2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL Blooming of Culture

TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL is here to build energy towards Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
The festival will be a welcoming place where various people and cultures from Japan and across the world interact in celebration of the Games.
Regional towns and big cities, Japan and the world—Imagine what can happen when we reach beyond boundaries and unite together.
Extraordinary cultures will bloom and flourish.
The power and wonder of diversity will shine brightly.
New cultures and inspiration will lead us toward an amazing future.
And each one of us is the main player in this prelude.
We are the stars, gracing the stages in each and every town across Japan.
The excitement starts by uniting the passion and diversity of all corners of the country.
TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL.
Opening new gateways, introducing new possibilities for Japan.

Theme

Celebrating to start the Games

The world's first stage performance fusing the intangible eastern and western cultural assets of kabuki and opera.

The first theme is “Celebrating the Start of the Games”, which in April 2020 will kick off. The stage on which the performances will take place will feature different aspects of “integration and coexistence between western and eastern cultures and a comparison between the traditional and the modern” – a new cultural initiative that will remain as a legacy after the Games. In this programme, one of Japan’s most famous Kabuki actors, Ichikawa Ebizo XI, and the Maestro Plácido Domingo will collaborate on stage together in Tokyo.

Ichikawa Ebizo Ⅺ

Comments
It is an honour and a privilege to be given an opportunity to take part in this exciting performance celebrating the opening of the TOKYO 2020 NIPPON FESTIVAL. I’ve always believed that in addition to 2020 being a sports festival, it is also a great occasion to present the beauty and grandeur of Japanese culture to the world. Above all, we will attempt a new performance which combines kabuki and opera together with the world-renowned opera singer Plácido Domingo. Kabuki and opera may seem very different at first glance, but these performing arts have a lot of similarities, including their origins and historical backgrounds. I look forward to seeing what we will be able to create for the event. It is indeed my wish for many of you to join us in this special celebration in April 2020.
Profile
Ebizo was born in Tokyo, the eldest son of Ichikawa Danjūrō XII. His debut performance was in 1983 where he played the role of “Togu” (emperor) in “The Tales of Genji.” In 1985 he received the Kabuki stage name of Ichikawa Shinnosuke VII for his performance as “Kikanbo” in “Uiro-uri” at the Kabukiza Theatre in Tokyo. In 2004 he received his current stage name, Ichikawa Ebizo XI. He is the eleventh holder of the Ebizo name which has been passed down through the Ichikawa family since the early Edo period.
Hoping to reintroduce the value of traditional Japanese arts to future generations, he produces his own shows including “ABKAI” and “An Invitation to the Classics”. He also performed at the Theatre National de Chaillot in Paris in 2004. His other overseas performances have included London and Amsterdam (2006), Paris (2007), Monaco (2009), London and Rome (2010), Singapore (2014, 2015), the United Arab Emirates (2016), and New York (2016). In 2006, he was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award, and in 2007 he was awarded the prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French nation.
Ebizo was also nominated for the Best Actor Award at the 37th Japanese Academy Awards in 2014 for his performance in “Ask This of Rikyu”. He is also a member of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee for Culture and Education. In May 2020, he will succeed the stage name Ichikawa Danjuro Hakuen as the thirteenth holder, which has similarly been inherited through generations since the early Edo period.

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Plácido Domingo

Comments
I have never imagined that my stage performances over the years would bear fruit in the form of a new kabuki performance. This performance will be a special cultural event commemorating the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and I am proud and honoured to have the opportunity to perform on that stage. I look forward to performing with the young kabuki star Ebizo, and I hope to learn from him the basics of kabuki acting. I’ve always loved Japan and its cultural background. I couldn’t help admiring the unique ties that Japanese people have built between art and beauty. I am therefore honoured to be a part of Japanese culture, even though it may be for just one night.
Profile
A worldwide performer of many talents, Domingo is considered to be one of the greatest opera singers of all time. He is also an orchestra conductor and the general director of the Los Angeles Opera, and is one of the most important figures in the history of opera. He was also the distinguished director of the 100 year anniversary performance at the Arena di Verona.
He has performed over 148 roles in over 3,900 performances, a record other opera singers struggle to match. In his decades-long recording career, he has won 12 Grammy Awards and performed in over 50 films. He also starred in three of the biggest operatic films: “Carmen” directed by Francesco Rosi, and “La Traviata” and “Otello” directed by Franco Zeffirelli. For over 10 years from 1990, he performed as one of The Three Tenors alongside José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, contributing to the inspiration of a new generation of opera fans. Since 1993 he has hosted Operalia, The World Opera Competition. He is also active in developing the careers of young artists through programmes such as the Los Angeles Young Artist Program and the Centre de Perfeccionament Plácido Domingo.

