Here is a roundup of events by Japanese performers and Japan-related performances at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, held in Edinburgh from August 4th to 28th. The list has been compiled from this year’s Fringe programme; however it may not be fully comprehensive.
Find some exciting events and book your tickets now!
Award-winning company from Hawaii presents the inspiring, true story of Sadako Sasaki who folded over 1000 paper cranes from her hospital bed in Hiroshima, Japan. This family friendly show includes music, dancing, and audience participation. Also, you will learn to fold your very own paper crane! This uplifting production is a tribute to Sadako's wish for everyone: 'This is our cry, this is our prayer – for building peace in the world.'
What if your food started talking back? Meet Lionel the lion. He’s just eaten a human called Mamoru for lunch. But Lionel hasn’t chewed his food well. So Mamoru’s alive and well in his stomach, and now wants to say hello. A strange friendship between the eater and the eaten starts to grow. Meanwhile, Lionel’s breakfast wants to say hello... from his bottom! Eaten invites children and grown-ups to the fascinating world of the food web. Eaten asks, what should we eat? And who should eat us?! ***** (Scotsman, for 4D Cinema). ***** (BroadwayBaby.com, for 4D Cinema).
Yuriko Kotani: Green in English, Blue in Japanese
Yuriko Kotani/Heroes of the Fringe
Hello everyone! I am a UK-based new-ish comedian Yuriko Kotani from Japan. Please come and join my trial-and-error, work-in-progress show! As seen on Russell Howard's Stand Up Central. BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2015 winner. ‘Leftfield rising star’ (TimeOut).
Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus
Kaso Jogi (Japan)
A magical rollercoaster noir mystery tour through Japanese children's folklore. Acclaimed for her work in Japan, USA, Canada at the Fringe, Saori Aoki started the Kaso Jogi (Virtual Ruler) company to spread her unique physical theatre take on musicals around the world. Be greeted by the striking original songs of Makoto Honda, and a mysterious gatekeeper welcoming 'all ye corpses' with the suspect smile of one who might be an angel, a boatman on the Styx, or an emissary from hell. Breathtaking physical dance-theatre set to original live music.
Shoko Seki: Deadline
This part-choreographed, part-improvised piece explores the Japanese phenomenon of death through overwork: Karoushi. What brings large swathes of Japanese society to dance on the edge of existence and mortality? Shoko Seki tests the ethical penumbra of long-respected societal truths: self-sufficiency, loyalty and trust. In the world's most connected society, how can an individual fall off the grid? Join this intimate piece that flits between beautiful Japanese tradition, emotive contemporary dance and a sprinkle of improvised musical play!
Scotland Study Centre (SSC)
Have a totally international experience by immersing yourself in international languages and cultures! Let go of inhibitions and really get involved in the performances and the different languages and cultures they present. Learn the basics of different languages and aspects of different cultures, engaging with the performers in the different languages as you learn. The main focus is on Japanese and Chinese, but other languages are also presented. Culture Internationale is suitable for all ages, including children. The only requirement is a willingness to engage and have fun!
In Japanese Style
This exciting selling exhibition is housed in Galerie Mirages, a 19th century former bakehouse. Tucked away down a small passage off Raeburn Place, this treasure trove is one of Edinburgh's hidden gems. For our 31st festival exhibition we present In Japanese Style. A stunning exhibition celebrating the importance of the Haori, a short kimono jacket originally worn by the Samurai. The exhibition features original Haori silk jackets from Japan, as well as unique jackets inspired by the Haori, in African print and Indian silk. Also featuring cushions, textiles, jewellery, boxes and gifts in Japanese style.
ONE: The Man Chosen by the Spirit of the Japanese Drum Vol 2
Powerful like a dragon, supple like a dancer. Some of you may remember this impressive Japanese drum player at Fringe 2016. He was also invited to play in the showcase of Global Beats on BBC World Service and fascinated the audience. He is back to the Fringe with his punched-up masterpiece. This will wake your soul.
Samurai Drum IKKI
Samurai Drum IKKI rock the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in their 15th anniversary year! For the last year, their show had a record high of 3,167 audiences with ten sold out shows (and highest attended show in the space). Shut up, feel their beat and rock!
Akiko Okamoto in Concert
This Japanese-born international pianist returns to the Fringe with a charming programme of music by Chopin, Bach and Mozart and finishes with Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky. Not to be missed.
Busu and the Damask Drum
Inspired on Zeami's Aya No Tsuzumi, Busu and the Damask Drum was originally adapted by Yukio Mishima for the modern stage. Hailed as a double bill of miniature Japanese gems, Busu is a classic Kyogen farce and the Damask Drum is a tragic ghost story. This production takes an irreverent, playful approach on the traditional Japanese forms. It incorporates Awa Dance (Japanese summer folkloric dance), Taiko drumming, traditional Noh and contemporary Japanese practices to create a show that is fun, celebratory and thought-provoking.
She and Her Cat – Eddies in the Ebb and Flow
Traditional Japanese Rakugo comedic sit-down storytelling from a cat's perspective. Adapted from one of Makoto Shinkai's earlier works by Gaijin. Some cats are pets, others are more like angels. When Kanojo is given a kitten, Neko, to help her with the loss of her father, she finds a companion through school, university and the journey into adulthood. Neko loves her madly, and this angel has his secret. Performed by Misheru Hikari who ‘effortlessly morphs into different characters with impressive dexterity and bags of enthusiasm' (Scotsman).
My Complex (Japan)
'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' So said my father. At the farewell address, I am thinking of him, the truth, and a man who is to destroy the world. All I know is the truth lies in myself. Little Boy explores what the innocence means. World premiere, new writing from Japan. There is a story we are to share with the world now.
Musicals and opera
In the town of Titipu, flirting has been made illegal. The penalty, by order of The Mikado, is death. But what would happen if anyone should dare to tell the Mikado that an execution had taken place when in fact it hadn’t…? Gilbert and Sullivan’s wry satire of the way lies can be twisted into truths is more blisteringly relevant than perhaps ever before! Illyria returns with yet another summer opera to leave a smile on your face and a song in your heart.