The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

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Campus Now

New Year Issue (Jan.)


The essence of kabuki together with performance

Lecture by Mr. Danjuro Ichikawa

European businesspeople listen attentively to the lecture.

A lecture by Mr. Danjuro Ichikawa was held on November 4th at the Okuma Tower Multipurpose Conference Room. The lecture was part of the 27th EU Businessperson Japan Training Program (ETP) which is sponsored by the European Union (EU) and planned and operated by Waseda University. Mr. Ichikawa, a central figure in the world of kabuki, has actively conducted performances in Europe, including an appearance at the Paris National Opera and a recent performance in Monaco. At his lecture, Mr. Ichikawa addressed the theme of "European Performances and Traditional Japanese Culture". His explanation of the essence of kabuki was easy to understand and included examples of actual performances. Mr. Ichikawa also drew on his experience of performing in Europe and discussed his unique perspective of understanding different cultures.

Mr. Ichikawa introduced a combination of examples drawn from kabuki and examples taken from Toyota Motor Corporation to explain how the Japanese place importance on unseen details. His impassioned speech was rich with suggestions based on broad insight, and many energetic questions were raised by EPT trainees attending the lecture. In particular, it seems that many trainees were impressed by Mr. Ichikawa's goal of instilling kabuki with innovation reflective of modern times, while at the same time preserving a traditional system.