Shoji Kojima, flamenco soul
Shoji Kojima is one of the most renowned Japanese dancers in our country, we review his brilliant career in this post of our blog.
He is a Japanese dancer born in 1939. From a young age he was involved in the world of music and dance. He studied vocal, piano, classical ballet and got to know flamenco at Arte de Musashino Academia Musicae. He was always determined to become a flamenco dancer, so in 1966 he undertook a journey to Spain by Trans-Siberian train to achieve his goal. He started at the Amor de Dios school in Madrid. Two years later he became first dancer in the company of the flamenco singer Rafael Farina.
He became a member of the Spanish National Ballet in 1967. He became even better known thanks to his participation in the Spanish television programme Estudio Abierto in 1970. Three years later he danced for the princes of Japan at the Alcázar of Seville at a reception organised by the Spanish Royal House.
He returns to Japan after a decade in Spain in 1976. In his native country he founded his own studio in 1980 and since then he has premiered his own show almost every year. He has counted on the expertise of Chicuelo as musical director of his productions.
His connection with Spain is still latent and he has performed on numerous occasions at events such as the Festival de Jerez and the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla. His most recent show is LorcaxBach, with Javier Latorre as musical director, a dreamlike biography of Lorca with music by Bach, two of Kojima's cultural icons.
Prizes awarded Shoji Kojima
1985 Bunkacho Art Festival (Ministry of Culture) for Shin'i-no-homura (Burning with Anger)
1985 18th Japan Society of Dance Critics for Shin'i-no-homura (Burning with anger)
1990 Suzuko Kawakami Spanish Dance for Gitanos: Amor y Ley (Gypsies: Love and Law)
1998 30th edition of the Japanese Society of Dance Critics for Homage to Garcia Lorca
1998 Art of Dance for Homage to García Lorca
1999 50th edition of the Ministry of Education (Dance Section) for Luna: En busca del alma flamenca (Moon: In Search of the Flamenco Soul)
1999 Cultural Award of Tokushima Province, Japan
2000 He is decorated with the Officer's Cross of Queen Elizabeth.
2001 33rd edition of the Japanese Society of Dance Critics for Fantasía Atlántida
2003 Awarded the Purple Medal of the Imperial Household of Japan
2009 Awarded Commendation of the Order of Civil Merit (Spain)
2009 Person of Cultural Merit (Japan)
2009 Honorary Award of the People of Mugi (Japan)
2013 Grand Prize "Improvement of Provincial Image" of Tokushima Province (Japan)