Reflecting upon Freedom with Meiro Koizumi

Shintaro Fujii*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter discusses the aesthetic, conceptual, and political stakes of Rite for a Dream – Today My Empire Sings, a video installation work by Meiro Koizumi. It was filmed on public streets in Tokyo, especially during a public demonstration where (visible) counter-demonstrators verbally threaten the (invisible) demonstrators. The audience will eventually understand that the demonstration is by the Japanese republicans demanding the abolishment of the Emperor system, who are surrounded by the policemen and the nationalist counter-demonstrators. There is also a fictional and performative narrative about the abduction/expulsion of the (invisible) father of the principal character (visible), performed by a young professional male actor. This overlaps the quasi-documentary video images and makes it possible to interpret this work in light of pharmakos. The work remains somewhat enigmatic, playing with visibility and invisibility, presence and absence, public and private, because the artist wishes to activate the imagination of the viewers by deliberately missing out some key elements and, in so doing, invites them to reflect upon the state of democracy in Japan, and of freedom of expression in particular, which is often suffocated in the country in the name of political neutrality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Theatre and Politics
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781351399128
ISBN (Print)9781138303485
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Reflecting upon Freedom with Meiro Koizumi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this