NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA by Yuri Kageyama, Off Off Broadway September 11 – 13, 2015.

Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA _ Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet.


Poster Design: Mark Ong. Side by Side Studios, San Francisco.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA _ MEDITATION ON
AN UNDER-REPORTED CATASTROPHE BY A POET

This pensive and provocative theater work with dance, poetry, music and film from Tokyo-based writer Yuri Kageyama debuts at The Club at La MaMa in New York September 11 – 13, 2015.

Fukushima is the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Radiation is still spewing from the multiple meltdowns, reaching as far as the American West Coast. Some 100,000 people were displaced from the no-go zone. But the story barely makes headlines. “News From Fukushima” is a solemn reminder and a literary prayer for Japan. It explores the friendship between women, juxtaposing the personal and the intimate with the catastrophic.

Directing the innovative production is Carla Blank, who has recently worked with international casts in Xiangtan and Ramallah, as well as collaborated with Ishmael Reed, Robert Wilson and Suzushi Hanayagi.
Collaborating artists for “News From Fukushima” are actor-dancers Takemi Kitamura, Monisha Shiva and Shigeko Suga, who perform with an equally multicultural cast of musicians, Melvin Gibbs, Sumie Kaneko, Hirokazu Suyama and Kaoru Watanabe. Lighting design is by Blu. Documentary footage of Fukushima is by Yoshiaki Tago.

FREE ADMISSION

For interviews, more information, artist photos: CLICK HERE http://yurikageyama.com
THE CLUB AT LA MAMA FIRST FLOOR THEATRE (74a East 4th St. New York, NY)
Sept. 11 – Sept. 13, 2015. Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m., Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

ARTIST BIOS:

Version 2 YURI KAGEYAMA
photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman.

WRITER: YURI KAGEYAMA is a Tokyo-based poet and filmmaker. Her works are in KONCH, POW WOW, ON A BED OF RICE, CULTURAL WEEKLY, NIKKEI AMERICA CANADA SHISHU, PIRENE’S FOUNTAIN and many other publications. Her latest book is THE NEW AND SELECTED YURI _ WRITING FROM PEELING TILL NOW, Ishmael Reed Publishing Co. She leads her spoken-word band Yuricane. She has collaborated with Eric Kamau Gravatt, Morgan Fisher, Pheeroan akLaff and Winchester Nii Tete. A magna cum laude graduate of Cornell. M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

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CARLA BLANK photo Tennessee Reed.

DIRECTOR: CARLA BLANK is a writer, editor, performer, director, dramaturge and teacher of dance and theater for more than 40 years. Her new book is STORMING THE OLD BOYS’ CITADEL: TWO PIONEER WOMEN ARCHITECTS OF NINETEENTH CENTURY NORTH AMERICA, Baraka Books. She worked with Robert Wilson to create KOOL _DANCING IN MY MIND, a performance portrait inspired by Japanese choreographer Suzushi Hanayagi. She is the author of REDISCOVERING AMERICA: THE MAKING OF MULTICULTURAL AMERICA, 1900–2000.

PERFORMERS: TAKEMI KITAMURA is a dancer, choreographer, puppeteer, actor and Japanese sword fighter. Her recent credits include THE INDIAN QUEEN (dancer) directed by Peter Sellars, THE OLDEST BOY (puppeteer/dancer) by Lincoln Center Theater and MEMORY RINGS (puppeteer/dancer) by Phantom Limb Company. MONISHA SHIVA is an actor, dancer, and choreographer, appearing in THE DOMESTIC CRUSADERS and THE RATS for theater and Independent films such as SMALL DELIGHTS, CARROLL PARK, ECHOES and UKKIYA JEEVAN. She has studied not only classical Indian dance but also Bollywood, jazz and samba dancing. SHIGEKO SUGA has acted in more than 100 theater productions, including Pan Asian Rep.’s SHOGUN MACBETH. Acclaimed for her work in New York theater since the mid-1980s, she is accomplished in a range of disciplines, such as flamenco, African drumming, ethnic chanting and Butoh.

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photo by Hope Davis.

Monisha Shiva Headshot2 MONISHA SHIVA

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MUSICIANS: MELVN GIBBS is collaborating with Cassandra Wilson on the project BLACK SUN. A member of Harriet Tubman, he was also in Defunkt, Ronald Shannon Jackson’s seminal “free-funk” group The Decoding Society and the Rollins Band. SUMIE KANEKO is a koto and shamisen player, singer and composer, who most recently toured India and Pakistan, delivering her blend of Japan and the avant-garde. HIROKAZU SUYAMA is a drummer, percussionist and tabla player, who studied at the Berklee College of Music with Kenwood Dennard. KAORU WATANABE, formerly of Kodo, masterfully blends Japan’s folk and classical traditions with contemporary improvisational and experimental music.

