I went to the Festival/Tokyo 2009 Autumn press conference.
It was interesting hearing each of the attending director or performer, as their ways of speaking were all rather idiosyncratic and individual. Highlights included Kuro Tanino saying how he hoped he didn’t caused any trouble (迷惑) to the Festival and Shu Matsui trying to use the distance between his mouth and the microphone as an analogy to describe his play (and then being met by deathly silence when he had finished speaking). Probably the most eloquent was Chris Kondek; even though he was speaking through an interpreter he still managed to make everyone laugh.
Matsui, who I think is actually one of the most talented playwrights in Japan today, later told me that he doesn’t mind having his private space invaded by sweaty people on rush hour trains. On the contrary, he likes to get up as close as possible to the other passengers; he wants to remove that distance between his fellow humans, that lonely space. One only hopes he doesn’t get suspected of chikan!
The new Festival Tokyo 09 website is live.