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The Face of Jizo
On from 23 Oct 2007 till 10 Nov 2007
Arcola Theatre
by Hisashi Inoue
Genre(s): Drama

About: The Face of Jizo

This is the first English performance of a comedy masterpiece of Japanese post-war drama focusing on the survivors of Hiroshima by Japan’s leading contemporary theatrical voice, the dramatist and novelist Hisashi Inoue (born 1934).

In 1948, three years after the Hiroshima bombing, a young librarian grapples with the guilt of survival. Her father encourages her to meet with an eligible young man collecting objects burnt and deformed by the atomic blast. For secret reasons of her own, she can not marry him, and wonders who her father really is – it is only when she comes to terms with the guilt of surviving when many of her friends did not that she finds she can really be free.

It is estimated that 70,000 people died in Hiroshima when the bomb fell on August 6th 1945, with the total toll being estimated at between 90,000 and 140,000 by the end of the year due to the effects of burns and radiation with resulting illnesses and genetic defects still in evidence today. Ninety percent of Hiroshima’s buildings were destroyed in a blast radius of one mile. This timely production culminates in Remembrance Weekend.

Jizo refers to a Japanese divinity who works to alleviate suffering and the guardian of unborn, aborted and miscarried babies.

Ichiza (“ichi” meaning “a” and “za” means “company” therefore the word translates as “a company”) is a London-based Japanese theatre company exploring various Japanese art forms from traditional theatre to contemporary works, collaborating with writers, directors, actors, musicians and designers from wider ethnic groups, to produce exhilarating, dangerous, powerful Japanese plays in English with storytelling at their core.

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