My AP Stories 2022

Here goes with My AP Stories in 2022. My AP Stories for 2021 and more links there for the previous years.

My AP Story Sept. 30, 2020 where I chat online with Digital Minister Taro Kono.

My AP Story Sept. 29, 2022 on the NBA in Japan and My AP Photos.

My AP Story Sept. 25, 2022 when Floyd Mayweather Jr. wins in a exhibition fight in Japan.

My AP Story Sept. 24, 2022 on his comments ahead of the exhibition.

My AP Story Sept. 3, 2022 on rescued dolphins swimming free from a sanctuary in Indonesia.

My joint byline AP Story Sept. 28, 2022 on Vice President Harris in town.

My AP Story and My AP Photos Sept. 23, 2022 about the protest against Shinzo Abe’s state funeral.

My AP Story Aug. 26, 2022 with My AP Photos and My AP Video on Japanese salarymen becoming TikTok superstars.

My AP Story Sept. 24, 2022 on another storm hitting Japan.

My AP Story Sept. 19, 2022 on the storm hitting southwestern Japan and traveling northward to Tokyo.

My AP Story and My AP Photos Sept. 1, 2022 on a robot that stocks shelves at a convenience store.

My AP Obit Aug. 18, 2022 on fashion designer Hanae Mori.

My AP Story Aug. 17, 2022 on prosecutors making arrests on suspicion of bribery related to the Olympics.

My AP Story Sept. 6, 2022 on the scandal widening with more arrests, Takahashi formally charged.

My AP Obit Aug. 9, 2022 on Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake.

My AP Obit Aug. 30, 2022 on Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera.

My AP Story Aug. 3, 2022 about Japanese journalist Toru Kubota’s friends demanding his release from detention in Myanmar.

My AP Story Sept. 2, 2022 on Nissan eager to leverage U.S. tax breaks on electric vehicles.

My AP Story Aug. 31, 2022 on Toyota investing in battery production in the U.S. and Japan.

My AP Story Aug. 29, 2022 about Honda and LG setting up a battery JV in the U.S.

My AP Story Aug. 2, 2022 on Hino falsifying emissions and mileage data for 20 years.

My AP Story July 27, 2022 about monkeys attacking a Japan city.

My AP Story July 18, 2022 on South Korean and Japanese foreign ministers talking to mend ties.

My AP Story and My AP Photos July 8, 2022 on a Japanese company stopping production of matchbooks. (I also did AP Video.)

My AP Story July 8, 2022 on how the attack on an ex-prime minister stuns Japan reputed for gun control.

My AP Story July 10, 2022 on how a homemade gun was used in the assassination.

My AP Story July 11, 2022 on how the Unification Church distanced itself from the assassination.

My AP Story July 29, 2022 on Sony’s profits rising despite waning interest in video games.

My AP Story July 28, 2022 on Nissan’s profits plunging on lockdown, chips shortage.

My AP Story July 8, 2022 on the death of Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of “Yu-Gi-Oh!”

My AP Story July 15, 2022 on how Toyota’s Japan flagship Crown is debuting on global markets.

My AP Story June 28, 2022 about Japan bracing for a return of tourists from abroad.

My AP Story and My AP Photos June 23, 2022 on a Japanese high court rejecting paternity harassment claims.

My AP Interview and AP Photos June 17, 2022 with Naomi Kawase about her Olympic films.

My AP Photos and AP Story June 19, 2022 on Juneteenth abroad to which I’m a Contributor.

My AP Story June 28, 2022 on Toshiba shareholders approving 13 nominations to the board.

My AP Story and My AP Photos June 12, 2022 on protests in Sapporo and Tokyo against bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics.

My AP Story June 8, 2022 on boxing champion Naoya Inoue. My AP Interview from 2021.

My AP Story June 8, 2022 on Japan’s economy contracting, but at smaller rate than thought.

My AP Story June 7, 2022 an obit on former Sony chief Nobuyuki Idei.

My AP Story June 2, 2022, in which I interview poet Shuntaro Tanikawa.

My AP Video and My AP Story May 25, 2022 on how the declining yen is a blessing for some, burden to others.

My AP Story May 27, 2022 on a Kisho Kurokawa’s capsules coming down.

My AP Story May 30, 2022 on a territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan.

My AP Co-Byline Story today on the official Tokyo Olympics film on the athletes completed.

My AP Story May 13, 2022 on Nissan mulling a third auto plant in the U.S.

My AP Story May 11, 2022 about Wim Wenders making a film about fancy public restrooms in Japan.

My AP Story May 6, 2022 on musicians coming together in a video collaboration for Ukraine.

My AP Story April 27, 2022 on a Japan railway powered entirely by renewable energy.

My AP Story April 21, 2022 about U.S. drone company Zipline starting to deliver medicine in Japan.

