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Hosting of the forum "The Great Earthquake and Art Culture Eye-Witness Accounts From the Disaster Zone" What should art do to aid reconstruction? What can it do?

The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University, Global COE Program (Shinjuku Ward, Base Leader : Mikio Takemoto, Professor, Faculty of Letter, Arts and Sciences) invited group leaders from Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki Prefectures, the areas affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and hosted the forum "The Great Earthquake and Art Culture Eye-Witness Accounts From the Disaster Zone" on June 14 at the Ono Auditorium.

Yuko Niinuma (Iwate / Morioka Theater), Taku Suzuki (Miyagi / Mori no Miyako (Sendai) Theater Festival), Tokio Oishi (Fukushima / Iwaki Alios) and Kojiro Matsumoto (Ibaraki / Art Tower Mito) participated as our four panelists. Global COE Culture and Environment of the Arts Course visiting lecturer, Yasuo Ito, acted as moderator and discussed how the environment surrounding art culture in the areas had changed since the disaster, what needs to be done from now on, and what we can do to help on the long road to recovery.

In the first half of the forum, each panelist reported on the great damage sustained to art facilities, the huge loss of workers, and the tragedy of the inevitable halting of art activities. Art facility management, disaster prevention, and the balance between earthquake resistance and design were also discussed. In the second half, under the theme of what needs to be done toward recovery, support activities in the disaster zones such as "Performers for the Tohoku Recovery Meeting" activities organized by theater related people, relaxation through dance, and delivery theater, were introduced, as well as an exchange of ideas on the management of art facilities and cooperation between parties concerned in Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima and Ibaraki.

Among the attendees were many people involved in art related activities who posed questions such as "Could you feel the power of art in the disaster areas?", and gave energetic proposals such as creating links with Kobe which suffered in the Great Hanshin Earthquake.

<div id="9670"></div>Panelist Profiles

Yuko Niinum(Morioka Theater)

Brief history:Graduated from Iwate University in 1981. Started activities with Morioka amateur theater groups after graduation. Director of "Tohoku Theater Festival" in 1984. Involved as a supporter of project management at Morioka Theater since its opening in 1990.
Joined the Morioka Foundation for Cultural Activity on its establishment in 1997 and is currently Project Planning Division Chief.

Taku Suzuki(Mori no Miyako Theatre Festival)

Brief history:Theater producer. Participated in the Tokyo International Theater Festival Regional Theater Series with the 2004 Theater Group Project Kiraku. Managed the theater space Gallery one LIFE from 2006 to 2010. Producer of 2010 Mori no Miyako Theater Festival. Used the disaster as an opportunity to establish Art Revival Connection TOHOKU.

Tokio Oishi(Iwaki Alios)

Brief history: Born in Fukushima Prefecture in 1959.Participated in the establishment of the Itami Municipal Theater Hall (Ai Hall). In charge of producing Panasonic Globe Theatre (then Globe Theatre Tokyo). Has been involved in setting up many art institutions such as Setagaya Public Theatre, Kani Public Arts Center, and Iwaki Performing Arts Center (Alios), before taking up his current position.

Kojiro Matsumoto(Art Tower Mito)

Brief history:Graduated from School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris (EHESS) in 1972. Completed his Master Degree at the same institution in 1975. After working as a lecturer in the French Department in the Faculty of Education I, Hosei University, he has worked as Art Director of Theater at the Mito Arts Foundation (Art Tower Mito).

Related Link

Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum Global COE Program