Mar 26

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — ‘SPY x FAMILY’ Movie, The Joy of Sake, World Championship Sumo

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 articles, click here.

Spring has sprung in the Big Apple, and that means one thing: a new season of sounds, colors, and spectacular performing arts to match the blossoming sakura trees throughout the city.

This month’s highlights include: 

Russ Rowland

Now through June 2 

The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers

New World Stages, 340 West 50th Street

$39-$149 reserved seats, $299 VIP with meet-and-greet, front seats and gift bag 

On your mark! Get set! Go! to this one-of-a-kind intimate theatrical adventure that will leave you inspired, hopeful and feeling like a kid again. Marc Summers, the host of internationally renowned shows like Nickelodeon’s Double Dare and Food Network’s Unwrapped, tells all about his extraordinary life in this part game show-part memoir-all heart theatrical adventure which the New York Times calls “as satisfying as riding down a spiraling slide into a giant ice-cream sundae.”Written by Alex Brightman and directed by Chad Rabinovitz, the creative team includes original music by Drew Gasparini and co-sound design by David Sheehan and Hidenori Nakajo.

Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.

Tuesday, April 2, 8:00 p.m.

Queen Bee

Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street

$35 standing room only, $55 VIP reserved seating

Queen Bee is a band from Japan formed in 2009. With their unique and intense performances and newsworthy activities in various fields, they have created abuzz not only in the music industry but also in various other fields. Their songs rank high on music charts, and their live shows are sold out in in many places, boasting an overwhelming presence in terms of both popularity and ability. Their songs have also been used for popular anime such as “Mephisto,” the ending theme for the anime OSHI NO KO and “01,” the opening theme for the anime UNDEAD UNLUCK and “VIOLENCE,” the ending theme for the anime Chainsaw Man and “Kaen (Fire),” the opening theme for the anime Dororo and “HALF,” the ending theme for the anime Tokyo Ghoul:re. A statement provided by the band exclaims: “Queen Bee’s first performance in New York! I can’t wait to cause a frenzy across languages and borders. You may have heard of us from anime, or maybe from our attitude or world view. I promise you it will be an extraordinary night in New York, that will make you want to celebrate our meeting.”

Courtesy of

Monday, April 8, 8:00 p.m.

Keiko Matsui

Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street 

$35 GA seating, $75 VIP reserved seating

“This album is about the hope that we all carry inside of us,” shares internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and humanitarian, Keiko Matsui, who has worked with everyone from Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Bob James, and Hugh Masekela. “I have this dream where we can each cherish our own happiness and learn to accept and care for one another.” There is a reason why the stunning, soft-spoken, and petite powerhouse with such a commanding presence at the piano has amassed a devout following through the years. “When I tour around the world and witness how my music cuts through our differences and connects everyone, it makes me feel euphoric!” exclaims Keiko, who harnesses this joy on her 30th recording Euphoria. She enlists an all-star contingency of special guests including vocalist, and daughter of Donny Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Mike Stern, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vibist Joel Ross, harmonica player Grégoire Maret and pianist/arranger John Beasley. Keiko concludes, “During the past few years, I have witnessed the loss of life and seen people’s sadness and it has been really painful, but it has helped to remind me of the precious gift of time and the importance of gratitude for what I have now,” confides Keiko.” “Euphoria is my gift to my fans around the world.”

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Mar 1

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — ‘The End of Evangelion,’ Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus,’ ‘Rascal’ Double Feature

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 articles, click here. 

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

Courtesy of Janus Films

March 15-21

Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus

Film at Lincoln Center – Walter Reade Theater and Howard Gilman Theater, 165 W 65th Street


When Ryuichi Sakamoto died in March 2023 at age 71, the world lost one of its greatest musicians: a classical orchestral composer, a techno-pop artist, and a piano soloist who elevated every genre he worked in and inspired and influenced music-lovers across the globe. As a final gift to his legions of fans, filmmaker Neo Sora (Sakamoto’s son) has constructed a gorgeous elegy starring Sakamoto himself in one of his final performances. Recorded in late 2022 at NHK Studio in Tokyo, this filmed concert is an intimate, melancholy, and achingly beautiful one-man show, featuring just Sakamoto and a Yamaha grand, as the composer glides through a playlist of his most haunting, delicate melodies (including “Lack of Love, “The Wuthering Heights,” “Aqua,” “Opus,” and many more). Shot in pristine black-and-white by Bill Kirstein and edited by Takuya Kawakami, this stirring film brings us so close to a living, breathing artist that it feels like pure grace. Join Neo Sora for a director’s Q&A at the 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. screenings March 16.