My AP Story April 20, 2022 on an Ukrainian opera singer praying for peace through song.

My AP Story April 8, 2022 about “Tokyo Vice.”

My co-byline AP Story May 10, 2022 about an All Japan committee promoting the Sapporo Olympic bid.

My AP Story April 7, 2022 about famed directors denouncing sexual abuse in Japanese filmmaking.

My AP Story April 16, 2022 on American lawmakers meeting with Japan’s prime minister.

My AP Story April 12, 2022 on Honda’s electrification strategy.

My AP Story April 8, 2022 on Nissan developing a “game changing” battery for electric cars.

My AP Story June 3, 2022 on Toshiba considering going private as an option.

My AP Story March 24, 2022 on Toshiba shareholders voting down the latest restructuring plan.

My AP Story March 3, 2022 on the verdict for Greg Kelly, cleared on all counts except for charges in one of the eight contested years. He gets to go home because his sentence was suspended. The defense is appealing, asserting complete innocence.

My AP Story March 16, 2022 on the Tokyo prosecutors also appealing the verdict for Greg Kelly.

My AP EXPLAINER Story March 1, 2022 on the verdict for Greg Kelly, an American on trial in the Carlos Ghosn scandal.

My AP Story March 10, 2022 on the U.S. government seeking the two Americans in prison in Carlos Ghosn’s escape be allowed to serve the rest of their time in the U.S.

My AP Story Feb. 24, 2022 on how a Japanese woman influenced Jamaican music.

My AP Story March 24, 2022 about a widening scandal at top brokerage SMBC Nikko Securities.

My co-bylined AP Story March 16, 2022 on Sapporo’s bid for the 2030 Olympics.

My AP Story Feb. 28, 2022 on how Japanese manga has gone global.

My AP Story March 4, 2022 on Japan’s Honda, Sony joining forces on new electric vehicle.

My AP Story March 1, 2022 on Toshiba’s CEO stepping down amid restructuring efforts.

My AP Story Feb. 16, 2022 on Kirin selling its China venture to an investment fund.

My AP Story Feb. 8, 2022 on SoftBank turning to IPO for its stake in Arm.

My AP Story Jan. 24, 2022, our obit on French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler.

My AP Story Jan. 28, 2022 on Toyota going to the moon.

My AP Story Jan. 7, 2022 on Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa speaking about his recent trip to outer space.

My AP Story Feb. 15, 2022 on the economy growing on the back of improved consumer spending and exports.

My AP Story Feb. 1, 2022 on Toyota apologizing for employee’s suicide after overwork and power harassment.

My AP Story Jan. 28, 2022 on a high-profile departure at SoftBank.

My AP Story Jan. 27, 2022 on the Renault-Nissan alliance investing in electric vehicles.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story Jan. 25, 2022 on Japanese skateboarders.

I worked on this AP Story Jan. 22, 2022 on the Tonga volcanic eruption.

My AP Story Jan. 21, 2022 on the shortage of parts caused by the coronavirus pandemic further denting production at Toyota.

My AP Story Jan. 20, 2022 on Japan’s imports and exports reaching record highs.

My AP Story Jan. 18, 2022 on Japan expanding COVID measures.

My AP Story Jan 12, 2022 on Japanese Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa confident about balancing COVID controls with economic growth.

My AP Story Jan. 9, 2022 on the Japanese prime minister saying a deal has been reached on the U.S. military to stop COVID’s spread.

My AP Story Jan. 7, 2022 about Japan kicking in restrictions to curb COVID infections in Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima.

My AP Story Jan. 6, 2022 on Japan asking U.S. forces to stay on bases as COVID cases jump.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story Jan. 5, 2022 on North Korea firing a suspected missile.

My AP Story Jan. 4, 2021 on Japan’s Prime Minister promising coronavirus boosters and new measures against the omicron.

My AP Story Jan. 1, 2022 on the emperor’s message for the New Year.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet _ now a film

Fukushima is the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. It will take decades and billions of dollars to keep the multiple meltdowns under control. Spewed radiation has reached as far as the American West Coast. Some 100,000 people were displaced from the no-go zone. But now, years later, the 3.11 story hardly makes headlines.
Journalist Yuri Kageyama turns to poetry, dance, theater, music and film, to remind us that the human stories must not be forgotten. Carla Blank, who has directed plays in Xiangtan and Ramallah, as well as collaborated with Suzushi Hanayagi and Robert Wilson, brings together a multicultural cast of artists to create provocative theater. Performing as collaborators are actors/dancers Takemi Kitamura, Monisha Shiva, Shigeko Sara Suga and musicians Stomu Takeishi, Isaku Kageyama, Kouzan Kikuchi and Joe Small. Lighting design by Blu. Video projected on the stage is by Yoshiaki Tago, who has turned the performance into an award-winning film.
NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA is a literary prayer for Japan.
It explores the friendship between women, juxtaposing the intimately personal with the catastrophic.
The piece debuted at La MaMa in New York in 2015, with music led by Melvin Gibbs. An updated version was presented at Z Space in San Francisco in July 2017. The film was completed in October 2018.

