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June 12, 2015

Rie Miyazawa, Naohito Fujiki, and Nino Furuhata Star in U.S. Premiere Presentation of Ninagawa Company’s Kafka on the Shore, Based On Haruki Murakami’s novel, July 23-26 at Lincoln Center Festival

Lincoln Center Festival


Eileen McMahon 212.875.5391

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New York, NY (June 12, 2015) – The Lincoln Center Festival will present four performances of legendary director Yukio Ninagawa's staging of Kafka on the Shore, based on Haruki Murakami's internationally best-selling novel of the same title from July 23–26 at the David H. Koch Theater. The production, called a “sensuous theatrical spectacle” by The Guardian, will be a U.S. premiere and will star Rie Miyazawa, Naohito Fujiki, and Nino Furuhata, leading a cast of 19 actors.


Adapted for the stage by Tony Award-winning director Frank Galati, the Telegraph says it is “hard to resist the tender playfulness of this beguiling production.” The play is about the journeys of teenage Kafka Tamura, who flees home to escape his father's Oedipal curse, and elderly Nakata, who suffers from an inexplicable childhood affliction that stole his memory. As they seek out family and guidance, their paths cross in modern-day Japan.


In his novel Kafka on the Shore, Murakami used a dreamlike, metaphorical writing style, and Ninagawa has explained in his program notes that he "tried as much as possible to present audiences with multiple­layered sets giving alternative visual information about the labyrinth that was hiding in the text of Kafka on the Shore."


The cast also includes Anne Suzuki, Hayato Kakizawa, Tsutomu Takahashi, Masakatsu Toriyama, Katsumi Kiba, Masato Shinkawa, Masafumi Senoo, Mame Yamada, Yukio Tsukamoto, Fumiaki Hori, Yoko Haneda, Soko Takigawa, Mutsukiko Doi, Erika Shumoto, Takamori Teuchi, and Shinya Matsuda.


Performance schedule: Thursday, July 23 at 8 PM; Friday, July 24 at 7:30 PM; Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 PM; Sunday, July 26 at 2 PM. The production runs approximately three hours with intermission and will be performed in Japanese with English supertitles.


For tickets, visit:  Tickets are also available via CenterCharge, 212.721.6500, and at the Festival box office located at Avery Fisher Hall, 65th Street and Broadway.


One of the theater world’s most esteemed directors, Yukio Ninagawa is acclaimed for his stunningly beautiful stagings of Shakespeare, as well as for modern Japanese plays. Kafka on the Shore marks his third production at Lincoln Center Festival, following the U. S. premieres of Yukio Mishima’s Modern Noh Plays in 2005 and Hisashi Inoue’s Musashi in 2010.  Ninagawa has worked in theater since 1955, when he joined the Seihai Theatre Company as an actor. He made his directorial debut with Shinjo Afuruu Keihakusa in 1969 and later set up his own theater companies, Gendaijin-Gekijo and Sakurasha. In 1983, he directed his first European production, Medea. Since then he has staged at least one production a year overseas.  He is a member of the Shakespeare Globe Council at the Globe Theatre in London, and was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2002. The recipient of numerous theater and educational awards in Japan, he holds honorary doctorates in the UK from the Universities of Edinburgh and Plymouth. He became an artistic director of Sainokuni Saitama Arts Theater in Japan in 2006 and founded a unique performing group, Saitama Gold Theatre, for people over 55 years of age. That same year he was invited by the Royal Shakespeare Company to stage Titus Andronicus as part of the Complete Works Festival, the only Japanese director participating in that special project.


Contemporary Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel, was one of The New York Times 10 best books in 2005. Murakami is known for his dreamlike, surreal narratives influenced by Western culture, including the work of American writers such as Kurt Vonnegut, Raymond Chandler, and Richard Brautigan. Murakami ran a jazz club in Tokyo before publishing his first book, Hear the Wind Sing (1979), which won Japan’s Gunzou Literature Prize for budding writers.  This success was followed by two sequels, Pinball and A Wild Sheep Chase, which together form The Trilogy of the Rat.  Murakami is also the author of the novels Norwegian Wood and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and the short story collection The Elephant Vanishes, which was adapted by Simon McBurney’s Complicite theater and given its North American premiere at Lincoln Center Festival 2004.  Murakami’s works have been translated into 50 languages, and his many international literary honors include a Franz Kafka Prize, a Jerusalem Prize, and the Welt-Literaturpreis. In 2011 Murakami donated his winnings from the International Catalunya Prize to the victims of the Hanshin earthquake and tsunami, and to those affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.


Rie Miyazawa (Miss Saeki/Girl), born in Tokyo, has been widely active in films, stages, dramas and commercials. She made her debut in 1988 with the leading role in the film Bokurano Nanoka-kan Senso (Our Seven Days War). Her recent film credits include Peony Pavilion (winning Best Actress at the Moscow International Film Festival), The Twilight Samurai (Best Actress at the Japan Academy Awards), Pale Moon (Best actress at the Japan Academy Awards, the Tokyo International Film Festival, the Hochi Film Award, the Yokohama Film Festival Award and others, winning seven Best Actress prizes in total). Her stage credits include Tomei Ningen no Yuge, A Doll’s House (Best Actress at the Yomiuri Theatre Awards), and MIWA (Kikuta Kazuo Theatre Award). Her Ninagawa Company credits include Shitaya Mannen-cho Monogatari, Modo Ken and My Sister, Lonely Like Fire.



