enpaku 早稲田大学演劇博物館


The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University : Special Exhibition,
Theatre Critic Akihiko Senda’s Work : Words embracing the heart of stages


Exhibition Period:6 October 2018 (Saturday) – 20 January 2019 (Sunday)
Opening Hours:10:00 – 17:00 (Opening hours extended to 19:00 on Tuesdays and Fridays only)
Exhibition Closures:10/17 (Wednesday), 11/2 (Friday), 11/7 (Wednesday), 11/21 (Wednesday), 12/5 (Wednesday), 12/19 (Wednesday), 12/23 (Sunday) through to 1/6 (Sunday).
Exhibition Venue:Special Exhibition Room (2nd floor), the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, Waseda University
Host Organization:Waseda University Museum of Theatre
Subsidised by:rogo_gbthe Japan Arts Fund (Geijutsu Bunka Shinko Kikin)

For nearly half a century, critic Akihiko Senda’s words have drawn close to, and covered performances ranging from angura (underground) theatre to musicals. Alongside a keen observational eye and written eloquence, Senda has been loved by many for his personality. Aspects of his personality can be observed permeating his many theatrical reviews.
Through the display of Senda’s hand written drafts, books, and collected materials at the exhibit, the guests are invited to reflect on the many achievements of his career. Multiple articles printed in newspapers and magazines featuring him will also be on display at the exhibit. In a sense, to reflect upon Senda’s career is to reflect upon modern Japanese theatre itself over the course of half a century. Through Senda’s words - the atmosphere of times past and vividly revived past stages, the past that leads up to current conventions in Japanese theatre culture will be completely reimagined.

(QR codes will be placed throughout the exhibition to provide guidance and commentary in English, Chinese, and Korean languages from 26th November.)


A theatre critic. Born in Shibuya, Tokyo, in 1940, Akihiko Senda was raised in Zoushigaya. After graduating from Tokyo University with a degree in Western history, he secured a job at Asahi Shimbun (Asahi Newspaper Company). After working in Tsu and Yokohama branch offices of the company, Senda was appointed as a head of theatre journalism in the Tokyo main office in 1968.
Following this, he earned Geijutsu Sensho Shinjin-sho (Agency for Cultural Affairs Award for New Artists) for his 1989 publication – “Kinndai Enngeki no Kokai” (The Voyage of Contemporary Theatre). Starting in 1997, Senda served as the master of ceremonies for NHK BS 2’s programs “80-Nendai Engeki Daizen-shu” (Great Theatre Collection in the 1980s), “Nijyu-seiki Enngeki Katenkoru” (Curtain Call for 20th Century Theatres), and “Shinseiki Engei paredo” (Parade of New Century Theatre) for many years.
After leaving his eventual position in the Asahi Shimbun as a member of the editorial committee, he becomes a member of the IATC (International Association of Theatre Critics) from 2003 to 2006. Additionally, he worked as a professor at the Shizuoka University of Art and Culture. On the 22nd of May 2015, Akihiro Senda passed away due to malignant lymphoma.
His written works include:
• Hirakareta Gekijo (Theatre Opened) – Shoubun Publishing Company
• Gekijou Runessansu - Genndai Engeki wa Kataru (The Dramatic Renaissance – Modern Theatre Speaks) – Edited by Riburopoto
• Sekai wa Kigeki ni Keisha Suru (The world Is Inclined to Comedy) – Chuuseikisha Publishing Company
• Biba! Myuujikaru! (Viva! Musicals!) – Asahi Newspaper Company
• Nihon no Genndai Engeki (Japan’s Modern Theatre) – Iwanami Shinsho Publishing
• Myuujikaru no Jidai (The Age of Musicals) – Kinema-Junpo Publishing Company
• Gekidan Gendai Engeki no Choryu (Talking Theatre – The Trends of Contemporary Theatre) – Shougakukan Publishing Company
• Butai wa Kataru (The Stage Speaks) – Shuueisha Publishing Company
• Saino no Mori - Gendai Engeki no Tsukuri-te-tachi (A Forest of Talent – Modern Theatre Makers) - Asahi Newspaper Company
• Kara Juro no Geki Sekai (Theatrical world of Juro Kara) – Yobun Shoin Publishing – AICT Theatre Critique Award
• Ninagawa Yukio no Geki Sekai (Theatrical World of Yukio Ninagawa) - Asahi Newspaper Company
• Inoue Hisashi (Hisashi Inoue) – Primary Editor - Hakusuisha Publishing Company
• Inoue Hisashi no Geki Sekai (Theatrical World of Hisashi Inoue) – Kokushokankoukai Publishing
• Konna Butai wo Mitekita - Senda Akihiko no Nihon Gendai Engeki Goju-nen-shi (The Stages I’ve seen – Akihiro Senda’s 50 year history of Modern Japanese History – Kawade Shobo Shinsha publishing company