“A powerful reflection on the corruption and greed of men and their indifference to human life.” _ ISHMAEL REED

OUR “NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA” honored at festivals around the world:

SEMI-FINALIST Montreal Arthouse Film Festival October 2022.

AWARD WINNER BEST NARRATIVE DOCUMENTARY Official Selection Bright International Film Festival August 2022.

FINALIST BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM Official Selection Indiefare International Film Festival August 2022. 

FINALIST Official Selection with online screening Crown International Film Festival August 2022.   

EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM Official Selection Multi Dimension Independent Film Festival Nov. 25 ~ 30, 2021.

BEST ART FEATURE FILM Official Selection Universe Multicultural Film Festival Oct. 29 ~ 31, 2021.

AWARD WINNER BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE Official Selection EdiPlay International Film Festival.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT Best Experimental Film Official Selection Swedish International Film Festival Oct. 28 ~ 31, 2021 online screening.

Official Selection International Migration & Environmental Film Festival Oct. 9 ~ 16, 2021 streaming online on Xerb TV.

Official Selection Los Angeles Asian Film Festival 2021.

Official Selection Jade Jaguar Cinema Festival in Brazil Aug. 22-31, 2021.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE WRITER/SCRIPT DOCU-DRAMA FEATURE Official Selection WRPN Women’s International Film Festival Spring 2021.

FINALIST Official Selection New Year Film Festival February 2021.

FINALIST Official Selection Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival February 2021.

HONORABLE MENTION Official Selection London International Monthly Film Festival February 2021. 

BEST ECOLOGY DOCUMENTARY Official Selection Best Film Awards January 2021.

Official Selection FINALIST Beyond the Curve International Film Festival January 2021.

SEMI-FINALIST Official Selection Jelly Film Festival January 2021.  

Official Selection Vancouver Independent Film Festival January 2021.

Official Selection Toronto International Women Film Festival January 2021.

BEST DOCUMENTARY Official Selection Rome International Movie Awards January 2021.

FINALIST Official Selection Flixze Film Festival Jan. 5 ~ 6, 2021.

Official Selection Kalakari Film Festival May 15, 2021.

GRAND FESTIVAL AWARD – CINE DANCE POEM and WORLD PREMIERE at the Berkeley Video & Film Festival SAT Nov. 2, 2019, 6 p.m. East Bay Media Center Performance Space

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE WINNER Royal Wolf Film Awards December 2020. 

NOMINATED BEST DOCUMENTARY BIMIFF – Brazil International Monthly Independent Film Festival November 2020.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Madras Independent Film Festival October 2020 Edition.

BEST EXPERIMENTAL DOCUMENTARY Sicily Independent Film Awards August 2020. 

FINALIST Official Selection Montreal Independent Film Festival September 2020.

Official Selection Motion Pictures International Film Festival November 2020. 

Official Selection Silent River Film Festival in California August 2020.

Official Selection Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival June 2020.

SELECT SHOWCASE Official Selection at the Guam International Film Festival (2019~2020), aired on PBS Guam June 2020.

Official Selection ARTS X SDGS film festival New York April 2020.

Official Selection 2020 Oniros Film Awards in Italy.

FINALIST BEST ASIAN FEATURE FILM at the New Vision International Film Festival in Amsterdam September 2019.   

Online Screenings:

Screened online at the Swedish International Film Festival Oct. 28 ~ 31, 2021.

Screened online at the Japan Writers Conference Oct. 16, 2021. 

Screened online at the Toronto Film Channel Aug. 31, 2020.

Screened online at the Brazil International Monthly Independent Film Festival Dec. 9, 2020 through Dec. 15, 2020.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet
Written by Yuri Kageyama | Directed by Carla Blank

Film directed by Yoshiaki Tago with camera work by Tago and Kate McKinley. Editing by Eri Muraki.

 “Yuri, you did a great job. Stay hard and blunt and don’t mince words. Yours was a powerful reflection on the corruption and greed of men and their indifference to human life.” _ Ishmael Reed.

Photo by  Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dofrman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dofrman

For the San Francisco performance, we had genuine Bon Daiko drum music performed by Isaku Kageyama with shakuhachi and fue by Kouzan Kikuchi, joined by Joe Small (taiko/percussion) and Stomu Takeishi (bass), delivering mesmerizing renditions of Bon and minyo from Fukushima, as well as other Japanese tunes. The Bon idea of the dead’s homecoming and the abstracted repetitive dancing in a circle serve as a symbol of the piece’s message of death, yearning for family and future generations, and gratitude for the harvest and peaceful everyday life. Juxtaposed with the experimental choreography by the director Carla Blank, incorporating collaborations with the performers, Takemi Kitamura, Monisha Shiva and Shigeko Sara Suga, Bon dance was transformed on the American stage, and presented as a dignified and artistic motif of modern movement. Bon Odori continues to bring people together in the Japanese American community _ and communities all over Japan.

