An experimental video produced by Satoshi Ago, specializing in a close-up of the stage play “Tactile Palace”.
-Musical Play- “Palace of the Senses”
About 800 years ago, there was a lower-class noble named Yasunobu Miyoshi who would later become the first head of the board of inquiry (chief justice) of the Kamakura Shogunate. This man is one of Ago’s ancestors. As Yasunobu’s aunt was a wet nurse (known as a Dakimenoto) for the shogun Minamoto No Yoritomo, Yasunobu had a deep connection with Yoritomo from childhood to the end of his life. There also a man named Kanezane Kujo who overcame the turbulent times to earn the title of Kanpaku (chief advisor to the emperor) by stirring up trouble to gain credit for the solution from Yoritomo.
The Kujo family’s residence seems to have been in what is now Higashikujo Minamisannocho in Minami Ward, Kyoto, and by coincidence the first performance of Palace of the Senses was held at studio seedbox, which is in the same district.
This studio was the first location for THEATRE E9 KYOTO, which was opened before the theatre that we would later build in the Higashi Kujo area.
To create this work I visited Higashi Kujo a number of times over the last year or so and held a ceremony to call up this ancestral spirit of the theatre to the location, weaving it together with Yasunobu’s image.
Running alongside this story from the end of the Heian Period, I have also depicted the story of my own childhood spent in Hong Kong during the bubble era up to the demise of the Emperor Showa.
This piece is being performed again in 2019, with a common thread between the narrative and this point in time when the name of the era is changing (from Showa to Heisei, and now Heisei to Reiwa). Against the backdrop of these large narratives, this work is an accumulation of small expressions across the body.
The attention of the audience is concentrated on sensations of the skin. Through the sense of touch we recognize ourselves, atone for our sins and confirm that we are alive. This process could be said to symbolize the work of an actor. The work of an actor is to communicate between different bodies, times and worlds. The actor fights, speaks and fuses with another version of themselves. The stage converses with radical, yet also primordial, memories of the body.
Extract from “Self-Recognition Through the Sense of Touch”, theatre review by Yoko Kuki,
TEATRO October 2018 Edition, “August in Kansai”
Playwright, Director, THEATRE E9 KYOTO Artistic Director
ARTS SEED KYOTO (General Incorporated Association) Representative Director
With replication and pure language as his central themes, Ago produces theatrical works that may or may not feature a human presence on stage.
Besides producing work himself, he has also been active in establishing the new Theatre E9 Kyoto.
Ago has also worked on a number of collaborations with contemporary artists such as Yasumasa Morimura and Miwa Yanagi.
2007 Young Director Competition First Prize
2010 Promoted by the Kyoto City Special Policy for Art and Culture
2012 Toga Theatre Competition Encouragement Award
2017 Kyoto City New Artistic Talent Award
2014-2017 Atelier Gekken Director
Kyoto University of Art and Design Part-Time Lecturer
Doshisha Women’s College of Liber numerous works al Arts Special Lecturer
Actor affiliated to the Seinendan Theatre Company
Ota has appeared in plays by Oriza Hirata such as Tokyo Notes, Citizens of Seoul, Kings of the Road, New Kings of the Road, Isn’t Life More Than Goodbyes and the robot play I, Worker.
Has also appeared in the Seinendan International Exchange Project with Japanese and French Collaborative Performances such as Songs of Farewell and The End of Love.
Outside of Seinendan he has often worked with French theatre directors in plays such as Hiroshima Mon Amour and Larmes.
With Seinendan Link RoMT he has also performed in challenging long duration one-man plays such as You Can See the Hills and A Gambler’s Guide to Dying, receiving critical acclaim.
Kinoshita was active as part of a techno pop group in the late ‘80s. He also provided music for pop songs and idols. Afterwards he participated in soundtracks for films and television and made new age music, while also producing jazz CDs in New York. Later he wandered as a backpacker through countries and regions in Asia such as Okinawa, Yakushima, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bali and produced healing music by fusing the natural sounds he recorded there with digital music. He moved to Kyoto in 2008 and has since produced music and video for works in the performing arts.