Sugimoto Bunraku “Kannon Pilgrimage” from The Sonezaki Love Suicides 2013 European Tour Programs

2013 European Tour

The Japan Foundation and the Odawara Art Foundation proudly present the European tour of the Ningyo Joruri Bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre) performance “Sugimoto Bunraku Sonezaki Shinju: The Love Suicides at Sonezaki” over a one-month period from September to October, 2013.

The new version of Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s highly acclaimed drama was premiered in August 2011 at the Kanagawa Arts Theatre. The piece is normally shortened from its original text by Chikamatsu due to production constraints, but this version -directed by visual artist Hiroshi Sugimoto with lyrical and musical accompaniment composed by Living National Treasure Seiji Tsurusawa–is a faithful reproduction of its original form, and has been highly praised by a number of audiences and critics in Japan.

The European tour, the first overseas performances of the work, will start in Madrid as part of the commemoration of the “400th Anniversary of Japan-Spain Relations.” Celebrating the 400th year since the Keicho Delegates reached Europe and cultural exchange between Japan and Spain began, the piece will be shown at Madrid’s Teatro Español. After Madrid, the show will move to Rome and be performed as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Istituto Giapponese di Cultura in Rome, which opened in 1962 as the first Japan Culture Center to be founded abroad. The venue, the Teatro Argentina, is one of the most prestigious theatres in Rome, known as the venue of the premiere of Rossini’s opera “The Barber of Seville.” And finally, eleven perfomances will be given at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris as part of the main program during the Festival d’automne à Paris, a world-famous festival of the performing arts.

Working closely with other institutions and organizations, the Japan Foundation has been implementing a wide range of international and cultural exchange programs across all regions of the world, with its headquarters in Tokyo, a branch in Kyoto, two affiliate organizations (Japanese-Language Institutes in Urawa and Kansai), and 22 overseas offices established in 21 countries. The Japan Foundation acknowledges the long-term relationships with different institutions in these countries that have enabled this valuable opportunity to present such a creative and outstanding performing art to audiences in Europe at the above-mentioned historical, prestigious theatres.