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OMOTENASHI JOURNEY to Collaborate with The Mensa Third Thursday Lecture Series


"OMOTENASHI Journey," the new musical project written and directed by Noriko Sunamoto (Japanese Production of "The Phantom of the Opera," "Wicked," "Mamma Mia!," Off-Broadway's "The Jackie Mason Musical") is planning to collaborate with an intellectual lecture event hosted by the New Greater Mensa on July 21st, 8-10pm.

The production features Sayaka Aiba (Tokyo Disney), Jemel André Alston, Chia Yi Chan, Kazuya Furukawa, Logan Jo, Yui Hasegawa, Chih-Heng Liao, Yuki Maeda, Darby Puckett, Tomo Watanabe (Off-Broadway's Alice in Wonderland), Mayu Yamashita.

The creative team:

Writer, Composer, Musical Director: Noriko Sunamoto

Script Advisor, Lyricist: Kristina Coia

Choreographer: Atsushi Eda, Chris "Chrisy" Kakurai

Co-Choreographer: Mio Nakanishi (Japanese Traditional Dance), Mai Nishioka (Yosakoi Dance, Ninja Dance), Anthony Wright (African Dance), Yui Hasegawa (Ballet)

Recording Artist: Trevor Bachman, Mary Lauren, Christopher Morriss, Kevin Necciai, Jillian Schiralli, Tomo Watanabe

Associate Musical Director: Trevor Bachman

Sound Engineer: Ian Wehrle

General Manager: Leslie Nicole Ivery

PR Advisor: Makoto Okubo

The lecturer is Mack Okubo, General Manager, International Affairs, Nippon Life, based in New York and responsible for international coordination, as well as global regulatory and accounting matters. Formerly, he was employed by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), Basel Switzerland, as a member of the IAIS Secretariat, responsible for standards implementation, including technical assistance and training of insurance supervisors over 150 countries.

He is a globally well-known policy advisor and negotiator in the sector of insurance and finance, traveling over 50 countries around the world to attend meetings such APEC, OECD, G20, United Nations, and working global over 20 years including the work in an international organization. He also gave lectures in various universities on a wide variety of subjects, from insurance, risk management to global communication. He recently launched his personal site,, used in over 90 countries. Mack speaks five languages, Japanese, English, French, Spanish, and some German. Taking into account such experience, he will share his views on the limitation of the language and demonstrate how the language may affect the way people think and communicate, and discuss global communication beyond culture and nationalities. Known as an entertainer, he will start his lecture from demonstration of 20 English accents as an ice breaker.

As a part of this upcoming lecture, the audience will enjoy the Disney-like musical performance of talented dancers or singers. "OMOTENASHI" means warmth, understanding, respect, gratitude and kindness, and is also known as the slogan for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. The musical project aims to introduce the hospitality of the Japanese culture to the world through the diversity. This concept is consistent with Mack's key messages on global communication beyond language. This event is meant to be a collaboration of intellect and performing art to deliver key concepts of global communication, which is the first attempt of its kind as long as I am aware.

Sunamoto's "OMOTENASHI Journey" has performed for the annual Japan Day 2015 and 2016 at Central Park festival, as an opening act of the Off-Broadway Musical Comedy 702 Punchlines and Pregnant: The Jackie Mason Musical at St. Luke's Theatre, and Kajiki's Artist Show at Carnegie Hall in 2015. They also won the Second Prize at New York's Got Talent Season 2. They performed for a charity event to support people affected by the recent Kumamoto Earthquake. Their performance was supported by Consulate General of Japan in New York and the collected funds was donated to Kumamoto prefecture through Consulate General of Japan in New York. Their dream is to perform at the Epcot center in the Japanese Pavilion in Walt Disney World.

The Mensa Third Thursday Lecture Series is free and open to all, and held on the second floor of the Microsoft Flagship Store on 677 5th Avenue in Manhattan. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for a future Third Thursday lecture, contact Anton Spivack at

*Mensa Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.

For more information about OMOTENASHI Journey, go to

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