© 1997 khara/Project EVA

March 17, 20

The End of Evangelion

Various theaters

Various prices

U.S. theatrical debut! Originally released in 1997, this final movie version was created as an alternative ending to the Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, remaking the final two episodes from the series. SEELE plans an attack on NERV after failing to create a man-made Third Impact. After reaffirming both her own and her mother’s existence in a state of despair, Asuka returns and begins the counterattack. However, new enemies descend from the heavens. Meanwhile, Shinji witnesses the horrifying wreckage of Asuka’s EVA-02 while piloting EVA-01. Mass production models surround EVA-01 and perform a solemn ceremony. What does it mean to complete a human heart?

© Naoko Takeuchi/PNP, Toei Animation

Friday, March 22, 2:00-9:00 p.m.

Manga March Madness Faire!

53rd Street Library, 18 West 53rd Street


This special event in partnership with Brooklyn’s AniTOMO Con celebrates both Japanese culture and Women’s History Month! See art demonstrations, panels, giveaways (including the opportunity to win badges for Anime NYC this summer), gaming, a scavenger hunt, and much, much more! At 6:00 p.m., the theater area will present Sailor Moon R: The Movie on its big screen, where pizza and drinks will be provided for the teens in attendance. The debut film from the hit shojo series, Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians unite to save Earth from an alien force that has a startling connection with Mamoru!

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Feb 1

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Mr. Big Farewell, ‘Paprika’ in 4K, ‘Stardew Valley’ in Concert

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 articles, click here.

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

This month’s highlights include:

Shout! Factory in association with Resurgence Media Group

Feb. 2-3

Point Break

Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street

$17, $10 members

From Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, Point Break stars Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, an FBI agent who goes undercover among the beach bums in order to investigate a hunch about surfers who are possibly moonlighting as bank robbers, in the film that cemented Reeves as a new, very California cool kind of action star. With Patrick Swayze as the group’s guru and kingpin, Point Break is the kind of smart, fun, sexy, exciting action film desperately lacking in today’s Hollywood. This all-new 4K restoration is courtesy of Shout! Factory in association with Resurgence Media Group.

Stephen van Baalen

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Big: The Big Finish 2024

Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street

$45 standing room only, $85 VIP reserved seating

One of the most successful American exports to rock Japan, Mr. Big is putting on their signature top hats and old shoes one last time for a worldwide tour, aptly titled “The Big Finish.” Since the band’s original drummer and co-founder, Pat Torpey, lost his battle with Parkinson’s disease in 2018, joining Mr. Big on drums for this special final world tour will be longtime friend of the band Nick D’Virgilio (Spock’s Beard, Big Big Train). Of note for this final run is the band’s decision to perform the entirety of their breakthrough platinum-selling 1991 album Lean Into It from start to finish as a featured highlight of the live setlist, along with other tunes from Mr. Big’s entire career. Lean Into It is the perfect litmus testament to the band’s inherent dexterity at blending a variety of styles together, whether it’s the heady rocking brew of “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind,” the power-drilled and power-chorded identity checklist “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy,” or the truly heartfelt sentiments found within “To Be With You,” Mr. Big’s chart-topping, worldwide #1 smash hit single.

© MadHouse Inc.

Feb. 7, 8, 11

Paprika — Satoshi Kon Fest

Various theaters

Various prices

Anime Expo Cinema Nights presents the final film ever made by visionary director Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers) with his mind-bending thriller Paprika, which has been restored in 4K for the first time ever! When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients’ dreams is stolen, all hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist, Paprika, can stop it. Dreams become reality and vice versa in this psychological fantasy you won’t want to miss! Featuring the voice talents of Megumi Hayashibara, Kōichi Yamadera, and Tôru Furuya.

