The History of OTOBUTAI

More than 170 artists from Japan and abroad have been performed in Otobutai up to now. New
encounters and impressive performances of these artists have been creating a new history of this event.

More than 170 artists from Japan and abroad have been performed in Otobutai up to now. New
encounters and impressive performances of these artists have been creating a new history of this event.

The 31st / Todaiji (Saturday, September 8, 2018)

Ikuko Kawai, Yu Shirota, Crystal Kay and others perform "Silver Road Odyssey Todaiji 2018", a story in which artists with various arts unfold on the stage of Todaiji that arrived at the end of a long journey. Also, ethnic music and dance in Georgia, and the illusion of Cyril became a topic of conversation. The show in the heavy rain that suddenly came down was an impressive stage where the performers and the audience were united.

Alessandro Safina(Tenor)/Ikuko Kawai(Violinist,Composer)/Crystal Kay(Singer)/Yu Shirota(Actor,Singer)/Cyril(Performing Artist)/Discover Georgian Legends(Folk music and dance from Georgia)/Shakuhachi Ensemble"AIOI"/Minoru Harada,Miki Nagamatsu,Jun Mori,Yuji Tanimori (Dancer)/Hitoshi Kubota (Narattor)/Hajime Ueshiba(Music director, conductor, piano)/OTOBUTAI Orchestra

The 31st Todaiji
The 31st Todaiji

The 30th / Kinkakuji (Saturday, September 9, 2017)

To celebrate the 30th Otobutai, world prominent artists have gathered and performed at very special grounds of the Golden Pavilion. By using the ponds surrounding the Pavilion effectively, dynamic and dreamlike stage was created and fascinated the audience.

Gidon Kremer (Violinist), Yachiyo Inoue V (The Fifth Head of the Inoue School of Dancing), Ksenija Sidorova (Accordionist), Sarah Alainn (Vocalist), Masachika lch1mura (Actor), s*"t kingz (Performance Team), Dadadadan Tenko (Japanese Drums Group), TRIQSTAR (Dance Unit), mayumi (Pole Dancer), Vlad and Irina (Dancers), Hajime Ueshiba (Conductor, Piano), NAOTO (Music Director, Violin)

The 30th Kinkakuji
The 30th Kinkakuji

The 29th / Mampukuji (Saturday, September 3, 2016)

Elegant mezzo soprano, outstanding guitar performance and expressive Chinese dance were performed by beautiful female artists. Magnificent original song was written and shown for this event.

Katherine Jenkins (Mezzo Soprano), Kaori Muraji (Guitar), Yang Wu (Chinese Dance), Takatsugu Muramatsu (Music Director, Piano), Jane Samuel, CINEMA dub MONKS, Li ZhiMing, Tomohiko Tsujimoto, Yasushi Shoji, Zhao Lei, Katsumi Kanamaru(Conductor)

The 29th Mampukuji
The 29th Mampukuji

The 28th / Sennyuji (Saturday, September 12, 2015)

Historic night that Yachiyo Inoue, living national treasure, danced the ballet music "Bolero" in Kyoto dancing style. It gained acclaim along with the grand stage by orchestra and ballet, conducted by Tomomi Nishimoto.

Yoshiko Sakuma(Actress)/Sarah Àlainn(Vocalist, Violinist)/Kanji Ishimaru(Actor, Vocalist)/Tomomi Nishimoto(Artistic Director, Conductor)/IlluminArt Philharmonic Orchestra/IlluminArt Ballet/IlluminArt Choir/Yachiyo Inoue Ⅴ(The Fifth Head of the Inoue School of "Kyomai")

The 28th Sennyuji
The 28th Sennyuji

The 27th / Yakushiji (Saturday, August 30, 2014)

Toma Ikuta, an actor, played two roles; the storyteller, and the spirit of Yakushiji named "shooting star". Wide variety of music surrounded the large and magnificent temple of the Hakuho period in Yakushiji. Especially, simple but fabulous stage performed by world renowned soprano, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, fascinated the audience with her beautiful voice and her presence.

