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FILM: Kusama - Infinity / New York, NY

09/07/2018 - 09/18/2018

Director and producer Heather Lenz's independent documentary, Kusama - Infinity, featuring famed Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama will be shown at the Film Forum in New York from September 7 to 18.  Film production was previsously supported under the Japan Foundation's former Program for Film and Visual Media Production on Japan.  The film premiered worldwide at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Magnolia Pictures will be distributing the film through the U.S. 

This film screening takes place from September 7 through 18 at Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street New York, NY 10014. For more details, please visit Film Forum’s website.

PERFORMANCE: Asaba Trio in the Detroit Jazz Festival / Detroit, MI

09/01/2018 - 09/02/2018

The Detroit Jazz Festival is the world’s largest jazz festival, featuring world-class talent including Asaba Trio, who received Grand Prix at Yokohama jazz promenade competition in 2017. The group will perform in the festival through Yokohama Exchange Initiative, a cultural exchange program between the Detroit Jazz Festival and Yokohama Jazz Promenade. This event is supported by the Grant Program for Dispatching Artists and Cultural Specialists.

This concert series take place on September 1 at Marriott at the Renaissance Center Ballroom, 400 Renaissance Drive, Detroit, MI and on September 2 at Wayne State University Pyramid Stage, 5104 Gullen Mall, Detroit, MI. For more details, please visit the Detroit Jazz Festival’s website.

PERFORMANCE: Pacific Crossing - 150th Gannenmono in Concert

08/04/2018 - 08/05/2018

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Gannenmono, the first Japanese immigrants who arrived in Hawai’i. In tribute to the special date, the Gannenmono in Concert series will feature unique collaborations between local and Japanese artists that highlight distinct narratives within Japanese immigration history. For Pacific Crossing, Taiko master Kenny Endo, who is based in Hawai'i, will team up with a world-renowned shamisen artist Hiromitsu Agatsuma and Chieko Kojima, a distinguished folk dancer from Kodo, to push collaborative boundaries with traditional instruments. There will be more performances associated with 150th Gannenmono in Concert in September and November. This event is supported by Performing Arts Japan program.

This concert takes place on August 4th and 5th at Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96814. For more details, please visit the museum’s website.


07/21/2018 - 07/25/2018

Lincoln Center will present NINAGAWA Macbeth, the legendary director Yukio Ninagwa's landmark interpretation of William Shakespeare's classic, during the 2018 Mostly Mozart Festival. This is the last production overseen by Ninagawa before his death in 2016. A free lecture on his work will be held on Opening Night in conjunction with the performance. Alexa Alice Joubin, the founder of Global Shakespeares and internationally recognized expert on Shakespeare in Asia, will explore the international influence of Ninagawa's productions and his achievements from a variety of perspectives. This event is supported by JFNY Grant for Arts and Culture.

The performance takes place on July 21st, 24th, 25th 7:30 PM and 22nd 5 PM, at David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023.  The lecture takes place on July 21st 6:15 PM at Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, 165 West 65th Street 10th Floor, New York, NY 10023.  For details, please visit Lincoln Center's website.

[Image: Photo by Takahiro Watanabe]

FILM: Japan Cuts 2018 / New York, NY

07/19/2018 - 07/29/2018

Japan Society presents the 12th edition of JAPAN CUTS, North America's largest festival of contemporary Japanese cinema. Bringing a wide range of the best and hardest-to-see films made in and around Japan today - from blockbusters, independent productions and anime, documentaries, avant-garde works, short films, and new restorations. This year's line-up includes New York premier of Radiance (dir. Naomi Kawase, 2017) which won Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Beloved actress Kirin Kiki who has worked with established masters of Japanese cinema like Seijun Suzuki and Palme d'Or-winning Hirokazu Kore-eda, will attend the Intro and Q&A of Mori The Artist's Habitat (dir. Shuichi Okita, 2018) as a special guest. This event is supported by JFNY Grant for Arts and Culture.

This film festival takes place from July 19th to July 29th at Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street New York, NY 10017.  For details, please visit Japan Society's website.

