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Talkback on AKUTAGAWA

  • Tuesday, February 07, 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Cohon University Center, Connan Room

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After the AKUTAGAWA performances on Sunday, puppeteers Koryu Nishikawa V (Tokyo) and Tom Lee (Chicago) will join academics Chris Lowy, Yiwen Wu and Elizabeth Oyler to discuss the process of adaptation to a puppetry form and the intricacies of international creative collaboration. Their talk will address the history and influence of kuruma ningyo in Japan, how traditional performing arts are adapting to the modern era, and the enduring legacy of Akutagawa Ryunosuke and the impact of his works have had on both Japanese and global culture.

Attend in person or on Zoom.

Chris Lowy is an assistant professor of Japanese Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his PhD in modern Japanese literature from the University of Washington in 2021. He teaches courses on contemporary Japanese literature, queer literature, contemporary thought, and literary representations of illness and disease. His research focuses on two main topics: the role of written language in Japanese literature and depictions of HIV/AIDS in Japanese literature from the 1980s and 1990s.

Yiwen Wu is a doctoral student at the University of Chicago Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Yiwen's research focuses on Chinese opera and the history of performance. She is particularly drawn to the transitional period from the imperial nineteenth century through the iconoclastic twentieth century because of its revolutionary nature and proliferation of theatrical entertainment.

Elizabeth Oyler is Associate Professor of pre-modern Japanese Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research is motivated by a fascination with the way historical and cultural memory are represented in literature and performing arts from Japan’s medieval period, particularly the fifteenth century. She is currently working on a book-length study of Noh drama, specifically how the staging of a set of plays by early playwrights simultaneously codify and undermine spaces of the poetic and social landscapes of the early fifteenth-century.


This engagement of Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo Puppet Company and Tom Lee is made possible in part through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and Japan Iron and Steel Federation and Mitsubishi Endowments at the University of Pittsburgh.

Kappa 河童 Sponsors

John F. and Nancy L. Oyler Charitable Trust

AKUTAGAWA is supported by Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture) and The Osaka Community Foundation / anonymous fund No.22.



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