An informative video for New York’s Japan Society about its history and activities. Narrated by famous Japanese Kyogen stage actor Mansai Nomura.
Business leaders from Japan and the United States founded the nonprofit organisation in New York in 1907. The goal was to promote friendly relations and create better understanding between the two nations.
They had their honeymoon period but things went downwards later on, and they had to suspend their activities for years because of World War II.
The society reopened in 1951, and John D. Rockefeller III took over the leadership. The society expanded during his reign as president, and later as chairman, for the next two decades. It also opened its headquarter in Manhattan in 1971.
These days the Japan Society offers a wide range of programs on business, public policy, arts, culture, language and education. It also held two gallery exhibitions each year, covering both traditional and contemporary Japanese art.
Official website here if you want to know further, especially for New Yorkers.
Kyōgen (lit. mad words) is a form of traditional Japanese comic theatre. It often involves musical and drama, but its primary goal is to make people laugh.
Nomura and his grandfather, father and son are all Kyogen actors, and they have performed at the Japan Society many times over the years.
Nomura has also starred in some movies, including the portrayal of Godzilla through motion capture in Shin Gojira which aired a few months ago.