NEWS FROM FUKUSHIMA by Yuri Kageyama, an Off Off Broadway production in September 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.


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.


For interviews, more information, artist photos: CLICK HERE
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



Poetry by Yuri Kageyama
Music and Guitar by Hide Asada
at What the Dickens in Tokyo SUN July 5, 2015.


SFJAZZ with drums
Photo by Annette Borromeo Dorfman

WHAT: I’m invited as a poet to the Asian American Journalists Association annual convention _ this year in San Francisco.

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.

WHO: With my Spoken Word, Music by Melvin Gibbs (bass), Hide Asada (guitar) and Hirokazu Suyama Jackson (drums).

WHERE: The Hyatt Regency hotel in San Francisco. (5 Embarcadero Center)

WHEN: 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.

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

THE KAMIKAZE _ A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

The Kamikaze _ A Poem by Yuri Kageyama

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.

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


profile lesser




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.




Photos by Eba Chan.

The Warning _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

The Warning _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama

What defines
A Square?
Those who keep
Looking Around
To see who’s
Giving them
The Glare,
Wooing approvers
With Sexual favors,
The poet
Who Listens
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.

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.


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


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.


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
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

YASUNARI KAWABATA’S ROOM a poem by Yuri Kageyama


a poem by Yuri Kageyama

The soft light flickers even in daylight on moss, ferns and rocks, and a well trickles drops into a circular pool of peace, beyond the tiny shoji window, where he used to sit, smile and pick on kaiseki dishes with friends like Yukio Mishima and Yae, the head maid of the ryokan inn, talking about nothing and everything, that moonlit space, like a dream remembered at midnight. He wrote only after everyone left and went to sleep. In a silence that is his only. So intense he feels numb. And he wrote like he bled, effortless but draining. He only needed one night. To get away and soak in that special space, a fantasy complete with the passing of the seasons, knowing of the right word and the shock of an ancient doll’s face, so very similar to that place in his mind and soul and his writing. No one raises his or her voice. Everyone is frivolous, fragile, forgetful. Tea is bitter-sweet foam, served with a pungent pastry. He wrote. He could write. And the publisher found his manuscript done, always, outside the door in the morning.

Yasunari Kawabata's room at a Kyoto inn

Yasunari Kawabata’s room at a Kyoto inn