Jean Paul Bourelly MELVIN GIBBS

Sumie Kaneko SUMIE KANEKO

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HIROKAZU SUYAMA

kaoru-6 KAORU WATANABE

LIGHTING DESIGN: BLU is a New York-based lighting designer. Artists he has worked with include Sally Gross, Paula Josa-Jones, Eiko and Koma, Donald Byrd and Ping Chong.

FILMMAKER: YOSHIAKI TAGO directed AFO, WORST CONTACT and other movies, and worked on Japanese TV shows such as TAXMEN. He studied at the film school founded by Shohei Imamura.

OUR READING AT THE AAJA CONVENTION HYATT REGENCY SAN FRANCISCO FRI AUG 14, 2015.

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OUR POETRY READING AT THE AAJA CONVENTION HYATT REGENCY SAN FRANCISCO FRI AUG. 14, 2015.

Poetry written and read by Yuri Kageyama
Music by the Yuricane band
Melvin Gibbs bass
Hide Asada guitar
Hirokazu Suyama drums and tabla

We presented three duets _ all happened to be about death, “Kawabata Yasunari’s Room,” “A Poem for Kenji Goto” and “The Kamikaze” _ and an excerpt from my Fukushima series, which will be part of the performance piece debuting at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York “NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: Meditation on an Under-Reported Catastrophe by a Poet,” Sept. 11 – 13, 2015 (please see next post for details).

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From Left to Right: Melvin Gibbs, Yuri Kageyama, Hirokazu Suyama, Hide Asada.
Photos by Annette Borromeo Dorfman.

KAMIKAZE A POEM BY YURI KAGEYAMA

KAMIKAZE
A poem by Yuri Kageyama
with
Yuuichiro Ishii on Guitar

Okaasan
Boku wa ashita shutsugeki shimasu.
I take off on my mission tomorrow.
I am so sorry I have not been a good son, leaving you so soon.
It’s such a peaceful evening _ so quiet I can almost hear the fireflies glowing.
I don’t know why, but I am filled with happiness, well, maybe not happiness, since I must say goodbye.
But this feeling fills my heart, all the way to the top of my pilot helmet, like a stretching sky without a single cloud.
I will fly my Zero, and fly and fly.
Into that perfect rainbow circle of hope.

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photo by Eba Chan

FOR ONCE BEING A POET AND A JOURNALIST _ AT ONCE _ SAN FRANCISCO FRI Aug. 14, 2015

SFJAZZ with drums
Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

I’m invited to speak at the Asian American Journalists Association annual convention in San Francisco.
The theme of my presentation is what a reporter does outside journalism _ in my case, the spoken word.
For once, I will be a poet and a journalist at once.
I have been a reporter at The Associated Press for nearly 25 years.
That’s a big chunk of my life.
I was a published poet long before I joined AP; I was writing poetry from my childhood.
I have kept those two sides of myself separate, not only because AP reporters must be objective and neutral, but more because I wanted to protect that delicate part of me that allows me to be a poet.
For a long time, I saw my true self as a poet and my role as a reporter as a job.
I wanted to write, and it is one way to get paid for writing.
But I believe in journalism.
I have learned over the years that there are key things journalism can accomplish that no literature can.
And that I am one and the same person.

Associated Press Correspondent Yuri Kageyama was a poet before she even thought about becoming a journalist. For years, she assumed the two areas of her writing were separate — one intensely personal, the other professional. Sometimes she struggled to simply find time to write poetry. But over the years, she has remained a poet, perhaps first and foremost a poet. Yuri speaks about reporting and reconciliation: how the Fukushima nuclear disaster really helped tie her dual passions together. And with her Yuricane spoken-word band, she will show that in action.

My YURICANE band features Melvin Gibbs (bass), Hide Asada (guitar) and Hirokazu Suyama Jackson (drums amd tab;a).

The Hyatt Regency hotel Pacific N Room (5 Embarcadero Center in San Francisco)

FRI Aug. 14, 2015. 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

MORE: Yuri Kageyama is a poet, journalist and filmmaker. She leads her spoken-word band The Yuricane. Her performance piece will open at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York in September. A reporter at The Associated Press. A magna cum laude graduate of Cornell. M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Here are some of her works at The AP.

FREE ADMISSION.
Please contact me through here for more information or to be on my guest list.

KAMIKAZE AND FUKUSHIMA (A MOTHER SPEAKS)

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KAMIKAZE AND FUKUSHIMA (A Mother Speaks)
Poetry by Yuri Kageyama
Music and Guitar by Hide Asada
at What the Dickens in Tokyo SUN July 5, 2015.

The Kamikaze _ A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

KAMIKAZE
A poem by Yuri Kageyama

Okaasan
Boku wa ashita shutsugeki shimasu.
I take off on my mission tomorrow.
I am so sorry I have not been a good son, leaving you so soon.
It’s such a peaceful evening _ so quiet I can almost hear the fireflies glowing.
I don’t know why, but I am filled with happiness, well, maybe not happiness, since I must say goodbye.
But this feeling fills my heart, all the way to the top of my pilot helmet, like a stretching sky without a single cloud.
I will fly my Zero, and fly and fly.
Into that perfect rainbow circle of hope.

NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA: A MOTHER SPEAKS
A poem by Yuri Kageyama

Please listen and tell the world.
How our children in Fukushima are getting thyroid cancer, one by one.
My daughter is one of them.
Pediatric thyroid cancer is rare.
The chance for getting it is under one in a million.
One in a million.
But in Fukushima, it’s 112 out of 380,000 children tested, and the tally is growing.
This is Fukushima after Three-Eleven.
Beautiful Fukushima, where rice paddies stretch between lazy mountains.
Beautiful Fukushima, where snow falls everywhere like fluffy rice.
Beautiful Fukushima, where, when spring finally comes, cherry trees explode in pink chiffon.
But this is Fukushima after Three-Eleven.
No other place in Japan is like that.
No other place in the world is like that _ except for the Ukraine and Belarus.
But they say these cases are turning up because we are looking so much harder, testing all the children in Fukushima.
The authorities say they are playing it safe.
When no one really feels safe
After Three-Eleven in Fukushima.
My little girl got surgery and so her tumor was removed.
And the doctor told me: Aren’t you so lucky?
Aren’t you so lucky we did those tests to save your child?
If we hadn’t, the cancer might not have been found.
But I don’t feel lucky.
I don’t feel lucky at all.

Memorable Flowers _ A Haiku Poem by Yuri Kageyama

Memorable Flowers _ A Haiku Poem by Yuri Kageyama

high-school prom corsage
a lover’s bouquet on pay day
weeds your child picks for you

MY POETRY WITH MUSIC AT MORGAN SALON SAT JUNE 13, 2015

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Photos by Eba Chan.

Who: Rock Legend Morgan Fisher plays host to a collaboration with Poet Yuri Kageyama and the Yuricane _ Hirokazu Suyama Jackson (drums), Yuiichiro Ishii (guitar) and Nobutaka Yamasaki (keyboards) in Morgan Salon No. 5

What: The Spoken Word, Improvisation, Film, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Swing, Funk, Life and Death and other Meanings and Moments.

Where: At Morgan’s. A fine minute walk from Daitabashi Station (Keio Line near Shinjuku)  2-2-4 Izumi Suginami-ku Tokyo 168-0063

When: SAT June 13, 2015 7 p.m. (doors open 6:30 p.m.)

Another Who: SPECIAL GUEST Trupti Pandkar vocals.

Why: Why not?

My Poetry and Music with Morgan Fisher. Poster by Annette Borromeo Dorfman. Photos by Eba Chan.

My Poetry and Music with Morgan Fisher.
Poster by Annette Borromeo Dorfman.
Photos by Eba Chan.

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Photos by Eba Chan.

The Warning _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

The Warning _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

Writers
Beware:
What defines
A Square?
Those who keep
Looking Around
To see who’s
Giving them
The Glare,
Wooing approvers
With Sexual favors,
Unlike
The poet
Who Listens
Only
To that Voice
From Within

FUKUSHIMA (reworked/revisisted) A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

I’ve added a stanza to the Fukushima poem and reworked it, incorporating suggestions from Ishmael Reed. A marvel how poetry works.

FUKUSHIMA
A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

Y’all, it’s a Meltdown nation
Since Three-Eleven
Covered in the fear
Of unseen radiation
But don’t you expect
Any revolution
All you will find
Is fear and contamination.

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
Instead of a holler
Hear just a whimper
They say it is safe
But the kids like Chernobyl
Are coming down sick
With Thyroid cancer.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Y’all, it’s no hallucination
The refugees’ life
No compensation
No resolution
Just nuclear explosions
Get your dosimeter
Cesium in the water
Lost Imagination

Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
The radiated Brothers
Faces are hidden
Goggles and masks
Like an astronaut
From head to toe
The Invisible workers

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

Premature aging
Nerve cells dying
Sterility, deformity
Unborn baby
Blood count dissipation
Leukemia debilitation
DNA radiation
Godzilla’s trademark affliction

Tsunami Demolition
God’s DeCreation
Genetic Devastation
Our next Generation.
Here in Fukushima
It rhymes with Hiroshima
No-go zones forever
The World must remember.

Fukushima
Fukushima
Fukushima

A Poem About About by Yuri Kageyama

Flowers Before

Flowers Before

Flowers After

Flowers After

About _ A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

Going through
Various stages
A student one moment,
A lover, a worker, a friend
Other moments
A plumber
A soldier
A poet
Mother
Daughter
Father
Son
Changing
Each moment
But no matter
Which Moment
What Stage
Whatever Roles we play
The ways we make a Living,
It’s always
About Who we are