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

From the director CARLA BLANK
“This performance is a collaboration among all its participants, some who have worked together since 2015, and some who in 2017 helped create this new development of the piece. Through email conversations and intensive rehearsals we arrived at our choices of the particular dramatic scenes, music, video, dances and other action you will see. The Bon Odori dances and music, which provide transitions between the scenes, are based on traditional celebrations that occur throughout Japan during the late summer to honor the ancestors: Soma Bon Uta and Aizu Bandaisan from Fukushima, Yagi Bushi from Tochigi and Gunma near Tokyo, and Tanko Bushi from Fukuoka, besides Tokyo Ondo, which continues throughout Bon Odori (The Death Dance). Great thanks to Takemi Kitamura, who taught us the four dances you will see and who also created the movement for the Prologue solo and Epilogue trio, inspired by a line dance from Aizu, the westernmost region of Fukushima, where annually it is offered in remembrance of 19 of the over 300 Byakkotai warriors , teen-age sons of samurai in the White Tiger Battalion who in 1868, during the Boshin Civil War, committed ritual disembowelment (seppuku or hara-kiri) because they mistakenly believed a fire had consumed their lord’s castle, which would mean their city had been captured and their families killed. For me, this dance particularly resonates because of where it comes from, how contemporary its formal choices appear, and how as the strokes of the blades go every which direction, it becomes a metaphor for the ways life can slice us also. It has been my great pleasure to realize Yuri Kageyama’s work with all these wonderful, dedicated performers.”

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Ishmael Reed came up with the title for the performance piece: “NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet.” As that suggests, the piece is about my vision as a poet. My spoken word pieces, delivered to accompaniment of various kinds of music, address racism, stereotyping, sexism and the search for love. They seek to address what society sees as “bigger” issues, such as the Fukushima accident, the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the journalistic mission. For me, they are all connected.

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

All those themes provide the driving force in my storytelling that has over the years always sought to bring closer to home the perennial repetition of people’s betrayal, selfishness and smallness.
The Fukushima disaster is the biggest story of my life _ both as poet and journalist, those sides of my writing identity which have in the past remained so painfully separate. They have now come together. We have all come together in this effort _ all of us, of different backgrounds, cultures and disciplines. We have become one. It is clear we have each done our best to share our talent, our passion and our lives, to raise questions, to connect _ and to bring hope.

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

What people are saying about NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: MEDITATION ON AN UNDER-REPORTED CATASTROPHE BY A POET.

Yuri Kageyama, with her epic poem, has earned a place among the leading world poets. This work proves that the poet as a journalist can expose conditions that are ignored by the media. _ Ishmael Reed poet, essayist, playwright, publisher, lyricist, author of MUMBO JUMBO, THE LAST DAYS OF LOUISIANA RED and THE COMPLETE MUHAMMAD ALI, MacArthur Fellowship, professor at the University of California Berkeley, San Francisco Jazz Poet Laureate (2012-2016).

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA is a commentary on what it means to be human in the 21st Century. While we are divided by race, ethnicity, language, geography and culture, the essence of our humanity remains constant. In NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA, the cast, director and playwright all come together to create a montage of courage, uncertainty and hope in the face of disaster. _ Basir Mchawi producer, community organizer and radio show host at WBAI Radio in New York, who has taught at the City University of New York, public schools and independent Black schools.

Awesome music and dancing! The haunting drumming, dazzling satire and the golden heart of a poet in protest. Nothing is under control when the environment is under siege. Aluta! _ Sandile Ngidi poet, Zulu/English translator, journalist and critic.

Her collage-like piece weaves together lyrical monologues, sword dance, film and live music that blends jazz, taiko drumming and minyo folks songs. In the Fukushima of 2017, goes one line late in the play, “the authorities say they are playing it safe, when no one really feels safe.” _ Lily Janiak writer for The San Francisco Chronicle.

A vital story of our times. Spoken word and music from a talented multicultural ensemble. A beacon of light in a darkening world. _ Paul Armstrong artistic director at International Arts Initiatives, a Vancouver-based nonprofit for cultural advancement through the arts and education.

I welcomed NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA _ into my consciousness, with deep gratitude, seeing it twice, two days in succession _ all the while marveling at the tough yet faithful production and its dedication to truth-telling. _ David Henderson poet, co-founder of Umbra and the Black Arts Movement, author of ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY. JIMI HENDRIX: VOODOO CHILD.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA echoes the mourning of Bon Odori dance to warn us again and again that the nuclear age of post-World War II Japan has never ended. _ Hisami Kuroiwa movie producer and executive for “The Shell Collector,” “”Lafcadio Hearn: His Journey to Ithaca,” “Sunday,” “Bent” and the Silver Bear-winning “Smoke.”

