JPA Kimono & Dance Project

Ages of Enchantment 2023

Free and Open to Public Program


Saturday, November 11     

5 – 8pm (Doors at 4:30pm) 


Symphony Space

2537 Broadway at 95th street, NYC



 Please note that your register does not automatically entitle you for the theater seats.   



Orochi / Serpents of Iwami Kagura (a Shinto performance) 

About the Show

Our Japanese cultural repertoires show, “Ages of Enchantment 2023” is coming again at Symphony Space in Manhattan on November 11, 2023!

This theater event showcases various Japanese traditional performing arts activities that JPA has been engaged in. On stage, a new perspective on kimono characteristics will be presented as well as Japanese regional traditional performances (some of them, not-so-easy to encounter even in Japan) etc.

The listed amongst the stage program contents are: Japan’s Big Three Bon Odori dances (Awa Odori, Gujo Odori, and Nishimonai Bon Odori), Kimono Presentation, Nihon Buyo (traditional dance of kabuki-origin), Caligraphy Performance, Iwami Kagura (Orochi piece).

This show is the continuation from the JPA repertoire show that was hugely popular in 2015 and in 2017 (the Ages of Enchantment Series).

It has been 6 years since our last show of the Ages of Enchantment in 2017. We hope you will join us and enjoy the show!


KIMONO EXHIBIITION at West Gallery inside Symphony Space

Kyo Kanoko – Ultimate Shibori Tie Dye Technique 

 West Gallery at Symphony Space

Inside the gallery at the theater, as a part of JPA Kimono Project, we will exhibit kimono costumes made by an ultimate Shibori tie dye technique, Kyo Kanoko.

Kimono culture has been largely diminished from Japanese daily lives, which lead to dramatic decrease in successors of many extraordinary artisan techniques. One aspect of JPA Kimono Project activities to introduce such rare techniques to be as widely recognized as possible.

Introducing Kyo Knoko is on top of our list in such an effort of ours. Each of the tiny tie dye dot is only about a few millimeters. There is a precious rare Furisode kimono called “Soshibori (The whole kimono done by Kyo Kanoko),” which has about 180,000 to 200,000 tiny dots. Even a veteran Kyo Kanoko artisan can finish only about 800 to 1200 tie dye dots per day.

The photos below are from our past events

The details of the show

Each of the traditions in our show will be explained by the emcees together with visual presentation on background screen projection.

Bon Odori dances are originally Buddhist summer ritual dance events held all around in Japan. Amongst them, we will show you so-called “Japan’s Big Three Bon Odori Dances (two of which are listed amongst UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage) that are not-so-easily seen even in Japan.

JPA will give a spotlight on Japanese traditional costume, Kimono, as a tradition of sustainable fashion. Kimono is often introduced with its artistic value, but our presentation will focus on its superbly environment-friendly product lifecycle management built-in to its culture and preserved intact over 1200 years in its shape and structures. We will provide the details.

Kimono classification is also an interesting piece of our show content. We will present you the key information upon wearing a kimono. Out of all the same shaped but differentiated kimono costumes, which are formal, semi-formal, or informal, etc.

We will also discuss an issue how contemporary Japanese people have not been wearing kimono in their daily lives. A Japanese company, Toray has been making efforts to simplify what used to be very complicated and time consuming efforts within kimono culture, such as making kimono machine washable, so that kimono can become more accessible to many people. We will discuss Toray’s kimono fabric (Sillook) development, together with showing you a kimono donated by Toray Industries (America), Inc.

The show will contain a Shodo, Japanese calligraphy performance on stage, which will be the first one for JPA. The Shodo Master Kawaguchi will come all the way from Japan for this occasion. The Calligraphy Performance will be given on a giant sheet of 3 x 6 meter paper with a huge brush.

Approximately 30 people can come up on stage to see the on-going artwork up-close during the performance. Even after the performance, the completed artwork can be seen up-close on stage during the intermission.

Nihon Buyo dance has long been one of the emphasized JPA activities. At the event, We will present a few dance pieces including both classic and modern-fusion styles. The classic piece is called “Tatsumi Hakkei,” which portrays a scene how two geisha girls are chitchatting in their room. It is a dance with a rare choreography for a classic piece. Together with its jaunty tune, the two-dancer piece will be performed.

For this Nihon Buyo dance program, we are inviting Masayo Ishigure, New York based Koto Master who can perform us both Shamisen and Koto instruments as well as classic and contemporary music pieces.

JPA Nihon Buyo dancers, together with the live Shamisen and Koto music by Master Ishigure, will perform one classic and one modern-fusion Nihon Buyo dance pieces. JPA has been making effort to refine classics as well as developing new dance formats by integrating Nihon Buyo with modern dance styles.

We will also have Master Ishigure’s solo performance in the middle of the program.

Kagura was (and still is) a Shintoism ritual dance that originated from the royal family over 1,200 years ago. Then many of the localities adopted the dances and mixed their own traditions so there are many unique regional Kagura dances. Amongst them, Iwami Kagura from Shimane Prefecture is known to have its high entertainment element with Kabuki-like vibrant costumes and acting/dancing, which will be unforgettable once experienced. Out of the total of 33 Iwami Kagura show pieces, we will show you the most popular “Orochi” piece as the last act of the event.