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Dates
Around April 2020 (to be held as the kick-off event for the programme)
Venue
Scheduled to be in Tokyo
* Details to be announced at a later date

Theme

Participation, Interaction, and Dialogue

TOMODACHI; Making Friends with People Around the World - Meeting, Talking and Creating Together

A record number of countries and regions will be taking part in the Tokyo 2020 Games. Just as the world’s athletes will be interacting with other at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we will be providing visitors from around the world, and particularly children, with the opportunity to interact with their Japanese hosts and each other through experiencing a wide range of ancient and modern dances and Noh performances. As the grand finale of the programme, we are planning to present a performance whereby the hearts of all those who participated in the event will become one in Tokyo. In line with the Olympic principle that advocates participation and interaction as a means to promoting world peace, we are aiming to present the ideal event with which to open the curtain on the Tokyo 2020 Games, with ancient and modern artistic performances that will live long in the memories of all who witness them.

To be announced at a later date
Dates
July 2020 (immediately prior to the opening of the Olympic Games)
Venue
Scheduled to be in Tokyo
* Details to be announced at a later date

Theme

Realization of inclusive society

Paralympic Movement – Different Personality, Same Beat

In August 2020, just before the commencement of the Paralympic Games, various artistic displays and performances will be staged by a diverse range of people from different backgrounds, including members of the LGBT community and those with impairments. Their participation in the programme will project their personalities and help create new cultural activities based on the theme of “Diversity and Inclusion”.

Kenji Kohashi

Comments
It is easy to talk about a diverse and inclusive society but it is hard to take action. The reason is that we all grow up in different circumstances and are all different in our way of thinking, our way of life and our appearance. On the other hand, when you look at it from the molecular and cellular level, we are created by the same nature and more than anything we have the same beat. In this festival, I would like to create an experience that goes beyond our various boundaries to a place where different beats resonate.
Profile
A representative, LeaR inc. / Creative Director. Born in Tokyo 19 August 1979. He is a creative director of ""ULTRA JAPAN"" and a general producer of ""STAR ISLAND""; the latter won a special jury panel award at the ""Cool Japan Matching Forum 2017"" supported by Japan’s Cabinet Office.
He is also responsible for planning and managing global events and urban development projects, including a successful countdown event supported by the Singapore Tourism Board.

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Dates
Shortly before the opening of the Paralympic Games
Venue
Scheduled to be in Tokyo
* Details to be announced at a later date

Theme

Reconstruction of
the Tohoku region

Today, the Tohoku region is well on the way to recovery – a journey to communicate the culture and attractions of the Tohoku region.

The final programme will have a ‘Tohoku Recovery’ theme. From May to July 2020, we will be presenting a programme from various areas in the Tohoku region and Tokyo. For this production, a giant doll (Mocco) will be travelling around Tohoku collecting messages from local residents, and continuing its journey on to Tokyo. This will constitute a new kind of cultural event based on the deeply-rooted cultural traditions of the Tohoku region and the various encounters Mocco experiences with the local communities.

Michihiko Yanai

Comments
The Tokyo 2020 Games will be the ‘Recovery Games Connecting with Tokyo and Tohoku’. We believe that one of the major missions of the Tokyo 2020 Games is to make more people aware of the current situation in Tohoku and to encourage them to visit there. I hope that the local citizens will think it was a good idea to host some of the Tokyo 2020 events in the region. It is great to share people’s smiles widely and boost their spirits with the “MOCCO” doll, cheering them up. The journey of the “MOCCO” doll will continue after the Games.
Profile
Yanai is a Professor and Special Advisor to the President for Educational Partnerships at the Department of Design, Tokyo University of the Arts / Creative Director. He was born in Koriyama City, Fukushima, in 1964, and has worked on a number of innovative advertising campaigns. As well as serving as the master of ceremonies on NHK's 'Top Runner' programme, he is a popular personality on various TV and radio programmes, and a guitarist for the rock band Inawashirokos. He is constantly exploring new avenues to expand the possibilities of advertising through a wide range of activities. In 2015, he was appointed as creative director for Fukushima Prefecture. He is active in the Tohoku region, holding the rock festival ‘Live Fukushima – Wind and Rock SUPER Nouma Oisaki’, which toured the prefecture for six days, and his ‘Wind and Rock Caravan Fukushima’ tour which played at 59 locations across Fukushima Prefecture.

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Date
May – July 2020
* Details to announced at a later date

Concept video production staff

Director
Asao Tokolo Artist / Creator of Festival Mark
Algorithmic Design
Shohei Matsukawa Architect / Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University SFC
Japanese Drum Performing
Eitetsu Hayashi Japan’s Premier Solo Taiko Drummer / EITETSU FU-UN no KAI(Japanese Taiko Drummers Unit)
Producer
Keiko Yamaguchi