Education for Madmen

Ikenoshita Theatrical Company


Terayama Shūji


Nagano Kazufumi

Production manager

Tanaka Shin'ichi


Adachi Naomi


Kōnuma Kaoru


Aoki Iori, Fukasawa Yukihiro , Sumio, Iwakiri Chabo, Hirasawa You, Iguchi Kaori, Sakura Kyoshiro, Yoshitaka Na



Running time

60 min


Japanese with Polish and English captions

Director Nagano Kazufumi  established a new theatrical company called Ikenoshita Theatrical Company in January 1996 in order to search for new horizons where drama and butoh intertwine. Ikenoshita began staging a series of the early works by Terayama Shūji in August 1996. Unique approaches distinguish these events from previous productions of works of Terayama. The company staged Terayama’s works rarely performed in the past, such as The Count’s Daughter, Kikuko Kotakagari and her Seven Deadly Sins, Blue beard, Adam and Eve and my Criminology, and thus provided new insights into the unknown world of Terayama. Ikenoshita Theatrical Company's main goal is to present the art of Terayama Shūji and its link to contemporary times, scrutinizing how the dynamism of his works stimulates actors' bodies and how they are transformed on stage. By performing all of his plays, Ikenoshita seeks to find new threads in Terayama’s dramatic legacy, staging his works using different concepts. 

Education for Madmen is one of the most intimate and original productions of Terayama Shūji (1935‒1983), a leading exponent of 20th-century avant-garde Japanese theatre. Despite his premature death, the director remains an unsurpassed model for all those who admire, aspire to or continue the tradition of the Tenjō Sajiki.

Initially conceived as a puppet show, Education for Madmen was adapted for actors. After a family receives a mysterious tip saying that one of its members has gone insane, their gathering breaks down into an argument with family members accusing each other of being the titular madman. But who is mad? Perhaps all the fuss has been caused by the invisible demiurge who is in control of the actors-puppets? In Terayama’s piece, just like in Tadeusz Kantor’s theatre of death, mannequins become conscious and come to life. Terayama’s puppet actors realise that they are living people.

Kazufumi Nagano was born in Asakusa, Tokyo, in 1962. In his youth he saw many plays of the Shōchiku Opera Company. After graduating in drama from the Toho Gakuen School of Music, he worked in the production department of the En theatre company, where he devoted himself to dance, which he had practised since his university days before moving on to work at the Kazuo Ono Dance Studio and in small theatres, and then started to teach acting, including for the Toho Gakuen Educational Foundation. Nagano is the founder of the Ikenoshita Theatrical Company, which combines drama, music and dance.

Education for Madmen is staged in Poland thanks to the support of:


Gdansk, The Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre


Wroclaw, The Grotowski Institute, The Laboratory Theatre Space