Shingo Ōta, Kyoko Takenaka

Les dernières geishas

Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris
novembernov 15 – 19

World premiere


In Japanese, with French surtitles

Prices € 8 to € 20
Subscribers € 8 to € 18

Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris

Friday november 15


Saturday november 16


Monday november 18


Tuesday november 19


Direction and performance by Shingo Ōta, Kyoko Takenaka. Text Shingo Ōta. Music Kazuhisa Uchihashi. Lighting design and stage management Kei Furukata. Sound management and surtitles Kumiko Ueda. Geisha dance and gesture training Hidemi (the last geisha in Kinosaki). Outside look Aya Soejima, Kumiko Ueda. Translation Aya Soejima, Miyako Slocombe. Production manager Kyoko Takenaka. Assistant to the production manager Keiko Sekishita. 

Production Hydroblast company (Shingo Ōta, Kyoko Takenaka)
Coproduction Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris ;
Acknowledgements Kinosaki International Art Center, Mame, Takeshi Inarimori, Daijiro Kawakami, Terunobu Osaki, Marie Moriyama, Ryo Yoshida, Kana Watanabe, Moemi Nagi, Japan Arts Fund, Regional Culture Award Tax Accountant’s Fund, Stéphane Noël and Shinshū Chikuma Tourist Office
With the support of the Ménagerie de verre as part of the StudioLab programme
With the support of the Saison Foundation

The Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris and the Festival d’Automne à Paris present this show in co-realisation.

With the support of

The profession of the geisha, an emblematic figure of a fantasized vision of Japan, is often a little-known one, and which is also in the process of disappearing. Going beyond the stereotypical vision we have of them, what is the reality of their practice? In this documentary performance, Shingo Ōta and Kyoko Takenaka set out in search of the last geishas of the Japanese archipelago.

How can we define who or what geishas really are? Are they mere tourist attractions or performers of centuries-old art forms? Using this question as their starting point, documentary filmmaker Shingo Ōta and actress Kyoko Takenaka went out in search of these women who continue to keep alive a culture that dates back to the 17th century. The duo attended classes, rehearsed the different dances, and even went as far as to put on the kimono themselves and perform at traditional banquets. Accompanied on the stage by guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi, they reproduce and question what they learned. Interweaving movement, text and video, they confront these traditions with their contemporary representations. Between faithful reconstruction and onstage propositions of a contemporary kind, Les dernières geishas is a hybrid work at the frontier between performance and documentary. It explores the question of artistic transmission and the survival of traditional practices.