2015 Past Events

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Featured Events

Change the World with Onigiri

Supporting World Food Day Campaign

Tuesday, November 17, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Come and join us for a special evening of Onigiri (rice ball) workshop by a master chef and contribute to TABLE FOR TWO’s World Food Day Campaign 2015. You can even learn some Japanese related to rice and Onigiri!

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Fragility in Photos: A Photographer's Intimate Study of the Body and Soul

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles 

(5700 Wilshire Blvd. # 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036) 

Friday, October 2, 7PM

Join us for a captivating behind-the-lens discussion with a master of modern photography. 
The prolific and provocative photographer Ishiuchi Miyako will be in L.A. this October for the opening of her brand new photo exhibition titled Postwar Shadows at the J. Paul Getty Museum, and The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles has invited her to give a lecture on October 1st.

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2015 JLPT Registration Deadline

The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) is an internationally accredited language examination that is offered in five different levels, designed to measure a person;s Japanese-language skills. In the United States, it is administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese and will be held at 15 cities across the country. For more information, please visit the site below..
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Japanese Design Today: Unique, Evolving, Borderless

The Forum, Kathleen Holser Ahmanson Hall,

Otis College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90045
Thursday, September 3, at 4:00pm
No reservation required

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles has invited two design experts to delve into Japanese design and more in Los Angeles this September. In their lecture, Professor Kashiwagi of Musashino Art University, Tokyo, and Yoshifumi Nakamura, an architect and furniture designer, will discuss the evolution, distinguishing characteristics, and current state of Japanese design today.
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Kyogen performance by Manzo Nomura IX

James Irvine Japanese Garden at JACCC
(244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012)
Tuesday, August 25, 8:00pm-9:30pm
Advance ticket purchase required at JACCC website

Buy Tickets

Kyogen Performer Manzo Nomura IX will give a special one-night-only performance and workshop in Los Angeles. Audiences will have the rare chance to see this classical comic form of Japanese theatre performed live in the intimate, serene environment of a Japanese zen garden. Then later, during the workshop portion of the evening, Manzo Nomura IX will explain some of the fundamental aspects of Kyogen and will even teach the audience how to produce the unique sound of laughter that is particular to Kyogen.
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At the 75th Nisei Week Japanese Festival

Sunday, August 23

2pm-3pm @ JACCC Plaza
  (244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90012)

4pm-4:30pm @ 1st St.

  (Between San Pedro St. & Central Ave.)

Admission: Free

The Japan Foundation invites an extraordinary group of daidengaku (traditional Japanese folk dance) dancers to Los Angeles to perform in Little Tokyo this August to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Nisei Week. Dressed in colorful authentic costumes brought from Japan, these dancers will perform energetic, rhythmic and totally unique Japanese folk performing art.


The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Saturday, August 22 @ 1PM

Admission: Free

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Little Glee Monster On Fort Mason Stage!

Fort Mason Center Stage
(Landmark Building A, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123) 
Saturday, August 8 @11:10am
Sunday August 9 @2:10pm
Click Here to Buy Ticket  

Japan Foundation is proud to announce that Little Glee Monster, the incredible a cappella group consisting of Japanese six teenagers, will join J-POP SUMMIT and sing loud on Fort Mason Center Stage on both days of the weekend! They were chosen out of a very competitive vocal auditions that Japanese entertainment agencies held to find the best vocalists. Come listen to their powerful voice in harmony!

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JFLA Lecture Series 30: Curating the State of the ‘Art’: Diversity Inspires Creativity Inspires Tech

Lecturer: Miyuki Tanaka

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Tuesday, July 28 @ 7pm

Admission: Free

An art museum curator is curating tech. Miyuki Tanaka invites you to learn about the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan, known as the "Miraikan" ("Center of the Future") in Japanese, and the ways they are connecting individuals to the world and the future. Her beautiful exhibitions feature robotics, cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, prostheses, and computer-created art. They pose the questions, “How can we sustain ourselves when our total population will reach 10 billion people in the near future? How can we use our imaginations to live and prosper on this planet?” To Ms. Tanaka, the answer is: Diversity.