Kiri Te Kanawa(Soprano)/Thomas Atkins(Tenor)/Junichi Inagaki(Singer)/Missa Johnouchi(Musician)/Yo Hitoto(Singer)/Bruce Huebner(Shakuhachi player)/Satoshi Takebe(Music Director, Piano)/Toma Ikuta(Actor)

The 27th Yakushiji
The 27th Yakushiji

The 26th / Toji (Saturday, September 14, 2013)

Powerful and vital performances were held at Otobutai such as if Kukai, who made a huge "Mandala" space in Toji, empowered each artist. First-ever big chorus at the ending of Otobutai of all performers and 100 singers echoed throughout Toji along with handclaps of the audience.

Eva Mali (Soprano)/Tomomi Kahara(Singer)/Miho Fukuhara(Singer)/Le Velvets(Vocal Group)/Mugen C'mon(Instrumental)/Terao Hitoshi with human note/Kyoto Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra/Satoshi Takebe(Music Director, Piano)

The 26th Toji
The 26th Toji

The 25th / Daikakuji (Saturday, September 8, 2012)

Original songs were composed by Akira Miyagawa, and it was the first to have jazzy and rapish songs with lyrics introducing the history of venue temple and to perform the opening like a musical show. Powerful stages of five female artists made the audience feel a "new beginning" like flowers blooming.

Akira Miyagawa(Music Director)/Big Bazar(Chorus Group)/Hiromi Iwasaki(Singer)/Alice Sara Ott(Piano)/Che'Nelle(Vocal)/Ikuko Kawai(Violin)/ZAZ (Vocal)

The 25th Daikakuji
The 25th Daikakuji

The 24th / Nishi hongwanji (Friday, October 7, 2011)

Joe Hisaishi performed the grand concert with a large choir and a first full-size orchestra in Otobutai history. Shishi Odori danced by the citizens of Ofunato City, Iwate, and "You Raise Me Up" played by the composer himself were dedicated to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Joe Hisaishi(Conductor, Piano)/Secret Garden (Healing Music)/Dadadadan Tenko(Japanese Drums)/Kanatsuryu Urahama Shishiodori(Ethnic folk dance in Iwate)/Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra/Ryukoku University Mixed Chorus Rapport

The 24th Nishi hongwanji
The 24th Nishi hongwanji

The 23rd / Todaiji (Saturday, October 9, 2010)

Fascinating stage of the world renowned soprano, Sarah Brightman, was held specially at the Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji, Nara. Performance of HY, independent artists from Okinawa, and Cirque du Soleil ZED brought a breath of fresh air into the history of Otobutai.

Sarah Brightman(Soprano)/Cirque du Soleil ZED("Hand to Hand")/HY(Okinawan independent band)

The 23rd Todaiji
The 23rd Todaiji

The 22nd / Toshodaiji (Saturday, September 5, 2009)

Many program of this Otobutai were related to Todaiji, which celebrated the 1,250th anniversary of its foundation and GanjinWajo, the founder. Dynamic stage of a live calligraphy demonstration, Japanese tenor and Japanese drums fascinated the audience along with a beautiful new sound of Gregorian chant.

Gregorian/Amelia Brightman(Vocal)/Takayuki Hattori(Conductor)/Ai Okumura(Violin)/Masafumi Akikawa(Vocal)/ Souun Takeda(Calligraphy)/alan(Vocal, Erhu)/Mangekyo(25-string Koto)/Wadaiko-Hiryu(Japanese Drums)/Otobutai Hyakunin-Daiko

The 22nd Toshodaiji
The 22nd Toshodaiji

The 21st / Byodoin (Saturday, September 6, 2008)

As a result of a big maintenance project over twelve years, the same luster and beauty as one thousand years ago were restored at the Phoenix Hall. Clear harmony and heartfelt melody of strings surrounded Byodoin.

