Tompkins Japan Series and Other Special Events
In addition to ongoing regular events, each year the program sponsors special events including lectures, performances, and workshops. These events are often sponsored in conjunction with other departments, and with assistance from the Tompkins Fund, as part of the Tompkins Japan Series.
Japanese Swordsmanship: Kendo and Iaido Demonstration by Thomas Hooper
The traditional martial arts of Kendo (The Way of the Sword) and Iaido (sword-drawing techniques) are direct descendants of the fighting arts of the samural warriors of old Japan. Together they comprise the core of Japanese swordsmanship.
On February 28, 2010, Mr. Thomas Hooper and four members of The Sei-Zan-Kai Kendo from Amherst, MA, gave a lecture and demonstration in ’62 Center of Theater and Dance.
Mr. Hooper, Head Instructor of The Sei-Zan-Kai Kendo, holds the rank of 6th Dan (degree) and the title Renshi (instructor’s certification) in both Kendo and Iaido.
Consul General of Japan in Boston, Masaru TSUJI,
gave a talk entitled “Japan’s New Administration and the Future of Japan-U.S. Relations,” in October 2009.
Mr. Masaru Tsuji arrived in Boston to assume the post of Consul General of Japan in February 2009. Mr. Tsuji received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Law, and is also a graduate of Williams College (class of 1981). He entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in 1978. His talk was timely, as it came right after the Democratic Party of Japan gained an historical majority, and it was well received.
Awaji Puppet Theater Company
The Awaji Puppet Theater Company is designated by the Japanese Government an Intangible Folk Asset and is often referred to as the origin of Bunraku Puppetry, one of the principal currents in a puppet performance tradition that dates back to the sixteenth century in Japan. The program will combine puppet manipulation with dramatic recitation an shamisen musical accompaniment and will include a narrative piece as well as intricate puppet dances from the company’s repertoire.