WHO WE ARE

Cultures are characteristics of countries or regions. Such characteristics can be understood through learning each region’s typical lifestyles, thinking patterns, and general attitudes toward life. There are myriad diverse cultures the world over – each, with its distinct characteristics, demonstrating the uniqueness of each culture’s climate, environment, surrounding circumstances and background history.

People have been inventing things suitable to their environment and nurturing their own unique value systems in their group activities. The visible characteristics of each region can be recognized as the representation of the area’s spiritual values. In turn, by actively learning the cultural value systems of each region, one can gain a deeper understanding of what is visible, as the representation of items of each culture.

It is often said that by comparing your own culture to another, you gain an improved understanding of your culture, and the subject culture, as well. For example, generally Japanese culture is described as a group-oriented culture, as opposed to the individualism of the West. Also, the emphasis on the visual representation in Japanese culture is often described, in contrast to the Western emphasis on verbal description.

Japanese and Western cultures do not always stand at one extreme or the other; to facilitate cultural education, such comparisons are useful, however. Japan Performing Arts, Inc. aims to explain Japanese culture with visible cultural representation programs and performances, along with background information, using methods of cultural comparison.

We would like to introduce Japan’s cultural wisdom, nurtured by a variety of practical and spiritual needs in the lives of the people of Japan.

Our activities are mainly geared towards: 1) Schools, 2) Local Communities – offering opportunities to understand Japanese culture intellectually. Our performances and programs can be tailored to the specific needs and interests of these communities.

We hope to demonstrate historical and cultural contexts in our performances (including some ethno-psychological contexts); learning experiences can be very entertaining and memorable for people of all ages.

Our presentations primarily demonstrate Japanese traditions and values; often including themes of patience, harmony and discipline, which we are convinced, are fundamentally inherent to Japanese culture.

Japan Performing Arts, Inc. aims to accomplish its mission by providing learning opportunities for children and adults, through lectures and performances. Performances can be accompanied by lectures and demonstrations, or JPA can simply host cultural workshops.

Japan Performing Arts, Inc. is a non-profit organization established by Yuko Hamada to introduce Japanese art forms in New York.  Based in New York City, JPA’s activities focus on educational experiences to discover and re-discover Japanese culture through Japanese performing arts.

Our activities cater to the needs of local Japanese communities, as well as those of any community seeking to experience the many forms of Japanese traditional arts.

JPA Showreel 2014-2019

MEMBERS

President

Yuko hamada

Yuko Hamada is the founder and President of Japan Performing Arts, Inc. Yuko is also a Nichibu (or Nihon Buyo) dance choreographer/dancer. She used to be a member of Takarazuka Revue Company, a nationally well-known all-female theater in Japan. She graduated from the dramatic writing program of Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. She wrote, directed and produced three Off-off Broadway plays and received a lot of media coverage for her unique presentation of Japanese theater arts. Since the establishment of Japan Performing Arts, Inc., her pursuit of Japanese theater presentation has been ever evolving with wider range of venues, such as at the United Nations Headquarters (NYC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI Field Office in NY), Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Brooklyn, NY), Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, Symphony Space, United Nations International School (NYC) and Infinite Energy Center (Atlanta, GA). Since 2018, Yuko has been bringing indoor/outdoor cultural events (Free Public Arts and Cultural Programs) to Governors Island. As a new direction of JPA’s activities, in 2019, she wrote stories & scripts for JPA’s new series play productions, “Spirit in Traditional Japanese Dance & Kimono” and “Expansion of Inward Spiral.”

Stage Manager

Mariko Takizawa

Mariko Takizawa graduated from Borough of Manhattan Community College with AS degree in Theatre, specializing in stage management. Her stage management credits include The Arsonists (Tribeca Performing Arts Center), The Red Coat (BMCC), Rashomon (Japan Performing Arts, Inc.), SONG (HERE Arts Center), JPA Cultural Repertoires (Japan Performing Arts, Inc.), The Fairy Tale Project (Tribeca Performing Arts Center). Other credits include: running crew, operation crew, and wardrobe crew at Off-Off Broadway theater HERE, backstage manager at Japan Day.

