The Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project was conceived with an eight year scope spanning from 2013 until 2020, when the Tokyo Olympics are held, and produced the fourth stage of the Pan-Asia Mahabharata Project. The project, produced with several artists hailing from all over Asia, was performed in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Tokyo. The work was performed in the spirit of reconstructing for modern times in whole that of Mahabharata, a figure that has the potential to represent the ideological and philosophical whole of Asia, a region known for its diverse religious and historical background. Co-organizers included Chiang Mai University and Bangkok University, Thailand. Partners included the Chiang Mai School of Dance and Parthenon Tama. In addition to this, not only were performances held but workshops and a public dress rehearsal for students in Chiang Mai, cultural exchanges between audience/students/tour members in Bangkok, a public dress rehearsal and talk events in Tokyo were also held at the same time, providing many opportunities for locals and those on the production side to communicate together.
From the Organizer
This venture is the work of artists hailing from seven Asian countries in an effort to create a performance piece. It ran in three cities and received an excellent response from audience. Of special note was the reception received after the Bangkok performance during the cultural exchange held between the audience, students, and those involved in the production where opinions were exchanged with about 50 persons of intellectual artists, and students participated. This work utilizes Mahabharata, holy scriptures reflective of Asia as a whole, in an effort in improve awareness and promulgate the notion that “cultures and ideals are coexisting within the region” that the region of Asia has. Writing features on the production through the Japanese community in Thailand as well as publicizing it over Facebook in English, publishing articles in English, getting newspaper write-ups and radio air time in Japan helped to improve recognition of the production. This work, which works to both respect and combine the cultures of each country, received grants from the Japan Foundation and served as a representative Japanese venture, showing off the high cultural standard of our nation and serves as a work of great import.