*1 The Story of Descending the Long Slopes of Valparaiso
Premiering at the Kyoto Arts Center Auditorium in November 2017 as part of the main program of the KYOTO EXPERIMENT 2017, performed in Spanish with Japanese and English subtitles. The stage script was written based on episodes that Kamisato actually experienced or heard of in his travels in South America, Okinawa, Ogasawara, Australia and other places. The performers included the Argentinian actors Martín Tchira and Martín Piroyansky that Kamisato met while staying in Argentina, and the dancers Marina Sarmiento and the Brazilian dancer Eduardo Fukushima, who is a previous acquaintance of Kamisato.
The setting begins in a car at the coast in Valparaiso, Chile where the mother and son have come to scatter the deceased father’s ashes according to his wish. Apparently unable to accept the reality of her husband’s death, the mother refuses to leave the car to scatter the ashes. In a while two men who have come to assist in the scattering ceremony arrive. In the car, the mother continues to stare into space, while the three men sitting beside her begin to talk about people that remain in transition after death before crossing over into the other world, about how the human race in the distant past was driven by curiosity to cross the Pacific Ocean, about a total eclipse of the sun seen in Paraguay, about a man in Okinawa who continued to dig up the bones of the war dead, and the story of a man who runs a bar in Ogasawara.
The Pop-style stage art used paintings of scenery, cars and boats for the stage and the audience area was hung with the flags of the world’s countries overhead and props like a bunkbed, a 2nd-class boat compartment and a bar counter, and the audience was free to watch the play from wherever they chose.
*2 Okazaki Art Theatre
Formed in 2003 by Yudai Kamisato with the aim of directing his own plays. Because Kamisato owed money to his friend Seiji Okazaki at the time of the founding, Okazaki was named head of the company and his name used in the company name. Today, the company is operating from bases in Kanagawa, Tokyo and Kyoto as Kamisato’s personal theater unit.
*3 Toga Directors Contest
This performance contest for direction of existing plays has been held since 2000 at the Toyama prefecture Toga Arts Park (since 2008, it was reorganized as the Toga Theatre Makers Contest organized by the Japan Performing Arts Foundation). In 2006, Kamisato became the youngest winner of the Best Director Award for direction of the play Shippo wo Tsukamareta Yokubo (Desire Caught by the Tail /original by Pablo Picasso)
*4 Kyohei Sakaguchi
Born in Kumamoto in 1978. A writer/artist and architect, Sakaguchi graduated from Waseda University's department of architecture. Having researched the lives of Japan’s homeless from the middle of the 2000s, he published a photograph collection title 0 Yen Houses (Little More Books publication) and Zero kara Hajimaru Toshigata Shuryoshushu Seikatsu (Urban type Hunter-Gatherer Life Starting from Zero / Kadokawa Bunko publishers), etc. After moving to Kumamoto shortly after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, he declared independence from Japan and took the post of Prime Minister of the new government in May 2011. From this experience he wrote the book Dokuritsu Kokka no Tsukurikata (How to make an Independent Country / Kodansha Gendai Shinsho publishers). He also writes novels, creates art and music in his widely divergent activities. Currently living in Fukuoka Prefecture.
*5 dot architects
Toshikatsu Ienari and Takeshi Shakushiro jointly established architecture firm, dot architects, in 2004. The base of activity is the Coop Kitakagaya in Kitakagaya, Osaka. In addition to architectural design and planning, they conduct research projects, site constructions, and art projects. In 2015 they exhibited at the Japan Pavilion in the Venice Biennale. They have also participated in numerous other arts festivals in Japan and abroad such as Kyoto Experiment and the Setouchi Triennial art festival.
*6 New work Happy Prince Fish
This newest work by Kamisato and the Okazaki Art Theatre premiered at Kyoto Experiment in October 2019. Kamisato began research after hearing about the problem of an invasion of a foreign species of fish like bluegills in Lake Biwa at a bar in Kyoto. Taking an island in Lake Biwa as the setting, and referencing the Noh play Chikubushima, the play includes episodes about the three traditional three-stringed instruments, the biwa lute, Okinawa shamisen and the Japanese shamisen and how they have evolved historically and regionally, while exhorting new ideas about things native and things imported, originals and mixtures the ecosystems of living things and the internal and external.