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Jan 12

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — ‘GURREN LAGANN THE MOVIE’ x2, ‘Cowboy Bebop’ movie returns, New York Game Awards

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 articles, click here.

Start the new year right by heading down to your local concert venue, cinema, or arts center for some fantastic new year’s fare. Whether you enjoy movies, travel, or orchestral performances classic video games, treat yourself and catch a break from the cold.

This month’s highlights include:

Gainax/Aniplex of America

Jan. 16-17


Various theaters

Various prices

In the distant future, Simon, a shy boy, and Kamina, a man who dreams of another life up on the surface live a quiet and restless life deep underground in Giha Village. One day, their destinies are forever changed when a gigantic “Gunmen” along with a beautiful girl named Yoko come falling through their village ceiling! Kamina, Simon, and Yoko break through to the surface riding the mysterious “Lagann” but the surface is nothing like Kamina imagined. Now, Kamina and Simon along with their comrades must challenge the evil Spiral King with the Gurren Lagann to bring hope to this desperate world. Available in subtitled, dubbed, 4DX and MX4D screenings (check local listings).

Sunrise Studio

Jan. 21-23

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

Various theaters

Various prices

Anime Expo Cinema Nights presents Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. Caught up in a world of dreams, lost in the cruelty of reality. What should have been an easy bounty turns into biological war after a terrorist gets hold of a deadly virus. Drawn in by the pretty price on the mastermind’s head, Spike and the Bebop crew are ready to collect a much-needed reward. Unfortunately, the gang’s about to find themselves in more trouble than money when the terrorist threatens to unleash the virus on Halloween–effectively killing everyone on Mars. With little time and leads that seem more dreamy than helpful, they’ll have to use their own bag of tricks to stop a dangerous plot.

Courtesy of

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 8:00 p.m.

The 13th Annual New York Game Awards

SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street


The New York Game Awards is an annual award show produced by the nonprofit New York Videogame Critics Circle to recognize outstanding achievement in video games. The first awards were held in 2012 to honor the previous year’s contributions to the video game industry. New York Videogame Critics Circle’s goals are to promote education within the worlds of video game writing and journalism in the New York City area. The New York Game Awards returns to the SVA Theatre January 23, 2024 to celebrate one of the best years in gaming! NYVGCC will honor Neil Druckmann (co-president of Naughty Dog and creator of The Last of Us) with the Andrew Yoon Legend Award. VIP tickets also include exclusive after party event access.

Gainax/Aniplex of America

Jan. 23-24

GURREN LAGANN THE MOVIE -The Lights in the Sky are Stars-

Various theaters

Various prices

Seven Years have passed since the battle of Teepelin. Humans have successfully rebuilt civilization under Simon’s leadership and enjoyed an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity. However, humanity’s increasing population triggers the emergence of a powerful enemy. This fearsome Anti-Spiral proves too overwhelming for humanity to fight back. In these desperate times, the members of Team Dai-Gurren reunite to fight once again. In this high-stakes battle, can Simon and his team pierce the heavens with the Gurren Lagann to save mankind one last time? Available in subtitled, dubbed, 4DX and MX4D screenings (check local listings).

Courtesy of Japan Society

Jan. 24-26, 7:30 p.m.

Nihon Buyo in the 21st Century: From Kabuki Dance to Boléro

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

$55, $44 members/persons with disabilities

Witness a breathtaking union of Japan’s most talented nihon buyo dancers, featuring the esteemed Hanayagi Motoi and rising young star Azuma Tokuyo (also known as Nakamura Kazutaro in kabuki theater). Nihon buyo, literally meaning “Japanese dance,” encompasses an animated style that draws from traditional kabuki dance techniques. The program begins with Toba-e, a kabuki dance accompanied by live music, which depicts a comical manga story from the Edo period. The second half of the program is a piece set to Maurice Ravel’s famous score, Boléro. Expertly choreographed by Hanayagi Genkuro, this unexpected combination of East and West brilliantly retells a classical Japanese folk tale, with Kazutaro showcasing his exceptional talent in the onnagata (female) role of the heartbroken princess, Kiyohime. The Jan. 24 performance will be followed by private gathering for artists and members. The Jan. 25 performance will be followed by an artist Q&A. A pre-performance lecture, led by California State University, San Bernardino Dr. Kirk Kanesaka, begins at 6:30 pm. Performed in Japanese with English supertitles.

