From Thursday, February 26 to Saturday, February 28, REDCAT, CalArt’s Downtown Center for Contemporary Arts, will presents Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape, a multimedia theater work conceived, written and directed by internationally renowned artist Miwa Yanagi.
this is a must see event!
In the midst of WWII, the voice of a female announcer on Radio Tokyo, Japan’s state-run international radio service, reached the ears of U.S. troops stationed in the South Pacific. The broadcast announcements were made by not one, but several Japanese-American women, ordered to work on air by the Japanese Imperial Army. Their voices, aired during an entertainment program, The Zero Hour, were immediately and wildly popular with the US Troops based, who soon began referring to the announcers collectively as Tokyo Rose.
Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape, inspired by actual events, traces the story of and the search for the true Tokyo Rose and examines the case of a young Japanese-American woman who was stranded in Japan during WWII, forced to serve as a broadcaster for the propaganda radio program and subsequently tried for treason by the United States.
This historic incident is visually reimagined with dynamic projections, and iconic imagery from the rich body of photographic work by artist Miwa Yanagi, who takes audiences inside the multifaceted story of a woman caught between two nations during and in the wake of WWII. Tokyo Rose marks Miwa Yanagi’s North American debut as a theater artist, and is touring to the Kennedy Center in Washington, The Japan Society in NY and Toronto and REDCAT in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles native Iva Toguri is the most famously-linked name behind the Tokyo Rose persona. Toguri was raised in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA, but was stranded in Japan because she was visiting her family when the war broke out. Toguri’s prominence saw her branded as one of the war’s most notorious propagandists, but evidence shows that she was not a Japanese sympathizer. Toguri’s program became conflated with more vicious propaganda, and she was arrested and convicted of treason after the Japanese surrender. She was released from prison in 1956, but it would take more than 20 years before she finally received an official presidential pardon for her role in the war.
Miwa Yanagi was born in Kobe, Japan and completed postgraduate courses at Kyoto City University of Arts. Known primarily as a contemporary photographer and video artist, in recent years she has expanded her work into performance art and theater. Hailed by The New York Times as a veteran on the art fair circuit, Miwa Yanagi employs computer graphics and special effects in her intricate visual pieces, and her theatrical works incorporate images from her visual artwork. Yanagi’s elaborate creations communicate themes of femininity/gender, aging, employment and body image.
Zero Hour: Tokyo Roses Last Tapeis written and directed by Miwa Yanagi.
Performed in English and Japanese with English subtitles
Set and Costume Design by Miwa Yanagi.
Set Construction Design by Torafu Architects.
Choreography by Megumi Matsumoto.
Lighting Design by Akane Ikebe.
Sound Design by Yasutaka Kobayakawa.
Video Projection by Tadashi Mitani. Technical Direction by Genta Iwamura.
Performers: Yohei Matsukado, Hinako Arao, Megumi Matsumoto, Ami Kobayashi, Sogo Nishimura, Aki and Sachi Masuda.
Transcends time and space. Artscape Japan
The North American tour of Zero Hour is produced and organized by Japan Society, New York and supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the Fiscal year 2014, The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan Program and the National Endowment for the Arts.