[Ame-no-uzume-no-mikoto] hanging [round her] the heavenly clubmoss of the Heavenly Mount Kagu as a sash, and making the heavenly spindle-tree her head-dress, and binding the leaves of the bamboo-grass of the Heavenly Mount Kagu in a posy for her hands, and laying a soundingboard before the door of the Heavenly Rock-Dwelling, and stamping till she made it resound and doing as if possessed by a Deity, and pulling out the nipples of her breasts, pushing down her skirt-string usque ad privates partes. Then the Plain of High Heaven shook, and the eight hundred myriad Deities laughed together...
(The door of the heavenly rock-dwelling. Kojiki. Translated by Basil Hall Chamberlain (1919))
Uzume‘s dance, as reported in the Kojiki (712), is seen as one beginning of theatre in Japan. Through her erotic and grotesque dance she brought Sun Goddess Amaterasu back out of her heavenly cave and the night turned into daylight again. Uzume‘s retainers the Saru-me (monkey ladies) are the mythical ancestors of Sarugaku (Monkey plays), the old term for Nô and Kyôgen.
In the third year of the Japanese festival OHAYÔ, JAPAN! we will make an adventure travel under the festival motto „Wonder“ to monkey dances, talking puppets and other „curiosities“.
This festival is also a contribution to the great anniversaries of Leipzig in 2009: we not only celebrate 20 years since the political change in East Germany and 600 years since founding University of Leipzig, but as well 100 years of rediscovery of the former secret writings of Seami Motokiyo (the most important actor, aesthete and theoretician of Sarugaku no Nô) and 140 anniversary of the Leipzig Museum of Ethnology (which was the first of its kind in Germany).
We invite you to an exciting and innovative Programme, in which – as good tradition of the festival OHAYÔ, JAPAN! – contemporary and traditional theatre arts are encountering.
As in the years before, there will be workshops, in 2009 a Kyôgen dance workshop and a Nihon-buyô workshop (Kabuki-dance), in which you – and also your family – will have the rare chance to gain own experience in the (learnable) secrets of Japanese Performing Arts.
In cooperation with the German-Polish Cultural Project Panipanama we will present a Japanese - Polish Visual Art Encounter with the Photographer Murakami Masakuni and the painter and
sculpturist Kata Adamek.
We hope you are going to enjoy our „Wonder (unplugged)“!
The festival is led and curated by: Tom Grigull, M. A.
It will be supported by the City of Leipzig / Department of Culture, the Bunkachô (Agency for Cultural Affairs) in Fiscal Year 2009/10, the EU-JAPAN-FEST and the Polish Cultural Institute.