For more JQ articles, click here.

Nov 21

WIT Life #377: Things She Carries exhibition at Seizan Gallery

Interpreter/Translator/Writer Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as art, film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Recently I had the opportunity to interpret at an artist talk for photographer Aya Fujioka, whose collection Here Goes River is part of the current exhibition Things She Carries at Seizan Gallery. Hiroshima-born Fujioka began taking photos of her hometown after returning in 2013. Thanks to a scholarship from the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan, she had spent the previous five years in New York where she created the series Life Studies. Here Goes River depicts everyday life in modern Hiroshima, and one portion of the collection focuses on the apartment she moved back into from its initial empty state to getting filled up over time via being lived in.

Photographer Aya Fujioka (center) with David Wilentz and Stacy Smith

Although Fujioka doesn’t deal with the topic of the atomic bomb directly, its legacy can’t help but be reflected in her work. During the talk, one photo she highlighted was of a group of high school students practicing dance choreography in front of the iconic Atomic Bomb Dome. Fujioka shared that she received a lot of bashing on social media when this photo was unveiled. Hiroshima citizens decried her for tarnishing the memory of those who lost their lives there, but she explained that for her as an artist the work would be meaningless without the dome. Always striving to avoid didacticism, Fujioka saw its inclusion as an opportunity for people to reinterpret the image and its symbolism. She also noted that when this photo was part of an exhibition in Tokyo there was no pushback, so she’s wondering how it will be received by New York audiences. She hopes that her work in general will enable viewers to imagine the Hiroshima of today.

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Nov 2

WIT Life #376: MANGA in New York exhibition

Interpreter/Translator/Writer Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as art, film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Yesterday I had to chance to stop by the event MANGA in New York, presented by Ginza Sony Park Project. This free Chelsea exhibition features work from six groups of Japanese artists who use diverse forms of expression to create original manga. According to the enthusiastic staff member who greeted me at the door and kindly provided an explanation of the exhibition, this is one of several experimental activities being tested out for next year’s expected completion of the second phase of Ginza Sony Park (it opened in 2018). They’re looking to receive feedback from visitors and potentially incorporate it into their new project.

There are two floors of manga to enjoy, and enhancing the visitor experience is a free vending machine with specially designed MANGA-CANs exclusive to the event. When you put in the letter and number of your choice, you receive a can of tea with a label showing a scene from one of the manga in the exhibition. The label is actually a commemorative sticker, so you can peel it off to save when you’re done with the tea. I picked UEDA & SASAMI from illustrator Hikaru Ichijo, a manga depicting the story of an aspiring painter named Ueda and the hamster Sasami who lives in her stomach. Ueda derives her energy from Sasasmi running on her hamster wheel, and Sasami is in turn is powered by eating sunflower seeds. But what happens when Ueda discovers that she can be the source of her own strength?

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Aug 30

WIT Life #373: Discovering Isamu Noguchi in Philly

Interpreter/Translator/Writer Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as art, film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

I’ve been on the road for the majority of this month interpreting for the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. I’m traveling with a six-person group from Japan here in the U.S. to study technology transfer and commercialization of biotechnology. Our three-week journey is an East Coast tour that has taken us from Washington D.C. to Boston and Philadelphia, followed by our current final stop of Orlando (where we were almost derailed by Hurricane Idalia!).

During our time in Philly, I was delighted to discover a previously unknown Isamu Noguchi sculpture. Philly has a robust public art program, including a wide variety of murals all throughout the city. This Noguchi work called A Bolt of Lightening refers to Benjamin Franklin’s famous experiment flying a kite in an electrical storm. It rises above what seemed to be a construction site so at first I thought it was some sort of crane, but upon closer look it revealed itself to be a stainless steel structure supported by cables.

Isamu Noguchi with Bolt of Lightning (Penny Balkin Bach for the Association for Public Art)
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Aug 2

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — ‘Tokyo Pop,’ ‘Big Shark,’ Rina Sawayama

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

In the dog days of summer, it’s best to escape the heat in a place that’s cozy and cool. For those into both cutting-edge and classic anime, this month offers a diverse trio of theatrical premieres—all in the comfort of indoor air conditioning. 

