Naoki Sugawara (OiBokkeShi)

“Aging and Theater”
“Rehearsals for Aging”


© hi foo farm

Tackling the challenge of Japan’s aging society through theater
Two workshops bridging caregiving and theater

Japan is one the most rapidly aging societies in the world. It is predicted that a third of the population will be over 65 by 2025. OiBokkeShi is a theater project that uniquely approaches the problems of the aging society through theater. Based on the principle of introducing the wisdom of theater into care homes and the profundity of care homes into the theater, it has staged performances at care homes and theater spaces, organized rehabilitation for the elderly through games and play, and run theater workshops for the general public. By working with people suffering from dementia and exploring the universal theme of aging, OiBokkeShi gets closer to the heart of what it means to “perform”: building a relationship with others who we do not know or understand. For Theater Commons Tokyo, OiBokkeShi presents two workshops: “Aging and Theater” (open to the general public) and “Rehearsals for Aging” (for participants aged 65 and over). In Tokyo, where loneliness among the elderly is a growing problem, a new relationship between caregiving and theater will develop.


Naoki Sugawara
Born in Tochigi Prefecture, Naoki Sugawara is the art and design director for Nagi, a town in Okayama, as well as the head of OiBokkeShi, a theater group specializing in the theme of aging. He is an actor, qualified caregiver, and lecturer at Shikoku Gakuin University. As a performer, he is a member of Oriza Hirata’s Seinendan and has appeared in the work of many emerging writers and directors on the fringe scene. Since 2010, he has worked as a caregiver at nursing homes for the elderly. In 2012, he relocated to Okayama. His work searches for a new intersection of caregiving and theater in regional communities.

  • Dates
  • Aging and Theater Workshop

    January 29th / 13:00–16:30

  • Aging and Theater Workshop

    January 30th / 17:30–21:00

  • Rehearsals for Aging Workshop (aged 65 and over only)

    January 31st / 10:00–13:00

  • Aging and Theater Talk & Public Workshop

    January 31st / 18:30–21:00

  • How to Participate
  • Free / Reservations required
    (first come, first served)
  • Language
  • Japanese
  • Credit
  • Conceived and Directed by Naoki Sugawara