Intercultural Applied Drama Project

Tokyo University of Technology, Japan

From Monday 1st September until Friday 5th September 2014 19 students from Tokyo University of Technology, Japan were with us at the University of Chester participating in workshops raising their intercultural awareness. This took place through a number of drama workshops, drawing on drama pre-texts and UK and Japanese traditions to generate shared understandings and the role of drama in it. Partner schools from the area also participated in the workshops enriching the experience of year 10/11 and sixth form students and giving them insights into: Japanese culture, selected Japanese theatre traditions, Japanese language and applied drama and dramatised narrative. The project is now in its 15th year.

This visit is complimented by a reciprocal visit by Prof Allan Owens to Japan in the Spring. This year Prof Owens visited Fukashima with Taichi-Kikaku Theatre, Naomi Green and Yukie Kanazawa. Four years after the Tsunami the tragedy of nuclear refugees remains hidden. Unable to return home, living in temporary housing, unsure what the future holds people in the exclusion zone watch in disbelief as the nuclear business prepares to set up again. Prof Owens worked with Taichi-Kikaku to stage performances and run workshops to support Tsunami and Nuclear Volunteer Groups. Poet Masaharu Fujishima joined one of the applied drama workshops - his most recent volume (2015) is published by Yuyosha Press called. 'At Kasetsu our temporary housing: Fukashima has become synonymous with tragedy' Masaharu Fujishima.