Strong threads of a woman’s point of view …. Excellent ….The issue of motherhood in looking at Fukushima is well done. And the candid shots of Obon in Japan are fantastic in the background. As are the shots of rows and rows of radioactive materials in plastic bags, just left in rows upon rows in Fukushima. I thought the production was very good, technically excellent, and very illustrative of a Japan we don’t hear about after the 2011 triple disaster. Go see it. _ Peter Kenichi Yamamoto poet in San Francisco and coordinator at the National Japanese American Historical Society.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA is a memorable performance with well-researched narratives that throws you into a quest for humanity. _ Midori Nishimura Stanford University professor and medical doctor.

A powerful message not to forget: Fukushima. _ David Ushijima San Francisco business professional in retail, mobile, sensor-based and connected devices, Internet of Things.

It’s the kind of piece that keeps this from being forgotten. With all the other things going on in this world, we can forget about this, and we have a distance from them. But this kind of piece can remind us to return to it and continually reconsider the choices we make in our society. _ Adam Hartzell writer at koreanfilm.org

Great music …. It left such an impression. A splendid performance. _ Seiko Takada musician, “Kaizoku” vocalist/guitarist.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA is a powerful artistic response to disaster, informing us and inspiring us to compassion. _ Ravi Chandra San Francisco-Bay Area poet, writer and psychiatrist.

A truly emotional experience. _ Liliana Perez child psychologist and Ph.D.

Fukushima: Excellent musical accompaniment to poignant poetry, with minimal yet imaginative staging and choreography. _ Nana pianist and New Yorker.

What a delight …. See this show and be transported magically. _ George Ferencz co-founder of the Impossible Ragtime Theater, resident director at La MaMa (1982-2008), who has also directed at the Actors’ Theater of Louisville, Berkeley Rep and Cleveland Playhouse.

News that enraptures and engages through Sound. A Poet sings of the unreported calamity at Fukushima. _ Katsumi a Japanese living in New York.

The arc of history in every nation has its sadly forgotten men, women and children. Hauntingly powerful, NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA draws our eyes and hearts back to an ongoing, under-reported tragedy. _ Curtis Chin Milken Institute fellow and former U.S. Ambassador.

Everyone who took part in this performance, and those who came to see it, although of different races and thinking, all felt clearly the existence of what we know is so important …. I have lived to see many people who hurt others out of selfishness, betrayed others without qualms, and then went on to hide what they had done. But in the end, what is desired is not achieved, leaving only hunger, and, because of that, the cycle gets repeated …. I pray more people will be able to feel love through seeing this performance. _ Toshinori “Toshichael Jackson” Tani dancer, member of TL Brothers and instructor.

“News From Fukushima” gave me shivers for an hour. _ Michael Frazier, poet and educator.  

A true masterpiece. _ Mitsuru, poet and author of “Akai Geisha.”

Bios of the artists in
NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet

Cast, crew, filmmakers, director and writer of NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA

Cast, crew, filmmakers, director and writer of NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dofrman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dofrman

THE PLAYWRIGHT
YURI KAGEYAMA
is a poet, songwriter, filmmaker, journalist and author of “The New and Selected Yuri” and “The Very Special Day.” Her spoken-word band the Yuricane features Melvin Gibbs, Eric Kamau Gravatt, Morgan Fisher, Pheeroan akLaff and Winchester Nii Tete. She is published in ”Breaking Silence,” “On a Bed of Rice,” “Pow Wow,” Cultural Weekly, Y’Bird, Konch and Public Poetry Series. http://yurikageyama.com/

 

Carla Blank

Carla Blank

THE DIRECTOR
CARLA BLANK
is a writer, editor, director, dramaturge and a teacher and performer of dance and theater for more than 50 years. She worked with Robert Wilson to create “KOOL _Dancing in My Mind,” inspired by Japanese choreographer Suzushi Hanayagi. She directed Wajahat Ali’s “The Domestic Crusaders” from a restaurant reading in Newark, California, to Off Broadway and the Kennedy Center. http://www.carlablank.com/bio.htm

THE ACTORS

Photo by Tennessee Reed

Photo by Tennessee Reed

TAKEMI KITAMURA, choreographer, dancer, puppeteer, Japanese sword fighter and actor, appeared in “The Oldest Boy” at Lincoln Center, “The Indian Queen” directed by Peter Sellars; “Shank’s Mare” by Tom Lee and Koryu Nishikawa V; “Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed” by Dan Hurlin and “Memory Rings” by Phantom Limb Co. She has worked with Nami Yamamoto, Sondra Loring and Sally Silvers. http://takemikitamura.com/

