Festival/Tokyo 2019

Presenting a wide and exciting range of contemporary stage performances, Festival/Tokyo (F/T) explores new social possibilities for art. Launched in 2009 and held every autumn mainly in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo, the festival features a program of theatre, dance, music, visual art, and film by cutting-edge artists from Japan and around the world. For its 12th edition, F/T brings together an interdisciplinary and international lineup of 12 artists and more than 15 events or productions on the theme of “Body Speed.”

Directors’ Message

F/T19: Body Speed

Directors' message

Over the past few centuries (or indeed, ever since ancient times), we have sought speed. Speed in movement. Speed in knowledge. Speed in acquisition. And there is no doubt that the ceaseless pursuit of this desire has resulted in making our lives significantly faster and more efficient and convenient.

However, it is also evident that our bodies are crying out in response to this increasingly accelerated world. Within the last few years, the speed of information has risen yet further and, in consequence, our reactions have become more emotional and instantaneous, even though the actual speed of our bodies has not really changed. After all is said and done, our bodies as physical objects still require time to move or grow.

So how about slowing things down? No, it’s not as simple as that. Especially in the case of a metropolis like Tokyo, any attempt to decelerate everything would be patently absurd. In the first place, our bodies don’t all have the same speeds. We are sometimes fast and sometimes slow. There are young bodies as well as old ones. Moreover, this immense city is a composite of infinite coexisting variations and gradations of speed, where the speed of bodies is joined by the speeds of things that are not human, by speeds that do not belong to bodies.

While the performing arts do not create works of art that remain behind as objects somewhere, they examine our lives at the speed of the body, through the things that emerge from our bodies. Is it possible, then, to envision the city through the performing arts, even if for just a fleeting moment? The festival is a time for doing this.

Kaku Nagashima (Director),
Chika Kawai (Co-Director)

Festival Overview

Name Festival/Tokyo 2019 (F/T19)
Period October 5th (Sat) to November 10th (Sun), 2019
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre
  • Owlspot Theatre
  • Theater Green
  • TRAM-PAL Otsuka
  • Shopping streets in Toshima
  • and other locations
  • Main Program: 15 productions
  • Affiliate Program: 9 productions
  • Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee (Toshima City, Toshima Mirai Cultural Foundation, NPO Arts Network Japan [NPO-ANJ]),
  • Tokyo Festival Executive Committee (Toshima City, Toshima Mirai Cultural Foundation, Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture [Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre & Arts Council Tokyo])

Opening Program organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and Japan Arts Council

“Transfield from Asia” co-organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center

Sponsored by Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd., Shiseido Co., Ltd.
Endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GEIDANKYO, J-WAVE 81.3 FM
In cooperation with Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry Toshima, Toshima City Shopping Street Federation, Toshima City Federation, Toshima City Tourism Association, Toshima Industry Association, Toshima Corporate Taxpayers’ Association, Ikebukuro Nishiguchi Shopping Street Federation, NPO Zephyr, Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro, Hotel Grand City Ikebukuro, Ikebukuro Hotel Association, Sunshine City Prince Hotel, RESOL HOTEL Co., Ltd.
PR Support: Poster Hari’s, The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University

Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal 2019
Opening Program organized with the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan and Japan Arts Council


Transfield from Asia co-organized by the Japan Foundation Asia Center

Festival/Tokyo 2019 is organized as part of Tokyo Festival 2019.


Festival/Tokyo 2019 is held in partnership with Culture City of East Asia 2019 Toshima.

Festival/Tokyo 2019 is an associated program in the 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Poland and Japan in 2019.

Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee

Advisors Man Nomura(Chair, Japan Council of Performers Rights & Performing Arts Organizations; Noh actor)
Honorary President of the Executive Committee: Yukio Takano(Mayor of Toshima City)
Chair of the Executive Committee: Shigeo Fukuchi(Advisor, New National Theatre Foundation; Senior Alumnus, Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)
Vice Chairs of the Executive Committee: Sachio Ichimura(Director, NPO Arts Network Japan)
Chikara Fujita (Director, Culture, Commerce and Industry Division, Toshima City)
Akira Touzawa(Secretariat Director, Toshima Mirai Cultural Foundation)
Committee Members Motoki Ozaki(President, Association for Corporate Support of the Arts; Corporate Advisor, Kao Corporation)
Sumiko Kumakura (Professor, Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts)
Kayoko Kondo(General Manager, Sustainability Section, Asahi Breweries, Ltd.)
Masami Suzuki(Chair, Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry Toshima)
Taeko Nagai (Chair, Setagaya Arts Foundation)
Keisuke Watanabe(Director, Cultural Design Section, Culture, Commerce and Industry Division, Toshima City)
Masato Kishi (Executive Manager, Toshima Mirai Cultural Foundation)
Naoko Hasuike(Toshima Mirai Cultural Foundation; Executive Director, Owlspot Theater / Toshima Performing Arts Center)
Akiko Yonehara(Representative, NPO Arts Network Japan)
Kaku Nagashima(Director, Festival/Tokyo)
Chika Kawai(Co-Director, Festival/Tokyo)
Madoka Ashihara (Administrative Director, Festival/Tokyo)
Supervisor Kinuyo Noto (Director, General Affairs Section, General Affairs Division, Toshima City)
Legal Advisors Kensaku Fukui, Hisato Kitazawa(Kotto Dori Law Office)

Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee Secretariat

Director Kaku Nagashima
Co-Director Chika Kawai
Administrative Director Madoka Ashihara
Production Coordinators Mayuko Arakawa, Toshifumi Matsumiya, Yuko Takeda, Wakana Arai, Yumiko Okazaki, Mami Kaminaga, Saki Hirata, Yuuri Fujii, Takashi Osada, Shogo Shinomiya, Masao Yamagata, Maiko Iwama, TASKO inc. (Aya Comori, Naho Kato)
Production Assistants Kiyomori Morikawa, Miki Kanai, Haruna Matsunami, Chihiro Suzuki
Public Relations Director Akiko Ogura
Public Relations Mami Kaminaga, Yumiko Okazaki, Hironobu Hosokawa, Asumi Ueda
Ticket Manager Kazumi Takei
Ticket Administration Haruka Kawano
Liaison Officer Yukie Yoshida
Accounting Kumiko Tsutsumi, countroom (Makoto Gotoh, Kyoichi Nakayama, Teruhiko Nobukuni)
Administrators Akiko Yonehara, Maki Fujishima
Technical Director Eiji Torakawa
Assistant Technical Director Naoko Yokokawa
Lighting Coordination Naoki Kinoshita (Factor Co., Ltd.)
Sound Coordination Akira Aikawa (Sound Weeds Inc.)
Art Direction Yui Takada (Allright Graphics)
Design Tomomi Yamada, Takumi Saito (Allright Graphics)
Design Coordinator Mai Hojo (Allright Graphics)
Illustrations Akina Haga
PR Video Music Kiyomaru Togo (Allright Music)
Publicity Video Dino Sato
Website Shun Aizawa (Mtame, Inc.)
Overseas Public Relations, Translation William Andrews
Copywriting Rieko Suzuki
Chinese Program Curator Hitomi Oyama

Greetings from the Organizers

I am delighted that another edition of Festival/Tokyo, the largest international performing arts event in Japan, is taking place in Toshima.

Alongside Xi’an in China and Incheon in South Korea, Toshima is one of the host cities for Culture City of East Asia 2019, which promotes exchange through culture and the arts. Toshima’s program is organized around the three pillars of manga and anime, traditional performance, and performing arts, as represented by F/T. In November, Toshima Arts and Culture Theatre (Brillia HALL) will open at Hareza Ikebukuro, further accelerating Toshima’s vision to become an international city of arts and culture. Please look forward to Toshima’s continued development as a city of theatre, where the entire city is the stage and where anyone can play the leading role.

In closing, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all the individuals, local businesses, corporations, and organizations without whose tireless efforts and support the festival could not happen.


Yukio Takano

Mayor of Toshima City

Since its start in 2009, Festival/Tokyo has staged 305 productions across eleven editions, reaching audiences and participants of more than 690,000.

For its twelfth festival, F/T19 presents a wide range of work by Japanese and overseas artists, including international co-productions with leading figures in the Asian performing arts scene as well as a young Polish artist to commemorate the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Poland and Japan. The festival’s Opening Program takes place over three shopping streets in the Toshima area, working closely with the local community to organize the events.

In partnership with the broader initiatives of the Japan Cultural Expo, Culture City of East Asia 2019 Toshima, and Tokyo Festival, the festival creates and disseminates new global values from Tokyo as it pursues its aspirations to contribute to international cultural interchange across regional and national boundaries.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan Foundation Asia Center, Festiwal Kultury Polskiej 2019 w Japonii, corporate sponsors, community organizations, and the many others who have given us their generous support and cooperation.

Shigeo Fukuchi
Chair, Festival/Tokyo Executive Committee
Advisor, New National Theatre Foundation
Senior Alumnus, Asahi Breweries, Ltd.

Festival/Tokyo is held this year once again as part of Tokyo Festival.

The theme of Tokyo Festival 2019 explores encounters with a changing world. Recent years have witnessed much debate over the control that artificial intelligence and robots will exert over our lives in the future. Nonetheless, that which is most precious to us—our inherent humanity and sensibility, our culture and art—are surely things that can never be controlled by AI or algorithms. It is my hope that the various examples of performing arts that will gather here in Tokyo from all around the world can produce encounters between people, lead to mutual stimulation and inspiration, and turn the city into a place for cultivating diverse and rich culture.

Please join us in Tokyo this autumn as the city presents the diversity of expression in the performing arts.

Seiichi Kondo
Chair, Tokyo Festival Executive Committee