[Image:© 2017 "Mori, The Artist's Habitat" Production Committee]

FILM: The 17th New York Asian Film Festival / New York, NY

06/29/2018 - 07/15/2018

More than 10 Japanese feature films and 5 special guests from Japan will be presented at the 17th New York Asian Film Festival, which is North America's leading festival of popular Asian cinema. The lineup includes Sekigahara (dir. Masato Harada, 2017), The Third Murder (dir. Hirokazu Koreeda, 2017), and Inuyashiki (dir. Shinsuke Sato, 2018). This event is supported by JFNY Grant for Arts and Culture.

The film festival takes place from June 29 to July 15 at Film Society of Lincoln Center & the SVA Theater in New York, NY. For details, please visit Subway Cinema's website

[Image © 2018 Movie "Inuyashiki" Production Committee © Hiroya Oku/Kodansha]

EXHIBITION: Miniature Edo-style Toys from Japan / New York, NY

06/28/2018 - 07/25/2018

This exhibition showcases some of the finest examples of crafts from the Edo period (1603 - 1868) in Japan. Included in the exhibition are the intricate miniature figures and toys depicting life in Edo, such as hagoita (wooden paddles) with zodiac animals, hanten coats worn by fire-fighters, among others. This exhibition is nominally supported by The Japan Foundation, New York.

This exhibition is on view from June 28 through July 25, 2018 at The Nippon Gallery at The Nippon Club, 145 West 57th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10019.

[Image: Daimyo's Procession from the Sukeroku Collection]

PERFORMANCE: New York State Puppet Festival / Perry, NY & Buffalo, NY

06/20/2018 - 06/23/2018

The New York State Puppet Festival is a festival showcasing performances of nationally and internationally-recognized puppet artists, curated exhibitions of puppet arts, as well as educational programming offered by these artists. Koryu Nishickawa V, who is the fifth-generation headmaster of Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo, will present traditional performances and workshops in Kuruma Ningyo style. This festival is supported through the JFNY Grant for the Arts and Culture.

The festival takes place from June 14 to June 24, 2018 in Perry, NY and Buffalo, NY. For details, please visit the festival's website

Koryu Nishickawa V's performance takes place on June 21 - June 23, 6pm at Theatre@37, 37 S. Main Street, Perry NY 14530. WorkShops with Koryu Nishickawa V on June 20, 6pm at Theater@37 (Perry, NY) & June 23, 2pm at Buffalo and Erie County Central Library (the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203.

PERFORMANCE: Reflecting Rhythms: From Taiko to Tap with Kazunori Kumagai and Kaoru Watanabe / Houston, TX


This special collaboration that was well received by New Yorkers will come to Houston. The Japan Foundation and Asia Society Texas Center will co-present a performance by the award-winning tap dancer Kazunori Kumagai and the multi-instrumentalist/composer Kaoru Watanabe. Kumagai, who was dubbed the "Japanese Gregory Hines" by The Village Voice, tours all over the world and has won the Bessie Award 2016 for Outstanding Performer. Watanabe is acclaimed for his innovative approach to powerful Japanese drums. Watanabe was a performer and artistic director of the taiko ensemble Kodo for close to a decade. Both of these outstanding artists have devoted themselves to both traditional art forms and to exploring innovative expressions.

The performance takes place on June 1, 7pm at Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX 77004. 

[Photos: (top) Kazunori Kumagai © Makoto Ebi / (bottom) Kaoru Watanabe © Yuki Kokubo]

EXHIBITION: Silk Canvas -- Digital Effects, Craft Techniques / Lincoln NE

06/01/2018 - 06/30/2018

Chie Hitchner is a textile artist working in a variety of media including silk, linen and wool, using natural materials as dyes whenever possible. This exhibition will showcase examples of her work, which is a modern reinterpretation of Japanese weaving and dyeing techniques that are hundreds of years old. This exhibition is supported through the JFNY Grant for Arts and Culture.

The exhibition is on view from June 1 through June 30, 2018 at LUX Center for the Arts, 2601 N 48th St, Lincoln, NE 68504. The First Friday reception will be held on June 1, 5 - 8pm.

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