lone island in far-off seas teaches civilization to the "architect," an island native. The premise bears a close resemblance to that of "Boken Dankichi." The characters and their conversation, however, are drawn very nonsensically and comically. Both the emperor and the architect are portrayed as both civilized and savage. This makes for a contrast with the pride in the marvels of Japanese "civilization" in "Boken Dankichi."

     

    Koben Mori (1869 - 1945)

    A businessman hailing from Kochi Prefecture, Koben Mori was rumored to be the model for "Dankichi the Adventurer" (the truth of this rumor has not been confirmed). He migrated to Micronesia and started a business there. While affected by the influence of strife among the indigenous peoples and the competition to colonize the region among the Western powers, his business stimulated the regional economy. In his later years, he served as a mediator between Japan and Micronesia.

     

    - John Manjiro (1827 - 1898)

    A fisherman born in the province of Tosa (present-day Kochi Prefecture), John Manjiro was stranded on a deserted island in his youth. After surviving the grueling ordeal on the island, he was rescued by a U.S. ship and taken to the United States, where he was schooled. He later returned to Japan and left his mark as a mediator between Japan and the United States, despite encountering difficult circumstances at times.

     

    - The Ogasawara Islands

    These islands (a.k.a. Bonin Islands) are located in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo. Historically, their ownership changed hands with the times, from Great Britain to the United States and finally to Japan. Even today, their population is a mix of people of Western ancestry and those of Japanese ancestry, and the island lifestyle reflects fusion and differentiation in various forms.

     

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    Ticket Infomation

     

    Tickets are now on sale !

    << BUY TICKETS at precog >>


    ◎The tickets reception opens 40mins before/ the doors open 30mins before a performance starts.
    ◎Unreserved seating
    ◎All show performed in Japanese with English surtitles.
    ◎Under 18: Admission Free to the first two arrivals

     

    Contact: precog Phone: 03-6825-1223 / Email

    Schedule

    2.3 Wed 20:00 (S)

    2.4 Thu 20:00 (S)

    2.5 Fri 20:00 (S)

    2.6 Sat 13:00 (A) / 20:00 (S)

    2.7 Sun 13:00 (A) / 20:00 (S)

    2.8 Mon 13:00 (A) / 18:00 (S)

     

    (S)"ISLA! ISLA! ISLA!"

    (A)"+51 Aviación, San Borja"

    Venue

    ST spot
    Yokohama ST Bldg. B1, 1-11-15 Kitasaiwai Nishi-ku,
    Yokohama, 220-0004 Japan
     
    TEL : +81-45-325-0411

    Venues : Google Maps

    Fee

    Adv ¥2,800

    Door ¥3,300

    Student Adv ¥2,000

    Student Door ¥2,500

    Pair ¥5,200(Adv only)

     

    TPAM Registrant Benefit:Adv & Door ¥2,500

    If you haveTPAM Pass, you can make reservations with TPAM Registrant Benefit via an TPAM Website.
    More details:TPAM Website

     

  • Casts

    Miho Inatsugu

    Tomoko Shimazaki

    Kimio Taketani

    Shoko Matsumura

    Hanako Wada

  • About

     

    Okazaki Art Theatre

     

    Founded in 2003 to stage works by playwright and director Yudai Kamisato. Their pieces evoke a unique atmosphere, creating works with the imagery, colors, and linguistic sensibility of the blazing South American sun and also the inorganic chaos of a newly constructed satellite town in Kawasaki. Desire Caught by the Tale won the Best Direction Award at the 7th Toga Director’s Competition (2006). Okazaki Art Theatre has performed at festivals in and outside Japan, including Festival Tokyo (2010-2012) , the Taipei Arts Festival (2012, Taiwan) and Sydney Festival (2016, Australia). Mr. Haircut (2009),  Black Coffee (for People Who Can’t Drink It) (2013)  and +51 Aviación, San Borjawere nominated for the Kunio Kishida Playwriting Prize.

    http://okazaki-art-theatre.com/

    About Director

    Yudai Kamisato

    Yudai Kamisato as director of Okazaki Art Theatre continues to explore people’s attitudes towards politics and society, and the coexistence of people who cannot understand one another. Following in the footsteps of his grandmother, who emigrated from Okinawa to Peru, Kamisato researched the current situations of South America and Okinawa for his new creation.

