Thursday, May 23, 2019

To Our Friends in Theater for Children and Young People in Japan

To our friends in theater for children and young people in Japan

In the aftermath of the terrible earthquake and tsunami that has hit Japan, please know that your friends and colleagues in the field of theater for young audiences in North America are sending our thoughts and prayers and hopes for the future.

We cannot pretend to know what it’s like in your country at this time, though maybe it’s a little bit similar to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 which sent emotional shockwaves throughout the USA and everyone was affected in some way.  We know that your country is filled with strong and proud and resourceful citizens who will find the way to move forward and we hope that our words can provide a small bit of warmth and comfort at this time.

And in midst of so much thinking about the present, may I be so presumptuous as to mention the past, and your great poet Basho?  His ‘Oku no Hosomichi’ is most often translated as ‘Narrow Road to the Deep North’, and I am sure that he walked in some of the prefectures most affected by this disaster.  Basho says, and forgive the imperfect translation: ‘Every day is a journey and the journey is home.”

The journey for Japan, for the artists and children and teachers, and everyone, is a very hard one right now, but we know that it will eventually bring everyone – in their spirits and hearts – back to home.

Kim Peter Kovac
Producing Director, Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences
Board of Directors, ASSITEJ/USA and IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth)
Vice-President, ASSITEJ International

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