Written by

Tada Tomio(Holy Mother In Nagasaki)
Diethard Leopold(At Jacob’s Well)

Directed by Shimizu Kanji

Dramaturg: Oda Sachiko
Associate Director: Sato Makoto

Shite (leading role): Shimizu Kanji


Pilgrims visit Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki and encounter an old lady who talks about the day when an atomic bomb destroyed the city. The entire city was on fire as if it had been the end of the world. Numerous citizens including many Catholics died, and a statue of Holy Mother and the cathedral were burned out. After the war, the head of the statue was found in the rubble and named “Atomic-bombed Mary.” While a choir fills the cathedral with song, the pilgrims pray for the victims. A woman appears. Is she Holy Mother or the victim’s spirit? She reminds them of the tragedy and shows the mercy of Holy Mother. She tells a story about an unknown Catholic woman who took care of injured victims on the night. She dances, praying for the victims and world peace. She disappears only leaving a single white lily.

The story of Holy Mother in Nagasaki is based on the history of Urakami, Nagasaki. The creation of the piece started as the citizens of Nagasaki asked Noh Master Shimizu Kanji to create a memorial Noh for the victims of the atomic bombing. Urakami Cathedral was built in 1914 finally after the 250 years’ of the persecution of Catholics, but it was destroyed by the atomic bombing in 1945. At the time, numerous Catholics died, and survivors worked day and night on rescue. Since its premier at the cathedral in November 2005, Holy Mother in Nagasaki has been performed 17 times including twice in the memorial service. In 2015, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing, it was performed in a few cities including New York, where the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was being discussed, and Nagasaki, where the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs was being held. It was also presented in Vienna, Paris, and Warsaw in 2019. In Holy Mother in Nagasaki, local choirs are encouraged to play the role of choir, and this time Hatano Mutsumi, Mezzo-soprano singer, will take the role this time.


Two Jews encounter a Palestinian woman at Jacob’s Well. She talks about a Jewish man who offered water to a Samaritan woman at the well hundreds of years ago although Jews usually avoided contact with Samaritans. The story is based on the fourth chapter of the Gospel According to John.

Written by Diethard Leopold, a Vienna-based art curator, At Jacob’s Well calls for reconciliation and togetherness. For people with different backgrounds, cultures, and religions, mutual understanding is of the utmost importance. At Jacob’s Well gives a powerful symbol for mutual understanding and cooperation between the Jews and the Samaritan Woman and shows the invisible background of modern history. This piece was developed between Shimizu Kanji and Diethard Leopold through multi-year discussion and premiered in 2019 in Vienna. In the performance, a performer from Austria will take the role of the Ai-kyogen, and a Polish performer will play the Waki-tsure role.

The Tessen-kai Noh Theater Association

The Tessen-kai Noh Theater Association is a renowned Noh performing organization led by the Kanze Tetsunojo family. It was established as a branch of the Kanze School in the early 18th century. After World War II, Kanze Hisao (1925–1978), the first son of Kanze Tetsunojo VII, led the renaissance of Noh and explored its potential through practice and study. During that time, Hisao and Tessen-kai vigorously engaged in multi-disciplinary, international projects. Currently, Tessen-kai is led by Kanze Tetsunojo IX (1956– ) who took over the name in 2002. While preserving the classical repertory, the organization creates new plays and actively looks for new ways of expression through collaboration with artists from other disciplines. Tessen-kai continues to explore the possibilities of Noh as an art form that is relevant to today’s audience.

Shimizu Kanji

Shimizu Kanji, a shite performer of Kanze School, was born in 1953 and trained under the late Hisao Kanze, the late Tetsunojo Kanze VII (Living National Treasure) and Tetsunojo Kanze IX. An Important Intangible Cultural Property designated by the Japanese government, Kanji is a board member and actor of The Tesse-kai Noh Theater Association, a branch of Kanze School established in the early 18th century, and an adjunct professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. Not only does he perform classical Noh repertoire, but he also dedicates himself to the revival of lost plays. Besides, he participates in the creation of contemporary noh pieces to explore the possibilities of noh as an art form that is relevant to today’s society. He has directed and performed multiple contemporary noh pieces including Holy Mother in Nagasaki and Okinawa Zangetsu-ki written by the late Dr. Tada Tomio, an internationally renowned immunologist and writer. He has also participated in various contemporary theater pieces and international collaborations including a performance with the Chinese Kunqu Opera. In 2018, he started a multi-disciplinary project, Aoyama Experimental Lab, with contemporary musicians and dancers to look for new ways of expression.

Tada Tomio

Dr. Tada Tomio (1934-2010) was an immunologist and writer. He made outstanding achievements as an immunologist, such as the discovery of suppressor T-cells that suppress the immune response, and received the Noguchi Hideyo Memorial Medicine Award, the Asahi Prize, and the Emil von Behring Award. He was Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo and selected as a Person of Cultural Merit in 1984. He had a deep knowledge of noh and created new noh plays such as Mumyo-no-i, Manhanga, and Isseki Sennin, as well as the war trilogy Genbaku-ki, Holy Mother of Nagasaki, and Okinawa Zangetsuki. His literary works include essays on immunology, travel, arts, noh and many other themes, and he received the Osaragi Jiro Award, the Japan Essayist Club Award, and the Kobayashi Hideo Prize. He died on April 21st, 2010 at the age of 76.

