About Kanjiyama Mime

Kanjiyama Mime

Established in 1986 by Takeo Fujikura (a.k.a. Kanjiyama A) under the direction of Tony Montanaro in Maine, USA, Kanjiyama Mime is a leading professional mime company in Japan. Exploring the art of mime in a wide range of innovative fields such as in education, literature (Haiku), popular entertainment (Yose), as well as politics, Kanjiyama mime is pioneering a new direction for this art of physical eloquence. They have performed, choreographed and taught in a variety of Japanese popular TV programs such as “Shoten”, “Warai ga Ichiban” as well as “Oka-san to Issho”. Since 2012 Kanjiyama has been selected as the delegate mime company for the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency’s program, “Art and Culture Experience Program for Children who will lead the Next Generation”

Kanjiyama A Dr.Takeo Fujikura

Dr. Takeo Fujikura is a professional pantomime artist with a 40 year-career. He choreographed and hosted a series of mime-based Japanese lesson corners in the NHK World TV Program, “Nihongo Quick Lesson”. He also created and choreographed a movement corner called “Panto!” for NHK TV’s most popular children’s program, “Okaasan to Issho”. He was selected as one of the artists in a Six-volume DVD series entitled ‘The Masterpiece of Japanese Entertainment Artists Since 1950” produced by NHK TV. His publications include Oshaberina Pantomime (Talkative Pantomime), and Za Pantomime (The Pantomime), both of which are written in Japanese under the stage name, Kanjiyama Mime. He has also translated Claude Kipnis’s The Mime Book into Japanese.
Fujikura earned his Ph.D degree in Theatre and Drama from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in USA. He was a recipient of the “Distinguished Dissertation Award” from AATE (American Alliance for Theatre and Education) in 2008. He currently teaches theatre and drama classes at Waseda University (School of International Liberal Studies and The Graduate School of International Culture and Communication Studies) and continues his performance work throughout Japan.

Kanjiyama B Alisa Watanabe


  • Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama, University of Wisconsin – Madison [Dec. 2006]
    Doctoral Dissertation: Reevaluation of Dr. Shoyo Tsubouchi’s Theory of Child Drama:
    Child Drama for Domestic Presentation
    Advisor: Prof. Manon van de Water
  • Master of Arts in Theatre Arts, State University of New York at Binghamton [May. 1985]
  • Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts, State University of New York at Binghamton [Dec. 1981]

Professional Accomplishments, Awords, Honors

  • Selected as the delegate mime company for the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency’s program,
    “Art and Culture Experience Program for Children who will lead the Next Generation” [2012-present]
  • Created and choreographed movements for the pantomime-based exercise corner,
    “Panto!” in NHK TV’s popular children’s program “Oka-san to issho” [April 2012-Present]
  • Distinguished Dissertation Award, American Alliance for Theatre and Education, USA [July 2008]
  • Choreographed and Hosted a series of mime-based Japanese lesson corner in NHK World TV Program,
    “Nihongo Quick Lesson”[April.2008-Present]
  • Featured in two major entertainment TV programs (“The Artist and His Art”, “Special Artist Collection”)
    produced by NHK TV (the only national and the most prestigious TV company in Japan) [Jul. and Aug. 2002]
  • Founded, directed and acted in Kanjiyama Mime, a leading professional mime troupe in Japan.
    More than 120 performances annually throughout Japan. [Aug.1985-Jul.2001]
    More than 50 national network TV appearances [1991-Jul.2001]
  • Selected as one of the artists in a 6 -volume series of video tapes entitled
    ‘The Masterpiece of Japanese Entertainment Artists Since 1950′, produced by NHK TV [Nov. 1999]
  • Appointed as one of the National Art Festival performing teams by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. [Dec. 1998]
  • Acted and directed in ABU award-winning (Asian Broadcasting Union Award in Educational TV program section)
    NHK children’s TV program ‘Yomediago Kodomo Jyuku’ [Nov. 1996]
  • Featured as a new trend artist in NHK’s news program ‘Good Morning Japan’ [Sep. 1995, Feb. 1994]
  • Silver award for up-and-coming entertainer by the National Theater of Japan. [Jan. 1992]

Teaching Experience

  • Instructor of Mime/ Educational Drama, Tokyo Gakugei University, Tokyo, Japan [Oct.2010 - Present]
  • Instructor of Theatre Subjects, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan [April 2007-Present]
  • Instructor of Theatre Subjects, Tamagawa University, Tokyo, Japan [April 2007-Present]
  • Instructor of English, Toho University, Chiba, Japan [April 2006-March 2007]
  • Teaching Assistant in“drama in education” class, U.W.-Madison [Sep.2002-May2005]
  • Guest Instructor of mime, Macalester College, St.Paul, MN
    (The following classes in Japan are the very first mime classes taught in Japanese schools) [Apr. 2003]
  • Instructor of physical expression, Toho Gakuen Music High School. [Sep.1999-Jul.2001]
  • Instructor of mime, Tokyo Women’s College of Physical Education. [Apr.1996-Jul.2001]
  • Instructor of mime, Department of Theatre, Toho Gakuen Junior College. [Apr.1995-Jul.2001]

