Tokyo-based theater group to perform Futenma in Okinawa

Tokyo-based theater group to perform <em>Futenma</em> in Okinawa

In September 2011, at Kinokuniya Hall, Shinjuku, Tokyo, a scene from Futenma, in which the U.S. military enforced a blockade in the campus of Okinawa International University and members of the media rushed to the scene. (Taken by Masahiko Yako and provided by Seinen-Gekijo)

August 13, 2012 Kazuki Furugen of Ryukyu Shimpo

Seinen-Gekijo, a Tokyo-based theater group, will be performing the play Futenma in five different locations in Okinawa for the first time in December. The play depicts the situation surrounding the U.S. helicopter crash onto Okinawa International University and the life of a family made up of three generations living near U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. It highlights the fact that the U.S. military presence has placed a heavy burden on Okinawa.

Playwright Yoji Sakate wrote Futenma, after carrying out research in Okinawa. It was first performed in Tokyo last September and it will be performed in Kanto, Tokai, Kinki, Shikoku and Okinawa between November and December this year to mark the 40th anniversary of Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese sovereignty.

There is a scene in the play in which after the helicopter crashed the U.S. military enforced a blockade of the campus of Okinawa International University and kept out the local police and the fire brigade. It depicts the daily lives of people who constantly live with the dangers inherent in the military base.

A spokesperson of the Seinen-Gekijo commented, “We decided to perform this show on a national scale because we wanted to deliver this work to as many people as possible. We hope to serve as a bridge between Okinawa and the main islands of Japan.”

Okinawa tour will be held on December 16 at Otori Hall, Yomitan Culture Center, on December 17 at Nago Civic Hall, on December 20 at Uruma Performing Art Center, and on December 21 at Naha Civic Hall.

(English translation by T&CT, Kyoko Tadaoka and Mark Ealey)

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