Official Program

Niwa Gekidan Penino

Octopus Monks: Ritual of Forgetting


10.11−10.15, 2019North Hall, ROHM Theatre Kyoto


Dangerous pleasure that clings to the body blurs the line between reality and fiction

Niwa Gekidan Penino is led by Kuro Tanino, a former psychiatrist who won the 60th Kishida Kunio Drama Award. The company has made memorable appearances at Kyoto Experiment on two previous occasions with Box in the Big Trunk and Avidya: No Lights Inn, wowing audiences with remarkably original theatrical visions expressed through the extremely refined technique of the performers as well as elaborate and bold sets.

This play takes place in a meticulous recreation of a temple. We, the audience, are invited to enter inside, where we become caught up in the ritualistic performances that the actors enact. With its eight limbs, three hearts, and nine brains, the octopus is a truly bizarre life form that seems almost extraterrestrial. That creature here serves as a symbol of the space and rites. Sutras repeat and vary. Musical instruments are strummed. Inside the closed confines of this temple hall, the air fills up with smells and clammy heat. All our senses are triggered in sync with the actors’. Surrendering the body to musical pleasure, it is nearly impossible to escape from the dangerous immersion where any grasp of time is lost. As it becomes harder and harder to distinguish reality from fiction and we go into a kind of trance-like state, what is it that we then forget?


October 11 (Fri)19:30-
October 12 (Sat)14:00- / 19:00-
October 13 (Sun)13:00- ◎ / 18:00- *
October 14 (Mon)15:00-
October 15 (Tue)19:30-

* Post-performance Talk
◎ Childcare service available. Please contact the Kyoto Experiment Office for more information.
Duration: 100 min.


North Hall, ROHM Theatre Kyoto 13 Okazakisaishoji-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8342
-10 minutes’ walk from Higashiyama Station (Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line).



Performed in Japanese with English surtitles.


No preschool age audiences.

Ticket Prices

Adult Advance ¥4,000 / Day ¥4,500
Youth, Students Advance ¥3,000 / Day ¥3,500
High School Students & Younger Advance and Day both ¥1,000
Pair ¥7,500 (Advance Only)

Youth Tickets: available for those aged 25 and under.


Day Tickets

Same day tickets will be available for each performance at the venue box office one hour before the performance starts.
The latest information on ticket availability will be updated below at 11:30am on the day of each performance. We also accept ticket availability inquiries by phone.
Ticket Center: 075-213-0820 (11:00-19:00).



Kuro Tanino


Born in 1976 in Toyama Prefecture, Kuro Tanino is the artistic director of Niwa Gekidan Penino as well as resident playwright and director. He was a Saison Foundation Senior Fellow until 2015. After launching Niwa Gekidan Penino while still a medical student in 2000, he has since written and directed all the company’s plays. He has received invitations to festivals around the world. He premiered Käfig aus Wasser in March 2015 in Germany, while Avidya: No Lights Inn won the Kishida Kunio Drama Award in 2016. Kita Nippon Shinbun Art Award in 2016, Cultural Affairs Agency Arts Festival Excellence Award in 2016 and Toyama Prize in Arts and Culture in 2019.