Tokyo performance of "Ainu Othello," co-hosted by Shakespeare Company Japan & ICU, successfully ended
Update: June 13, 2018
"Ainu Othello," co-hosted by the Shakespeare Company Japan and ICU, was performed in the auditorium of the Diffendorfer Memorial Hall East Wing on Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10. A total of 600 people attended, bringing the Tokyo performance to a successful conclusion.
The Shakespeare Company is a Sendai-based theatrical group giving performances that incorporate the history and dialect of the Tohoku region (northeast Japan). Its activities have continued for about 25 years.
The play was written and directed by Kazumi Shimodate, president of the Shakespeare Company Japan (Class of 1979, College of Liberal Arts; he held a position at Tohoku Gakuin University while working for his Ph.D. at ICU) The play, put on jointly with Ainu producer Debo Akibe, features Ainu dancers and wajin* actors. (*A name Japanese people used to distinguish themselves from Ainu people)
Akibe said, "Discrimination against the Ainu people has been continuing for about 150 years. There's a truth we can tell through this drama about what once happened." Meanwhile, Shimodate commented, "With this production, we hope that people feel close to the Ainu people as well as to Shakespeare." The audience sent thunderous applause to the actors at the end of the performances.