NAHA, JAPAN / 2021

Archive Book: Jejak-旅 Tabi Exchange 2018-2021



Jejak-旅 Tabi Exchange focuses on artists traveling together throughout Asia to intimately grasp each region’s cultural, linguistic, social, and political context in the performing arts.

As opposed to the fast pace of journeys by air, we take slow trips that recall traveling by ship or train, allowing us to take in the changing localities: the scenery, the scent of wind, the food culture. Through this, we aim to mutually deepen our understanding of Asian creation environments and the contexts behind the art.


Since 2015, art festivals and fairs rapidly developed in Asia’s major megacities (including Seoul, Bangkok, Taipei, and Yokohama), leading to the rise of shared global themes. Launched in 2017, this project brings artists into closer contact with each locality, taking as our urgent task to promote mutual understanding of the performing arts ecosystems rooted in regional characteristics, and to acknowledge and articulate these unique frameworks.


Since 2018, the program has traveled to Yogyakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Roxas City. The global pandemic led us to postpone our program until 2021; however, due to extended travel restrictions, we have decided to continue Jejak-旅 Tabi Exchange online for this year. Despite the constraints, we have designed a program that emphasizes local-to-local conversations. 


Naha artists will dialogue with speakers from Visayan Islands, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and Yogyakarta about their creative process, social context, and region-specific creation methods and environment. Connecting Naha’s locality to other regions of Asia and going beyond the work’s scope, what will we learn about Naha-bred artistic creativity? This program will link Naha with various cities and later be archived and made widely available online. We look forward to seeing you all via the livestream. 




Taking the theme of Contact/Zone, the 2021 edition of Jejak Tabi i旅 Exchange: Wandering Contemporary Asian Performance focuses on introducing artists from Okinawa region by connecting them to the arts communities in the three cities in Southeast Asia where the platform had taken place before. These three cities are Yogyakarta (Indonesia) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) – where the first edition was held in 2018 – and Manila (the Philippines) to replace Roxas City where the half of 2020 edition was organized, just before the global pandemic. 


The 2021 Naha edition (originally planned in August-September 2020) takes up the theme of Contact/Zone, inspired by  a term (“contact zone”) coined by James Clifford – an anthropology historian and critic – in his book, Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, published in 1997. Contact/Zone  refers to a place located between fixed points, one that is constantly mobile; a place that lies along the policed and transgressive intercultural frontiers of nations, peoples, locales. This description aptly resonates with the time we are all experiencing today in the world where borders are closing, and mobility of bodies is restricted. Cities  are becoming ‘zones’, and making contact with others calls for creativity and imagination. 


Contact/Zone is that place created and imagined where such boundaries are negotiated. It’s a space for us to root in shared resilience, to connect and remain connected and engaged in spite of the uncertainties we are all facing.




Lecture & Workshop

Getting to Know Okinawa through Dancing – Ryukyu traditional dance & Kumiodori

13 (Tue) July, 12:00-13:30 (MST)/13:00-14:30  (JST)  Lecture 
16 (Fri)  July, 17:00-18:30 (MST)/18:00-19:30  (JST)  Workshop

Until about 150 years ago, Okinawa was known as Ryukyu and cultivated a unique culture that differed from mainland Japan. Connecting online with performing arts professionals in Kuala Lumpur, we will hold practical workshops to experience Okinawan performing arts and culture (Kumiodori, Ryukyuan dance) passed down from the times of the Ryukyu Kingdom to present, as well as lectures on their historical backgrounds.

Speaker & Facilitator: Osamu Aka, Michihiko Kakazu, Takumi Tamaki, Itsuo Nakamura
Venue: Online
Language: Malay/Japanese


Event Report- Lecture & Workshop written by Adriana Nordin Manan




First Encounter: Connecting Japanese Theater Network and Yogyakarta Theatre Community

14 (Wed) July,  16:00-18:00 (WIT) / 18:00-20:00 (JST)  

The Smaller Theater Initiative began its activities in December 2017 with its first meeting, held at Naha’s Atelier Mekaru Base. Roughly 40 small theaters from Hokkaido to Okinawa work together to provide mutual aid and enrich creation environments within the performing arts. This session will imagine a locally driven network that cooperates across Asia, gathering visions from Naha, Yogyakarta, and Yokohama and exploring future actions to bring them to life.