Special Saturday Screening Q&A with Poet Cast Member

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100,  CA 90036)
Saturday, May 16, 2PM
Admission: Free

This documentary film titled True Songs (Original title: Hontou no Uta) follows the artists over the course of two years as they tour Japan bringing their emotionally charged and imaginative show to the people of Japan who are still grappling with fallout from the disaster.
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Discussion and Book Signing with Janice P. Nimura Author of "Daughters of the Samurai"

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100,  CA 90036)
Monday, May 11, 7PM
Admission: Free

Based on in-depth archival research in Japan and in the United States, including decades of letters from between the three women and their American host families, Daughters of the Samurai is beautifully, cinematically written, a fascinating lens through which to view an extraordinary historical moment.

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JAPANEMA: Tokyo Sonata

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100,  CA 90036)
Wednesday, April 22, 7PM
Admission: Free

From internationally-renowned director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, this film hauntingly tells the story of a contemporary Japanese family torn apart after its patriarch Ryuhei (Teruyuki Kagawa) unexpectedly loses his job.
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Cute Character Bento Photo Exhibition, 2015

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90036)

March 13 - March 28

Admission: Free

From March 13 through March 28, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and The Consulate-General of Japan in Los Angeles (http://www.la.us.emb-japan.go.jp/index.htm) will hold a photo exhibition of top 10 finalists’ entries. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these highly creative, cute characters rendered in foodstuffs!

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JFLA Lecture Series 26: Japanese Literature in this Decade

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90036)
Wednesday, March 4
Admission: Free

Literary expert and translator Motoyuki Shibata's Monkey Business, an annual literary journal available in both Japanese and English which features the writings of modern Japanese authors as well as British and American authors, has contributed to this spread and increasing popularity of Japanese literature across borders. On March 4th, Motoyuki Shibata and acclaimed Japanese author Tomoka Shibasaki will discuss many topics surrounding modern Japanese literature.

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Photography Exhibition

After Mikiko Hara: Floating in the Moment

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90036

February 6 - March 6

Admission: Free

Photography students from College of the Canyons and Pierce College participated in a master class lead by photographer Mikiko Hara at the Getty Center last fall. This exhibition showcases the fruits of those students' hard work, which were inspired by Mikiko Hara.

3-11 Remembrance Special Screening & Director's Talk "LIVE YOUR DREAM: THE TAYLOR ANDERSON STORY"

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

(5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90036)

Wednesday, March 11

Admission: Free

This film is a story about Taylor Anderson and all the young people who travel the world trying to make a difference. Taylor was an extraordinary American who dedicated herself to teaching Japanese children, living her dream right up to the events of March 11, 2011. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan was a disaster that no one could have expected.

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2015 JET-MIP Deadlines

Join Us For a Trip to Tohoku Next Summer
NJE: Tuesday, February 17 (5PM Pacific Time)

This is a reminder that the 2015 National Japanese Exam deadline is on February 17th, 2015. All teachers interested in applying for 2015 JET-MIP must register their student candidate for this test in order to be eligible. We have also included a new video slideshow of the 2014 program on our website so make sure to have your students watch the video to get a better understanding of the purpose of this program. Please contact us if you have any questions and we look forward to receiving your application.

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Japanese Picture Storytelling

Storyteller: Kazue Takada

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles

5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90036

February 11

Admission: Free

Come and enjoy an afternoon of Japanese storytelling and view our colorful picture books  (ehon) on display. This event is fun for all ages!

JFLA Lecture Series 25: Empowerment through Bilingualism: An Evening with Marty Friedman

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
(5700 Wilshire Blvd. # 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036)
Monday, January 26, 7PM
Admission: Free
This Event is Full 

On January 26th, 2015, we will have the rare opportunity to hear Marty Friedman discuss his relationship with Japan, how mastering a foreign language can lead to new opportunities that would otherwise not exist, and answer any and all questions you may have about the mysteries of actually living and thriving in a country so different from your own anywhere else in the world. 

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Culture & Language Events

Art Place Japan LA

University of Southern California
East Asian Seminar Room (100C)
Doheny Memorial Library
Friday, November 13 @4:15pm - 5:45pm
Admission: FREE

Click Here to RSVP

Fram Kitagawa, founder and director of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and the creators of Play the LA River talk about creative approaches to placemaking and community vitality on two continents.