    Incorporating elements of the life of his “Mexican Theatre father”, Seki Sano, who was active before the war, and died in a foreign country; Kamisato’s own choice to work in Japan, while adjusting to life as an immigrant; and the story of the entrepreneur Ryoichi Jinnai, who is currently supporting the community of people of Japanese descent in Peru and other countries of South America. This piece explores the concept of “homeland” through the stories of people who emigrated to foreign countries in the past and died overseas, and the stories of people currently living in foreign lands. This perspective of an observer also informs us about ourselves, living in contemporary Japanese society.

  • ISLA! ISLA! ISLA!

    Credit

    Staff

    Director: Yudai Kamisato
    Set designer: Michiko Inada
    Costume designer: Kyoko Fujiani (FAI FAI)

    Lighting: Ryoya Fudetani
    Sound: Masashi Wada
    Technical Manager: Eiji Torakawa

    Technical Assistant: Chizuru Kouno
    Stage Manager: Naoko Yokokawa
    Video: Kazuki Watanabe
    Photography: Yuta Fukitsuka
    Flyer Design: Takahiro Furuya (Werkbund)
    Dramaturge: Hinako Arao
    Production Manager: Akane Nakamura, Yoko Kawasaki, Sachiko Uchiyama
    Assistant Staff: Takuto Hosaka

    Produced by precog

    Organized by Okazaki art theatre, precog

     

    In cooperation with KAKIKUUKYAKU, Shochiku Geino

     

    Supported by The Saison Foundation, Art Commission Yokohama, STspot

  • Archive

    +51 Aviación, San Borja

    +51 Aviación, San Borja

    2015

    Yudai Kamisato as director of Okazaki Art Theatre continues to explore people’s attitudes towards politics and society, and the coexistence of people who cannot understand one another. Following in the footsteps of his grandmother, who emigrated from Okinawa to Peru, Kamisato researched the current situations of South America and Okinawa for his new creation.

    Incorporating elements of the life of his “Mexican Theatre father”, Seki Sano, who was active before the war, and died in a foreign country; Kamisato’s own choice to work in Japan, while adjusting to life as an immigrant; and the story of the entrepreneur Ryoichi Jinnai, who is currently supporting the community of people of Japanese descent in Peru and other countries of South America. This piece explores the concept of “homeland” through the stories of people who emigrated to foreign countries in the past and died overseas, and the stories of people currently living in foreign lands. This perspective of an observer also informs us about ourselves, living in contemporary Japanese society.

     

    Photo by Yuta Fukitsuka

    BLACK COFFEE (NOT FOR DRINK)

    2013

    Of particular note is the long-winded and scathing monologue at the beginning, which brings up the incidents of anti-Korean "hate speech" causing a controversy in today's Japan. Blazing a new frontier in verbal artistic expression, it stirred great interest in the theatre world and various other quarters.

     

    photo by Yuta Fukitsuka

    THE ABSENCE OF NEIGHBOR JIMMY

    2012

    What are our criteria when we say, "The grass is always greener on the other side"? What do we know about our "neighbours"? In this new play Kamisato will build a dialogue and encounter with an unknown neighboring country, Korea, where he will do the creative preparatory work. Digesting the fear and confusion of such an "encounter", he will re-examine the relationships of self and other, homeland and foreign country, drawing a new portrait of Japan.[Festival Tokyo 2012 Main Program]

     

    photo by Yuta Fukitsuka

    ANTIGONE/NETORARE-SOUSUKE

    2012

    photo by Yuta Fukitsuka

    HEMISPHERICAL RED AND BLACK

    2011

    This play looks at a mysterious sensation and object of limitless anger, pathos, and fear. What do people think about, or are made to think about, when confronted by the hidden, the unknown?

    [Festival Tokyo 2011 Main Program]

     

    photo by Yuta Fukitsuka

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