About Lab for MIRAI


Our Vision

Our vision is “to go forward into MIRAI (a bright future) in which people engaged in manufacturing stage properties of Japanese traditional performing arts can pass their craftsmanship onto next generations with a sense of security”

People who are engaged in manufacturing stage properties of Japanese traditional performing arts (e.g., costumes, stage properties and instruments) have faced various challenges, such as procurement of raw materials and training of successors. We believe that these challenges are partly rooted in the vulnerability of economics and insufficient information sharing.

The MIRAI Lab will take actions to help those who are engaged in stage properties overcome these challenges as well as continue working with pride and hope.

Our Activities

1) Provision of Information about Support Systems
For the work of manufacturing stage properties of Japanese traditional performing arts to be a stable livelihood, we collect, review and provide information on support systems of national and local governments as well as private organizations available to manufacturers of stage properties.

2) Creation of Opportunities to Promote Human Interactions
We create opportunities to promote interactions among manufacturers of stage properties of Japanese traditional performing arts so that they will be able to exchange information on their challenges to help each other overcome such challenges. We believe that promoting “interactions among people with different roles and positions (e.g., interactions with artisans and performers” or “interactions with different genres (e.g., Noh and Japanese traditional music) can solve many of their challenges.

Prospectus of Foundation

What Does “Think of MIRAI of Stage Properties for Japanese Traditional Performing Arts” Mean?

The starting line of the MIRAI Lab for Stage Properties for Japanese Traditional Performing Arts marks our desire that we like to think of MIRAI, or a bright future, of Japanese traditional performing arts from perspectives of stage properties.

Japanese Traditional Performing Arts, Stage Properties and Manufacturers

Musical instruments, stage properties, theatrical costumes and wigs are essential to Japanese traditional performing arts. The further we deepen our understanding of both Japanese traditional performing arts and stage properties, the stronger we came to realize that both of them are inseparable from each other. The craftsmanship of manufacturers is the very thing that connects traditional performing arts and stage properties.
The greatness of techniques and the current situation of prop-making, especially the latter, have been paid less attention than it should have been.

Finding Seeds of MIRAI

Then, from where do we start? We believe that it is important to understand the current situation of prop-making which Japanese traditional performing arts face, to collect all small seeds for the future of Japanese traditional performing arts, and to send our messages regarding these issues to the public. We particularly pay strong attentions to the prop-making environment, which includes economic one, and new types of human interaction to cultivate MIRAI of prop-making.

We will find such seeds of MIRAI to offer appropriate information and to create opportunities to build new network.

Supporting Efforts to Develop MIRAI

Just like expressions of traditional performing arts glow with their unique charms, prop-making also shines with their own well-honed worlds based upon continuing ascetic training and refinements. Deepened techniques of stage properties manufacturing and flowering expressions of traditional performing arts are examples of such worlds. Focusing on manufacturing stage properties, which has been paid less attention, we particularly will support efforts to develop MIRAI of Japanese traditional performing arts” through thinking and acting from the manufacturers of stage properties’ perspectives.

Megumi Maehara and Tamiko Tamura, Co-Founders
MIRAI Lab for Stage Properties for Japanese Traditional Performing Arts

About Us

Name of the Organization
MIRAI Lab for Stage Properties for Japanese Traditional Performing Arts

Year of Foundation

Tamiko TAMURA, Journalist, President of Dentogeino no Dogu Labo (the Project of Maintenance of the Quality of Stage Tools for the Traditional Japanese Performing Arts)
“As I have interviewed people who are in the backstage and also people who manufacture stage tools, I came to realize that my interviewees have faced various difficulties. So I started “Dogu Labo” to restore stage tools that can no longer be produced. I, however, also notice that “financial” problems underlie such difficulties. I like to make efforts to solve these difficulties in collaboration with experts in a wide variety of areas.”

Megumi MAEHARA, Head, Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties
“By connecting performers, producers, manufacturers of ‘stage properties of Japanese traditional performing arts’ and producers of raw materials, I like to find clues to solve difficulties with Japanese traditional performing arts. The inheritance of traditional performing arts itself is very much like a microcosm of Social Development Goals (SDGs). As a researcher, I like to continue pursuing researches on an inheritance of performing arts through collaborations by various people who are engaged in traditional performing arts.”

Keiko IKEMOTO, President, office KAYU: Support Offices of Small Organizations
“In my childhood, my grandmother used to teach me the joy of watching Kabuki. Since then, I have been attracted to the charm of Kabuki and the charm, which I am still under, has made me engaged in this project. We are now in the time where stage properties, which animate traditional performing arts, are on the verge of extinction. I will make efforts to build human ‘connections’ to overcome economic difficulties as well as challenges caused by changes in society or environment.”

Takeshi HAYASAKA, Representative, Satellite Office LLC., Certified Tax Accountant
“In this world, there are any things money cannot measure. Stage properties of traditional performing arts, the natural environment and historical elements are some examples among such things. Economic stability of people who are engaged in the work related to stage properties are essential to the inheritance, maintenance and preservation of techniques and knowledge. I like to create a system in which money flows into the efforts to bequeath such valuable assets to future generations. That is why I started getting involved in this project.”

(Co-Representatives and partners are respectively listed in the Japanese alphabetical order.)

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