Okada Toshiki & Japanese Theatre


Edited by Peter Eckersall, Barbara Geilhorn, Andreas Regelsberger and Cody Poulton


First published by Performance Research Books, 2021. Paperback, 269 pages. Illustrated in colour.

SKU: 9781906499129 Category:


Playwright, novelist and theatre director Okada Toshiki is one of the most important voices of the current generation of Japanese contemporary theatre makers. He founded his globally influential theatre company chelfitsch in 1997. Using a unique style and a distinctive language, his plays address issues such as social inequity, life in Japan after the 3/11 Earthquake, and posthuman society. Okada is a theatrical visionary showing undercurrents in everyday moments and the strangeness of being alive in our time.

In Okada Toshiki and Japanese Theatre, Okada’s work and its importance to the development of contemporary performance in Japan and around the world is explored. Gathered here for the first time in English is a comprehensive selection of essays, interviews and translations of three of Okada’s plays by leading scholars and translators. Okada’s writing on theatre is also included, accompanied by an extensive array of images from his performances.

The phenomenal success of Okada Toshiki’s global productions has galvanized international critics into forming intriguing theoretical perspectives on his theatre. Acknowledging Okada’s affinity to Japan’s lost generation, Brechtian distantiation and Noh aesthetics, these critics have applied new conceptual frames such as the poetics of disarticulation, the poesis of liminality and slow dramaturgy to elucidate the deep structure of his performances.   Mari Boyd, Professor Emeritus, Sophia University, Japan.

Cover image credit: chelfitsch and Kaneuji Teppei Eraser Forest, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa), 2020. Photo Kioku Keizō.




Okada Toshiki’s Narrative Method
Cody Poulton

The ‘Hyper-Real’ and the Shadow of Noh
Stanca Scholz-Cionca

Making Time Material: On Okada Toshiki’s Time’s Journey Through a Room (2016)
Sara Jansen

Translating Okada Toshiki
Andreas Regelsberger

Fuzzy Boundaries, Foggy Pictures: Okada Toshiki’s poesies of liminality
Iwaki Kyōko

Ruptures, Gravity, Dwelling. Reflections on Okada Toshiki’s movement aesthetic
Holger Hartung



Seen From Close-up in the Distance: Shibuya as a bubble downtown
Noda Manabu

Simultaneous Turns in Globality: Performative and social turns in the new millennium, or theorizing/historicizing Okada Toshiki’s welcome to European festival cultures
Uchino Tadashi

Reflections on Precarity and Emotional Fulfillment in Everyday Life in the Theatre of Okada Toshiki
Barbara Geilhorn

‘Who Knows We Want To Be An International Artist?’ Producing Okada Toshiki’s theatre and the international scene
Yokobori Masahiko

Okada Toshiki’s Dramaturgy in the Post-global Condition
Peter Eckersall

Foreign Assembly: Okada’s Time’s Journey through a Room in the United States
Carol Martin



An Interview with Okada Toshiki
Iwaki Kyōko

Reflux: A protean theatre theory
By Okada Toshiki. English translation by Iwaki Kyōko

Sounding like a Typical Post-Corona Theory of Theatre
By Okada Toshiki. English translation by Cody Poulton



Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and The Farewell Speech
By Okada Toshiki. English translation by Aya Ogawa

The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise
By Okada Toshiki. English translation by Aya Ogawa

Ground and Floor
By Okada Toshiki. English translation by Aya Ogawa

Additional information

Weight 0.956 kg
Dimensions 25 × 20 × 2 cm