The Japan-centric events of the month ahead promise to be as rich and full as fall itself—brisk, colorful, with a dash of unpredictability.
This month’s highlights include:
Saturday, Sept. 28, 3:00 p.m.
All American Open International Karate Championships
Hunter College Sportsplex, 68th Street and Lexington Avenue
$30 general admission/$65 RES floor/$80 VIP ringside
Get your kicks at this annual event presented by Kyokushin Karate New York, the original and world renowned full-contact knockdown karate style founded in 1953 by Grandmaster Mas Oyama. The All American Open consistently brings the world’s best karate fighters to compete for the amateur athletic championship title. Scheduled fighters Include 2012 All American Open champion Zahari Damyanov, Women’s World Middleweight champion Julie Lamarre, and Men’s World Heavyweight champion Alejandro Navarro.
Sept. 28 & Oct. 4
The Wind Rises
Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway
U.S. premiere! As part of the 51st New York Film Festival, the great Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s new (and reportedly final) Studio Ghibli film is based on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Zero fighter operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945. An elliptical historical narrative, The Wind Rises is also a visionary cinematic poem about the fragility of humanity, starring the voice of Neon Genesis Evangelion director Hideaki Anno! Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
Sept. 29, 5:00 p.m.
Rainbow Bubble Girls Open Audition as Talent Contest
Maid Cafe NY, 150 Centre Street
Girl group Rainbow Bubble, an international all-girl idol group based in New York, is now looking for new members who can sing in different languages and dance. This current contest (which precludes semi-finals and finals to come) offers a top prize valued at $500 and a chance to receive an exclusive artist contract! Click here for contest rules and email StarGenerationsINC@gmail.com to pre-register.
Sept. 30 & Oct. 2, 6:00 p.m.
Like Father, Like Son
Alice Tully Hall / Francesca Beale Theater, Lincoln Center
Also part of the 51st New York Film Festival, this Cannes Jury Award-winning release from director Hirokazu Kore-eda is a sensitive drama takes a close look at two families’ radically different approaches to the horribly painful realization that the sons they have raised as their own were switched at birth. The film extends the Japanese cinema tradition of familial exploration to deliver a gentle and moving story of personal redemption that playfully navigates its way through the drama. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
Friday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Zorn @ 60: John Zorn + Ryuichi Sakamoto
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
$36/$28 Japan Society members
Incomparable musical maverick John Zorn returns to Japan Society for a concert birthday bash held as part of the international series of musical happenings honoring his turning 60. Composer, arranger, saxophonist and Japan aficionado Zorn, whose music ranges from classical to contemporary and rock to klezmer, curated Japan Society’s Tzadik Label Music Series and was a leading force behind the 3/11 charity Concert for Japan. For this celebratory concert, Zorn is joined on stage by musical pioneer composer, pianist and Academy Award-winner Ryuichi Sakamoto. Together, these two visionary artists offer an entirely improvised evening of music.
New York Comic Con
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street
$30/Oct. 10 tickets
The East Coast’s largest gathering for comics, film, anime and manga fans, New York Comic Con returns with its biggest roster of Hollywood talent to date. Guests scheduled to appear include Sylvester Stallone, William Shatner, Gillian Anderson, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Harmon, and lest we forget, the New York premiere of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo on Oct. 11!
Oct. 11-Jan. 12, 2014
Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
$12/$10 students and seniors/free for Japan Society members
Curated by Japan Society Gallery’s director Dr. Miwako Tezuka, Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori showcases 35 immersive installations, sculptures, drawings, photographs and videos produced by the artist between 2001 and 2013. Mori’s first major museum show in the U.S. in 10 years, this exhibition presents her artistic evolution during the last decade, her statement of rebirth in an age of endangered environment and a lost connection between man and nature.
Oct. 12-Nov. 10
The Wonder Verified and Fulfilled: Paintings by Musho Rodney Alan Greenblat
BCB Art (in Hudson), 116 Warren Street
You know him as the visual style creator of video games like PaRappa the Rapper and UmJammer Lammy, and also for his fantastically colorful album artwork for groups like They Might Be Giants, Shonen Knife and Puffy AmiYumi. Now see new paintings by Musho Rodney Alan Grenblat that are a product of his fascination with Buddhist imagery and Zen. “The title for the show comes from a short teaching by 12th century Chinese Zen master Hongzhi Zenji called The Wonder Verified and Fulfilled,” explains Greenblat. “First I must see for myself that the world is a place of unexplainable wonders, and then actualize this vision for the benefit of all beings.” Meet the artist at a special opening reception October 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Oct. 17-Nov. 3
La MaMa Experimental Theatre, 74 East Fourth Street
$25/$20 students and seniors
Internationally acclaimed performer Maureen Fleming brings her contemporary unveiling of the myth of Persephone in a show the New York Times calls “wondrous choreographic metamorphosis.” With text by Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Chinglish) and music by Philip Glass (performed live by pianist Bruce Brubaker), original accordion music by Guy Klucevsek, and taiko drumming by Kaoru Watanabe, this beautiful multimedia meditation on “miracles” juxtaposes Fleming’s new and repertory works with three-dimensional video projections designed by longtime collaborator Christopher Odo. This performance contains nudity.
Saturday, October 19, 7:00 p.m.
Japan-USA Chorus Festival: From Fukushima to the World
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, 881 Seventh Avenue
Formed in 1966 with just 11 chorus members, the Fukushima Mothers’ Chorus Association now consists of approximately 750 participants. Due to the Tōhoku earthquake and nuclear plant disaster, many of the chorus members were forced to evacuate their homes; however, they actively perform at events throughout Fukushima, conveying the indomitable spirit of recovery with their voices. The Harmony Celebration Chorus is an all-female barbershop chorus, formed in 2007. The HCC performs in the community on a regular basis, while representing high levels of achievement on the competition stage.
The 15th Year Anniversary Concert of the Salon Series
Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street
$75 Oct. 19 (benefit performance with reception)/$25 Oct. 20 (two performances)
Having served the New York community and the Tri-state area for the last 15 years as a resource for Japanese performing arts and culture, Sachiyo Ito and Company will celebrate the 15th Year Anniversary of Salon Series with a special concert of Japanese dance. The concert will honor the years of community service, cultural exchange, and education experienced by over 3,000 audience guests who have attended Salon Series programs since 1998, with the program encompassing the performing arts of Japan from ancient to contemporary.
Sunday, Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m.
And Who Taught You to Drive?
Linder Theater, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street
$12/$10 seniors, students and Asia Society members
Co-presented by Asia Society and part of the 2013 Margaret Mead Film Festival. Driving lessons become life lessons in this poignant and funny documentary by director Andrea Thiele, which turns the efforts of three people attempting to get their local licenses in foreign countries into a sly and warmhearted exploration of cultural difference and acceptance. American Jake in Japan; Mirela, transplanted from Germany to India; and Hye-Won, recently arrived in Germany from South Korea—each of these charming protagonists illuminates the joys and frustrations of navigating new rules of the road, revealing along the way much of themselves and of their adoptive homes.
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