Diethard Leopold

Dr. Diethard Leopold is a specialist in psychotherapy and neuropsychology based in Vienna, Austria. The second child of Dr. Rudolf and Dr. Elisabeth Leopold, the founders of the Leopold Museum, Diethard is also an art curator and collector. He specializes in Japanese visual and traditional performing arts, and his collection includes netsuke, ukiyo-e, byobu, and noh-men. He has devoted himself to economic and cultural exchange between Japan and Austria, and he was a member of the Austria-Japan diplomatic and economic exchange committee that celebrated the 150th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Austria and Japan.

August 4th – 8th,

All the performances are presented with English subtitles.

Post-performance Talk
Fri 6: Sato Makoto & Shimizu Kanji
Sun 8: Sakate Yoji & Nishio Kaori
Childcare offered.
Reservation required at ZA-KOENJI Box Office.

ZA-KOENJI Public Theatre 1
2-1-2 Koenji-Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo 166-0002

TEL +81[0]3-3223-7500
The nearest train station is Koenji on the JR Chuo Line.
It takes 5 minutes from the station to the theatre on foot.

Express trains do not stop at Koenji Station on weekends and holidays.
The theatre does not offer parking. Using public transportation is encouraged.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, ZA-KOENJI Public Theatre asks all visitors to check temperature, wear a facial mask, and use hand sanitizer. If you feel unwell or have had close contact with COVID patients, please refrain from visiting the theatre. We provide up-to-date information on preventive measures. Please visit our website before attending performances. Thank you for your cooperation.

Set Ticket (Nagasaki & Jacob)
8,000 JPY (Reservation at Confetti & Za-Koenji Public Theatre Box Office)
General Admission 4,500 JPY
Under22 3,500 JPY
(Reservation at TESSEN-KAI. ID required at the entrance on the performance day)

Sat. August 7 Live-streaming
3,500 JPY each
(Reservation at e-plus)
2:00 P.M. At Jacob’s Well
6:00 P.M. Holy Mother In Nagasaki

Go on Sale on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

TESSEN-KAI ticket@tessen.org

ZA-KOENJI Public Theatre Box Office (Tue - Sun)
TEL +81[0]3-3223-7300 (10:00 A.M.~6:00 P.M.)
Counter (10:00 A.M.~7:00 P.M.)
https://za-koenji.jp/ (24/7)

Ticket Pia 0570-02-9999(P-code: 506449) https://t.pia.jp
e-plus https://eplus.jp
Confetti https://www.confetti-web.com/tessenkai

ZA-KOENJI Public Theatre offers the services below. Please call the box office at +81[3] 3-3223-7300.
Wheelchair space (fixed number):
Please call the box office one day before the performance date.
10% off for people with Social Security Disability Insurance:
Offered only at the box office.
Childcare (fixed number, between one year old and pre-school children only):
Offered at 1,000 JPY. Please call the box office by one week before the performance date.

Contact: TESSEN-KAI ticket@tessen.org


Shimizu Kanji


Tonoda Kenkichi


Ogasawara Hiroaki (At Jacob’s Well)


Ogasawara Tadashi (Holy Mother In Nagasaki), Myunghwa (At Jacob’s Well)


Matsuda Hiroyuki

Shoulder drum:

Iida Seiichi

Hip drum:

Shirasaka Nobuyuki

Stick drum:

Komparu Soemon(Holy Mother In Nagasaki)

Jiutai・Koken (Chorus & Stage hand):

Kanze Tetsunojo, Nishimura Takao,
Shibata Minoru, Kobayakawa Osamu,
Kitanami Takahiro, Nagayama Keizo,
Tanimoto Kengo, Ando Takayasu, Kanze Atsuo


Hatano Mutsumi(Holy Mother In Nagasaki)


Written by

Tada Tomio(Holy Mother In Nagasaki)
Diethard Leopold(At Jacob’s Well)

Directed by

Shimizu Kanji


Oda Sachiko

Associate Director:

Sato Makoto

Lighting Design:

Yokohara Yu

Video Design:

Iina Naoto

Scenic Design Associate:

Okamoto Hagoromo

Stage Manager:

Ito Tatsuhiko

Live streaming:


Website, flyer and poster design:

Saito Yoshiyasu & Fujii Ryohei (UMMM)


Morita Yuki


Mukawa Yoshiki, Okuda Anna

Childcare by tixikitixiki

Partnership with Creative Theatre Network /ZA-KOENJI Public Theatre

Supported by

Suginami City
Nagasaki City
Nagasaki Shimbunsha
Nagasaki Foundation for the Promotion of Peace
Catholic Church Archdiocese of Nagasaki
Catholic Church Archdiocese of Tokyo

Produced and Presented by Public Interest Incorporated Association TESSEN-KAI