Meet Mami Hariyama, director of a Japanese ballet school in New York City

By Ayako Yuse


We recently interviewed Mami Hariyama from Japan, who is the director of the ballet school “HARIYAMA BALLET” in New York City. The ballet school opened in 2010.


Where in Japan are you from? How did you end up in New York City?


I’m from Suita-city, Osaka. I didn’t have a great reason to come here. I was suffering very much because of the big feeling of frustration and loss and I chose New York City as a new place to restart my life. I came here in 2004.


We love to follow your ballet school on SNS (social media). How did you get the idea for opening a ballet school?


Because I like ballet. I wanted to keep putting myself in ballet. Then I wondered if I could teach ballet and opened the ballet class. First I had only one class for adult a week, but step by step I got more students and I opened the class for kids, too.


You have so many wonderful experiences with the ballet kids. Please share one of your favorite moments with us.


I have a lot of memories! The first day to open the ballet class. The first ballet recital. A lot of yearly performance. Making original ballet. The first ballet recital of my students. The growth of my students. The meeting the students, who went back to Japan. The day when my students wear toe shoes for the first time. The first participating in a contest with my students. The summer intensive of every year. Each letter and messages from my students. I get so much power, when my kids students come to hug me and tell me “I like you a lot!”.


Ballet dancers need food for strength. What is your favorite food and do you have a favorite Japanese restaurant in New York City?


I love any food! There are many delicious cheese cakes, which is my favorite, in New York. And fortunately there are also a lot of restaurants and we can enjoy dishes from all countries here! These days, sushi and ramen are very popular in New York, too. When I went to the ramen restaurant “Tabata”, I ran into Mikhail Baryshnikov! I was surprised!

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Party time!!!

A post shared by Hariyama Ballet New York (@hariyama_ballet) on

Q: ニューヨークの好きな場所を3つ教えてください。

Where are your favorite three places in New York City?


First, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where we can see American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. Second, I like around Bryant Park. It’s close from HARIYAMA BALLET and a good place to rest. Also there is a useful Japanese shop. Third is Brooklyn Bridge and around that, which is good for taking a walk in sunny day.

You can see cute little ballerinas photos here!




Nobuhiko Obayashi: a retrospective


November 20–December 6, 2015

This fall, Japan Society is proud to invite Japanese filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi to the largest retrospective of his work ever organized in the U.S. With 10 feature films and a short ranging from 1964 to 2014, in addition to an in-depth conversation with the director covering his entire career, Nobuhiko Obayashi: A Retrospective offers a thorough (re)introduction to this endlessly innovative, singular film artist who burst into the consciousness of many American film fans with his cult hit House. This series is guest curated by Dr. Aaron Gerow, Professor of Film Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University.

Thanks to filmmaker/curator Denis Cordier for bringing the idea of a Nobuhiko Obayashi retrospective to Japan Society.

Tickets: $12/$9 Japan Society members, seniors & students
EXCEPT screening of HOUSE: $15/$12 Japan Society members, seniors & students

Special Offer: Purchase tickets for at least three films/events in the same transaction and receive $2 off each ticket! Offer available only at Japan Society Box Office or by telephone at (212) 715-1258. Offer not available online.


Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979




October 9, 2015–January 10, 2016

In the wake of the social and political upheaval of the late 1960s, Japanese artists and photographers began crafting a new visual language for an age of uncertainty. Their embrace of camera-based experiments would alter the cultural landscape and lay the foundations for contemporary art in Japan. For a New World to Come is the first comprehensive exhibition to spotlight this radical break with the past. With some 200 works by such luminaries as Ishiuchi Miyako, Daidō Moriyama, Jirō Takamatsu*, and Shōmei Tōmatsu, the exhibition charts the stunning diversity of photographic practices during this pivotal era, from conceptual series situated squarely within global artistic currents, to visually arresting meditations on time, place, and self.

For a New World to Come was organized by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). It is co-presented in New York City with the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, where a portion of the show is on view from Sept. 11 to Dec. 5, 2015.

$12; students & seniors $10, Japan Society members & children under 16 free. Admission is free to all on Friday nights, 6–9 PM.

Gallery hours:
Tuesday–Thursday, 11 AM–6 PM; Friday, 11 AM–9 PM; Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM–5 PM. Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Docent-led tours:
Starting Friday, October 9, through Sunday, January 10, 2016, docent-led walk-in tours will be conducted Tuesday–Sunday at 2:30 PM and Fridays at 2:30 and 7 PM. Japanese language tours will be conducted Friday nights at 6 PM. Tours are free with admission and are approximately one hour in duration.

Japan Society Gallery will be closed November 26 and 27, December 24, 25, and 31, and January 1.

*English Wikipedia article not available at the time of writing.

New York opens Japanese-themed cat café


Cats are a big phenomenon in Tokyo, and now the Japanese residents of New York City need only go to Soho to get their feline fixture.

New York City has this week welcomed Koneko, a Japanese cafe with the city’s only outdoor cat play area, or “catio.” Visitors can sip a Matcha tea or eat a Hiyayakko tofu snack whilst cosying up to ten cats that are also up for adoption.

The launch has coincided with National Cat Day on Thursday, and cat handler Jackie Luther told The Independent that the launch was good timing.

When asked about the reaction from passers-by, Ms Luther said: “It has been wonderful and joyous.”

The cafe was founded by Benjamin Kalb and the cafe plans to expand to hold at least 20 cats, over two floors. All the animals are from the Anjellicle Cats Rescue, which gets the animals via a trap and release program, neutering and spaying the cats before deciding whether to set them free or try to find new owners.

Further downtown in the East Village is Meow’s Parlour, which is fully booked for Halloween. It holds 12 cats and just opened in December last year.

Brooklyn’s first pop up cat cafe — The Cat’s Meow — was planned to close on 24 October but has announced it will be extended until late November.

A fourth cat cafe in New York, called Little Lions on Grand Street, is also about to launch.

Japan’s Ramen chain Ichiran is opening in New York


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Ichiran, the ’60s-era “original red sauce” ramen chain from Fukuoka, is opening very soon.

New York’s ramen boom has grown to include two Ippudo locations, Ivan Orkin’s rye noodle installations in Hell’s Kitchen and the East Village, and twin Totto Ramen shops in recent years.

In an emailed statement, an Ichiran rep said the exact opening date was uncertain, which makes sense especially considering the nearly eight years spanning the first announcement and today’s date. A lease has been signed, but the chain is not yet ready to reveal its location.

But there’s plenty to start (cautiously) getting excited about: The chain is beloved for its singular offering, a marrow-infused, Hakata-style tonkotsu that can be ordered in varying degrees of porky flavor and bone-brothy thickness, which are actually just two categories out of five more that can be customized. Moreover, the chain is known for its partitioned boothlike seating arrangement, at which both mobile phone usage and talking are strictly forbidden.

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