Yasukichi Murakami: Through a Distant Lens

Yasukichi Murakami –

Through A Distant Lens

Written by KANAMORI Mayu

Translated by SAWADA Keiji

Directed by YAMAGUCHI Hiroyuki


CHO ChongHyung, SAKAGUCHI Shuichi, and SUGIE Mio

Lighting Designers: WATARIKAWA Tomohiko and IMURA Nami

Sound Designer: NARUSHIMA Terumi

Rehearsal Director: YAMANAKA Shuichi

Supported by: MAIMU Pro and 8.22 Kikaku

Designer: MURAOKA Chie

Produced by NAGATA Yasushi, Kastylianchanka, Iryna



19 January 2024 (Fri) 7pm   *   20 January 2024 (Sat) 2pm (seminar afterwards)  *   21 January 2024 (Sun) 2pm

Venue: Osaka University Nakanoshima Centre Level 3 Studio

Bookings: https://forms.office.com/r/T2bJyE3rP2

More info (in Japanese): https://murakami.mayu.com.au/

Seminar: Murakami Yasukichi and Kanamori Mayu

20 January 2024 (Sat) after the play

With Kanamori Mayu (Photographer / Writer, Yasukichi Murakami – Through A Distant Lens), Keiji Sawada (Professor, Waseda University/ Translator) , Yamaguchi Hiroyuki (theatre director, Gekidan Konoshitayami) and facilitator Nagata Yasushi (Professor, Osaka University / Research & Projects)

Exhibition: Yasukichi Murakami no Sekai

Tuesday, December 12, 2023 – Sunday, January 21, 2024

10:30―17:00 (Closed Mondays and Public Holidays)

Admission: Free

Venue: Osaka University Nakanoshima Center 4F Exhibition Room

More Info: https://murakami.mayu.com.au/




Yasukichi Murakami – Through A Distant Lens Japanese Reading & Symposium


Event Dates:

24 June 2022 (Fri)  2:45pm (JST)

25 June 2022 (Sat) 1pm (JST) – There will be a Symposium after the Reading

*Doors open 30 mins prior


Waseda University Ono Memorial Auditorium for Waseda University Students and Staff

Online for all other audiences (free online event). Bookings taken here from 1 June 2022 

Creative Team

Written by:  Mayu Kanamori

Translation by:  Keiji Sawada

Directed by: Kae Sugata

Performed by: Keito ShiinaTakafumi HanadaHanae Ozawa

Sound Design by: Terumi Narushima

Lighting Design by: Masumi Sakurai (Tokyo Butai ShowMei)

Marketing Design by: Chie Muraoka

Documentation & Streaming: Taro Koyama

Photographs by: Yasukichi Murakami Courtesy, Murakami Family Archives

Symposium Panelists:

Mayu Kanamori, Terumi Narushima, Kuni Hashimoto, Kae Sugata, Keiji Sawada, Keito Shiina, Takafumi Hanada, Hanae Ozawa

Presented by: Waseda University Global Education Centre

Supported by: The Australian Embassy, Tokyo

Kae Sugata

Born in Yokohama, graduated from the Department of English Literature, Faculty of Literature, Japan Women’s University. After directing 『マンザナ、わが町』 (Written by Hisashi Inoue; “Manzanar: Our Town”), she joined the Haiyuza Theatre Company’s Theatre Research Institute, and has since directed Australian plays, such as  『ハサミ、紙、石(じゃんけんぽん)』 (written by Daniel Keene, “Scissors, Paper, Rock”; translated by Keiji Sawada) as part of Haiyuza’s Bungei Direction Department’s newcomer presentation, and the Haiyuza Lab Performance of 『フューリアス~猛り狂う風~』(written by Michael Gow, “Furious”; translated by Keiji Sawada). She has also directed 『象』(written by Minoru Betsuyaku; “The Elephant”) at the Minoru Betsuyaku Festival as well as devised and directed Haiyuza Theatre Company’s reading of 『戦争とは…』(“Senso to Wa…. “). She is currently working with Haiyuza Theatre Company’s Department of Bungei (Arts and Literature) Direction.