Assistant Director

Tomoko Sater

Tomoko Takedani Sater hails from Tokyo, Japan, and she came to the U. S. in 2002 to study dance. She received BA in Dance from SUNY Potsdam, and MFA in Dance from The University of Michigan. Since 2008, she has produced and performed in New York City with a theatre dance company she co-founded. Currently, Tomoko wears many hats such as a dance teacher, a Japanese educator, an interpreter/translator, a producer, an emcee, and a video editor, while raising her 5 years old daughter.

Kimono Exhibition Assistant / Graphic Designer

Terumi Saito

Terumi Saito is an Artist and Designer based in New York. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan, and MFA in Textiles from Parsons School of Design in New York, where she graduated as part of the program's inaugural cohort. Her creative practice ranges from Graphic Design to Traditional Textiles research-making and Art Performance. She has a keen interest in building awareness of cultural sustainability and forming connections between Japanese culture and various audiences. In order to raise interest and help sustain Japanese cultural heritage, she would like to be a link in passing down those traditions to the future.

Social Arts Manager

Kayo Kobayashi

Kayo Kobayashi has been involved in the arts from a very young age, starting with lessons at Tachibana ballet school in Tokyo. Her passion for dance led her to New York, where she sought out further training in ballet and other forms of dancing. She also went on to learn acting and singing and participate in many stage performances. She is willing to utilize all her experience to make a bridge between Japan and the U.S.

Kimono Dresser and Hair Designe

Yukari Mizuuchi

Yukari is from Saitama, Japan. She graduated from a beauty school in Tokyo and worked at a hair salon in a top fashion district in Tokyo, Omotesando for three years. After that, she became a freelance as a kimono dresser,hair designer and came to New York in 2012. She is a Kimono evangelist and participates in events and shows as a hair designer ,Kimono dresser and kimono lecturer.

Hair Designer

Toshitsugu Kubota

Toshi was born in Kochi prefecture and raised in Hyogo prefecture in Japan. After graduating beauty school, worked at hair salon in Nishinomiya City before joining Universal Studios Japan. There, he created worn by the various characters at the theme park. Moved to the U.S. in the fall of 2008. Since the he has worked in various Kimono shows.

Hair Designer

Mika Saijo

Mika was born and raised in Saitama, Japan. Moving to New York in 2008, Mika worked as an hairstylist while doing weddings, music videos, film productions, and TV shows. She’s taken part in the productions of commercials for Canon, Dixie Cup, Hakuho-Do, NHK Television, Fuji Television, and Spike TV. She has also participated in various photo shoots and numerous theater performances with special effect makeup, including Alvin Ailey, Symphony Space, Peridance, Baruch Theater, and Dizzy's Jazz. She joined Japan performing arts on 2017.

Hair Designer

Satoshi Ikeda

Japanese hairstylist Satoshi Ikeda made his way to New York City in 2012. It has catapulted his career in the high fashion industry. For years, he was able to master his craft creating classic, chic and sassy styles. Because of his outstanding abilities, he landed projects with fashion magazines, appeared in television show both local and in Japan. Satoshi Ikeda attracts diversified clients. The mix of rich Japanese background and the awesome edge of the city of New York certainly meets the needs of everyone from average girl to sophisticated elite.

Performer

Motoko Tadano

Motoko Tadano was born in Japan and began her dance training in Classeic ballet. She has performed at prominent dance platforms all over Japan. She then moved to New York City to further her dance training and performance skills in Modern and Contemporary Dance and Choreography, and she has frequently performed for various contemporary choreographers in illustrious dance theatres in New York City. Since 2006 she has been repertory assistant and lead dancer in Overground Physical Theatre Dance Company’s interdisciplinary works choreographed by dance maverick Antonia Katrandjieva. Since 2008 She joined Japan Performing Arts as a Performing artist and creative pillar of the Japanese performing arts movement in New York educating the artistic community on Japanese traditional dance and culture. Most recently, she has presented at BAM Fisher the world premiers of “X-Stream” and “DISCONNECT”and “BEE-Have” at Ailey Citygroup Theater as a collaborator and critical role with Overground and Codice Rosso Theatre. Motoko has garnered critical plaudits for her outstanding performances and artistic achievements by the Theatre Magazine, Theatre Forum, Attitude Magazine, the New Yorker, Dance Insider, Eye on Dance and New York Times, to mention but a few.

