Samurai Jazz Project
by Migiwa Miyajima and Kyo Kasumi (TATE Hatoryu NY)
Empowering people facing unprecedented events and hurdles by the unforeseen collaboration between Japanese traditional sword dance + big band jazz
What is Samurai Jazz Project?
Observing that societies worldwide have become increasingly divided by a fear of what is unknown, Tate dancer/choreographer Kyo Kasumi, and myself, Migiwa Miyajima, a jazz composer/big band leader, founded the “Samurai Jazz Project” in 2019.
We dedicate ourselves to empowering people facing unprecedented events and hurdles. By showing an unforeseen collaboration between Tate, which originated in Japanese Kabuki-culture in the early 1600s and still exists in Japan today, and an American art form “big band jazz”, we aim to deliver the message that encountering something undiscovered can lead us to positive changes.
Both Tate and jazz are heavily male-dominated art forms, so both as women and immigrant artists, we have always faced extra hurdles in our artistic pursuits. An additional goal of ours is to be trailblazers for other immigrant and women artists.
Tate is one of Japan’s traditional performing arts and is not a match against another competitor. It is one of the performing methods that create realistic and dynamic fighting scenes by working collaboratively with one’s partner. Tate originates in Kabuki from the Edo era and evolved into today’s realistic and speedy performance by incorporating the needs of the age and the essence of Budo. It emphasizes not only the skills and precise movements of the sword but also the spirit of Budo and deep respect for one’s partner and the sword. Kyo Kasumi is the founder and the director of Tate Hatoryu NY - the Tate studio. She is the Tate Master and Instructor, Japanese sword fighting instructor, action director, producer, and fighting choreographer of films and stage combat.