Art and Society in Contemporary Japan: The Theatre of Okada Toshiki

Date: 5-7 August 2016

Venue: Trier University, Campus 1, Universitätsring 15, 54296 Trier, room B16

Playwright and theatre director Okada Toshiki has become one of the most prominent voices of the younger generation of Japanese contemporary theater. His plays, which have been staged at various theatre festivals in Japan and all over the world, address issues such as conditions of employment of young people, social inequity, life in Japan after the Great East Japan Earthquake from 2011 and the relations between Japan, Korea and the US. This makes his work highly relevant beyond the confines of theater research. In both, his style and artistic vocabulary and the topics he touches in his works he is considered one of the most promising and fascinating theatre directors from East Asia. The conference “Art and Society in Contemporary Japan: The Theater of Okada Toshiki” brings together scholars of different fields, such as performance studies, social studies, the arts and Japanese studies as well as theatre practitioners.

The conference, which is sposored by a generous grant from the Japan Foundation is co-organized by: Prof. Dr. Andreas Regelsberger, Trier University, Prof. Dr. Peter Eckersall, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, USA and Dr. Barbara Geilhorn, Waseda University, Japan.

Symposium schedule

1st day: August 5, 2016

15:00 – 16:00        Welcome Addresses

  • Andreas Regelsberger (Trier University)
  • Peter Eckersall (City University of New York)
  • Barbara Geilhorn (Waseda University)

16:00 – 17:00        Keynote: Yoshimi Shunya (University of Tokyo): Visualizing TOKYO, Reality and Imagination in Postwar Japan

2nd day: August 6, 2016

10:00 – 12:00        panel 1: Dramaturgy (Chair: Cody Poulton)

  • Masahiko Yokobori (Tokyo): Artist Difference in concept on (public-)theatre between Japan and Germany
  • Stanca Scholz-Cionca (Trier University): The ‘Hyper-Real’ and the Shadow of Nō
  • Peter Eckersall (City University of New York): “Art is thought from the future” - Reading God Bless Baseball’s shifting dramaturgy

12:00 – 13:30        lunch break

13:30 – 15:30        panel 2: Art, Society and Globality (Chair: Barbara Geilhorn)

  • Cody Poulton (University of Victoria): Okada Toshiki’s Narrative Method
  • Noda Manabu (Meiji University): The Ice-Age Generation and the Post-boom Downtown: Shibuya in Toshiki Okada’s Five Days in March (2004)
  • Uchino Tadashi (University of Tokyo): Simultaneous Turns in Globality: Performative and Social Turns in the New Millennium, or Theorizing/Historicizing Okada Toshiki’s Welcome to European Festival Cultures

15:30 – 16:00        coffee break

16:00 – 18:00        Artist talk (Chair: Andreas Regelsberger)

  • Okada Toshiki, Iwaki Kyōko

3rd day: August 7, 2016

10:00 – 12:00        panel 3: Post 3.11 Theater (Chair: Andreas Regelsberger)

  • Barbara Geilhorn (Waseda University): Socio-political potentialities in the theatre of Okada Toshiki – An analysis of two post-Fukushima plays 
  • Takahashi Shinya (Chūō University): Dialog with the spirits of the Dead in Okada's Performance works
  • Iwaki Kyōko (Goldsmiths, University of London): Dialogic Imaginations Before and After Fukushima: Japanese Theatre of the 2000s and the 2010s

12:00 – 13:30        lunch break

13:30 – 15:00        panel 4: Language and Gesture (Chair: Peter Eckersall)

  • Alan Cummings (SOAS, London): Sound, Music & Language in the Work of Okada Toshiki
  • Sara Jansen (Brussels): “In what time do we live?”: Nonsynchronous Time in Okada Toshiki’s Time’s Journey Through a Room (2016)
  • Andreas Regelsberger (Trier University): Text and Translation in/of Okada Toshiki's works

15:00 – 15:30        coffee break

15:30 – 17:00        Round Table: Okada Toshiki on a Global Stage (Chair: Barbara Geilhorn)

  • Peter Eckersall, Holger Hartung, Tarun Kade, Andreas Regelsberger, Uchino Tadashi, Cody Poulton

17:00 – 18:00         Closing Discussion and Concluding Remarks

Symposium review

Find here a short article on the symposium. (German only)