Speaker:Ibed Surgana Yuga, Agnes Christina, Shoichi Touyama, Makoto Sato
Moderator:Masashi Nomura, Muhammad Abe 
Venue:  Zoom Webinar/Komunitas Sakatoya
Language: Indonesian/Japanese


Registration for zoom webinar


               Event Report- Symposium              written by Muhhamad Abe


Curator’s Talk and Discussion

Resonance across islands in Asia: Okinawan Action and Art

Mao Ishikawa and Chikako Yamashiro are two Okinawan artists showing survey solo exhibitions in 2021. In conversation with Filippino art professionals, we will focus on Ishikawa and Yamashiro’s respective bodies of work that use photography and video to illuminate the here and now of Okinawa. We will attempt to reveal the heart of local art practices that resonate across islands (Luzon, Visayas and Okinawa) and are only graspable by treating Okinawa apart from Japan.

 1. Chikako Yamashiro: Boundless Imagination

17 (Sat) July, 10:00-12:00  (PHT) /11:00-13:00 (JST)

Chikako Yamashiro’s videos evoke a wealth of images through narratives and physical movements, confronting current struggles that residents of Okinawa face along with the area’s history, memory, and legacy. Taking cues from her work, we will consider the potential of imagination that reverberates beyond regions. 

Speaker: Keiko Okamura
Moderator: Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez 
Discussant: Vim Nadera
Venue: Zoom Webinar/ Ang Panublion Museum, Green Papaya Art Projects
Language: English/Japanese

  2. Mao Ishikawa: Human Empathy and Its Questions

17 (Sat) July, 13:00-15:00  (PHT)/14:00-16:00  (JST)

In her photography, Mao Ishikawa highlights the lives of Okinawa’s residents, portraying everyday residents from the U.S. and across Asia with care. Focusing on the sense of humanity apparent in her work, we will highlight artistic expressions and issues that arise from the shared experiences of people from Okinawa, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia.

Speaker: Fumiaki Kamegai
Moderator: Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez 
Discussant: Vim Nadera
Venue: Zoom Webinar/ Ang Panublion Museum, Green Papaya Art Projects
Language: English/Japanese


Registration for zoom webinar

Event report- Curator’s talk and Discussion written by Dominic Zinampan 

[Yamashiro Chikako: Reframing] A virtual tour of the exhibition by Kawaguchi Takao







Helly Minarti is Jakarta-born and works as an independent, itinerant dance scholar/curator, rethinking radical strategies to connect theory and practice. She is interested in historiographies of choreography as discursive practice vis-a-vis the eclectic knowledges that infuse the understanding of human body/nature. She worked as Head of Arts for the British Council Indonesia (2001-03), which set her off to curating. She has been involved in various arts exchange projects, forums/conferences, and conducted research fellowships in Asia, Europe and the US. She is a recipient of the British Chevening Award, Asia Fellows Scholarship, Asian Cultural Council and most recently the US-ASEAN Fulbright Visiting Scholar Fellowship. Helly earned a Ph.D in dance studies from University of Roehampton (UK) and has just relocated to Yogyakarta where she is preparing to launch LINGKARAN | koreografi, a collaborative research platform focusing to expand the critical notions of choreography.



Born in Tokyo in 1979, Akane Nakamura became involved in performing arts while she was an undergraduate in the College of Art at Nihon University. She handles tasks in a wide variety of areas, such as production of the activities of contemporary theater and dance artists and companies inside and outside Japan, holding of site-specific festivals, and execution of programs for interdisciplinary human resource development. She founded precog Co., Ltd. in 2006, during her stint as program director at the NPO ST Spot Yokohama (2004 – 2008), and has been its Representative Director since 2008. precog has produced the works of artists in Japan and other countries, including Toshiki Okada’s chelfitsch and Mikuni Yanaihara’s Nibroll, and handled international tours and co-productions in 70 cities in 30 different countries. In 2009, she established the NPO Drifters International. She proposed and is one of the directors of the Open Network for Performing Arts Management (ON-PAM). Since 2011, she has served as a part-time instructor in the Nihon University College of Art. She has built up an impressive record of collaboration with other parties, such as The Japan Foundation Asia Center, British Council, Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT), Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the municipal governments of Kunisaki and Bungo-Takada in Oita Prefecture.
Since 2019, Ms. Nakamura has been broadening the activities of precog, as evidenced by its service as the secretariat of the True Colors Festival. This event is organized by The Nippon Foundation and aimed at transcending disabilities and differences in aspects including gender, generation, language, and nationality.