This month’s highlights include: 

Courtesy of Kino Lorber Team

Aug. 4-24

Tokyo Pop

Peter Jay Sharp Building, BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Ave (Brooklyn)

$8 members, $16 general admission 

From Fran Rubel Kuzui (director of the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Kino Lorber is pleased to present a newly restored 4K transfer of this 35th anniversary gem of indie cinema—a bubbly and charming rock & roll love story filmed in 1980s bubble era Japan! Disillusioned with her life in New York, bleach-blonde rocker Wendy (Carrie Hamilton) hops on a plane to Tokyo with dreams of making it as a singer. While hostessing at a karaoke bar, she meets Hiro (Diamond Yukai), whose fledgling band is hungry for their big break. When Hiro enlists Wendy to be the band’s lead singer, the two form a romantic and musical connection that leads to unexpected if unsustainable fame. A director Q&A follows the 7:00 p.m. screenings on August 4 & 5. The August 5 Q&A is moderated by David Wilentz, programmer for the New York Asian Film Festival.


Aug. 5-9 

Princess Mononoke

Various locations


From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki comes an epic masterpiece that has dazzled audiences worldwide with its breathtaking imagination, exhilarating battles, and deep humanity. Inflicted with a deadly curse, the young warrior Ashitaka heads west in search of a cure. There, he stumbles into a bitter conflict between Lady Eboshi, the proud people of Iron Town, and the enigmatic Princess Mononoke, a young girl raised by wolves, who will stop at nothing to prevent the humans from destroying her home and the forest spirits and animal gods who live there. The English-language version features the voice talents of Gillian Anderson, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Billy Bob Thornton (August 6, 7 and 9 screenings).

Courtesy of Wiseau-Films

Aug. 10-13

Big Shark – with Tommy Wiseau in Person

Village East by Angelika, 181-189 2nd Avenue


The latest film from the creator of The Room! Three firefighters—Georgie, Patrick and Tim—must save New Orleans from a gigantic shark. Can the Big Easy survive something even bigger? These exclusive screenings allow you to catch Tommy Wiseau in person: Thursday 8/10 at the 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. shows; Friday 8/11 at the 8:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. shows; Saturday 8/12 at the 5:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. shows; and Sunday 8/13 at the 5:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. shows! Village East also presents five screenings of The Room with Wiseau from Aug. 11-13; all tickets for the films include meet & greet + Q&A prior to the screenings along with exclusive merchandise sales.

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Jun 30

JQ Magazine: Nippon Coast to Coast — Anime Expo, JAnime, ‘Demon Slayer’ Live

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 articles, click here. 

Before and after the outdoor fireworks, enjoy some summer events in the cool indoors, whether it’s taking in anime’s biggest event on the West Coast, or catching a Studio Ghibli classic.

This month’s highlights include:

Toei Animation/GKIDS
Courtesy of

July 1-4 

Anime Expo

Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles


The largest anime convention in North America, Anime Expo serves up exclusive anime screenings and renowned guests courtesy of international animation and manga publishers. Play the latest in Japanese gaming technology; chow down on Japanese delicacies and fusion cuisine; rock out to live musical guests and cosplay masquerades; and more! Centerpiece events this year include a conversation with YOSHIKI (July 2), a composer, classically-trained pianist, rock drummer, and the leader of the rock groups X JAPAN and THE LAST ROCKSTARS, and the North American premiere of THE FIRST SLAM DUNK (July 3), the first new feature-length film from the globally cherished franchise in over 28 years, as well as original manga creator Takehiko Inoue’s Japan Academy Prize-winning directorial debut.

Courtesy of JACCC
JACCC Campus

Sunday, July 2, 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. 


