Jukou's IORI

Kyoto born! Tea ceremony play

Jukou's IORI hermitage

A play fusing together tea ceremony and acting. Jukou's IORI is a play with a slightly different taste, brought by the Kyoto based Eisei Theatre Group.
With the support of the Master of the Urasenke, the first showing took place in the temple Seiganji, Kyoto in 2004, and has then been performed all over the country.

Eisei Theatre Group

(Contact: Junko Uemura)
3F Emura Building, 440 Iwatoyama-cho
Shimogyo-ku Kyoto city, 600-8445
Tel +8175-353-1660 e-mail eisei@eisei.info


Jukou's IORI


The father of Wabi-cha, Jukou Murata sheltered himself by Ikkyu Soujun. Whilst being in the fancy world of Toucha, Jukou was failing to find fulfillment. With the help of Ikkyu's wit, the Shogun who approached the temple, and his fantasy Saya's words, Jukou manages to reach the essence of Zen, and create Wabi-cha.

Jukou's IORI

To 47 prefectures and overseas

We aims to show Jukou's IORI in all 47 prefectures of Japan and so far. We have performed in 27 prefectures, 44 venues (132 stages altogether) as of Dec.12, 2018. At all the various places that we have visited, every person we have met and all the time spent has been precious experiences . We continue to plan to show this play in the rest of the country and also overseas.

Construction of the play

A tea ceremony starts by being served a kaiseki meal for the zen-seki, followed by a break during the nakadachi, and then ends by having koi-cha (thick tea) or usu-cha (thin tea) in the ko-seki. In Jukou's IORI, we will welcome our viewers with a play instead of a meal, which will introduce Jukou Murata, the father of wabi-cha. After the nakadachi, the viewers will be lead into the story to experience a tea ceremony, along with tea and sweets.

… characters will lead the audience from the machiai (Waiting room) to the tea room.
Jukou's IORI

(2)Zen-seki 1
… The story of Jukou Murata begins. A fancy game of Toucha will be seen.
Jukou's IORI

(3)Zen-seki 2
… Jukou comes to Ikkyu to be preached, but Jukou's first love, Saya appears bofore him.
Jukou's IORI

… Audience will meditate along with Jukou and experience the characters' states of mind.
Jukou's IORI

… Jukou becomes the host and will serve usu-cha and japanese sweets to guests.
Jukou's IORI

Jukou's IORI

The versions with different directing

The three directions, Shin, Gyo and Sou

In a tea ceremony, there are three levels of formality: Shin, the highest formality, Sou, broken style, and Gyo, between the two.
This play is shown with three different directions, “Shin”, “Gyo” and “Sou” according to the above.
These are all formed around the same story, but each has a different approach.

“Shin” - The story gives the deepest insight on the philosophy of Wabi-cha

“Gyo” - With the addition of humour, the play becomes easier to approach.

“Sou” - A friendly version that can be enjoyed by juniors.

We are also engaged in an international version, in preparation to show overseas.

An in situ show according to the venue
The play is directed with the atmosphere of each place, so the uniqueness the venue has becomes part of the play. Standardly, the play is shown in temples or in Japanesestyle rooms of public facilities. The audience sits surrounding the stage and shares the characters' perspectives within the story. The audience becomes part of the play itself.

The play is generally shown in Japanese-style rooms(limited to roughly 30 seats), but we also showed in
larger venues.

For example: showing in theatres, halls, and parquets. Showing in large rooms in accommodations(also as part of school trips)

We may not be able to serve tea to every guest, but the audience may enjoy the Japanese atmosphere created within the venue.

Jukou's IORI

The international version, “the messenger's account”

In 2014, we stayed in the newly built Kinosaki International Art Center of Hyogo's Toyooka city to begin working on the new version, “the messenger's account”. In addition to the original Japanese cast, we had an Englishspeaking cast to act as type of translator. We are currently working on this new direction.* After the first test performance in Kinosaki, we held a work in progress meeting in order to hear the audience's view.
We plan to work further on this production, and to take this play overseas in 2015 onwards.
*We plan to have an English cast for showing in English speaking countries, and a cast speaking the official language for other countries.

Past showings

2004 Kyoto
2005 Osaka, Nara, Ehime, Tokyo, Aichi
2006 Osaka, Ehime, Kyoto, Tokyo
2007 Shizuoka, Kyoto, Chiba, Fukushima
2008 Hokkaido, Kyoto, Okayama, Hiroshima, Fukuoka
2009 Osaka, Miyagi
2010 Wakayama, Okayama, Tottori
2012 Oita, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Saga
2013 Kagoshima, Miyagi, Yamaguchi, Kyoto
2014 Shiga, Kyoto, Hyogo
2015 Kagawa
2017 Fukui
Jukou's IORI


Playwright and Director|Rengyou
Tea ceremony advisor|Motohiro Jubishi
Translations|Yumiko Deguchi
Cast| Shinji Syuto
F. Japan
Akiko Kamimoto
Yoko Kuroki
and others
Stage manager|Tomohiko Watarikawa
Production manager| Junko Uemura
iroshi Watanabe
Co-operation| Master of Sado Urasenke tea school - Sen Soushitu
NPO Fringe Theatre Project
Kinosaki Internaional Art Center
Support| Marukyu Koyamaen
Traditional Japanese Incense SHOYEIDO
Matsuura Yoshinori Store

Eisei Theatre Group Profile

Founded in 1995 in order to find “theatrical expressions and techniques that can only be done in plays in small theatres”. While based in Kyoto, Eisei also travels the entire country showing our plays, of course using venues that already exist, but also temples, churches and any other place that is not necessarily a theatre. Eisei also holds various workshops using acting as a tool, to bring drama into places that wouldn't have drama otherwise.