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

MONISHA SHIVA is an actor, dancer, choreographer and painter, appearing in “The Domestic Crusaders” and “The Rats,” for theater, and independent films such as “Small Delights,” “Carroll Park,” “Echoes” and “Ukkiya Jeevan.” A native New Yorker, she has studied classical Indian dance and Bollywood, jazz and samba dancing, and acting at William Esper Studios and Studio 5. http://www.monishashiva.com/Monisha/home.html

Shigeko Suga Sara. Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Shigeko Suga Sara. Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

SHIGEKO SARA SUGA, actress, director, artistic associate at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and Flamenco and Butoh dancer, has performed in 150 productions, including Pan Asian Rep.’s “Shogun Macbeth” and “No No Boy.” She dedicates her performance to her nephew Ryoei Suga, who volunteered in Kesennuma after the 2011 tsunami and now devotes his life there as a fisherman and monk. www.shigekosuga.com

THE MUSICIANS
STOMU TAKEISHI is a master of the fretless electric bass and has played and recorded in a variety of jazz settings with artists such as Henry Threadgill, Brandon Ross, Myra Melford, Don Cherry, Randy Brecker, Satoko Fujii, Dave Liebman, Cuong Vu, Paul Motian and Pat Metheny. He tours worldwide and performs at various international jazz festivals.

Kouzan Kikuchi (L) and Stomu Takeishi. Photo by Annette Borromeo Dofrman

Kouzan Kikuchi (L) and Stomu Takeishi. Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

KOUZAN KIKUCHI, shakuhachi player from Fukushima, studied minyo shamisen with his mother. A graduate of the Tokyo University of the Arts, he studied with National Treasure Houzan Yamamoto. He has worked with Ebizo Ichikawa, Shinobu Terajima and Motoko Ishii. In 2011, he became Tozanryu Shakuhachi Foundation “shihan” with highest honors.

Joe Small (L) and Isaku Kageyama. Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

Joe Small (L) and Isaku Kageyama. Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

ISAKU KAGEYAMA is a taiko drummer and percussionist, working with Asano Taiko UnitOne in Los Angeles, film-scoring extravaganza “The Masterpiece Experience” and Tokyo ensemble Amanojaku. A magna cum laude Berklee College of Music graduate, he teaches at Wellesley, University of Connecticut and Brown. http://isakukageyama.com/

JOE SMALL is a taiko artist, who is a member of Eitetsu Hayashi’s Fu-un no Kai and creator of the original concert, “Spall Fragments.” He has apprenticed for two years with Kodo, researched Japanese music as a Fulbright Fellow and holds an MFA in Dance from UCLA. He teaches at Swwarthmore College. www.joesmalltaiko.com

THE LIGHTING DESIGNER
BLU lived in New York for 20 years and was resident designer at the Cubiculo and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. A Bessie Award winner, he was lighting designer for renowned dance theater artists such as Sally Gross, Eiko and Koma, Ping Chong, Donald Byrd, Nancy Meehan and Paula Josa Jones.

THE FILMMAKER
YOSHIAKI TAGO, whose video was part of the live performance, has made NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA into a film. Tago also directed “A.F.O.,” “Believer,” “Worst Contact,” “Meido in Akihabara.” His short “The Song of a Tube Manufacturer” won the runner-up prize at the Yasujiro Ozu Memorial Film Festival in 2013. He served as film adviser for Takashi Murakami, and has worked with Nobuhiko Obayashi, Takashi Miike and Macoto Tezuka. He is a graduate of the prestigious Tokyo film school founded by Shohei Imamura.

YOSHIAKI TAGO

YOSHIAKI TAGO

From the playwright YURI KAGEYAMA

“The two sides of who I am _ poet and journalist _ have long been separate. I am a poet, first and foremost, I felt, and reporting is what I do for my job. But the 2011 Fukushima disaster brought those two sides together in a way that was undeniable, imperative and honest. I am filled with gratitude toward my collaborators, who have turned my words and ideas into a moving, convincing and honorable piece of theater. In this work, we defy the boundaries of cultures, race, generations and genres to tell the story about how our world has created a catastrophe. We don’t pretend to have all the answers. But it’s an important story.”

