Acclaimed Kyogen actor Mansai Nomura has been appointed the chief executive creative director of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Nomura, who brought the traditional Japanese style of stage comedy into the modern age and delivered Kyogen to an international audience, will oversee all four ceremonies – the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games and the opening and closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games.
Joining him are film director, and special effects wizard, Takashi Yamazaki, and Hiroshi Sasaki, the man who turned Shinzo Abe into Mario.
Nomura, who made his stage debut at age 3, comes from an illustrious theatrical line that boasts a 250-year history. He studied Kyogen under his father, Mansaku Nomura, and his late grandfather, both considered national treasures of Japan.
Besides appearing in leading Kyogen and Noh productions, Nomura has acted in everything from Greek tragedies to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as well as Akira Kurosawa’s 1983 film, Ran. As a stage director, Nomura toured London and the U.S., and won the Asahi Performing Arts Award and Kinokuniya Theatre Award 2005 for his direction and composition.
Takashi Yamazaki Named Executive Creative Director
Film director Yamazaki has been appointed the executive creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games. Yamazaki, who is known for his technical prowess, won the Best Director and Best Screenplay prizes at the Japanese Academy Awards in 2006 for Always: Sunset on Third Street.
His films The Eternal Zero (2013) and the 3D CG animation Stand by Me Doraemon (2014) were awarded the 38th Academy Award for Best Picture Award and Best Animation Award, respectively.
Hiroshi Sasaki, most known for his role as creative supervisor of the handover ceremony at the Rio 2016 Games closing ceremonies when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared dressed as Nintendo arcade hero Mario, was named the executive creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Paralympic Games.
Five others were selected as creative directors for the Tokyo 2020 Games ceremonies, including movie producer and writer Genki Kawamura, creative producer Yoshie Kurisu, singer-songwriter Sheena Ringo, creative technologist Kaoru Sugano and choreographer MIKIKO.
Ticket prices for Tokyo 2020 sporting events will range from ¥2,500 to ¥130,000, with half of the events priced at ¥8,000 or lower.
Current residents of Japan have the first chance to register on Tokyo 2020’s online platform in order to receive information about ticketing. Japan residents can apply for tickets from the spring of 2019.
Ticket prices for the opening and closing ceremonies will range from ¥12,000 to ¥300,000 – about the same as the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
The opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, entitled Isles of Wonder, was directed by Academy Award-winning British film director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire).
The opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was directed by Brazilian film directors Fernando Meirelles, Daniela Thomas and Andrucha Waddington. The ceremony featured presentations of the history and culture of Brazil.