Kanagawa Prefecture is promoting "MAGCUL," short for Magnate Culture, as an initiative that will vitalize its cities by attracting people through appealing cultural and artistic events. The MAGCUL initiative aims to stimulate vibrancy in "Kanagawa, the Musical Prefecture."
The Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT) held a performance of "HEADS UP!," a musical produced by LaSalle Ishii.
The show was attended by approximately 10,000 visitors over its entire run, with its reputation spreading daily, culminating in a sold-out performance - including the third floor standing room. The first and last shows received a standing ovation from all spectators
In order to train the necessary theatrical talent for the "Kanagawa, the Musical Prefecture" project, and to create a space for aspiring actors and young creators interested in producing plays, the Kanagawa Prefectural Youth Center is made available for theater productions by the youth.
Starting with "MAGCUL Theatre," an initiative for discovering and training new talent, Kanagawa Prefecture promotes the Step Up System, aiding in the advancement of young theater talent, and increasing MAGCUL influence.
The Kanagawa Re-Classics Project, aiming to rethink and promote local traditional entertainment as new art, started in Yokohama two years ago, and was held in Enoshima in 2014, and in Oyama in November 2015.
The project enlisted up-and-coming directors to come up with new ways to present cultural heritage, surprising visitors - not necessarily acquainted with traditional entertainment - with fascinating new takes on tradition.
Additionally, unlike usual traditional entertainment shows, the event saw high attendance from young people, with a cumulative attendance of 1,000 people.
The Artist in Residence program, where artists from within Japan and abroad stay in the local community to create artwork through interaction with the history, culture, and residents of the area, was held in Odawara in fiscal 2015. Many residents took advantage of the program, visiting the artists' studios or joining them in workshops, interacting through art.
Kanagawa's short play contest, the "Kanagawa Kamome Short Play Festival," saw 10 troupes selected from all of Japan, as well as two from Korea, assemble in Yokohama for a colorful short play contest, with local and international flavors.
The festival facilitated interaction between Kanagawa residents involved in theater, contributing to the development of theater talent; the festival was also very popular with visiting spectators.
This event saw high school students from all over Japan assemble at the Kanagawa Prefectural Government building, known as the first nationally registered tangible cultural property in the prefecture and nicknamed "King Tower" by locals, and at Nihon-Odori street, known for its European charm, to show off their hard-earned dance skills in dance battles. With a total attendance of 3,100 people, including both dancers and spectators, the event was a huge success.
In order to promote Kanagawa's precious cultural heritage, folk entertainment, to residents, a traditional performance was held on the Prefectural Government Building's Open Day.
The performances were very popular, the first attended by 300 and the second by 600 people, filling the seats and leaving some spectators standing. Six lion dance groups from within Kanagawa performing at the same event allowed spectators to "compare different lion dances from within Kanagawa, making it very informative," as pointed out by many visitors.
Through these various efforts within the MAGCUL initiative, Kanagawa Prefecture has promoted itself as a vibrant, artistic community. We aim to promote MAGCUL further, to improve recognition of the initiative and events to more Kanagawa residents.
In order to increase information availability, MAGCUL (magcul.net) will promote various information on local events through its website, as well as its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Cooperating with local municipalities and artistic organizations, Kanagawa aims to promote itself to the world in anticipation of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, as an artistically and culturally rich locality. We appreciate your cooperation; stay tuned for more collaborations!