Acknowledgements
Thanks to Akiyoshi Imazeki for photographs of Fukushima for video by Yoshiaki Tago for “Decontamination Ghosts;” Z Space, especially Drew Yerys, Minerva Ramirez, Wolfgang Wachaolovsky, Jim Garcia, Julie Schuchard and Andrew Burmester; Alex Maynard and Adam Hatch for the use of Starline Social Club for rehearsals; Mark Ong of Side by Side Studios for the poster design; Annette Borromeo Dorfman for program design and photographing the performance; Sally Gross, Ping Chong and Meredith Monk for help finding our cast; Ishmael Reed for ongoing support and Tennessee Reed for photography; Hisami Kuroiwa for her wise counsel, filmmaker Kate McKinley; LaMaMa Experiemental Theatre for showing the work in New York in 2015; Melvin Gibbs, Sumie Kaneko, Hirokazu Suyama and Kaoru Watanabe for the music at La MaMa; Bob Holman for presenting an initial reading at Bowery Poetry Club with Yuki Kawahisa, Pheeroan akLaff and Tecla Esposito; Makoto Horiuchi; Yoichi Watanabe and Hiromi Ogawa of Amanojaku taiko in Tokyo; all the members of the Yuricane spoken word band who inspired the poems and stories that developed into this work, and, last but not least, the people of Fukushima.

Yuri Kageyama reports from the no-go zone in Fukushima. Photo by Kazuhiro Onuki.

Yuri Kageyama reports from the no-go zone in Fukushima. Photo by Kazuhiro Onuki.

A World Premiere screening at the Berkeley Video and Film Festival Nov. 2, 2019.  From left to right: Festival founder and organizer Mel Vapour, director Carla Blank, writer/poet Yuri Kageyama and camera-person Kate McKinley. Photo by Tennessee Reed.

Accepting the award at the Berkeley Video and Film Festival Nov. 2, 2019. From left to right: Camera-person Kate McKinley, director Carla Blank, festival founder and organizer Mel Vapour and writer/poet Yuri Kageyama.
Photo by Tennessee Reed.

With director Yoshiaki Tago at the red carpet event.

In Amsterdam in September 2019 for the New Vision International Film Festival, where News From Fukushima was a Finalist Best Asian Feature Film.

more gala shots
News From Fukushima an Official Selection at the ARTS X SDGS festival

I talked about our film and all my great collaborators at the Silent River Film Festival, which screened NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA August, 2020.

https://www.facebook.com/SilentRiverFilmFestival/videos/644827306160921/

https://www.facebook.com/SilentRiverFilmFestival/videos/1021079638326778/

GEOMORPHOLOGY Words. Words. Words.

A collaboration by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama June 2022 ~ (ongoing)

Sandile (June 12, 2022)

It is windy, rough, chimneys banging in the winds,

begging for mercy, pebbles.

Still meditating, but prayers return as cloudbursts. Blood.

Sky dances, but no raindrops on the lips.

Bare gullies. 

Bedrocks rehearsing illness songs.

Orphans on dry geomorphology.

Yuri (June 19, 2022)

The blue-green planet is but a sneeze

Lost in two billion light years of solitude,

That speck of snot, or dot, of human life

In an eternal line of ancestral tradition:

Like Shuntaro Tanikawa and Mansai Nomura,

On this Juneteenth, we remember

Hope, courage, that patient wait.

Sandile (July 2, 2022)

On the first day of the month, the sun went home in splendid form.

A good ruse for me to sleep, and wake up in top form.

A world of theatrical summons suddenly made sensuous.

I am walking into the village where one season,

the magic of laughter died.

My dogs running.

Joyous.

Yuri (July 12, 2022)

The Music falls silent.

Piping, pellets, powder,

Wrapped in tape,

Two smoking blasts

from a homemade gun,

Assassination Assassination

Sinking and numb

We face each other and a new world

Sandile (July 8, 2022)

hope pulses with astonishing freshness.

i’m home

embracing every tiny patch

food in green pastures

songs making me feel whole

while mourning a dear brother

Mandla Dlamini,

his leaf refusing to wither …

Yuri (July 14, 2022)

… you are home:

The rice smells sweet,

Take your shoes off and let

The tatami cool your tired toes;

Take a deep breath;

Let it seep within _

That feeling that you count

When what’s going on around us  

Is just the opposite.   

Sandile (Aug. 18, 2022)

A man from boyhood rises on a point of order.

Tells a tiktok traffic DJ, his potatoes are wrapped in blood.

Pleads for wifey to go gentle into his black potato sack.

To keep it cool, moist.

This tiny poem is no portrait of a man as a naked cook.

It is his pain.

Sandile (Aug. 24, 2022)

In the punishing winds,

chimneys sing in the bloody winds.

Why can’t you see?

Sit down. Grow wings.

Simply sing along.

Grow dreadlocks. Brush your dog.

Chill out with bafo.

And Hugh. Cool laughers.

Sandile’s photo for the segment above shows “Madala Kunene (left), a superb South African guitarist and raconteur. The young chap is Hugh Mdlalose, a talented documentary photographer. His father was a musicologist and named him after the great trumpeter. Madala is popularly known as bafo. Zulu for brother.”

Yuri (Aug. 26, 2022)

it’s a blessed day

when you wake up and write

a poem,

or rather a poem wakes up

and gets you

to write a poem;

it just comes but it

has to be

a blessed day;

never forget when it happens last,

or those long silent days

when you just suffered.

