World premiere of The Cocktail Party was performed in Hawaii

World premiere of <em>The Cocktail Party</em> was performed in Hawaii

The Cocktail Party was performed as a recitation play on October 26 at the Hawaii Okinawa Center, Waipahu, Hawaii

October 28, 2011 Kazuki Furugen of Ryukyu Shimpo

A play written by Tatsuhiro Oshiro entitled The Cocktail Party had its premiere on October 26 at the Hawaii Okinawa Center (Waipahu, Hawaii). Tatsuhiro Oshiro is the first author from Okinawa to be awarded the prestigious Japanese literary award, the Akutagawa Prize. Performed in English in front of an audience of more than 300 people, the play is the stage performance version of the novel The Cocktail Party. Touching on Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, the story portrays both Japan and the United States as aggressors in World War II. The play was performed by a local drama group, the Manoa Readers/Theatre Ensemble.

The president of the United Japanese Society of Hawaii, 55 year-old third generation Okinawan David Zen-Yu Arakawa emphasized, “The writer is courageous in raising such a difficult but important issue. The play focuses on the struggle to come to terms with being both a victim and a victimizer, and how to reconcile these two different points of view. I was impressed that it finished by expressing the hope that reconciliation is possible.”

Award winner Oshiro commented, “It was very well presented, using just the actors’ lines and facial expressions. I would like many more Americans to see this play, but I do think that it premiering like this in a multi-ethnic immigrant society such as Hawaii has particular significance.”

A second performance was held at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on October 27.

(English Translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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