Masashi Nomura is a theater producer and dramaturge born in Nagano Prefecture in 1978. Since 2007, he has been enrolled in the production division of theater company SEINENDAN and Komaba Agora Theater. Alongside, he has worked as dramaturge for young directors. As the program officer of Okinawa Arts Council, he was involved in the establishment of a small theater/atelier Mekaru Base in Naha City. After that he started to organize the annual meeting of the Free Scene Network Japan with private theater managers. He is currently Nagano prefecture’s cultural coordinator and a board member of the Open Network for Performing Arts 10 / Management (ON-PAM). His latest works as dramaturge are The Bacchae−Holstein Milk Cows (Aichi Triennale 2019) by Satoko Ichihara, I Go Through You – Performance (Kyoto Experiment 2018) by Chikako Yamashiro, and The Story of Descending the Long Slopes of Valparaíso (Kyoto Experiment 2017).

Miki Nozaki

Miki Nozai was born in Tokyo and studied museum education. She served as the curator of Arts Maebashi from 2011 to 2014, where she developed educational resources and volunteer training programs; worked with artists and local citizens to create public commissions; and more. Following a subsequent stint in educational resources at Taro Okamoto Museum of Art, Kawasaki, she has been working freelance since 2016. Nozaki is involved in community-based theater, fine art, and cross-disciplinary art production. Some of her primary activities have included working alongside people with disabilities to develop performing arts productions and training programs for the non-profit SLOW LABEL, as well as supervising production at the Yokohama Paratriennale 2020. She participated in Japan Foundation Asia Center’s “Next Generation: Producing Performing Arts” 2018-2019 and worked as project coordinator for “All the Sex I’ve Ever Had” by Darren O’Donnell of Mammalian Diving Reflex for True Colors Dialogue 2019-2021. She is a co-founder of artist-run space Maebashi Works, located in the shopping district of Maebashi.


AKADEMI SENI KEBANGSAAN (ASK) was established in 1994 under the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism Malaysia. Now known as AKADEMI SENI BUDAYA DAN WARISAN KEBANGSAAN (ASWARA) established on August 1, 2006 through ACT Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, 2006 (Act 653). ASWARA is the only institution of higher learning in the field of performancing arts that is supported entirely by the Government of Malaysia under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Malaysia. It is an institution of higher learning to provide a space for learning, research and academic publications and professional advisory services in the field of arts, culture and heritage aimed at producing skilled artists and practitioners who are competent in their fields besides strengthening the sustainability of the national arts heritage. In principle, ASWARA focuses on arts education for performers knowledgeable and professional for the local industry.

Green Papaya Art Projects

Founded in 2000, Green Papaya Art Projects is the longest-running multidisciplinary and independent initiative in Manila. It supports and organizes actions and propositions that explore tactical approaches to the production, dissemination, and presentation of contemporary practices in varied artistic and scholarly fields. It endeavors to provide a platform for intellectual exchange, sharing of information, critical dialogue, and creative/practical collaboration among the artistic community. Green Papaya was preparing for its closure in 2021 when alarming deaths from Covid-19 forced Manila to go under extreme lockdown starting in March 2020. This was then followed by a devastating fire that razed Green Papaya’s space and damaged its archive in June. Despite the uncertainties brought by the pandemic, Green Papaya has remained active working on its archive and various publications, participating in online conferences and dialogues, and initiating projects on social media. The plan for its eventual closure has also been put on hold indefinitely.


Osamu Aka (Naha)

Osamu Aka received a master’s degree in Theater Arts (Kumiodori) from the Graduate School of Music at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. He serves as master at the Tamagusuku Ryu Suisen Kai and studied under Seiichi Kinjo. He is a recipient of the Okinawa Times Art Awards Encouragement Award.

Michihiko Kakazu (Naha)

Michihiko Kakazu serves as master at the Miyagi Ryu Nori No Kai, having studied under the first Nozo Miyagi, Nori Miyagi. He received a master’s degree in Theater Arts (Kumiodori) from the Graduate School of Music at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. He has received the 39th. Matsuo Performing Arts Awards Rookie Award and the Okinawa Times Art Awards Grand Prize.

Takumi Tamaki (Naha)

Takumi Tamaki graduated from the Department of Music, Faculty of Music at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts and trained in Kumiodori at the National Theatre Okinawa. He serves as master at the Miyagi Ryu Toyobu Kai, having studied under Miyagi Toyoko, Michiko Shimabukuro.

Itsuo Nakamura (Naha)

Itsuo Nakamura received a master’s degree in Theater Arts (Ryukyuan Classical Music) from the Graduate School of Music at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts. He serves as master at the Nomura School of Ryukyu Classical Music Preservation Association and studied under Yasuharu Higa. He has received the Okinawa Times Art Awards Encouragement Award and trained in Kumiodori at the National Theatre Okinawa.