^____<

(The poetic trans-planetary collaboration between Sandile Ngidi in South Africa and Yuri Kageyama in Japan has evolved over time. Their previous works are: #peacepoetry (March ~ May 2022), and the work that started it all in 2021: “Magic 50 of COVID-19 Poems.” The tradeoff of lines in a literary hand-holding defied geographic borders, in a shared vision, week by week, or almost week by week, through the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the comings and going of daily life. “This poetic dance is our call and response. A tango of sorts,” Ngidi says. Without having ever met once in real life, the poets know simple but totally perfect mutual understanding. Thank God for Poetry.)

MY POETRY IN LIFE AND LEGENDS

My Poetry in Life and Legends

My poetry is in great company here in LIFE AND LEGENDS Twelfth Edition
July 15, 2022, Irvine, CA, USA. Thanks to the Editor-in-Chief: Kalpna Singh-Chitnis.

NOTHING HAPPENS a collaboration between Sergio Ferrer and Yuri Kageyama

Sergio Ferrer, an image and sound engineer, composer and singer in Singer, was inspired by my poem NOTHING HAPPENS to create this piece.

He says he “tries to mix and purify the digital essence of life from the technical brain side and also from the artist brain side,” which he truly does so well with this piece.

We have never met in real life, but this was a true meeting of souls.

HAIKU FOR A RAINY DAY

HAIKU FOR A RAINY DAY By Yuri Kageyama

Separated

Kimono sleeves are wet though

It is not raining

あえぬひと

きものぬれるや

ふらぬ雨

#peacepoetry A collaborative poem by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama

#peacepoetry A collaborative poem by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama March 2022 ~ May 2022

Sandile

We are crushed still, bulldozed, uneasy.

Give bread, paska, borscht now.

Sink the molten nerves, war hormones.

Pray fair winds, pebbles, sumac delights.

Rachel Corrie flowers, Westbank’s red ruins.

Yuri

Phan Thi Kim Phuc’s back,

Silent chants, red smoke, orphans cry.

Blue and yellow flurry on Tokyo streets,

“We stand with Ukraine.”  

Fissions of fear, hypersonic glide.

Kent State My Lai Mariupol

Akiko Yosano tells us: Mountains will move,

Shuddering dark loins, tangled hair to lips.

Sandile

Stoop, Russians, stoop,

War dogs eat death you planted in the fields.

Spit its blood like wastewater.

Smear the gunpowder to sanctify your sword.

But no gun can kill the hills’ brooding smiles,

Butterflies will survive the heavy rains.

Yuri

When “tactical” dwarfs Hiroshima, Nagasaki,

“Neo-Nazi” is not a name for anyone,

Retreat sends an attack more frenzied than ever.

Poets speak above the silence,

Purify the Meaninglessness

Of words gone Mad.

Sandile

This ominous cloud

Racial hate in sniper fire.

Your fresh light

Brave in stunning pearls.

Still stubborn as our knees.

Your tenacious love,

Shireen Abu Aqleh.

Vibrant in the storms of black powder rains.

Black stones.

Red shrines.

Coral noctilucence.

Yuri

Children in Ukraine and Fukushima

Are sick with thyroid cancer,

More than the usual two in a million.

She cries remembering that day a decade ago,

When doctors tell her you’ll die at 23 without surgery,

“I was wearing a new dress and new sandals.”

HAIKU FOR BASHO a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Haiku for Basho a poem by Yuri Kageyama

May 3, 2022

眼差しを

無に流すかな

芭蕉のかわ

He is still watching,

Though washed away to nothing-

Ness, Basho’s River

SHADOW a poem by YURI KAGEYAMA

Photo by Tennessee Reed

SHADOW a poem written for the Poetry Challenge May 1, 2022

By Yuri Kageyama

when young,

one thinks of what

one will become

or what one

wants to be

^___<

as years pass,

we realize

what we are seen as

doesn’t really

matter

^___<

what matters

is who we really are

how we live

what it is that we do

day by day

^___<

which is not

the same thing

at all

that is what counts

in the end

AS IS MUCH IN LIFE by Dr. Minh and Yuri Kageyama

AS IS MUCH IN LIFE

A poetic collaboration on Twitter by Dr. Minh and Yuri Kageyama April 22, 2022

Dr. Minh wrote the poem in five minutes after I tweeted the title. I just added the last two lines.   

As is much in life

you sit alone on the edge of a river   

I know

you nurture your solitude

but wonder

tomorrow

you will sit alone on the edge of the river

is your solitude still there

only you know

^___<

As is much in life

solitude is not emptiness

or vacuum or the void

where the real and the real annihilate

to give birth to something new

just emptiness

but this is where life begins

you and I know

as is much in life