This free public program is supported by New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Cultural Affairs.  



AGES OF ENCHANTMENT 2023 is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.



KIARA PHILLIPS (MC for Entire Event)  Born and raised in New York City, Kiara has used her fluent Japanese skills to freelance as a restaurant consultant; dabble in interpreting; travel as a dialect coach; and repeatedly appear on popular Japanese shows as a TV personality. This year she’s developing her own talk show, guesting on podcasts discussing her bilingual adventures and flirting with the idea of starting a jazz band as a vocalist. After over 10 years of focusing solely on the language and food culture of Japan, Kiara is excited for this chance to explore more about kimono culture with Japan Performing Arts.



 Misaki Z (MC for Entire Event) Misaki Z is a student at Hunter College, majoring in Studio Arts and minoring in Japanese culture. They’re the current president of the Japanese Club, and was the secretary the year before. Misaki has always been interested in the arts and Japanese culture, and was introduced to Japan Performing Arts through Hunter’s Japanese Program. They were also selected to participate in the Japanese Ministry of of Foreign Affair’s KAKEHASHI Project in 2021. 

Misaki has participated in Japan Performing Art’s previous events, such as Japan Day Awa Odori and Kimono: A Tradition in Sustainable Fashion. They hope to continue learning and experiencing more of Japanese culture and the arts under Japan Performing Art’s guidance.


MARIAM VAN (MC for Kimono Program Presentation)  Mariam Van is a Macaulay Honors student at Hunter College who majored in Environmental Studies and minored in Japanese language. In her junior year, she was elected vice-president of the Japanese Club, and in her senior year, the president. As president, she has hosted over 11 events, from calligraphy workshops to Japanese-style holiday parties, and increased membership participation from 20 to more than 100. In June 2022, she obtained a summer internship at the Department of Environmental Protection, and was promoted to a full-time intern. Mariam is passionate about finding the intersection between environmental science and Japanese culture, as seen in her leadership of the Environmental Awareness Team for the annual Dance, Music, & Kimono festival, hosted by the Japan Performing Arts organization (JPA). Additionally, she was a speaker at the three-day event called Kimono: A Tradition of Sustainable Fashion, hosted by the JPA in October 2022. Mariam also wrote and delivered a speech in Japanese for Yuko Kishida, the First Lady of Japan, and participated in a traditional paper drama performance. Upon graduation, she aspires to join the Department of Environmental Protection in bureaus related to her field, particularly in areas such as Coastal Resiliency or Sustainability. She aims to continue working in Japanese affairs in her free time.

MASAYO ISHIGURE (Koto Master) Masayo Ishigure began playing the koto and jiuta shamisen at the age of five in Gifu, Japan. After initial studies with Tadao and Kazue Sawai, Masayo became a special research student in 1986 at the Sawai Koto Academy of Music -The academy incorporates many influences from classical to jazz and aims to change the perception of the koto from solely as a traditional Japanese instrument to an instrument of universal expressiveness. Ms.Ishigure received a degree in Japanese Traditional Music from Takasaki Junior Arts College with a concentration on koto and shamisen. Ms. Ishigure moved to New York City in 1992 and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall-Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall and other venues in the New York City metropolitan area. She was a guest artist with the San Diego Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Masayo Ishigure has appeared in concerts for music festivals in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Holland, France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Jamaica, Hawaii south korea and Alaska. In 2005, Masayo Ishigure was a recording artist alongside Yitzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, and others on the Academy Award-Winning soundtrack from the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” by John Williams. Awarded received “2016 Consul General’s Commendation” Nominated as “100 Japanese respected by the world” by News Week Magazine in 2007.  In 2016, nominate as “Top 5 female cultural Japanese in New York” by Prime Minister Abe. 1992-2002 Masayo has taught koto and shamisen at Wesleyan University, CT. 2010-2021 held Koto classes at Columbia University. She gives private lessons in New York City. Recital at Carnegie Hall to commemorate 30 years in the U.S.

Eiko Kawaguchi (calligraphy artist) was born in northern Gifu Prefecture (Yamagata-Shi). At age 7, Eiko started learning calligraphy under her Sensei Matsushita. The Sensei saw an exceptional talent in Eiko and gave a referral to the Sensei’s Master Ito. Eiko’s work started appearing in various calligraphy art exhibitions and earned many awards. At age 24, she gained the Master (Shihan) title, then started her own calligraphy school. Furthermore, she earned “Pen Shuji Kenkyukai” Master title and started teaching at many institutions such as at Gifu branch of NHK Culture Center, etc. Then requests for her giant brush calligraphy performance came in, so she started as a calligraphy performance artist often together with live music entertainment such as opera, etc. She has performed at various events in Japan such as Miss Japan Pageant, Lions Club, etc. Overseas, she has participated in events in Hanoi Vietnam and in Hawaii, so far. After this New York performance, she desires to further expand her art activities overseas.