Colleen Lanki

Colleen Lanki

Maki Nibayashi

Theater Artist

Time in Japan:

Five years

Where are you from?
Vancouver, Canada

What brought you to Japan?
An interest in traditional Japanese performing arts.

What do you do now?
I teach movement at an acting school, work as a voice actor/narrator, and produce and create for my own theater group, Kee Company. I occasionally perform with other theater companies, and study noh and nihon buyoh. I also like to go the theater a lot, go hiking (not often enough by far!), ride my bike around Tokyo, go dancing (also not often enough), and hang out in bookstores in Jimbocho.

What' Kee Company?
It is a theater company I started in order to work interculturally and collaboratively with Japanese theater artists. I have produced three shows and am working on a fourth for next May. The first two shows were collectively created, and the third was a collaboration between myself and a Japanese video artist.

Why were you drawn to traditional Japanese arts?
The elegance and aesthetics-particularly the use of symbolism. Time and space are flexible, as art objects.

What do you think is the main difference between Japanese and Western theater art?
Japanese performing arts work from the outside in, as opposed to the inside out. The use of time and space is very different as well.

What is one of your upcoming events?
We're doing The Soldier's Tale (music by Igor Stravinsky) with the Theatre Company/Music Performance Troupe Oto no Atelier on October 19, 2000 at 3pm and 7pm. It will be held at Kokubunji Izumi Hall (one minute from JR Nishi-Kokubunji Station) and you can call 042-365-8584 for tickets. It's a classical music/performance piece involving narration and movement, and it tells the story of a soldier's search for home and his dealings with the devil.

What's the weirdest thing you've seen or experienced in Japan?
I was served a small live fish swimming in brown liquor at a restaurant in Tokyo. Now, I am pretty brave about what I eat, but I want my food to be dead first.

What's the one Japanese thing you'd like to take back to your own country?
The sense of commitment to a chosen study, especially in the traditional arts and definitely, o-shibori.

What's your recipe for a happy and successful life in Japan?
Maintaining a balance between work for money and doing what you love, whatever that may be such as a study, or a project that may not make much money. I also think you need to have a real interest in Japan, whether that be kendo or manga... and to balance that with things from your own culture that make you happy. I really think that people who take no interest in Japan and are just here for work or money can't possibly be happy here.

To contact Colleen or Kee Company, email

Colleen Lanki spoke to Maki Nibayashi

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? If so, email us at

360: Gustavo Marchesi
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355: Alec McAulay
352/3: Mary Frenzel
Professional singer / songwriter, bandleader & voice instructor
350: Kate Smurthwaite
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349: Tim Spangler
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348: Robin Rozzell
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347: Marco Invernizzi
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346: Charles E McJilton
345: Chris Chavez
344: Donna Burke
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343: Dennis Sun
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342: Martin Hope Berry
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341: Donald James Berry
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340: Amy Jorrisch
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339: Anthony Al-Jamie Ph.D.
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338: Joel Silverstein
President of Outback Steakhouse Japan
337: Neal Dauber
Termite and Pest Control Operator
336: Marcus Spurrell
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335: Stefan Fanselow
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334: Colleen Lanki
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333: Ben Leibson
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332: Bernard Yu
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330: Alistair McLachlan
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329: Ronald Lee Davis
Missionary / Teacher
328: Ed Durbrow
327: Isabelle Maranda
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326: Brian Marcus
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325: David Baran
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324: Murali Kupusami
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323: Angela Jones
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322: Tim Tsang
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321: Chris Monnier
320: David Snyder
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319: Juliet Hindell
BBC's Tokyo Correspondent
318: Sid Lloyd
Football team captain
317: Niels Frederik Walther
Chef for the Danish Ambassador
316: Jonathan Katz
Jazz musician and composer
315: Yoichi Hayase
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314: Ira Bolden
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313: Benjamin Gurnsey
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312: Dr Jonna D. Douglass, PhD
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311: Roy Kilner
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310: Neil Day
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309: Stuart Ablett
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308: Maggie Tai Tucker
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307: Carmine Cozzoline
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306: Alison Noonan
305: Kevin Meyerson
Rainbow Japan Inc. President
304: Randy McGraw
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303: Roy Ron
302: Antonio Plozay-Liberatore
Economist/TV Talent
300: Miguel Angel

Issues 250-299

Issues 150-199