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The Japan Foundation is pleased to introduce grant awards to 13 organizations in the United States through the PAJ Program for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. The grant recipients are listed below.






Arts Midwest /Arts Midwest World Fest


Photo: Shigeyo Henriquez, courtesy of Arts Midwest
Project Summary A five-city tour of Japan-based taiko ensemble Ondekoza
Principal Artist Ondekoza
Tour Location Sheldon Theatre (Redwing, MN)
Heritage Center, University of Dubuque (Dubuque, IA)
Prairie du Chien High School (Prairie du Chien, WI)
Riggs High Theater (Pieere, SD)
Dorothy Stickney Auditorium Dickinson State University (Dickinson, ND)



Fuse Box Austin / Kaori Seki: water and tears


Photo: Christopher Shea
Project Summary A three-city tour of Japanese choreographer Kaori Seki and her company PUNCTUMUN
Principal Artist Kaori Seki
Tour Location Ground Floor Theater - Fusebox Festival (Austin, TX)
Links Hall (Chigcago, IL)
Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT)



IMJS:Japanese Cultural Heritage Initiatives/ Shakuhachi and Ichigenkin: Discovery in a Single Tone
Project Summary A twelve-city North America tour of Shakuhachi and Ichigenkin: Discovery in a Single Tone, a series of concerts and workshops for shakuhachi and ichigenkin (one-stringed koto).
Principal Artist Minegishi Issui, Ralph Samuelson, Elizabeth Brown
Tour Location Montclair State Univ. Cali School of Music, Leshowitz Recital Hall(Montclair, NJ)
Bard College, Bito Auditorium(Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music(Hartford, CT)
John Jay High School(Katonah, NY)
Katonah Public Library(Katonah, NY)
Center for Remembering and Sharing (New York, NY)
University of Colorado, Heller Center for Arts and Humanities (Colorado Springs, CO)
University of Pittsburgh, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium (Pittsburgh, PA)
University of Kentucky, Niles Gallery for American Music (Lexington, KY)
University of Memphis (Memphis, TN)
Belmont University, Trout Theater (Nashville, TN)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Murfreesboro, TN)



Mutek:International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music / discrete figures


Photo:Bruno Destombes
Project Summary A two-city tour of media artist Rhizomatiks Research and dance troupe Elevenplay
Principal Artist Rhizomatiks Research, Elevenplay
Tour Location Salle Ludger-Duverney, Monument National(Montreal, QC)
Gray Area Grand Theater (San Francisco,CA)





Photo:Jay Hemphill, courtesy of Western New Mexico University
Project Summary A four-city tour of TAIKOPROJECT ALL-STARS in New Mexico including public performances, interactive workshops and school assemblies.
Principal Artist TAIKOPROJECT
Tour Location SJC Henderson Fine Arts Center (Farmington, NM)
WNMU Fine Arts Theater (Silver City, NM)
Alamo-Navajo School (Alamo, NM)
NMIMT Macey Center (Socorro, NM)



Scottsdale Cultural Council /Enmei (Long Life)


Sean Decker

Project Summary A two-city tour of Enmei (Long Life), a collaboration by four dancers and artists ranging in age from 45-73 to explore the different ways our respective cultures value the body, age, and the aging process, itself.
Principal Artist Masako Kitaura, Kei Takei, Kotoka Suzuki, Laz Brezer, Mary Fitzgerald, Eileen Standley, Rose Weitz
Tour Location Virginia G. Piper Theater, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts (Scottsdale, AZ)
Links Hall Chicago (Chicago, IL)



Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound /Akio Suzuki & Aki Onda fu-rai North American Tour


Photo:Wild Don
Project Summary A six-city North America tour of two pioneering Japanese sound artists
Principal Artist Akio Suzuki, Aki Onda 
Tour Location Western Front (Vancouver, BC)
Good Shepherd Chapel (Seattle, WA)
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (Los Angeles, CA)
Calarts (Valencia, CA)
Marfa Stockyards (Marfa, TX)
St. George Hall (Marfa, TX)
Pioneer Works(Brooklyn, NY)




ANIKAYA/Akhra, Inc. / Delicateness in Times of Brutality


Photo: Olivia Huang
Project Summary An intensive collaboration with ANIKAYA artistic director Wendy Jehlen and Dakei Shizuku, an accomplished deaf butoh artist based in Tokyo.      

Principal Artists Dakei Shizuku, Wendy Jehlen
Project Location Rakudo-An (Tokyo, Japan)
Studio @ 550 (Cambridge, MA)



Baryshnikov Arts Center / Darkness Odyssey Part 2: I or Hallucination
Project Summary A series of dances developed by Kota Yamazaki, aims to harmoniously combine the dance, philosophy, and folklore around Goze music (or music of blind women) in order to reveal the unknown universe of the body and to portray interbeingness of different perspectives in unconventional way, through significantly different bodies of four acomplished dance artists.
Principal Artists Kota Yamazaki, Kenta Nagai, Thomas Dunn, Julian Barnett, Raja Kelly, Joanna Kotze, Mina Nishimura
Project Location Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography(Tallahassee, FL)
Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York, NY)
New York Live Arts (New York, NY)



Dallas Black Dance Theatre / In the Sea of Heaven


Photo:Fermaint Photography
Project Summary A collaboration with Japanese choreographer Takehiro Ueyama and Dallas Black Dance Theatre to create a new work for its second professional performing company DBDT: Encore! During the organization's 41st season in 2017-2018.
Principal Artists Takehiro Ueyama, Nycole Ray
Project Location DBDT Studios (Dallas, TX)
Moody Performance Hall (Dallas, TX)


La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club / Distant Observer: New York / Tokyo Correspondence


Photo:Paula Court
Project Summary A collaboration between Japanese playwright/director Takeshi Kawamura and American plawright/director John Jesurun. Inspired by the traditional Japanese collaborative poetry style Renga, the two renowned artists will both write and direct a play in collaborative partnership.
Principal Artists John Jesurun, Takeshi Kawamura
Project Location The Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa (New York, NY)



Ripe Time, Inc / Sleep


Photo:Max Gordon
Project Summary A new immersive physical theater work that traces the distance between what we appear to be and what we are, inspired by Haruki Murakami's shattering 1994 short story, Japanese Hannya myths and horror films.
Principal Artists Rachel Dickstein, Nozomi Iizuka, Takemi Kitamura, Saori Tsukada, Akiko Aizawa
Project Location Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Philadelphia, PA)
BAM-Fisher (Brooklyn, NY)
Iseman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre (New Haven, CT)


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