PAPER CASTLES

The paper castles I cut out as a child ironically maTERIalized when, in 1985, I was offered a position as International Division Coordinator for the National Children's Castle, a national center that was the first of its kind in the world. Later, with the unexpected promotion to the Manager (Bucho) ranks, and the task of heading the International Department, I became the first female Bucho in a government foundation.

By cutting out castles as a child, I had cut out a life devoted to children.

For 15 years as the Castle’s International Department Head and liaison for the international community, I produced 125 of Japan's first theater-in-the-round Bilingual Family Theater & Family Disco productions on the Aoyama Round Theater. I spearheaded PAG, the Castle's Performing Arts Group of kids who performed with me in bilingual shows, created Sound of Scissors free-hand cut paper classes, and coordinated ARTSCAPE, an artistic venue celebrating artwork of 500 students from international schools. Sadly, in 2015, after 30 years of dedicated service and programs, the Castle closed its mighty doors.

In December, 1985, the highlight of the first Bilingual Family Theater Christmas production in the
Aoyama Round Theater, and all subsequent productions, was the Family Disco. This original idea
of encouraging families to dance together on stage was an unusual family entertainment concept
in Japan, but became increasingly popular over the next 15 years. During each show, under a
glimmering mirrored ball and pulsating strobe lights, everyone was invited to step up onto the
circular stage and dance with costumed adult and child members of the cast. Families not only
enjoyed a bilingual theater production but shared the joy of dancing together on stage.

 
One of the Bilingual Family Theater Christmas productions
in the Aoyama Round Theater at the Children’s Castle.
Members of PAG surround "Mrs. Santa" and join the audience
in singing and dancing to the traditional "Thanks Santa" finale.
 
Mrs. Santa in her nightgown and cap
At Hakuoh University Kindergarten
Teri Majo, the Good Halloween Witch


Flyers from Bilingual Family Theater productions