Celtic Woman/Joshua Roman(Cello)/Norimasa Fujisawa(Vocal)/Mayo Amagai(Vocal)/Akira Shigeyama(Storyteller)/Tennojigakuso Garyokai(Gagaku)/Kazuhiko Onoe and Opera"Genjigenso" Female Ensemble

The 21st Byodoin
The 21st Byodoin

The 20th / Kinkakuji (Saturday, September 8, 2007)

Suitable to the 600th anniversary of the death of Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, "Noh-Toru" was performed by Kiyokazu Kanze the master of Kanze style on this historical night. The illusional interpretation of the boat as if it were sailing through the clouds, with the shining Kinkaku in the background was extremely beautiful.

Russell Watson (Vocal) /Yoka Wao (Vocal) /Takeshi Kako (Piano) /lwao Furusawa (Violin) /Kamerad (Vocal Unit) /K1yokazu Kanze (Noh)

The 20th Kinkakuji
The 20th Kinkakuji

The 19th / Tofukuji (Saturday,September 9, 2006)

A magnificent and affectionate stage was established by singing, artistic dancing, instrumental performances and recitation. It was the first time for Tofukuji to host such event. Audience was impressed with the quality of "Thousand-Hand Bodhisattiva."

Ayaka Hirahara(Vocal) /Wu Ru-jun (Jinghu) /Marco Berti(Tenor)/Parma Opera Ensemble/China Disabled People's Pertorming Art Troupe/ Japanese Traditional Music Orchestra "Al-01"/Yuki Saito (Storyteller) /Katsuhisa Hattori (Music Director)

The 19th Tofukuji
The 19th Tofukuji

The 18th / Ninnaji (Saturday,September 10, 2005)

In Ninnaji, Kondo, a National Treasure, was used for the first time as a stage in its history, and made that Otobutai very memorable. Sometimes passionately and sometimes gracefully, music and dance were performed in special atmosphere created by the surrounding screen of trees.

Sissel (Vocal) /Rolando Villazón (Tenor)/Kim Duk-Soo, Kim Ri-Hae (Traditional Korean Music and Dance) /Kotara Oshio(Acoustic Guitar)

The 18th Ninnaji
The 18th Ninnaji

The 17th / Yakushiji (Saturday, September 11, 2004)

Deeply associated with Yakushiji, fusion of a famous Gigaku "The Journey to the West," and music was that year's highlight. The special interpretation of confetti and performances of the Twelve Girls Band and Márta Sebestyén graced the beautiful temple.

Joshi Juni Gakubou(Instrumental)/Márta Sebestyén and Muzikás(Hungarian Folk Song)/John Ken Nuzzo(Tenor)/Kantaro Nakamura(Kabuki Actor)/Gagaku Music Society of Tenri University(Gigaku)

The 17th Yakushiji
The 17th Yakushiji

The 16th / Mampukuji (Sunday,September 7, 2003)

With beautiful temple complex, characteristic of a Ming-style, in the background, Sarah Brightman sang "Time to Say Goodbye" with her heart. The production, combining with Chinese culture and art, was outstanding; one of them was Yundi Li's energetic performance.

Sarah Brightman(Soprano)/Yundi Li(Piano)/Jiang Xiao-Qing(Guzheng)/Kobe Overseas Chinese Association(Chinese Lion Dance)

The 16th Mampukuji
The 16th Mampukuji

The 15th / Horyuji (Sunday,July 14, 2002)

At Horyuji, which boasts a history of over 1,400 years as a temple erected by Crown Prince Shotoku, José Carreras, one of the world's renowned tenors, sang his repertories including a Japanese song, in the first Otobutai held in Nara.