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(631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012) 
Tuesday, November 3 @ 8:30pm
Ticket: $10/$16/$20

Sure to roil the electroacoustic ether with a mix of free improvisation, noise and experimental electronics, this exciting international collaboration unites four standout sonic innovators for a first-ever U.S. tour. 

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Center for New Music
(55 Taylor St., San Francisco, CA 94102) 
Sunday, November 1 @ 7:49pm
Ticket: $15(General) / $10(Members)

An electro-acoustic quartet comprising four major figures in the late-1990s development of eai/onkyo/lowercase improvisation, now abrasively extending beyond its accrued boundaries: Tetuzi Akiyama // guitar - Bryan Eubanks // saxophone, electronics - Jason Kahn // drums, percussion - Toshimaru Nakamura // no-input mixing board

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Akiyama / Eubanks / Kahn / Nakamura

(8371 N. Interstate Ave., Portland, OR 97217)
Saturday, October 31 @ 7:30pm
Ticket: $12 - $20

The Creative Music Guild presents international collaboration Akiyama / Eubanks / Kahn / Nakamura, a sonically daring mix of free improvisation, noise and experimental electronics. The group of Tetuzi Akiyama, Bryan Eubanks, Jason Kahn and Toshimaru Nakamura meets together for the first time on this 16-date U.S. tour, spanning both coasts and reaching the northern reaches of the Midwest down to the Deep South.

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Akiyama / Eubanks / Kahn / Nakamura

Good Shepherd Center
(4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103)
Friday, October 30 @ 8pm
Ticket: $5 – $15 donation

Tetuzi Akiyama (guitar), Bryan Eubanks (saxophone, electronics), Jason Kahn (drums, percussion) and Toshimaru Nakamura (no-input mixing board) fuse free improvisation, noise, experimental electronics and the uncategorizable in a fresh and vibrant approach to group playing and spontaneous music creation.

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Japan Expo LA 2015

Los Angeles Convention Center, South Hall K
(1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015)
Saturday, October 17, 10am - 7pm
Sunday, October 18, 10am - 5pm

Japan Expo LA is one of the largest US/Japan events that promotes and strengthens the ties of friendship between the United States and Japan.  Japan Expo LA started in 1980s, and it celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.  With the theme of Japanese “hospitality”, the 30th Japan Expo introduces the Japanese culture, traditional craftsmanship, and polished life-style not only to L.A. but also worldwide.

>Click Here to Purchase Tickets

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Sankai Juku: UMUSUNA - Memories Before History

UCLA Royce Hall
(340 Royce Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90095)
Friday, October 16 @8pm
Saturday, October 17 @8pm
Click Here to Get Tickets

Sankai Juku returns to Los Angeles with its latest creation Umusuna - Memories Before History. This exquisite new work evokes the essence of duality and unity encapsulated in the Japanese characters for “birth” and “earth” that combine to form the work’s title.

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UC Davis, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
(One Shields Ave., 
Davis, CA 95616)
Tuesday, October 13, @8pm
Click Here to Get Tickets

Originating in post-war Japan in the 1960s, avant-garde dance form Butoh is often difficult to narrowly define. But the visual markers—slow, mesmerizing movements, a dreamlike state, and shaven-head dancers covered head-to-toe in white talc—are quintessential parts of Japan’s famed Butoh troupe Sankai Juku. The company was founded in 1975 by Ushio Amagatsu, whose work blends the basics of Butoh with themes surrounding life, death and creation. His latest piece, UMUSUNA, explores the connection between fleeting human existence and the eternity of nature and the universe.

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Makoto Matsui: Japanese Traditional Stage Arts Demonstration

Los Angeles City College-Camino Theater

855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles California 90029

Friday, August 7 @ 2pm-3pm

Free Admission, No RSVP Required

Makoto Matsui is a well-known Japanese actor and dancer in the genre of popular theater, or taishu engeki in Japanese, which is a type of musical theatre or revue. The stories in taishu engeki are often set in historical or samurai times, and the performers wear traditional-style kimono and distinctive make-up which often the actors apply themselves. Makoto plays both male and female roles on stage and is best known for his beautiful appearance and perfect impersonation of female characters as well as his quick changing of costumes on stage. Makoto Matsui will show  the finer points of his craft and demonstrate his make-up and kimono dressing techniques as well as perform dance on-stage at Los Angeles City College on Friday, August 7 at 2pm to 3pm. The program is free and open to the public.

