▼What is the Kaitai-Shinsho

In this series, Mansai Nomura, Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theatre (SePT), invites a range of guests to join him in exploring the origins of various contemporary Japanese art forms by examining their constituent parts. Through this process they also aim to seek out new approaches to theatre creation.

Each edition of  Kaitai-Shinsho features specialists from different fields discussing a chosen theme, and sometimes performing, as they and their host delve into the roots and essence of Japan’s stage arts.

It is hoped these talk-and-perform-style events will be welcomed by audiences eager not just to see works on stage, but to study performing arts in more depth.



The theme for the 31st installment of our MANSAI: Kaitai-shinsho series is “Transversal: The Fundamentals Bridging Language and Interpretation.”

The guest speaker will be Hakuzan Kanda the 6th, a renowned practitioner of kodan (traditional Japanese historical storytelling).
Kanda’s conversation with kyogen (traditional Japanese comic theater) performer Mansai Nomura will explore the fundamental nature of artistic expression.
Don’t miss this one of a kind event!



◆Mansai Nomura

Born in Tokyo on April 5, 1966, Mansai Nomura is the eldest son of the designated Living National Treasure and kyogen actor Manzo Nomura. Now a designated Important Intangible Cultural Asset himself, Nomura was appointed as the Artistic Director of Setagaya Public Theatre in 2002.

He is extremely active as a performer in both kyogen and noh, in Japan and internationally, and a popular actor in films and TV dramas. He directed and acted in plays including Atsushi – Sangetsuki Meijinden, Kuninusubito, Requiem on the Great Meridian and Macbeth, incorporating elements of traditional Japanese performing arts.

Nomura has received the National Arts Festival Award for Best New Talent and Best Actor, the Newcomers Art Encouragement Award, and the Asahi Performing Arts Award. With the rerun of Requiem on the Great Meridian at SePT in 2017, he won the Mainichi Art Award for Best Director and the Yomiuri Drama Award for Best Play. Finally, he is the Chief Executive Director of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies.


◆Hakuzan Kanda the 6th

Born in Tokyo in 1983. Practitioner of kodan. Member of the Kodan Association of Japan and the Rakugo Association. He began studying under Shori Kanda the 3rd in 2007, performing under the stage name Matsunojo. He achieved the rank of futatsume in June 2012.Then, in February 2020, he reached the highest rank of shin’uchi and took on a new stage name, beginning to perform as Hakuzan Kanda the 6th.

He is able to tell over 150 stories, and his solo performances immediately sell out. He is one of the most successful performers in the field, and he is on the cutting edge of efforts to promote kodan storytelling as an art form. His hobby is attending performances of rakugo (traditional Japanese comedic storytelling).

Major publications include: An Occupation on the Verge of Extinction: Living as a Kodan Storyteller (a collection of conversations with author Matsukoi Sugie, published by Shinchosha), Matsunojo Kanda’s Introduction to Kodan (Kawade Shobo Shinsha), A Kanda Picture Book (Kodansha), and Pen Books: Spotlight on Matsunojo Kanda, which was later revised and expanded as Pen Books: Spotlight on Hakuzan Kanda the 6th, Formerly Known as Matsunojo Kanda (CCC Media House).


Cast & Creative

Planned by Mansai Nomura
Cast: Mansai Nomura, Hakuzan Kanda





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