2015 / Japan’s artist to bring Tokyo Rose-theme theatrical program to REDCAT, Feb. 26-28

REDCAT Zero Hour

REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)

631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Miwa Yanagi

Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape

February 26 – 28, 2015, 8:30 p.m.

Tickets: $12 – $30


This program was conceived, written, and directed by Miwa Yanagi, one of the leading contemporary artists in Japan and a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design (Kyoto Zokei Daigaku).

The tour is produced and organized by the Japan Society, New York, as one of the Society-wide series, Stories from the War, planned to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.

“Zero Hour” is the name of a radio program broadcasted during World War II for Allied Forces by the Japanese Government. The fascinating voice of a female broadcaster reached the American servicemen in the South Pacific, and eventually she was named Tokyo Rose, the siren of the Far East. After the war ended, American servicemen and journalists rushed to see her in the ruins of Tokyo.

Zero Hour: Tokyo Rose’s Last Tape  is a tale about voices where historical facts and fiction intertwine: stylish stage arts and videos, texts with a mixture of Japanese and English, and “usher girls” wandering the edge of reality and fantasy.

This play received positive reviews after its first performance at Kanagawa Art Theatre (KAAT) and Aichi Triennale in 2013.

Miwa Yanagi was born in the city of Kobe. She graduated from the Graduate School of Arts, Kyoto City University of Arts. From the latter half of 1990’s, she created photographic works with young ladies as the motifs using computer graphics and special effects makeup, and she gained prominence especially with the series Elevator Girls, where she had costumed usher girls stand in commercial facilities.

From 2000, she published My Grandmothers, a series in which young girls act as themselves in 50 years, and Fairy Tale, a series of stories in which a young girl and an old woman appear, as well as held a lot of solo exhibitions at home and abroad.

In 2009, she was appointed as the artist for the Japanese Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale of Art.

In 2011, she started theater projects such as Trilogy 1924 and Panorama, both based on modern Japan. After exhibiting her latest work, stage trailer at the Yokohama Triennale 2014 and the 2015 KYOTO PARASOPHIA, she aims to hold road shows visiting several places with the trailer.

Yanagi now teaches at the Kyoto University of Art and Design (KUAD) as a professor, and her works for Zero Hour was made together with 19 KUAD students, who prepared costumes and stage props, as a credited program called ULTRA PROJECT planned by KUAD’s in-house studio ULTRA FACTORY to make opportunities for students to work with top artists.

The program has been performed at the Japan Society in New York on January 29-31, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC on February 6-7, and at the Stephens Hall Theatre at Towson University, Towson, MD on February 13, and tours to the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada (February 21), and the REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater), Los Angeles, CA (February 26-28).

It will be performed in English and Japanese with English subtitles.

For more details about Miwa Yanagi, “The Wings of Miwa Yanagi,” the translation of Special Issue on “URYU TSUSHIN (Vol. 62),” KUAD Magazine issued in July, 2014 will probably be a good reference. http://urx.nu/hoIG