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Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Face of Jizo Production in Victoria

On March 5th, I met the people who are putting on the play The Face of Jizo on March 21. The Face of Jizo is the English translation (by RogerPulvers) of Hisashi Inoue's play "Chichi To Kuraseba(Living with MyFather)." It is a play about a young woman and her father who suffered the atomc-bombing of Hiroshima, on August 6th, 1945. I previously posted information about this production both in English and in Japanese.

This student-led production in Victoria will be, in my understanding,the first full production of the play in North America, after the public reading events in Toronto and Vancouver. Ayumi Hamada,originally from Kochi, Japan, who will play the lead role Mitsue, is a student of UVic (University of Victoria) majoring in theatre. Alyssa Knox, the Director, studies English Literature and Aya Walraven, assistant for Ayumi(what she Aya calls "a-little-bit-of-everything" role),studies Visual Arts also at UVic. I was curious what these young Canadians thought of the play. Alyssa said that many Canadians learn about Sadako and Thousand Paper Cranes at school but that is about it;few actually know the real emotions of the victims, like those expressed in the play.

Concurrent with the play, Vancouver Save Article 9 will display panels of "A-Bomb and Humanity" outside of the theatre. These panels were donated by Hidankyo, a national organization of A-Bomb sufferers in Japan. This is why I went to Victoria this time, to deliver those panels and to meet with Ayumi and her colleagues. Yoko Freer and Yukiko Nonaka, members of Vancouver Save Article 9, kindly hosted the meeting. Yukiko is one of the committee members, and she has always wanted to start an Article 9 group in Victoria, knowing how active the Vancouver group is. This play will be a great place to start spreading the word out and getting a group together. If you are in Victoria and would like to be part of the new movement, please contact me

Also at the meeting were Yukari Peerless, a study-abroad agent based inVictoria, and Yasushi Arato, an international business person in the health-food industry, who are helping Ayumi with promotion and the set-up of panels on the day of performance. In the picture above, from left to right at the back, are Yukiko, Yoko, Aya, Alyssa, Yukari, Yasushi, and in front, Ayumi (centre), and myself.
The Face of Jizo will be performed at 15:00 and 20:00 at Metro Studio (1411Quadra Street at Johnson, Victoria) on March 21, 2008. Tickets are $12(regular) and $10(students). For more information, call 1-250-884-8518or email

With appreciation,


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