JACCC Campus, 244 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles 

Free, $40 for Food Wars Cafe and $12 for Tea Ceremony events

The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) invites you to JAnime, a celebration of Japanese and Japanese American culture through the lens of anime. This event immerses all in the history of Japanese and Japanese American anime culture through art, food, history and performances set against the backdrop of the Japanese season of tanabata. Among a variety of anime- and Japanese culture-related lectures and demonstrations, guests can enjoy the Food Wars-inspired higher-end menu highlighted by Japanese Wagyu delicacies, and traditional tea ceremony in which audiences will be able to experience and taste the way of tea in an authentic tea room, as well as live taiko and anime music performances with food matsuri and official Kirin beer garden! The party reaches fever pitch with a set from DJ Tsugu Itagaki, who will be spinning an all vinyl set of City Pop, J-Pop, and everything in between.


July 9, 11 

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Various locations 


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, written and directed by Academy Award-winner Hayao Miyazaki, is an epic masterpiece of sweeping scope and grandeur that remains one of the most breathtaking and exhilarating animated films of all time. A thousand years after the Seven Days of Fire destroyed civilization, warring human factions survive in a world devastated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects. The peaceful Valley of the Wind is nestled on the edge of the Toxic Forest and led by the courageous Princess Nausicaä, whose love of all living things leads her into terrible danger, as she fights to restore balance between humans and nature. The English-dubbed (July 9 screenings) features the voices of Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos and Shia LaBeouf.

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Jun 23

WIT Life #371: Made in Japan exhibition at Poster House

Interpreter/Translator/Writer Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03) presents WIT Life, a periodic series about aspects of Japanese culture such as art, film, food and language. Stacy starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she offers some interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

Yesterday I had the chance to check out the Made in Japan: 20th Century Poster Art exhibition that opened this March at Chelsea-based Poster House. This is the first museum in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to posters, and I was excited to visit in person as I’ve joined many of their online programs. The museum is modest in size, but it packs a punch in terms of content (the Japan exhibition is on the main floor, but the basement space currently features a powerful Black Panther Party exhibit).

Made in Japan begins with wartime propaganda, such as picture sugoroku (a board game similar to Chutes and Ladders) urging women to support the war effort. Later versions of the games encouraged consumers to shop at department stores, and the exhibition’s array of commercial posters even includes Playboy sugoroku games. They are dynamically colored and the goal is to reach scantily clad actress Kikko Matsuoka. Each number has instructions like: “Use body paint to draw a face on your back,” “Shake a can of beer 20 times then open it,” and “Starting tomorrow, cross dress and go to school or work like that.”

PB Grand Prix, 1968, Keiichi Tanaami (Photograph: Collection of Peter Kahane)
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Jun 4

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘KAGAMI,’ The Joy of Sake, Japan Drum + Dance

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 articles, click here.

After an unusually warm spring, it’s finally starting to feel like summer. Enjoy some seasonal events this month that celebrate the best of both fine and pop art.

This month’s highlights include: TEXT

Robert Flynt

June 1-11

Shockwave Delay

Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa, 66 East 4th Street


This “confidential protocol” is a composition created and designed by Yoshiko Chuma. This performance is based on twenty chapters that cross over within the frame of two and half hours. Musicians, dancers and designers interact, but not directly—a parallel to incidents of sound, text and action, a metaphor for endless continuous circles of life, fluctuating between utopia and war. While observing, the audience perceives the results of war—tipping utopia. A utopia is an imagined community of society that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens. One could also say that utopia is a perfect “place” that has been designed so there are no problems.

Courtesy of Tin Drum

June 7-July 2

KAGAMI by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum

Griffin Theater at The Shed, 545 West 30th Street


World premiere! In this new mixed reality collaboration with the late, legendary Academy Award-winning composer and artist Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum, spectators will witness a new kind of mixed reality concert via headsets that immerse the audience in an environment combining the maestro’s Yamaha grand concert piano performance with the physical world alongside virtual art created to accompany each song. Presented in surround sound, the experience allows the intimate 80-person audience, seated in the round, to connect like never before. “This is one of the first fully staged concerts in mixed reality, and it’s no surprise that the uniquely inventive Ryuichi Sakamoto was working on this new interdisciplinary show in recent years,” says The Shed’s Artistic Director Alex Poots. “It’s a great honor to present KAGAMI, one of Sakamoto’s final works, with our innovative partners [director] Todd Eckert and the Tin Drum team, and to share Sakamoto’s enduring legacy in this groundbreaking new artistic format.”


