The Nissay Culture Foundation was established in November 1973 as The Nissay Children's Culture Foundation through a contribution by Nippon Life Insurance Company with the goal of "contributing to the arts and culture of Japan by providing and improving outstanding theatrical arts."
In November 1993, on the 20th anniversary of its founding (30th anniversary of the Nissay Theatre), it was renamed the Nissay Culture Foundation with the aim of offering a broader range and more substantial activities.
Since its establishment, the Foundation has provided performances of outstanding high-quality dramatic productions both from Japan and abroad with a low admission charge, while fostering the development of the performers, singers, stage directors and stage technicians who support these theatrical arts and engaging in activities to popularize the performing arts.
The theater is located in the Nippon Life (Nippon Life Insurance Company) Hibiya Building, which was completed in September 1963 based on the design of the renowned architect Togo Murano (1891-1984; member, Japan Art Academy; recipient, Order of Cultural Merit) and the building continues to earn wide critical acclaim.
The walls are adorned in rosy pink granite with balcony-like recessed windows in an oriental motif and black patterned handrails while underfoot as one proceeds into the theater is a floor of marble mosaic by Roka Hasegawa. The first floor walls of the theater are halfly plain glass and the entrance hall features Grecian-like columns, white marble and large aluminum grill lighting fixtures that truly delight the eye. The passageways leading from there to the first and second floors of the theater are covered with red carpet. Narrow stainless steel is used for the stairway handrails and stairways other than the main front stairway are decorated of wood with soft curves. The walls of the foyers on each floor are of tessellated marble while the ceilings are white plasterboard with holes, harmonizing marvelously with the red carpets on the floors. Both the walls and ceiling of the theater itself have curved surfaces and the glass tile mosaic that covers the walls glows in bright shades of blue, red, pink, white and gold, contrasting with the ceiling of pigmented plaster with pearl oyster shells, providing a unique theatrical experience. In addition, both inside and outside, the theater is decorated with paintings, sculpture and other works of art, enriching the time before and after the performance and during intermissions.
Ever since the first performance, Fidelio by Deutsche Oper Berlin in October 1963, the theater has featured numerous performances of opera, plays, musicals and concerts for the general public as well as productions of its own, including the Nissay Masterpiece Theatre, Nissay Opera and Family Festival, every year, creating a broad range of devotees of all ages from children to adults. We are deeply appreciative of this support and wait for your continued arrival at the theater.