Past Forward: An evening of Japanese Traditional Arts

Michiko Kurata will be performing traditional and contemporary Japanese dance (Nihonbuyo) as part of Dance For World Community’s Dance Saturdays at the Sanctuary on Saturday March 23rd, 7pm – 10pm

Experience the mystique of Japan through beautiful traditional dance and music, fierce martial arts and exquisite visual arts.

Saturday March 23rd, 7pm – 10pm
José Mateo Ballet Theater in Harvard Square
400 Harvard St, Cambridge MA
(Use 1151 Massachusetts Avenue entrance)
Tickets: $35 / VIP $125
Purchase tickets at:

Masters of traditional Japanese dance, music and the arts will gather at this dynamic event to showcase the beauty of Japanese culture. Do not miss this rare opportunity to see authentic kabuki dance and listen to the elegant sounds of koto and shakuhachi and powerful taiko drumming. Experience the martial arts of the samurai through karate, kendo and kobudo performances.

During the intermission, you will have the opportunity to meet some of the artists and other aficionados of Japanese traditional arts while tasting some delicious Japanese foods and drinks. Visit the gallery displaying beautiful kimono, calligraphy and ikebana flower arrangements, and try on the yukata, or Japanese traditional dress.

The current lineup:
Michiko Kurata (Hanayagi Sukekatsumi) – kabuki, geisha and traditional Japanese dance
Minako Itamoto (Fujima Umehana) – nihonbuyo (dance)
Stephen Long – shishimai (lion dance)
Cathleen Read (Ayakano) – koto (zither)
Claudia Erland – koto (zither)
Geni Skendo – shakuhachi (bamboo flute)
Kanoko Kamata – shamisen (string instrument)
Eden Rayz – cello
Odaiko New England – taiko (drum)
Kodokan Boston – karate & kobudo (martial arts)
Callahan’s Karate – kenpo (martial arts)
Boston Kendo Kyokai – kendo (martial arts)
Michiko Imai – shodo (calligraphy)

TBD – Ikebana (flower arrangement)
Izumi Noguchi – kimono collection 
Ara Mahar – kimono collection
Kiyomi Yatsuhashi – aizome (indigo dye art)

Kimono Dressing for performers:
Matsuko Levin (Boston Kimono Academy Wagokoro)
Yumiko Shimada

It will be an amazing evening of stunning beauty and powerful energy. If you like Japanese culture, don’t miss this opportunity to connect with other appreciators of Japanese arts. If you’re not familiar with Japanese culture, don’t miss this chance to experience this incredible event that brings together artists from all aspects of traditional Japanese arts.

This evening will not be possible without the amazing performers. Support the artists by making a contribution that will go directly to them. Any amount is appreciated:…

Download: Flyer 1, Flyer 2

Heart of Japan

Heart Of Japan


The two videos from the performance at Wellesley College in March 2014 are as follows:
– Sagimusume 鷺娘 (“Snowy heron girl”): In the cold snowy night a lone heron transformed into a beautiful young bride laments the tragedy of unfulfilled love with a human being. After a quick costume change, she expresses hope for her dream love to come true.
– Tenaraiko 手習子 (“Young student”): On a warm, sunny spring day a young girl frolics amidst the flowers on her way home from temple school. This piece depicts a young girl’s blossoming sexuality as she bashfully daydreams of falling in love someday.


The Heart of Japan: an evening of Kabuki dance and music

Michiko Kurata (Kabuki Dance)
Sumie Kaneko (Shamisen, Nagauta)
Kaoru Watanabe (Taiko, Shino-bue)

7pm, March 12th, 2014
Wellesley College
Jewett Art Center Auditorium
106 Central St.  Wellesley, MA
Free Admission
Sushi reception following

Workshop: 5-6:30pm, March 11th
Alumanae Hall Ballroom

Sponsored by Wellesley Japanese Program
With support form CLCE, EALC, Theatre Studies, Art Dept., Music Dept.  Questions? Kazuko Ozawa (


Info on Japan Festival in Porter Square

Hi friends,

Here’s the information on Saturday’s Japan Festival in Porter Square.

Date & Time: It’s on November 13, Sat. I’ll perform twice, from 1-1:45pm and from 3-3:45pm. In each time slot you’ll see a koto performance, me dancing to koto music, and me dancing to nagauta (type of song) and shamisen music. After that there will be a shamisen and guitar collaboration of Okinawan music. For those of you who made it to the Sunday performance I’ll be performing Tenaraiko (nagauta piece) again, and an additional newly choreographed piece to koto.

Around 5pm there will be taiko performance by the New England Odaiko.

Location: We’ll be performing inside the Porter Exchange Mall, in the foyer/hallway outside the Blue Fin Restaurant. As you can imagine, this is pretty informal, and that makes this performance a very non-traditional one. Traditionally traditional Japanese dance has been performed in theaters or in a private setting of a zashiki (restaurant that offers geisha entertainment). In Porter Exchange I don’t think there will even be chairs set up for the audience, so it will have a street performance type of atmosphere where some may stop by to watch while others may walk past it. It should be interesting to perform in this type of setting. The directions to Blue Fin can be found here:

It’s free and open to the public. This is my last performance for the year (and I have no idea when the next one might be) so I hope you can make it! Nihonbuyo, koto, and shamisen performances are pretty rare in the Boston area, so I highly encourage you to check it out. I hope to see you all on Sat.