JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Genji at the Met, Perfume Returns, Sailor Moon on Broadway

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articlesclick here.

Stay warm this winter with some hot local events, from live showcases that will transport you to another time and place, some new anime screenings, and a 2.5D musical performance you won’t want to miss.

This month’s highlights include:

Courtesy of Metmuseum.org

Now through June 16

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue

$12-$25

This is the first major loan exhibition in North America to focus on the artistic tradition inspired by Japan’s most celebrated work of literature, The Tale of Genji. Written by Murasaki Shikibu, a lady-in-waiting in the early eleventh-century imperial court, and often referred to as the world’s first psychological novel, the tale recounts the amorous escapades of the “Shining Prince” Genji and introduces some of the most iconic female characters in the history of Japanese literature. Covering the period from the eleventh century to the present, the exhibition features more than 120 works, including paintings, calligraphy, silk robes, lacquer wedding set items, a palanquin for the shogun’s bride, and popular art such as ukiyo-e prints and modern manga. Highlights include two National Treasures and several works recognized as Important Cultural Properties. For the first time ever outside Japan, rare works are on view from Ishiyamadera Temple—where, according to legend, Shikibu started writing the tale.

© Sopheak Vong

March 22-23, 7:30 p.m.

Akiko Kitamura’s Cross Transit

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

$30, $25 members

How can Cambodia’s past be preserved through the human body? Akiko Kitamura, internationally acclaimed Japanese dancer and founder/former choreographer of Leni-Basso dance company, tackles this challenge together with Cambodian visual artist/photographer Kim Hak. Ambitious yet poetic, Cross Transit is a multimedia dance piece in which Hak’s video, photos, voice and personal experiences intertwine with Kitamura’s bold, progressive choreography. A MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception follows the March 22 performance with an artist Q&A following the March 23 performance.

Courtesy of Sailormoon-official.com

March 29-30

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: The Super Live

PlayStation Theater, 1515 Broadway

$30-$75

See Sailor Moon and her friends fight the forces of darkness—live on stage! Directed and choreographed by Takahiro (Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet Tour) with book by Akiko Kodama (Takarazuka Revue Company), and music by Hyadain (pop groups Momoiro Clover Z and AKB48), The Super Live is the first time that Sailor Moon (one of the most popular anime and manga heroines of all time, generating $5 billion in sales) comes to the New York stage in celebration of its 25th anniversary. These special performances (three in total) marks the first time a 2.5D Musical will be on an American stage. 2.5D Musicals, which began around 2000, are based on popular contemporary Japanese culture: manga comics, anime and video games. Presented in Japanese with English supertitles.

Courtesy of Ticketmaster.com

Saturday, March 30, 8:00 p.m.

Perfume

Hammerstein Ballroom at Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street

$52.50-$62.50

Formed in 2000 in Hiroshima by a trio of talented young ladies in the same performing arts academy, Perfume has been one of the biggest J-pop success stories of the past decade. Now, with the upcoming summer release of their sixth album, Future Pop, the electronic pop trio is gearing up for its fourth tour abroad, with this intimate Hammerstein Ballroom show preceding their April debut at Coachella—a first for a J-pop group!

Courtesy of Eventbrite.com

Sunday, March 31, 2019, 4:00 p.m.

Glories of Japanese Music Heritage XIV

Miller Theatre at Columbia University, 2960 Broadway

Free (registration required on event page)

The IMJS: Japanese Cultural Heritage Initiatives at Columbia University celebrates the cultures of Heian and Heisei Eras with a concert presenting music Lady Murasaki describes in her 11th-century novel, The Tale of Genji, in collaboration with the current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illustrated, and the now-ending Heisei Era with the sung waka poetry by the retiring Emperor and Empress from their January 2019 last New Year Poetry Celebration. Featuring renowned musicians from Japan and New York, including the Columbia Gagaku Instrumental Ensemble of New York.

Want to stay in the loop on future eventsFollow Justin on FacebookandTwitter.