José Carreras(Tenor)/Hideki Togi(Gagaku, Music Director)/Hosenko-Dance Company/Ajnai Khuur

The 15th Horyuji
The 15th Horyuji

The 14th / Nijojo (Saturday, September 15, 2001)

The first Otobutai of the 21st century took place at the World Heritage site of Nijo-jo, where, in a collaboration of Japanese flute and tap-dance, along with the orchestral performances with Hattori, this sound stage got off to a dynamic start.

Katsuhisa Hattori(Music Director, Piano)/Kunio Murai(Storyteller)/Izzy(Soprano)/Chen Min(Erhu)/MeishoTosha(Japanese Flute)/Kazunori Tamano(Tap-dance)/Kyoto Symphony Orchestra/Narada Michael Walden(Due to scheduling problems after 9/11, Mr. Walden was unable to participate.)

The 14th Nijojo
The 14th Nijojo

The 13th / Kiyomizudera (Saturday,September 9, 2000)

Unique collaboration of Japanese Kyogen and Italian Masked Comedy and fantastic performances by worldwide musicians were played at the stage. At Kiyomizudera, the unveiling of the Kannon-Bosatsu, which takes place once in thirty-three years, was celebrated in 2000.

Himekami(Synthesizer)/Hevia(Electronic Bagpipe)/Sennojo Shigeyama(Kyogen Director)/Motohiko Shigeyama, Shigeru Shigeyama(Kyogen)/Compagnia Teatro Paravento(Italian Masked Comedy)/Kristina Reiko Cooper(Cello)/Laura Frautschi(Violin)/Seiryue

The 13th Kiyomizudera
The 13th Kiyomizudera

The 12th / Daikakuji (Saturday, September 4, 1999)

Saito served as music director of this extraordinary event that featured Flamenco dance and Biwa (Japanese lute). The mix of Hannya sutra and original music composed by Saito was a great success. Marceau, renowned as the world's greatest mime, delivered one of his classic performances.

Tsuneyoshi Saito(Music Director, Synthesizer)/Marcel Marceau(Mime)/Mari Uehara(Japanese Biwa)/Belen Maya(Flamenco)/Secret Garden (Healing Music)/Miwako Matsumoto(Soprano)/Mieko Sato(Soprano)

The 12th Daikakuji
The 12th Daikakuji

The 11th / Daigoji (Saturday, September 5, 1998)

Joe Hisaishi, music composer, was featured as a performer and director of this event. He successfully combined classical music, ballet, Japanese folk, and world pops. The staging of this exciting production featured an innovative use of fire and water.

Joe Hisaishi(Music Director, Piano)/Deep Forest(World Pops)/Balanescu Quartet/New York City Ballet/ Rikki(Japanese Folk Song)/Yamabushi

The 11th Daigoji
The 11th Daigoji

The 10th / Kinkakuji (Saturday, September 6, 1997)

Conductor Inoue, who also served as music director, delivered a spectacular performance of FINALE KINKAKU. Nomura gave a wonderful performance of the original drama "Yoshimitsu." The beauty of the golden pavilion at night captivated the audience. The TV program was honored as one of the finalists of the 1998 International Emmy Awards.

Michiyoshi Inoue(Music Director)/Hideki Togi(Japanese Gagaku)/Mansai Nomura(Kyogen)/Masanobu Ikemiya(Piano)/New York Philharmonic/Carol Wincenc(Flute)/Alain Zaepffel(Counter Tenor)

The 10th Kinkakuji
The 10th Kinkakuji

The 9th / Enryakuji (Saturday, September 7, 1996)

In a concert to celebrate its registration as a World Heritage site, prima donna Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, singing in her luminous, divine voice, was the featured performer.

Kiri Te Kanawa(Soprano)/Masumi Nagasawa(Harp)

The 9th Enryakuji
The 9th Enryakuji

The 8th / Toji (Saturday, September 9, 1995)

With the five-story pagoda in the background, the full-orchestra concert led by Yanni, synthesizer player, was held to celebrate the 1,200 years of Toji's existence and its registration as a World Heritage site.