Agnes Christina

Agnes Christina is a multidisciplinary artist who is interested in the struggle that people faces in life and most importantly how they negotiate with the struggle. Focusing on the rhythm that is created by humans in everyday life, Agnes presents her findings mostly through performances that collaborates with other media such as film/video and painting.
In the recent years, few of her theatre plays and comic book have been published by local and international publishers.
Since 2017, Agnes has been working on her project “Leafthief”, exploring the veins and shapes of leaves through monoprint on fabrics. This project evolves into an online custom-made clothing boutique which caters the different shapes of human bodies and the vast taste of human sense of style.

Ibed Surgana Yuga

Ibed S. Yuga started his theater work at the Bali Experimental Theater (2002). In 2005, Ibed founded Seni Teku in Yogyakarta and served as director and playwright for the theater community until 2011. Together with Seni Teku, he was awarded the Umar Kayam Award at the Jogja Theater Festival (2008). In 2012, in Yogyakarta, Ibed founded the Kalanari Theater Movement, an institution for cultural movement through theatre, and has been a director and playwright there until now. As playwright, Ibed has received an award for a play writing competition from the Indonesian Theater Federation (2008 & 2011) and the Ministry of Education and Culture (2017). His published collections of theater plays are KINTIR (Yogyakarta, 2011) and JANGER MERAH (Yogyakarta, 2021), in addition to being published in several collective play books in Bahasa Indonesia and English. Ibed also an empowerment theater activist and has worked with marginalized communities in several regions in Indonesia. Ibed has presented his works, gave workshops and collaborated in several countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Ireland, England, and China. Together with Kalanari Ibed founded a theater book publishing institution called Kalabuku, which aims to promote literacy in the theater world. In Kalabuku, Ibed initiated LeLakon, an Indonesian play curation platform, and LaboLakon, a joint laboratory for play writing for young writers. Now Ibed is also initiating a site and cultural movement institution called Umah Solah in western Bali.

Makoto Sato (Yokohama)

Playwright and director. Born in Tokyo, 1943.
Founded the Underground Theatre Jiyu-gekijo(Freedom Theatre) in 1966, and participated in Theatre Centre 68 (now Black Tent Theatre) in 1968. In addition to directing a wide range of performances, he continues to discuss and explore the boundaries between theatre and society. He has been involved in the opening and running of public theatres for many years, serving as the first theatre director of Setagaya Public Theatre (1997-2002) and as the first artistic director of ZA-KOENJI Public Theatre in Suginami as of 2009. Engaged in the development of the next generation, in recent years he has been working with independent Chinese theatres with the aim of forming an alternative network of Asian theatres. In June 2017, he established WAKABACHO WHARF, an art centre in Yokohama, which is attracting attention both as a creative base and as a space for cultural exchange between young Asian (including Japanese) theatre makers.

Shoichi Toyama (Naha)

The actor Toyama Shoichi was born in Tokyo in 1966 and raised in Okinawa. After making his debut in a drama made for television in 1986, he began appearing on the stage in 1988, and subsequently appeared in many plays that toured Japan. He moved the base of his activities to Okinawa in 2004, and was involved in the organization of Otonadan in 2011, Okinawa Art Culture Theater in 2015, and Atelier Mekaru Base in 2017. Within Gekishoku Otonadan, he handles the directing chores and publicizes works that could only be made in Okinawa both inside and outside the prefecture. At both Okinawa Art Culture Theater and Atelier Mekaru Base, he accepts performances by companies from outside the prefecture in addition to Okinawan companies, and also contributes to interchange among cultural figures. On the front of human resource development, he is engaged in a program on staff work, a camp for members of high school drama clubs, and other activities.

Muhammad Abe (Yogyakarta)

MUHAMMAD ABE is a artist/actor/researcher/producer based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is currently director of Indonesia Dramatic Reading Festival (IDRF), a platform to promote new Indonesian plays. With IDRF he has also produced Asia Playwrights Meeting 2019 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, hosting a group of playwrights from Southeast Asia and Japan. In 2019, he produced First Date, Festival of Indonesian Plays in Ovalhouse London, UK, a festival to introduce Indonesian plays to the public in London. In 2020, he produced a platform to introduce new Asian plays in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, by introducing a new publication of Asian Plays to the public. The program was planned to be held in a few other countries but had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus. He is also part of artist collective Gymnastik Emporium, their work SKJ#2020 featured in Indonesia Dance Festival 2020. Beside producing performance, Muhammad Abe also organizes the first edition of Indonesian Conference of Performance and Performing Art in 2020. Completed an undergraduate program in History, and a master in Performing Art Studies from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta. Muhammad Abe is interested in on history, performance studies, knowledge distribution through art, and promoting Indonesian contemporary culture through art. For every production, he emphasizes the role of research and data for the production to create value of production, and also to evaluate the production.

