Kaku Nagashima Announced as New Festival Director

Kaku Nagashima Appointed New Director of Festival/Tokyo,
Japan’s Leading International Performing Arts Event


Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee (Honorary President: Yukio Takano, Mayor of Toshima City; Chair: Shigeo Fukuchi) is pleased to announce Kaku Nagashima as the new director of Festival/Tokyo (F/T).

Since its launch in 2009, F/T has been a pioneering presence in the Japanese and Asia contemporary performing arts as the largest theatre and dance event in Japan. Under the new leadership of Kaku Nagashima as festival director, and Chika Kawai as co-director, F/T will continue its endeavors to share the multifaceted appeal of the performing arts with audiences, and contribute to the development of culture and the arts in Tokyo and Japan.

Initial details about Festival/Tokyo 2018, which is scheduled to be held this autumn, will be announced in May.


Statement by Kaku Nagashima

I will take over as director of Festival/Tokyo, which has been a leading presence in theatre, dance, and art these past ten years. Theatre and dance can only come about when the creators and audiences are together in the same place. I am keen to re-examine what kind of function this troublesome medium can fulfill in the mega-city of speed and density that is Tokyo. Until now, F/T has committed itself to one of the important roles of art, that of opening up alternative channels and doors to mainstream politics and economics. This entails the creation of new intersections and points of contact as well as the consideration of other places for us to exist in society today. The 2018 festival will be a transition period in which I continue with the program initiated by current director Sachio Ichimura and work towards next year’s festival, aspiring, in partnership with the co-director, Chika Kawai, to build a festival for a new generation.



Kaku Nagashima

Born in Tokyo in 1969. He graduated with a degree in French literature from Rikkyo University. During graduate studies, he began to research and translate the later prose of Samuel Beckett. His involvement with theatre came first as a performance surtitles operator and script translator. He then became a pioneer of dramaturgy in Japan and has since worked with a wide range of directors and choreographers in that capacity. Interested in seeking ways to take theatre ideas and know-how outside regular theatre spaces, he has also been involved recently with various art projects.

His major theatre credits include “Atomic Survivor” (directed by Hatsumi Abe, TIF 2007), “4.48 Psychosis” (directed by Norimizu Ameya, F/T09 Autumn), “The Marriage of Figaro” (directed by Tomo Sugao, Nissay Opera 2012), “The Opportunity of Efficiency” (directed by John McGrath, New National Theatre, Tokyo), and “Double Tomorrow” (directed by Fabien Prioville, Theatrical Group EN).

His main credits for projects and works at non-theatre venues include the “House of Atreus” series and Kaku Nagashima’s How-To-Make-Laboratory (both for Tokyo Artpoint Project), “The World” (Kakuya Ohashi and Dancers), and “YAJIRUSHI” (Saitama Triennale 2016). He is currently a special invited professor at the Department of Musical Creativity and the Environment, Tokyo University of the Arts.

Press Release (February 9, 2018) (PDF)