Coinciding with this month’s Tokyo Paralympic Games is the Tokyo 2020 Nippon World Festival ONE (Our New Episode) – a virtual showcase of theatre, art and music celebrating idiosyncratic talents. The virtual extravaganza kicks off just two days ahead of the Paralympics opening ceremony on August 24 – and anyone can join in from wherever they are for free.
As part of the official programme of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Tokyo 2020 Nippon World Festival One highlights minority artists including those with multicultural backgrounds or physical disabilities as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+. Actress Chizuru Azuma, who is the director and artistic producer behind the festival, described the project as a culmination of her 29 years working with a melting pot of unique talents in entertainment and philanthropy.
The festival’s main event – named the Mazekoze Island Tour – is created to resemble a virtual tour of an exotic island. Your flight attendant for the tour is one of Tokyo’s top drag queens, Durian Lollobrigida, who’s there to help explain what each of the nine ‘islands’ have to offer.
Each island has a different theme and a corresponding set of events to stream each day. The Musa Island, for instance, is a virtual museum featuring works by the likes of fashion photographer Leslie Kee and children’s author Kanayo Sugiyama. Other exciting islands include the Rainbow Island, which will feature queer artists and performers who use their craft to promote equality for sexual and gender minorities.
Over at the island of Chimugukuru, artists like the Yano Brothers and Mari Fujihira will express their innermost feelings through music and dance. Meanwhile the Superhuman Island will feature a collaborative performance between wheelchair dancer Kenta Kambara and Gomess – a rapper with autism.
The Mazekoze Island Tour will take off at 4pm JST on Sunday August 22. There will be English subtitles and you can watch it on YouTube as well as on the Line app.
More from Time Out
This heritage townhouse in Kyoto is now an affordable boutique hotel
Vending machines with frozen ramen meal kits are popping up in Tokyo
Here are the limited-edition merchandise on sale at the Kaws Tokyo First exhibition
Now you can ride down Hakuba’s Mt Iwatake on an off-road go-kart
The famous Nebuta Festival in Aomori will be live-streamed for the first time ever
Want to be the first to know what’s cool in Tokyo? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates from Tokyo and Japan.