Keiko Okamura (Tokyo)

Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
Keiko Okamura is a curator and art historian based in Tokyo. She has been working with the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (MOT) since 2005 and the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (TOP) since 2007. Curated exhibitions include “Her Own Way: Female Artists and the Moving Image in Poland from 1970s to the Present” (2019, TOP) and “Fiona Tan: Terminology” (2014, TOP). She served as the curator and director of the “Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions” from its establishment in 2009 through its 13th edition in 2021. She also co-curated “Media/Art Kitchen – Reality Distortion Field,” an exhibition organized by the Japan Foundation which ran from 2013-2014 across Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumper, and Bangkok. Having returned to MOT in April, she is currently preparing her final exhibition as a curator at TOP, “Yamashiro Chikako Reframing,” to be held in August.

Fumiaki Kamegai (Naha)

Fumiaki Kamegai was born in Hokkaido. He attended graduate school at Meiji University with a major in photography. Following his work as an assistant curator at University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts in 2013, he has curated photography and video art at Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum since 2018. Major exhibitions include “Takashi Ishimine and Kenshichi Heshiki” and “Artists Today.” In 2021, he curated and led “Mao Ishikawa: Bad Ass and Beauty – One Love,” an exhibition presenting fifteen projects spanning Mao Ishikawa’s career.

Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez

Eileen Legaspi Ramirez is an Associate Professor of the University of the Philippines Diliman Department of Art Studies. Currently working within UP’s Doctorate in Social Development program in line with long-term research on site-specific community art initiatives across the Philippines, she continues to work across the fields of criticism and art history. She presently serves as editorial collective member of the journal Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia.


Victor Emmanuel Carmelo D. Nadera Jr. is a University of the Philippines professor and fellow of Likhaan: U.P. Institute of Creative Writing where he served as Director in 2003-2008 – while he was Chair of the Writers Union of the Philippines and member of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Committee on Literature Arts. Last semester, he taught Trauma and Creative Writing. A columnist for Manila Bulletin (2008), Rappler (2014), Diyaryo Filipino (2016), Hataw (2019), and Liwayway (2021), he is one of the researchers of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (C.C.P.) Encylopedia of Philippine Arts. A Philippine representative to China (2014, 2015, 2016), South Korea (2014), India (2017), Taiwan (2017), Vietnam (2017), and Singapore (2018), Vim formed delegations of artists in international arts festivals. His paper Balagtasan Beyond Balagtas, Debate Poetry, A Filipino Tradition appeared in Southeast Asian Review of English (University of Malaya, Volume 56, Issue 1, 2019). Vim was the Keynote Speaker at the 1st Mindanao Art Fair and Exhibit in Davao City on 5 October 2019. As a performance artist in quarantine he participated from home in #Ekinoks (20 March 2020), #Igpaw for Health Workers (18 April 2020), and Maayo Uno! Solidarity Performance during Labor Day (1 May 2020). He initiated with Rappler a series of poetry-writing contests such COVIDiona, COVIDagli, and COVIDalit about the pandemic using twiiter and facebook. During the 36th USTETIKA Awards, which he founded in 1985, the Varsitarian honored him with Parangal Hagbong for his contribution to Philippine arts and culture.




Helly Minarti
Akane Nakamura
Masashi Nomura


Miki Nozaki


Green Papaya Art Projects [Manila]
Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (ASWARA) [Kuala Lumpur]


[Japanese-English] Kyle Yamada, (Art Translators Collective)
[Japanese-Malaysian] Aki Uehara
[Japanese-Indonesian] Yoko Nomura

Technical Staffs

[Curators’ Talk & Discussion] Takaki Sudo

Website Production

Ryukyu Lab LLC

Project Manager

Tamiko Ouki (precog)
Hitomi Sato (precog)

Project Manager Assistant

Tomo Seto (precog)


Drifters International


The Japan Foundation Asia Center Grant Program for Promotion of Cultural Collaboration

In Co-operation with

Komunitas Sakatoya [Yogyakarta]
The City of Roxas / Ang Panublion Museum [Roxas City]
Atelier Mekaru Base [Naha]
The Smaller Theatre Initiative [JAPAN]

Production Management

precog co., LTD.