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Major Theater Awards for Japan’s 2006 Season Decided
 The major awards for theater works premiering in Japan during the 2006 season have been announced. These major theater and dance awards include those of the country’s three major newspapers, The Asahi Performing Arts Award, the Yomiuri Theater Grand Prix and the Mainichi Art Award plus the Kinokuniya Theatre Award of the Kinokuniya publishing company, which operates two theaters in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, and the Kikuta Kazuo Drama Award that recognizes outstanding theater productions in the mass-entertainment sector.
In the recently announced 6th Asahi Performing Arts Award, the Grand Prix went to the butoh dance company Sankai Juku for its new work “Toki no Naka no Toki – TOKI” (produced by Sankai Juku, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris and Kita-Kyushu Arts Theater, directed, choreographed and designed by Ushio Amagatsu). Sankai Juku is a butoh dance company established in 1975 by its present leader, Ushio Amagatsu. Basing their activities at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Sankai Juku introduces new works at a pace of about one new work every two years. The group is winner of the 2002 Olivier Award.
In addition to the Asahi Performing Arts Award Grand Prix, Sankai Juku also receives the “Kirin Dance Support” grant funded by the Kirin Beer Co., Ltd. for the support of return performances of important works of contemporary dance.
As of January 2007, the following major awards have been announced. (The Yomiuri Theater Grand Prix will be announced in February and the Kikuta Kazuo Drama Award sometime in April.)
+Asahi Performing Arts Award
Grand Prix: Sankai Juku
Performing Arts Award: Rei Asami for her acting in Kuro Tokage
Yasunori Danda for acting in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and other plays
Shinobu Terajima for acting in Kaku Onna
Tokyo Ballet Company for performances of Donau no Musume, etc.
Kichiemon Nakamura for acting in Genroku Chushingura Part 1, etc.
Terayama Shuji Award: Kamejiro Ichikawa acting in Ketto Takadanobaba, etc.
Matsuyo Akimoto Award: Takuzo Kakuno for acting in Yume no Kasabuta, etc.
Special Award: Kinji Obata for long years of achievement in theater up the recent Kigeki no Tono-san.
Kirin Dance Support: Sankai Juku
+48th Mainichi Art Award
Grand Prix: Kichiemon Nakamura (Kabuki) for his acting in the role of Oishi Kuranoshuke in Genroku Chushingura
Special Prize: Iwao Kimura (artistic director) for his long years of achievement in cinema
Senda Koreya Prize: Hidenori Inoue (director) for Metal Macbeth
+41st Kinokuniya Theatre Award
Group Award: SIS Company for outstanding achievement in theater with plays including Chichi Kaeru, Okujo no Kyojin, Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Baku no Yurikago.
Individual Award: Mizuho Suzuki, Taka Takao, Satoshi Suzuki, Kaho Shimada, Rie Miyazawa