Xinla Bansho: Forest Of Exponentials

(2677 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034)
June 20 – July 9, 2015

Paul Loya Gallery is pleased to exhibit “XINLA BANSHO: FOREST OF EXPONENTIALS ”, curated by LA based artist Kio Griffith.  This group exhibition includes current work from Japanese and L.A. expats mirroring Griffith’s success in curating an exhibition of artists from Los Angeles into the 2014 Yokohama Triennale satellite programming.  In this exchange exhibition he brings the work of contemporary artists from Japan to L.A. for the month of June.

This is the second part of the mini-festival of artists and includes active artists at various levels of their careers from recent graduates of Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) to emerging and mid-career artists in the museum and biennial circuits will present painting, drawing, print, sculpture, installation, photography, collage and new media.

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KachoFugetsu: Flower Bird Wind Moon

ARENA 1, A project of Santa Monica Art Studios
(3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90405)
June 13 – July 18, 2015

Arena 1 Gallery is pleased to present “Kacho Fugetsu: Flower Bird Wind Moon” which opens June 13th with a reception for the artists and continues through July 18th, 2015. The exhibition, curated by LA based artist Kio Griffith, includes the work of more than 30 artists and mirrors Griffith’s success in taking an exhibition of Los Angeles artists to the 2014 Yokohama Triennale for its satellite programming. The reciprocal exhibition opens a mini-festival and includes exciting young artists from across Japan. Active artists at various levels of their careers from recent graduates of Tokyo University of the Arts (Geidai) to emerging and
mid-career artists in the museum and biennial circuits will present painting, drawing, print, sculpture, installation, photography, collage and new media.

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Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty

Japanese American National Museum
(100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012)
October 11, 2014 – May 31, 2015

The Japanese American National Museum celebrates Hello Kitty's 40th Anniversary by exploring her colorful history and influence in art and culture. The exhibition combines a product-based, historical and sociological examination of the phenomenon of Hello Kitty with an art exhibition emphasizing her influence on contemporary art. Check janm.org/hellokitty for more information.

Nippon Nights #9: Flashback Memories

(3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103)
Wednesday, May 13, 7PM
Admission: $10

Didgeridoo performer, GOMA, developed higher brain dysfunction as the result of an expressway accident. While looking back on his rehabilitation and recovery with his family’s help, animation recreates his “flashbacks” – incongruous images that suddenly appear in his brain. This completely new style of movie that blends past footage, flashbacks, and studio performances is also emphatically a story of familial love.

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2015 Newport Beach Film Festival Japanese Spotlight

Edwards Big Newport
(300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660)
Monday, April 27 @7:30PM
Ticket: $20 (Film screening) / $25(Post-screening party)

The 16th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival will present its Japanese Spotlight, an evening celebration of Japanese cinema and culture. The event will feature the Regional Premiere of the highly anticipated film, TWILIGHT: SAYA IN SASARA, followed by a festive post screening gala. Post-screening celebration will take place at the Pacific Rim Gala held at Design within Reach - SOCO Courtyard (3303 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626).

Admission to the Japanese Spotlight film and the post-screening party is $45.
>Click here to buy tickets
*Enter Promotional Code "NBFFASN" to receive $5 discount

Film screening: $20
Post-screening party: $25
>Click here to buy tickets 


(3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103)
Thursday, April 16, 7PM
Admission: $10

The year is 2029. The world has become intensively information oriented and humans are well-connected to the network. Crime has developed into a sophisticated stage by hacking into the interactive network. To prevent this, Section 9 is formed. These are cyborgs with incredible strengths and abilities that can access any network on Earth.

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WA-SHOKU~Beyond Sushi~

Laemmle Playhouse 7
(673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101)
April 10 - 16 @1:50pm/4:30pm/7:20pm/10:00pm

This film begins with the familiar subject of sushi and evolves to explain the whole of Japanese cuisine’s global popularity today. The piece also features intimate behind the scenes stories of many passionate prominent men who dedicate their lives to uphold the standard or excellence of Japan’s traditional cultural cuisine making “Wa-shoku" (Japanese Food). Featuring many noteworthy celebrities chefs; Noritoshi Kanai, the Chairman of Mutual Trading Co., Nobu Matsuhisa, the chef/owner of Nobu restaurants, Katsuya Uechi, the chef/owner of Katsu-ya group, Tyson Cole, the chef/owner of Uchi restaurant, Joel Robuchon French chef, Yoshihiro Murata, the chef/owner of Kyoto Kikunoi and more. This full featured documentary describes the past and explores the future possibilities of Wa-Shoku.