Performer

Miki Kosugi

Miki’s absolute fascination to small-scale theatrical arts started when she saw “The Atami Murder Case” by Tsuka Kohei as a high school student. As a junior college student for fine arts, she would belong to Osaka’s small-scale theatrical productions and gain a lot of experiences in the art format. Even after college, she would continue working in the field as she would work as a background set design artist as well as an actor appearing in various roles. Upon her marriage in 1994, she came to the United States and she’s been involved in theaters in New York since then. As an actor, she would appear in Yuko Hamada’s “Flower of Water 2”

Performer

Yuki Dellipaoli

Yuki DelliPaoli works in a beauty industry in New York, specialized in enhancing eyelashes. She is also a certified personal color analyst. Her grandfather was a Noh-dance trainer of Konparu style in Nara pref. Japan.Yuki was born in Hyogo pref. Japan and moved to New York in 1985. She is very excited to keep in touch with her own roots by learning Nichibu at Japan Performing Arts, Inc.

Performer

Midori Anami

Midori Anami studied Ballet and Jazz dance at Swan Ballet School, as well as Nihon buyou (Japanese traditional dance) with Mamisuke Hanayagi, in Kumamoto, Japan. She moved to New York in 1996 to pursue her dance career and studied various forms of dance at Ballet Arts, Broadway Dance Center and Martha Graham School for Dance. She toured with French singer Mylene Farmer for her world tour “Mylenium” from 1999 to 2000 and made numerous TV appearances in France. She has appeared in many concerts and dinner shows throughout NY and NJ. She performs modern dance with various choreographers in NYC. She joined JPA in 2014.

Performer

Masatsugu Sakai

Masatsugu Sakai was born and grew up in Shimane prefecture, Japan where the Iwami Kagura Dance (Shinto theatrical dance) thrived primarily. He grew up watching his father dancing Kagura at the informal gathering. He himself joined the local performing art club and played a program, Jinrin at the opening of the cultural center in his childhood. He played the head of 3 demons, which was the lead role in the Jinrin. Currently in N.Y. he is learning to dance the role of Susanoo (God) in the play Orochi (The eight headed dragons).

Performer

Akiko Matsumoto

Akiko Matsumoto graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City with B.F.A. in Dance, focusing on Choreography. She also studied acting with Ron Stetson in Stetson Studios. Her credits include commercials on MTV and Showtime, the role of Li’l Eva and ensemble in “The King and I” in U.S. regional theaters, and dancer/performer in various music videos, shows and festivals. She thanks Yuko for the opportunity to stay connected with, and spread the beautiful Japanese culture through performing arts.

Performer

Sho Miya

Sho MIYA (Kochi, Japan) began his jazz dance training at the age 3 with his mother, Aki Miya, and he studied ballet under Daisuke Takeuchi in Hokkaido, Japan. He also has trained in hiphop, tap, modern, and contemporary, and has traveled numerous times to New York to deepen his knowledge. In 2015, he officially moved to New York City to train at The Ailey School. He received a scholarship for two full years at The School, and has performed in “Memoria” with the company at New York City Center in 2016. He also trained at Saratoga, Ailey, and Complexions summer intensives on scholarship.

Performer

Rina Maejima

Rina is a classical music trained performer, proud Japanese native from Tokyo. She graduated from AMDA with a professional training in Musical Theater, also has a BA in Classical Voice from Tokyo University of the Arts. Recent credits include the Connie Wang in A Chorus Line, Miranda in The Tempest, Lori/Woman in Romantic Fools, Hannah/Sadie in Oy!. Joined Caston-Clark Productions NYC Choreographer’s Forum as a tap dancer. As a singer she performed in Opera Gala concert at Carnegie Hall, and joined the production cast on the Viking Ocean Cruise Line. Special skills; Kick Boxing, owning traditional kimono, and Japanese Tea Ceremony practitioner.

Performer

Riley Sumala

Riley Sumala is a NYC based lifelong guitarist, drummer and DJ.  He started playing Taiko with JPA in 2016, starting with Iwami Kagura and continuing with the ‘Big Three’ Bon Odori.  He is the drummer for local NYC indie rock veterans, Blacksonny.

Performer

Yuki Takeuchi