Yanni(Synthesizer)and his orchestra/Ken Nishikiori(Tenor)

The 8th Toji
The 8th Toji

The 7th / Sennyuji (Saturday,September 10, 1994)

As one of the main events celebrating the 1,200th anniversary of the Heian-kyo foundation, the grand stage was a spectacle featuring the lighting and music of Isao Tomita.

Keiko Takeshita(Storyteller)/Isao Tomita(Synthesizer)/Kusillaqta(Folklore)/Tomoko Kawata(Violin)/Mari Kumamoto(Piano)/Marie Igarashi(Soprano)/Kodo(Japanese Taiko)/Gianfranco Pastine(Tenor)

The 7th Sennyuji
The 7th Sennyuji

The 6th / Toji (Sunday,September 5, 1993)

A colossal performance space was created at Kondo(the main hall), a national treasure. Shinobu Sato and Eitetsu Hayashi expressed a mandala chart with music. The Dance Theater of Harlem introduced a new dance incorporating the Japanese drum.

Shinobu Sato(Soprano)/Eitetsu Hayashi and his group(Japanese Taiko)/Dance Theater of Harlem

The 6th Toji
The 6th Toji

The 5th / Byodoin (Saturday, September 26, 1992)

The theme was "Aji-ike, Bifu, Shoin." The mesmerizing collaboration between Stanislav Bunin, pianist, and Michie Nakamaru, soprano, conveyed the image of the Land of Happiness and highlighted the beauty of this temple.

Keiko Takeshita(Storyteller)/Stanislav Bunin(Piano)/Michie Nakamaru(Soprano)/Tsugio Tokunaga(Violin)/Todd Palmer(Clarinet)

The 5th Byodoin
The 5th Byodoin

The 4th / Kiyomizudera (Friday,September 20, 1991・Saturday,September 21, 1991)

Wonderful, varied works including Japanese classical music, brass quintet, ballet, and tenor-solo were performed at the stage in Kiyomizudera. A two-day event.

Ryo Tamura(Storyteller)/Guy Touvron Brass Quintet/Jadranka Stojakovic(SAZ)/Yoshiko Sakata(Biwa)/Chris Merritt(Tenor)/New York City Ballet

The 4th Kiyomizudera
The 4th Kiyomizudera

The 3rd / Senzenin (Saturday, September 29, 1990)

Two performances a day, each composed of two programs at two places; the first was "Concert in Shorin-in" and the second was "Ohara illusion at Sanzen-in."

Yoshiko Sakuma(Storyteller)/Takeshi Inomata & Separation/Miwako Matsumoto(Soprano)/Igor Ardasev(Piano)/ Naoko Ogura(Piano)/Pierre Pierlot(Oboe)/Maxence Larrieu(Flute)

The 3rd Senzenin
The 3rd Senzenin

The 2nd / Sennyuji (Saturday, May 12, 1990)

Classical music and kabuki were performed to express the theme "Four Seasons" at Sennyu-ji, famous as a family temple of the Imperial Family.

Paolo Barbacini(Tenor)/Takio Ito and his group(Japanese Folk Rock)/Asuka Kaneko & Asuka Strings(Quartet)/Yukie Nishimura(Piano)/Kotaro Nakamura, Hashinosuke Nakamura(Kabuki)/Shuichiro Moriyama(Storyteller)

The 2nd Sennyuji
The 2nd Sennyuji

The 1st / Kinkakuji (Friday,September 29, 1989)

Having "When the East Meets the West" as the theme of this Otobutai series, the first event took place at Kinkakuji. Based on the poem "Beyond Water-Mirror," the fanciful concert was held in front of the Golden Pavilion and Kyoko Pond.

Yumiko Samejima(Soprano)/Maria Backmann(Violin)/Mika Enjo(Flute)/Kuniko Kisanuki(Dance)/Meisho Tosha(Yokobue)

The 1st Kinkakuji
The 1st Kinkakuji