The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Japan Performing Arts Solidarity Network
Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
Mar. 25, 2021
Japan Performing Arts Solidarity 
After the Japanese government asked the people to quarantine themselves to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections from February 26, 2020, countless performances were cancelled or post-poned one after another. To grasp the scale of damage this caused to the performing arts world, a sur-vey was conducted. As a result, this network was formed as an emergency measure in May of 2020. Serving as sponsors were the Atsuo Ikeda, a managing director of Toho Co., Ltd., the President and Representative Director of Shiki Theatrical Company, Chiyoki Yoshida, playwright and director Hideki Noda and other representative Japanese promotional companies, producers, entrepreneurs, per-formers and members of the legal profession. The participating organizations included public and pri-vate theaters, a theater companies, production companies, ticket sales companies, stage technology companies and the like, constituting a total of approximately 200 organizations involved in the per-forming arts that had never been assembled in such a lateral network before (including some other af-filiated organizations).

A questionnaire survey regarding the losses incurred by the performing arts industry as whole due to cancelled and postponed performances and events was also conducted in the autumn of 2020, the results of which were released along with a broad-reaching request for support and understanding for members of the performing arts community. At the same time, information was provided to people involved in the performing arts concerning support from the public sector, as well as advice on ways to apply for support and other forms of consultation.

Guidelines for the prevention of the spread of the coronavirus were formulated and released at an early stage based on the current state of performance venues and studios for those wishing to resume performances and rehearsals. When the government announced a state of emergency for Tokyo and its 3 neighboring prefectures (later expanded to include Tokyo and 10 prefectures) in January of 2021, a call was once again sent out throughout the performing arts industry to ensure protective measures to reduce the risk of infections and the implementation of thorough measures to provide an environment where audiences could attend performances with a sense of safety and assurance.

Furthermore, in collaboration with Warehouse TERRADA, the Agency for Cultural Affairs enacted a Program to Strengthen the Profitability of Arts and Culture, and with the cooperation of related or-ganizations, an Emergency Performing Arts Archive + Digital theatre (EPAD) was initiated. This also led to the launch of such resources as the Japan Digital Theatre Archives consisting of stage perfor-mance film records compiled and preserved by the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University and the Playtext Digital Archives of play scripts compiled by the Japan Playwrights Asso-ciation.