February 23, 2023-February 25, 2023
past event image


Thursday, February 23. 7:30 pm—Followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception—SOLD OUT
Friday, February 24, 7:30 pm—Followed by an artist Q&A—SOLD OUT
Saturday, February 25, 7:30 pm—SOLD OUT

AKUTAGAWA is a stage portrait of Ryunosuke Akutagawa, father of the modern Japanese short novel and author of In a Grove, the basis of Akira Kurosawa’s landmark 1950 film Rashomon. Told through the traditional puppetry style kuruma ningyo blended with dynamic video images, AKUTAGAWA is an amalgam of five of his famous short stories—including Rashomon, Hell Screen (Jigokuhen), The Dragon, Toshishun and Kappa. The show explores the author’s artistic insight and fragile emotional state. This production is made through an international collaboration between puppeteers Koryu Nishikawa V (Tokyo) and Tom Lee (Chicago), with live music by Yukio Tsuji (New York).

Tickets: $30 / $24 members
Suitable for ages 13 and up.

Japan Society is pleased to present a series of programs celebrating the life and work of the prolific Japanese author Ryunosuke Akutagawa, also known as “the father of the Japanese short story.” From a newly commissioned opera investigating the literary icon’s final letters before his suicide in 1927 to traditional Japanese puppetry (kuruma ningyo) and Akira Kurosawa’s landmark 1950 film Rashomon—the following programs reimagine and readapt Akutagawa’s best-known works, offering an intimate window into the mind of one of the most widely translated Japanese writers in the world.

For the health and safety of our staff and visitors, we kindly ask that you please review our Visitor Policies and Safety Protocols.

Kuruma Ningyo Puppetry Masterclass
February 24, 11 am ET

Family Workshop on Kuruma Ningyo Puppetry
February 25, 2023, 10:30 am ET

Image: AKUTAGAWA © Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo, The Koryu Nishikawa Troupe.

AKUTAGAWA is supported by Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Jim Henson Foundation, and The Osaka Community Foundation / anonymous fund No.22.

2022-23 Performing Arts Season Support
Lead Sponsor

The season is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Major support is generously provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation and Doug and Teresa Peterson. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and the Endowment for the Performing Arts, established with a leadership gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Dr. and Mrs. Carl F. Taeusch II, Dr. Jeanette C. Takamura, Estate of Alan M. Suhonen, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, Nancy and Joe Walker, Dr. John K. Gillespie, Paula S. Lawrence, Hiroko Onoyama, Lyndley and Samuel Schwab, and Nora and David Tezanos.

Transportation assistance is provided by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Yamaha is the official piano provider of Japan Society. MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception is provided by MetLife Foundation.

Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation and Shiseido Americas.

  • February 23, 2023 February 24, 2023 February 25, 2023
  • 7:30 pm
  • In-Person Event
  • Timed Tickets
  • $30 Regular price
  • $24 Member price
This event is sold out.