|LIFE IN JAPAN
Time in Japan:
Where are you from?
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
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
To contact Colleen or Kee Company, email email@example.com
Colleen Lanki spoke to Maki Nibayashi
Do you know an
interesting person in Tokyo? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org