June 11, 12 and 14 

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Various locations 


Celebrate this beloved coming-of-age story from the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, and Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, about a resourceful young witch who uses her broom to create a delivery service, only to lose her gift of flight in a moment of self-doubt. It is a tradition for all young witches to leave their families on the night of a full moon and fly off into the wide world to learn their craft. When that night comes for Kiki, she embarks on her new journey with her sarcastic black cat, Jiji, landing the next morning in a seaside village, where her unique skills make her an instant sensation. Don’t miss this delightfully imaginative and timeless story of a young girl finding her way in the world. The June 11 screenings feature the English dubbed voices of Kirsten Dunst, Janeane Garofalo, Phil Hartman, and Debbie Reynolds.

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Aug 19

JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — August Anime Roundup

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 articles, click here.

In the dog days of summer, it’s best to escape the heat in a place that’s cozy and cool. For those into both cutting-edge and classic anime, this month offers a diverse trio of theatrical premieres—all in the comfort of indoor air conditioning.

This month’s highlights include:

©2021 “INU-OH” Film Partners

Opens Aug. 12


For Village East by Angelika screenings, click here

From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Ride Your Wave), hailed by IndieWire as “one of the most creatively unbridled minds in all of modern animation,” comes a revisionist rock opera about a 14th-century superstar whose dance moves take Japan by storm. Born to an esteemed family, Inu-oh is afflicted with an ancient curse that has left him on the margins of society. When he meets the blind musician Tomona, a young biwa priest haunted by his past, Inu-oh discovers a captivating ability to dance. The pair quickly become business partners and inseparable friends as crowds flock to their electric, larger-than-life concerts. But when those in power threaten to break up the band, Inu-oh and Tomona must dance and sing to uncover the truth behind their creative gifts. Featuring character creation by Taiyo Matsumoto (Tekkonkinkreet, “Ping Pong the Animation”) and awe-inspiring vocals by Avu-chan (Queen Bee) and Mirai Moriyama, Inu-oh is a glam-rock ode to the power of music and a forceful statement on artistic freedom from one of animation’s singular talents. All screenings are presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

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Jun 9

AIGA and Phaidon Present: Iro: The Essence of Color in Japanese Design

Join Lee-Sean Huang (co-founder of JETWit, board member of JETAANY, and former ALT in Oita) for a free livestream on Thursday, June 23 at 1 pm Eastern / 10 am Pacific with Rossella Menegazzo, professor and author of Iro: The Essence of Color in Japanese Design. The event is a collaboration between Phaidon, the book’s publisher and AIGA, the professional association for design, where Lee-Sean serves as the Director of Design Content and Learning.

RSVP to attend the livestream on Zoom. The session will also be recorded and posted online on Use coupon code AIGA20 for 20% off when you order a copy of Iro: The Essence of Color in Japanese Design from

Explore Japanese design through the lens of Japan’s traditional color spectrum – a fresh take on a fascinating topic.

The traditional colors of Japan have been in use since the seventh century, originally to indicate rank and social hierarchy but, over time, their significance has broadened to include all manner of designed objects. This landmark volume celebrates a curated selection of 200 colors (iro in Japanese), with each traditional shade illustrated by one or more items – ranging from 16th-century kimonos to contemporary chairs, humble kitchen utensils to precious ceramics – providing a unique route to a deeper appreciation of Japanese design. Expertly bound in a traditional Japanese style, this stunning book is a beautiful design object in its own right and is a must-have for all lovers of design.

Rossella Menegazzo is Associate Professor of the History of East Asian Art at the University of Milan, with a PhD in Oriental Studies from Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. She is the author of numerous texts on Japanese photography, graphic design, and traditional ukiyo-e art, including Phaidon’s bestselling Wa: The Essence of Japanese Design, and curator of several exhibitions. Menegazzo is a regular contributor to national newspapers in Italy, writing articles on Japanese culture and art. In 2017 she was appointed with the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation.

Nov 30

JQ Magazine: Fathom Events Bring ‘Totoro’, ‘Macross’ to the Big Screen

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 articles, click here.

A longtime partner of classic and current theatrical anime releases, Fathom Events is showcasing two enormously influential films in theaters nationwide this month that were first screened in the U.S. a generation ago.

