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Die japanische Theaterszene diskutiert zum Thema „Corona“

Updated: May 18, 2020

„How will Japanese society change in the face of the crisis – and after, asks Oriza Hirata“

Goethe-Institut Tokyo (13. April 2020)

Das Goethe-Institut Tokyo veranstaltete Anfang April eine ausführlichere Diskussionsrunde zum Thema der Restriktionen im Zusammenhang mit „Corona“ und zu den existentiellen Folgen für die Theater- und Kunstzene. Der bekannte Dramatiker und Theaterdirektor Hirata Oriza 平田オリザ (*1962) hält fest, dass man in Krisenzeiten darauf achten müsse, unter der Vorgabe des temporären Notstands nicht die Rechte des Einzelnen zu verletzten und ihm Freiheiten zu nehmen.

Zitat Hirata: „We must be very careful, not to allow for our personal rights and freedoms to be taken away when states of emergencies require temporary limitations“ (Hirata Oriza, 13. April 2020; Goethe afterthoughts).

Anlässlich der Diskussionsrunde zum Thema Kulturpolitik in Krisenzeiten, an der u.a. Hirata und Tsuda Daisuke beteiligt waren, fragt man sich, warum die Regierungen (in Japan und Deutschland/ Berlin; Einschränkungen ab 11. März) Veranstaltungen der Kunst- und Kulturszene absagen und den Kulturbetrieb sozusagen völlig einstellen, während andere Felder weniger oder gar nicht mit Auflagen belastet worden seien. Gerade Künstler und Kultureinrichtungen seien auf Gagen bzw. regelmäßige Einnahmen dringend angewiesen. Noda Hideki spricht an anderer Stelle vom „Tod des Theaters“. Ohne Kompensation vom Staat steht zu befürchten, dass Künstler und Kulturforen vom Untergang bedroht sind.

Hirata Oriza wurde als Direktor des Agora Theaters Komaba bekannt; er steht, wie er auch in seinem kurzen Kommentar vom 13. April anmerkt, in Kontakt mit Politik und Wirtschaft. “Cultural Policy in Times of Crisis” (mit engl. Simultanübersetzung) - Goethe-Institut Tokyo (Einschränkungen für die Kunstszene, 2. April 2020; 1. 15 min) = seit 29. Februar 2020; Theaterszene, Kunstveranstaltungen / Noda Hidekis Einwand und Reaktionen): „The Goethe-Institut Tokyo has developed the talk format #Studio202X (, moderated by journalist Daisuke Tsuda, to be broadcasted via Twitter and Facebook, which will point out actual perspectives on the corona crisis, going beyond the scope of concrete crisis management in daily life. In talk sessions with Japanese and international artists and experts from the fields of philosophy, sociology, psychology, law, and other disciplines, Tsuda and his guests approach different dimensions of significance of the current situation and ask about scenarios of social change that could be triggered by the present crisis. The four-part series starts on April 1 at 8 p.m. JST with a two-hour program and will subsequently be broadcasted on a weekly basis. Guests of the pilot broadcast are the lawyer Kensaku Fukui, playwright and theatre director Oriza Hirata and the city of Berlin’s Senator for Culture and Europe and Mayor Klaus Lederer (advance interview). They will discuss with Tsuda the scope of cultural policies in Germany and Japan against the background of the fundamental threat to the cultural landscape by the standstill of public life. Core themes of the subsequent programs are mass hysteria, nation statehood, and deceleration.“ = "In response to a request to refrain from performing due to measures against coronavirus infectious disease, I'd like to express my opinion as a theater performer wishing to continue theater performance. I believe that the scheduled performances should be carried out on the premise that we will take all possible measures in consultation with infectious disease experts and gain the understanding of the audience. Theater is an art that can only be realized with an audience. It's not something like a sporting event that can be carried out without spectators. Once the theater is closed, reopening can be difficult, and this can spell 'the death of theater.'“

"Of course, I don't object to the fact that infectious diseases should be eradicated. But we shouldn't set a bad precedent for theater closures. At present, I'm worried that theater actors who are working hard even in this difficult situation will get a reputation as 'selfish artists.' Please remember that there are many theater-related people who make a living from their performance income. The cancellation of a theater performance should be the last and most bitter decision to make, and only after doing everything possible. 'The show must go on, no matter how difficult it is.' It's an overused expression, but I think it's the essence of theater."

His statement was lauded both within and without the Japanese theater community.

Musician Keralino Sandrovich: "Hideki Noda released a statement and Oriza Hirata (in a now deleted tweet) expressed his solidarity with him. I express mine too."

Playwright Kenichi Tani: "Hideki Noda released a statement wishing for theater to continue. Of course, I express my solidarity with him. However, the difficulty of the situation is apparent in the fact that Mr Noda, artistic director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theater, chose to release his statement not on the theater's website but on NODA MAP. The Tokyo Met has canceled all shows. They probably had to, as a theater belonging to Tokyo municipality."

However, his position was also met with heavy criticism. 野田秀樹さん「劇場閉鎖は演劇の死」 公演自粛に意見書 (1. März 2020)


Nachtrag (17. April 2020)

Wer hat Angst vor der leeren Bühne?

Freie Theater in der Corona-Krise Von Uwe Bertram, Sven Grunert und Jochen Schölch (Kultur in Corona Zeiten)


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