Naohito Fujiki (Oshima) made his debut in 1995 while still attending Waseda University, with the role of Rui Hanazawa in the film Boys Over Flowers, for which he was praised for seeming as if he had stepped out of the original comic books. His popularity grew with TV series Asuka and Nurse no Oshigoto. His recent credits include Hotaru no Hikari, Last Cinderella, Kokoro-ga Pokittone on TV and the films Twentieth Century Boys Chapter II&III. He also appears as a host on the talk shows Oshareism and TOYOTA Athlete Beat. He made his stage debut in 2008 with Fuyu no Esora. Alongside his acting career, as a musician he has held over 200 live concerts including sell-out shows at Tokyo’s famous Budokan arena in 2006 and 2007.


Alongside his music activity, Nino Furuhara, born in Paris, has appeared in commercials and music videos. He came under the spotlight in 2013 when he appeared in a Japanese advertisement for Google. Kafka on the Shore in 2014 was his first acting credit, and he went on to appear in Kiri no Hata (The Fog Flag) written by Seicho Matsumoto and NHK Special Next World Our Future.


Lincoln Center Festival lead support is provided by American Express


Major Support provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


Co-produced by Saitama Arts Foundation, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc., and HoriPro, Inc.


The Lincoln Center Festival 2015 presentation of Kafka on the Shore is made possible in part by generous support from the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust. Additional support provided by Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Marubeni America Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal U.S.A., Inc.




Now in its 20th season, Lincoln Center Festival has received worldwide attention for presenting some of the broadest and most original performing arts programs in Lincoln Center’s history. The Festival has presented nearly 1,371 performances of opera, music, dance, theater, and interdisciplinary forms by internationally acclaimed artists from more than 50 countries. To date, the Festival has commissioned more than 42 new works and offered some 142 world, U.S., and New York premieres. It places particular emphasis on showcasing contemporary artistic viewpoints and multidisciplinary works that challenge the boundaries of traditional performance. For more information visit


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community relations, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 15 series, festivals, and programs including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Artist Program, Great Performers, Lincoln Center Books, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Martin E. Segal Awards, Meet the Artist, Mostly Mozart Festival, and the White Light Festival, as well as the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations.  In addition, LCPA led a $1.2 billion campus renovation, completed in October 2012. For more information, visit or


Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at 212.875.5375.


Lincoln Center Festival 2015 is also made possible by The Shubert Foundation, Nancy A. Marks, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Yang Lan, The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, The Katzenberger Foundation, Inc., Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc., Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jennie and Richard DeScherer, The Grand Marnier Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas), Goethe-Institut, Federal Foreign Office of Germany, The Joelson Foundation, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, Sharp Fund PLD at The New York Community Trust, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal U.S.A., Inc., Great Performers Circle, Chairman’s Council, and Friends of Lincoln Center.


Public support for Festival 2015 is provided the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, and National Endowment for the Arts.


Endowment support is provided by Blavatnik Family Foundation Fund for Dance, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Nancy Abeles Marks.


MetLife is the National Sponsor of Lincoln Center.


United Airlines is a Supporter of Lincoln Center.


WABC-TV is a Supporter of Lincoln Center.


Artist Catering provided by Zabar’s and


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High Resolution Images Return to Top

Left_Anne Suzuki, Right_NinoFuruhata
Caption: Anne Suzuki and Nino Furuhata in Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore"
Photo Credit: Takahiro Watanabe
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Nino Furuhata
Caption: Anne Suzuki; Nino Furuhata; Ninagawa Company; Kafka; Kafka on the Shore
Photo Credit: Takahiro Watanabe
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Rie Miyazawa
Caption: Rie Miyazawa in Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore"
Photo Credit: Takahiro Watanabe
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Collage of images from "Kafka on the Shore"
Caption: Scenes from Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore"
Photo Credit: Takahiro Watanabe
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(FIVE From left) Miyazawa, Fujiki, Furuhata, Suzuki, Kiba
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" (From left) Miyazawa, Fujiki, Furuhata, Suzuki, Kiba
Photo Credit: Not Available
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(THREE from left) Rie Miyazawa, Naohito Fujiki and Nino Furu...
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" (from left) Rie Miyazawa, Naohito Fujiki and Nino Furuhata.
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Rie Miyazawa
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Rie Miyazawa (as MISS SAEKI)
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Naohito Fujiki
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Naohito Fujiki (as OSHIMA)
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Nino Furuhata
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Nino Furuhata (as KAFKA)
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Anne Suzuki
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Anne Suzuki (as SAKURA)
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Hayato Kakizawa
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Hayato Kakizawa (as CROW)
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Tsutomu Takahashi
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Tsutomu Takahashi (as HOSHINO)
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Masakatsu Toriyama
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Masakatsu Toriyama (as COLONEL SANDERS)
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Katsumi Kiba
Caption: Ninagawa Company's production of "Kafka on the Shore" Katsumi Kiba (as NAKATA)
Photo Credit: Not Available
Size: 1646x2469

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