Keiji Sawada

Professor at Waseda University and winner of the 10th Yoshiko Yuasa Award for Theatre Translations. He is the author of 『オーストラリア先住民とパフォーマンス』(“Australian Indigenous People and Performance”, Tokyo University Press)『現代演劇と文化の混淆』(“Contemporary Theatre and Cultural Hybridity”, Waseda University Press). His translation work include the 『オーストラリア演劇叢書』(“Australian Drama Series” ①~⑭ ,Oceania Press), and more recently, 『ミス・タナカ』 (“Miss Tanaka”, Edo Ito Ayatsuri Ningyo: Youkiza), 『エブリマンとポールダンサーたち』(“Everyman & the Pole Dancers”, Shinjuku Ryozanpaku), 『ジャック・チャールズ vs 王冠』/ “Jack Charles V The Crown ” (Subtitle /Fuji no Kuni ? World Theatre Festival Shizuoka), 『ジャスパー・ジョーンズ』(“Jasper Jones” , Theatre Office Natori) , 『フューリアス~猛り狂う風~』(“Furious”), 『女と男とシェイクスピア』(“Dead White Males”), and 『面と向かって』(“Face to Face”) (Haiyuza), 『聖なる日』(“Holy Day” ) and 『リムーバリスト-  引っ越し屋 – 』(“The Removalists *)  (Gekidan Haisho) and other works.

Mayu Kanamori

Sydney based storyteller working across mediums including theatre, performance, photography, video, installation, heritage interpretation, writing, and documentary making. Her performance works include “The Heart of the Journey”, “CHIKA: A Documentary Performance”, “Yasukichi Murakami: Through a Distant Lens” and “You’ve Mistaken Me For A Butterfly”. Her photographic exhibitions include “Unseen Faces of Japan”, “Sugao no Australia” and “Teiju to wa Nandaro: Australia”. As a heritage interpreter, she has created the audio for Nyamba Buru Yawuru’s multi award winning “Jetty to Jetty Heritage Trail” and “Lustre: Pearling & Australia” with the WA Museum. Other works include “Cowra Voices” in Cowra, NSW and “In Repose”, in Broome, Townsville and on Thursday Island. As a radio producer , she has received a commendation for United Nations Association of Victoria Media Peace Award Promotion of Multicultural Issues, Broome  NAIDOC Non Indigenous Reconciliation Award and has been a finalist for Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism. She is a board member of The Koto Music Institute of Australia and a member of Nikkei Australia.


“We take so many photographs. How do we know which ones are important, which ones matter?”

Arisa Yura in Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens. Photo by Brett Boardman







Japanese photographer, entrepreneur and inventor Yasukichi Murakami was the talk of the town in Broome and Darwin in the early 1900s, until the outbreak of the Second World War saw him and his family, like all Japanese in Australia, interned as enemy aliens. Murakami’s photographs were impounded and subsequently lost.

Using photographic projections, video, original music, soundscape, and dramatic action, Japanese-Australian photographer and writer Mayu Kanamori goes in search of Murakami’s lost photographs. Uncovering a fascinating story of unlikely friendships, thwarted ambition and unrequited love,Yasukichi Murakami stirs our collective amnesia about the history of the Japanese in Australia.

Yasukichi Murakami is a meditation on love, truth and, in a digital age where cameras proliferate, the nature of photography.

About Murakami – A Project Blog 

Created and written by Mayu Kanamori

Directed by Malcolm Blaylock

Music and sound design by Terumi Narushima

Dramaturg Jane Bodie

Visual Design  Mic Gruchy

Lighting Design Luiz Pampolha

Dramturgic Consultant Yuji Sone

Performed by Arisa Yura & Kuni Hashimoto with Yumi Umiumare

Produced by Annette Shun Wah, Performance 4a

Performance History 

Darwin Festival http://www.darwinfestival.org.au/show/yasukichi-murakami/more-info

19 August. 2014, 8:15pm

20 August, 2014, 6pm and 8:15pm (two shows)

Brown’s Mart Theatre

Shinju Matsuri  Festival, Broome http://www.shinjumatsuri.com.au/events/murakami-project

05 September 2014, 7:30pm

06 September 2014, 7:30pm

06 Septmember 2014 Artist Talk Time TBA

Oz Asia Festival http://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/ozasia-festival/shows/yasukichi-murakami-through-a-distant-lens/

09 September. 2014. 7:30pm followed by Artist Talk 8:45pm

10 September, 2014, 7:30pm

Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre

Stables Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company

10-21 February, 2015. 7 pm Mon-Fri; 2 pm and 7 pm Sat

Riverside Theatres

16-19 March, 2016 7:30 pm; Thursday 12 pm and 7:30 pm; Sat 2:30 and 7:30[,

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Murakami is developed with the assistance of the Federal Government through its arts funding and advisory body, the Australia Council; Creative Ecologies Lab, Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University; the Northern Territory Government; Japan Foundation, Sydney, and Playwriting Australia.

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