Publications And Articles

  • “An Examination of the Influence of Japan’s Early Twentieth Century
    Anti-dramatic Attitude on the Development of Tsubouchi’s Child Drama.”
    Waseda Global Forum [Mar. 2013]
  • “The Consequences of the Taisho Era’s Child Drama Trend and the Resulting
    Causes of Tsubouchi’s Endorsement of the School Drama Ban.”
    Waseda Global Forum No.7 [Mar. 2011]
  • “Between Theory and Practice: Contradiction and Substantial Effects of Shoyo Tsuboushi’s Child Drama.”
    Youth Theatre Journal vol. 24. American Alliance for Theatre and Education [Sep. 2010]
  • “Cultural Assimilation of American Child Drama Concept by Shoyo Tsubouchi:
    The Formation Process of the First Treatise on Child Dream in Japan.”
    Waseda Global Forum No. 6 [Mar. 2010]
  • “Tracing Dramatic Theories on “Informative Motion”
    Journal of The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers Vol.48,
    The Society of Instrument and Control Engineers.” [2009]
  • “The Skill of Performance Management According to A Mime Artist”,
    Jigyo Zukuri Network. No. 278, Gakuji Shuppan Pub.Tokyo. [Sep. 2008]
  • Ugokeba Eigoga Minishimiru, Otsuki Shoten, Publisher. [Mar. 2007]
  • “A Language of Pantomime: Creative Distortion as a Result of Playful interaction of Mind, Spirit, and Body”,
    L’esprit Daujourdhui. Vol. 456, Shibundo Pub. Tokyo [Jul. 2005]
  • “Reproducing an Image in the Art of Pantomime”,
    Journal of the Society of Biomechanisms Japan. vol. 29. No.3, Society of Biomechanisms Japan. [2005]
  • “Child Drama for Domestic Presentation: The First Known Japanese Concept of Child Drama”,
    Youth Theatre Journal. Vol. 18. American Alliance for Theatre and Education. [2004]
  • The Pantomime, Otsuki Shoten, Publisher. [Sep. 1996]
  • Oshaberina Pantomime, Otsuki Shoten, Publisher. [Feb. 1994]
  • “A Haiku Journey Recited with Physical Movement”, for Nihon Keizai Shinbun’s Culture Page. [Feb. 1994]
  • Translation & commentary of The Mime Book by Claude Kipnis, Bansei Shobo Publisher. [Jun. 2000]
  • Silver award for up-and-coming entertainer by the National Theater of Japan. [Jan. 1992]

Chronology Of Teaching

  • Tokyo Gakugei University
    Theory and Practice of Mime [fall 2010, fall 2011]
    Tsubouchi’s Child Drama Theory [fall 2011]
  • Waseda University
    History of Theatre [Spring 2007-Present]
    Drama in Education [Fall 2008- Present]
    Introduction to Expression [Fall 2008-Present]
    Theories, History and Practice of the Art of Mime and Pantomime [Spring 2008-Present]
    Modern American Drama [Fall 2007, Fall 2011]
    Seminar on Cultural Fusion [Spring 2011]
  • Tamagawa University
    Education Through Arts [Spring 2007-Present]
    Introduction to Acting [Spring 2008-Present]
  • Toho University
    Introduction to Scientific Paper Reading [Spring 2006-Fall 2006]
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    Drama in Education [Spring 2002-Fall 2004]
  • Tohogakuen Junior College Mime [Spring 1995-Spring 2001]
  • Tokyo Women’s College of Physical Education Mime [Spring 1996-Spring 2001]
  • State University of New York-Binghamton Mime [Fall 1983-Spring 1985]

Professional Training

  • Tony Montanaro Advanced Mime Workshop, South Paris, ME.
    [Summer 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1993, 1988, 1984, 1983, 1981]

Additional Qualifications

  • Teacher’s Training Certificate in Yoga, Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M..Samiti, Lonavla, India. [Jul 1991]
  • Shiatsu Therapist, National License issued by Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. [Feb 1991]

Contact Us

2-27-15 Kita, Kunitachi-shi, Tokyo, Japan 186-0001
Email : webpage@kanjiyama.com

Tony Montanaro

I have known Takeo Fujikura as a student and close friend for over 20 years. I have watched him grow from young enthusiastic student to world class performer on Television in Japan. He is a great mime talent who is skilled in both writing and performing. His sketches are fresh and original. I think the secret to his success is his devotion to the art form of mime.

When he returned to Japan after studying with me he created his mime toupe which he named “Kanjiyama Mime”. I was not surprised to witness ‘Kanjiyama’ become very successful and popular. Kanjiyama Mime has taken the art of mime a giant step forward combining the traditional with the personal. They have succeeded in bringing into their work their Japanese origins. There is a tendency among mimes to copy directly the French style laced with American overtones. This company has evolved beyond this and created a highly personal and yet stylized theatre form that is both humorous and dramatic. They are a warm, funny and highly entertaining team.

I believe that Takeo has the Midas touch and will turn any venture into gold.

Tony Montanaro (1927-2002)
Tony Montanaro, internationally-acclaimed mime artist, director and teacher was born in Paulsboro, New Jersey, USA on September 10, 1927. Montanaro earned a theater degree from Columbia University. After seeing Marcel Marceau’s historic 1956 performance at New York’s Phoenix Theatre, Montanaro flew to Paris to study under Marceau and Marceau’s teacher, Etienne Decroux.

Montanaro had a long career of rave-review performances in Europe and the United States. He designed and hosted the award-winning CBS-TV children’s show, “Pretendo”. In 1972, Montanaro founded the Celebration Barn in South Paris, Maine, a world-renowned theater/school of mime, improvisation, story-telling, and other performing skills. In 1995, Montanaro authored “Mime Spoken Here: The Performer’s Portable Workshop”, a guide to the craft of mime, character work, and improvisation.
Montanaro died at his home in Casco, Maine, on Friday, December 13, 2002.

Web : http://www.mimetheatre.com/