Hiroshi Koike

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Hiroshi Koike
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Born (1956-01-25) January 25, 1956 (age 66)
Hitachi, Ibaraki, Japan
  • Director
  • Playwright
  • Choreographer
Notable work
  • SHIP IN A VEIW(1997)
  • WD(2001)
  • Heat of GOLD~One Hundred Years of Solitude(2005)
  • The Mahabharata(2021)

Hiroshi Koike(小池博史 Koike Hiroshi、born on 25 January 1956, in Japan)is a Japanese director, playwright and choreographer. After his former performing arts group, Pappa TARAHUMARA was dissolved in 2012, he formed Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project (HKBP) [1]. Hiroshi has been best known for his unique blend of aesthetics and physical theatre[2]. He has been conducting physical acting training workshops based on his original method called “slow movement” all over the world.


Born in Hitachi-shi, Ibaraki. When he came to Tokyo in order to take a college entrance examination for the department of architecture and was shocked to see a movie directed by Federico Fellini, he changed his mind and decided to be a movie director. When he was studying sociology at Hitotsubashi University School, he started to produce a stage instead of film as a result of being told that "movies and theatre are the same" by his friends, and ended up hosting a student theatre company[3].

Graduating from university, he worked as a TV director of documentary programs, but he left the company in two years. In 1982 he founded Pappa TARAHUMARA with his collegemates including Ogawa Michiko[4]. Koike was involved in all 55 productions of the group including "PARADE," "SHIP IN A VIEW," and "Three Sisters" as the director, playwright, and choreographer for 30 years until 2012, when the company dissolved.

On March 11, 2011, after 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, he decided to dissolve the group. In the same year, the group held Papa-Tara Final Festival. As the reasons for dissolution, Koike told that it was his reaction to the feeling of entrapment in Japan and to Japanese cultural administration such as grant system"[5].

In June 2012, soon after the dissolution of Pappa TARAHUMARA, he established Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project (HKBP). Focusing on education, publication, and creation with creativity as the core, HKBP has been strongly aware of "cross-culture" and "multicultural," and experienced a number of international collaborative projects. Since 2013, HKBP has been working on theater adaptation of the ancient epic Mahabharata with artists from various Asian countries for 8 years. Other productions of HKBP includes The Restaurant of Many Orders which is based on Kenji Miyazawa's novel and "World Series" in which Koike deeply deals with social problems today with his unique "sensory approach."[6]

Koike has been known for his unique artistic approach which is beyond the conventional genres such as drama, dance and visual arts. His productions has been internationally highly acclaimed and invited from many international festivals and theaters such as the Next Wave Festival at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Koike's works have been performed in 40 countries. In addition to his work with many international artists and productions all over the world, he has also internationally conducted workshops for both professional artists and citizens.

Koike he has served Tsukuba Art Center as the artistic director from 1997 to 2004, the Asian Performing Arts Forum as the Executive Committee in 1998, and Japan Foundation as the member of the Special Donation Council from 2005 to 2011. Koike established a school for performing arts, PAI, in 1995, and has been working as the president.

Slow movement

By converting every movement to a speed of 1/100 or less of the daily speed and communicating in a slow movement, it is said to deepen the awareness of one's "body". Advocated a method called "slow movement"[7]. From the idea that "the brain that thinks and the mind that feels, the internal organs and muscles, the arms, the legs, the head, etc. are all included in the'body'", "feel the whole" body "and feel others and things[8]. The purpose is to draw out new ideas and ideas from the depths of oneself by feeling the relationship with the space and awakening the sleeping sensibilities. In addition, based on this method, many workshops for professionals and citizens are held in Japan and overseas. This workshop has been held in 25 countries around the world. Also, at the workshop, regardless of long-term or short-term, he always makes a work and finally makes a presentation[9].

Major Works


1982 In Honor of the Fragile Thing

1983 Opera in the Dark, La Mangeuse – The Woman Who Eats, Typo – A Life in 5,400 Seconds

1984 Sleep in the Sun, The Black Solar Game, Colors’ Dance

1985 Mary in Blue, Picnic on the Shore

1986 MONK

1987 Pocket of Fever, ALEJO – To Praise the Wind

1988 Zoo of the Sea

1989 Parade

1991 Stone Age

1992 The Bush of Ghost

1994 AO-Blue

1995 Archeology of MACBETH

1996 KUSAMEIKYU – Water Moon Mirror Flower *collaborative project with Zuni

1997 SHIP IN A VIEW, Island

1998 Spring Day

2001 WD, Love Letter

2002 Birds on Board, The Sound of Future SYNC

2003 Blue Brain Bull, Street of Crocodiles Project 1, Spring in Kuala Lumpur

2005 Three Sisters, Heart of Gold-One Hundred Years of Solitude

2006 My Blue Sky, Pappa TARAHUMARA's "Cinderella"

2007 Tokyo⇔Buenos Aires LETTERS

2008 New “Cinderella”, Gulliver& Swift-Writer Jonathan Swift's Cat Cooking Recipes-

2009 Garibaba’s strange World, Punk Don Quixote

2010 Nobody, NO BODY , Swift sweets, Snow White

2011 Between the Line

Hiroshi Koike Bridge Project

2012 The Restaurant of Many Orders

2013 Mahabharata Part 1

2014 Milky Way Train, Odyssey of Wind

2015 Mahabharata Part 2, Mahabharata Part 2.5

2016 Mahabharata Part 3

2017 World Conference, Mahabharata Part 4

2018 2030 World Drifting, Strawberry Fields

2019 Vagabond~SAKURAGAWA, Endless BRIDGE~The Mhabharata, Fools on the Hill

2020 Seven Nights' Dream

2021 The Mhabharata~Chapter of Desire/Chapter of Tempest


  • Long Goodbye – Pappa TARAHUMARA and Its Era  (Seigensha Art Publishing, 2011)
  • Listen to the Body (Shinchosha Publishing Co, Ltd., 2013)
  • What’s Performing Arts? (Suiseisha, 2017)
  • The Journey to the Night and the End of the World – The Collection Book of Hiroshi Koike’s Works (Suiseisha, 2017)


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