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.
Jukou Murata, born in Nara, enters the Shomyoji's Horin to become a monk at the age of eleven. He loved tea from a young age, and absorbed himself into Toucha which was a trend at the time. It was because he was too into it and did not fulfilli his responsibilities at the temple that he was finally banished. After drifting for a while, he came to Ikkyu Soujun's place at the Daitokuji. Whilst placing himself in the fancy world of Toucha, he could not find himself becoming fulfilled. However, from Ikkyu's wit, the existence of the Shogun who visted the temple, and his fantasy Saya's words, Jukou managed to reach the essence of Zen, and created Wabi-cha. He came to be called the Father of Tea of our country.
We aims to show Jukou's IORI in all 47 prefectures of Japan and so far. We have performed in 26 prefectures, 43 venues (130 stages altogether) as of Mar.31, 2016. 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.
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.
… The story of Jukou Murata begins. A fancy game of Toucha will be seen.
… Jukou comes to Ikkyu to be preached, but Jukou's first love, Saya appears bofore him.
… Audience will meditate along with Jukou and experience the characters' states of mind.
… Jukou becomes the host and will serve usu-cha and japanese sweets to guests.
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
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.
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.
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, Miyazaki, Yamaguchi, Kyoto
2014 Shiga, Kyoto, Hyogo
2015 Kagawa, Kyoto, Hokkaido
|Production manager｜||Junko Uemura|
Master of Sado Urasenke tea school - Sen Soushitu
NPO Fringe Theatre Project
Kinosaki Internaional Art Center
Traditional Japanese Incense SHOYEIDO
Matsuura Yoshinori Store
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.