VARANASI: ‘The Mahabharata’, the Indian epic adapted for stage by eminent Japanese director Hiroshi Koike, was screened at Rudraksh- International Cooperation and Convention Centre here on Saturday.
The screening, organised by Japan Information Centre, Embassy of Japan to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Japan-India diplomatic relations, was done in two parts–‘The Mahabharata: Chapter of Desire’ and ‘The Mahabharata: Chapter of Tempest’.
As the director claimed, the whole epic was adapted for stage with an all-Asian cast and crew and a structural logic based on eastern perspectives. The Mahabharata expresses the theme of ‘chaos and harmony and questions the possibilities of human beings through the language of performing arts’.
According to the director, 300 artists from six Asian countries including Japan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia performed in this movie. The performers showcased diverse skills, including traditional and contemporary dance, ballet and masked dance from various countries using their native languages.
During his visit to Japan in May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had personally interacted with the director and commended his contribution in promoting Mahabharata. The PM has also introduced the film on his radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.
Giving a brief about the project before the screening, project manager Marie Kuroda said it was started in 2013 and in August 2021, a stage adaptation of the entire epic was presented. The screening was also attended by UP ministers Anil Rajbhar and Ravindra Jaiswal.

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