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AJALT Workshop on How to Teach Japanese Phonetics

AJALT Workshop on How to Teach Japanese Phonetics
JFLA Lecture Hall
Sat, March 7, 9:30am - 3:30pm

AJALT will offer a workshop for Japanese language instructors on effective ways to teach Japanese phonetics. All attendees will receive a free copy of the WADAIKO textbook!

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NIPPON NIGHTS #7 : Branded to Kill

(3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103)
Tuesday, March 17, 7PM
Admission: $10

Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill is a very 1960s metaphysical thriller, a cult item treasured by connoisseurs as the kind of film that – for all its delirious craziness – could even be a truer product of Japan than the higher artefacts of Ozu and Kurosawa.

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Tungsten (artery) A Modern Retelling of Persephone

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Getty Villa, Auditorium

17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California

February, 20-22

Admission: Tickets $7

Tungsten (artery) merges bunraku puppetry, shadows, video, sound, and text to create an elliptical rumination on our mortality. It centers on Cora, a contemporary Persephone with an existential dilemma.

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Clive Davis Theater, The Grammy Museum
(800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015)

Monday, March 2, 8PM (Doors open at 7:30PM)
This Event is Full. 

A member of the Komparu school of noh, Tsunao is active in bringing the noh tradition to audiences in Japan and abroad. On March 2nd, witness the refined mastery Tsunao brings to the stage in "Be Connected", a program he has produced himself comprised of excerpts from 4 noh plays, and a special collaboration with jazz pianist Kihara Kentaro.

Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape

(631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012)
Thursday, Feb. 26 - Saturday, Feb. 28
Tickets: $12-$30 

Stranded in Japan during WWII, a young Japanese-American woman was forced to serve as a radio broadcaster for a propaganda program controlled by the Japanese Imperial Army, and was subsequently tried for treason. Seventy years later, this historic incident is brought to life through a visually stunning whodunit, conceived, written and directed by internationally renowned visual artist Miwa Yanagi. Brimming with iconic imagery from her rich body of photographic work, Zero Hour tells the multi-layered story of a woman caught between two nations during the war. This presentation marks Yanagi’s north American debut as a theater artist.

Performed in English and Japanese with English subtitles.

>For more information and tickets

Cloud Eye Control: Half Life

(631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012)

Thursday, January 15 - Sunday, January 18
Tickets: $10 - $25 

World Premiere

A highly visual and emotional experience of fierce urgency, the latest multimedia production from Cloud Eye Control is an imagistic, visceral work inspired by the nervous fear felt in the wake of natural or man-made disasters. The starting point for the creation of Half Life was blog entries by women who experienced the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis, inspiring the artists to explore the psychological fallout of global disaster, and how it affects our emotions and imaginations. The Los Angeles-based collaborators— Miwa Matreyek, Anna Oxygen, and Chi-wang Yang —bring their signature mix of projected animation, live performance and music to summon the unseeable forces that govern our collective sense of personal safety and control.

>For more information and buying tickets

Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery

Multiple Locations
January 28 - March 29, 2015

"Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery," the second work directed by artistic director Tamasaburo Bando, will tour around the USA and Canada from January through March 2015. They look forward to sharing the wondrous and sacred "mystery" that lies deep within Japanese folk arts with audiences throughout North America.

Amidst reverberations like rumbles in the earth large serpents coil, demons and lions move wildly. They surface from the gloomy dark, eerie at times, and in some respects, even nostalgic… This work fuses Kodo's real worth, the dynamism of taiko expression, with the wondrous beauty and true charm that lie within rituals expressing the worship of myriad gods and reverence for nature that have been traditions in Japan since ancient times. This performance takes you on a voyage to the extraordinary, to a mysterious realm that lies in the beyond.

>For more information

>Tour Schedules and Locations

Photo: Takashi Okamoto