© 1988 Studio Ghibli

Kicking things off as a capper to this year’s Studio Ghibli Fest 2021, My Neighbor Totoro returns to the big screen Dec. 5, 6 and 9. Directed by Academy Award-winning legend Hayao Miyazaki, the titular Totoro is a gigantic but gentle forest spirit who can only be seen by children. When the young Satuski and her sister Mei move to a new home in the countryside with their father, Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride in the extraordinary Cat Bus!

Originally released in U.S. theaters in 1993, this edition features exclusive bonus content. The 2005 English-language dub screenings on Dec. 5 and 9 feature the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning. With over $1 billion from licensed merchandise sales worldwide and a top spot on many “best animated film ever” lists, don’t miss your chance to catch this unforgettable tale of magic an adventure for the whole family!


From the past to the not-too-distant future comes Macross Plus Movie Edition, a theatrical sequel to the groundbreaking Macross (Robotech in the U.S.) 1980s TV staple. Originially released a four-part video series in the mid-’90s, Macross Plus features a Who’s Who of anime talent: Directed by series creator Shoji Kawamori and Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop), music by the legendary Yoko Kanno (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), and the vocal talent of Megumi Hayashibara (too many to mention), among others.

In this one-night-only (Dec. 14, subtitled) theatrical event, viewers will be transported to the year 2040 on the distant planet Eden, where former childhood friends Isamu Dyson and Guld Bowman face off in both love and war as mecha fighters and potential suitors for Myung Fang Lone, who has returned as the manager of Sharon Apple, an artificial intelligence pop star and the galaxy’s biggest singing sensation—which becomes self-aware and takes control of the Macross battle fortress itself!

For all upcoming Fathom Events anime screenings and tickets, visit

Nov 16

JQ Magazine: Anime NYC Returns with Special Screenings, Exclusive Guest Panels

© Anime NYC • All Rights Reserved.

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

Live gatherings are back, and over 50,000 fans are expected to attend Anime NYC later this month, a three-day showcase of the best of Japanese pop culture, exclusive screenings, talks with iconic creators and industry leaders, Japanese games, and incredible live concerts.

Highlights from this year’s programming include:


  • Funimation Presents Attack on Titan Final Season (4:30-5:30PM)
    Celebrate the end of Attack on Titan with two lead cast members on stage. Join Bryce Papenbrook (English voice of Eren Jaeger) and Jason Liebrecht (English voice of Zeke Jaeger) as they discuss their characters and their complex relationship, particularly during Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 and the upcoming Attack on Titan Final Season Part 2.
  • Shinji Aramaki Panel (5:00-5:45PM)

Shinji Aramaki is a film director and mechanical designer who will be conducting a rare live appearance. He has been directing anime films since the 1980s and is currently working on the CG anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus (co-directed with Kenji Kamiyama) which will appear on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll.


  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Special Event (12:00-1:30PM)
    Aniplex of America is proud to present all three lead voice actors on a stage for the first time this year! Join special guests Zach Aguilar (Tanjiro Kamado), Aleks Le (Zenitsu Agatsuma), and Bryce Papenbrook (Inouske Hashibira) and look back on the TV series and Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Movie: Mugen Train, plus the new Demon Slayer -Kimetsu no Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles game.
  • Lupin the 3rd: Prison of the Past (3:30-5:30PM)

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the gentleman thief Lupin’s first animated series with a trivia contest hosted by the dub cast along with awesome prizes and a world premiere screening.


  • Pompo The Cinephile (12:00-1:30PM)

East Coast premiere! A rollicking, exuberant ode to the power of the movies and the joys and heartbreak of the creative process, as a new director and his team devote their lives to the pursuit of a “masterpiece.”

  • BELLE (2:30- 5:00PM)

See a special advance screening of Mamoru Hosoda’s biggest film ever, BELLE, before it hits theaters early next year. When shy, everyday high school student Suzu enters “U,” a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as popular idol singer Belle. When a mysterious “beast” enters her world, she embarks on an emotional quest to discover its identity—and her true self in the process.

Anime NYC takes place at Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street, Nov. 19-21. Click here for a complete list of programming. For tickets and more information, visit

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