Zero Hour: Tokyo Roses Last Tape
February 26-28, 2015
(Los Angeles, CA) REDCAT, CalArts Downtown Center for Contemporary Arts, proudly presents Zero Hour: Tokyo Roses Last Tape, multimedia theater work conceived, written and directed by internationally renowned artist Miwa Yanagi from Thursday, February 26 to Saturday, February 28.
In the midst of WWII, the voice of a female announcer on Radio Tokyo, Japans state-run international radio service, reached the ears of U.S. troops stationed in the South Pacific. The broadcast announcements were made by not one, but several Japanese-American women, ordered to work on air by the Japanese Imperial Army. Their voices, aired during an entertainment program The Zero Hour, were immediately and wildly popular with the US Troops based, who soon began referring to the announcers collectively as Tokyo Rose.
Zero Hour: Tokyo Roses Last Tape, inspired by actual events, traces the story of and the search for the true Tokyo Rose and examines the case of a young Japanese-American woman who was stranded in Japan during WWII, forced to serve as a broadcaster for the propaganda radio program and subsequently tried for treason by the United States. This historic incident is visually reimagined with dynamic projections, and iconic imageryfrom the rich body of photographic work by artist Miwa Yanagi, who takes audiences inside the multifaceted story of a woman caught between two nations during and in the wake of WWII. Tokyo Rose marks Miwa Yanagis North American debut as a theater artist, and is touring to the Kennedy Center in Washington, The Japan Society in NY and Toronto and REDCAT in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles native Iva Toguri is the most famously-linked name behind the Tokyo Rose persona. Toguri was raised in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA, but was stranded in Japan because she was visiting her family when the war broke out. Toguris prominence saw her branded as one of the wars most notorious propagandists, but evidence shows that she was not a Japanese sympathizer. Toguris program became conflated with more vicious propaganda, and she was arrested and convicted of treason after the Japanese surrender. She was released from prison in 1956, but it would take more than 20 years before she finally received an official presidential pardon for her role in the war.
Miwa Yanagi was born in Kobe, Japan and completed postgraduate courses at Kyoto City University of Arts. Known primarily as a contemporary photographer and video artist, in recent years she has expanded her work into performance art and theater. Hailed by The New York Times as a veteran on the art fair circuit, Miwa Yanagi employs computer graphics and special effects in her intricate visual pieces, and her theatrical works incorporate images from her visual artwork. Yanagis elaborate creations communicate themes of femininity/gender, aging, employment and body image. The most recognized of Yanagis photography series include: Elevator Girls,(link) which features groups of uniformed department store elevator attendants in a variety of urban spaces throughout Japan; My Grandmothers, which features women disguised as they might look 50 years from now; and Fairy Tales, a series in which young women take on the roles of girls and old haggard women from various famous fairy tales. Her works have been presented in solo and group shows throughout Japan and in Germany, France, the U.S., Australia, Brazil and Taiwan, and beyond. In 2009, Yanagi was selected as a representative for the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale where she covered the Japan Pavilion with a black curtain and presented her Windswept Women: The Old Girls Troupe photography series.
Since 2010, her theater and performance art projects include: Sakuramori Chakai as part of the Kyoto Art Centers Meirin Chakai series (2010), Café Rottenmeier at Festival Tokyo (2010) and The Guide Ladies Project at the Railroad Art Festival Vol. 2, Osaka (2012). Yanagis first full-length theatrical works were represented in a historically-based trilogy of plays Tokyo-Berlin, Naval Encounter and Man Machine based on a series of interconnected historical events that took place in the years around 1924. Her theatrical works have been presented at prominent venues and festival such as the Kyoto Art Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Kanagawa Arts Theatre, Aichi Triennale and Festival Tokyo. Zero Hour: Tokyo Roses Last Tape is Miwa Yanagis latest theater work.
Awards include: Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Award, First Prize (1998), The Vision of Contemporary Art Prize (1999), Kyoto City Artist Prize (1999), Higashikawa Prize, New Photographer Prize (1999), Sakuya-Konohana Prize (2000), Kyoto Prefectural Artist Prize (2001), Hyogo Prefectural Artist Prize (2004), Takashimaya Art Prize (2006).
Zero Hour: Tokyo Roses Last Tapeis written and directed by Miwa Yanagi.
Performed in English and Japanese with English subtitles
Set and Costume Design by Miwa Yanagi.
Set Construction Design by Torafu Architects.
Choreography by Megumi Matsumoto.
Lighting Design by Akane Ikebe.
Sound Design by Yasutaka Kobayakawa.
Video Projection by Tadashi Mitani. Technical Direction by Genta Iwamura.
Performers: Yohei Matsukado, Hinako Arao, Megumi Matsumoto, Ami Kobayashi, Sogo Nishimura, Aki and Sachi Masuda.
Transcends time and space. Artscape Japan
The North American tour of Zero Hour is produced and organized by Japan Society, New York and supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the Fiscal year 2014, The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts Japan Program and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Miwa Yanagi is supported by the Asian Cultural Council for Zero Hour‘s North American tour. The re-staging of Zero Hour for the North American tour is supported by Shiseido and the KEN FAMILY, and is made possible with assistance from Kanagawa Arts Theatre, RisseiCultural Town Commission, Kyoto University of Art and Design/Kyoto Performing Arts Cetner and Community Arts Center Platz/Kinosaki International Arts Cetner.
ABOUT REDCAT | THE ROY AND EDNA DISNEY/CALARTS THEATER
REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents a dynamic and international mix of innovative visual, performing and media arts year round. Located inside the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles, REDCAT houses a theater, a gallery space and a lounge. Through performances, exhibitions, screenings, and literary events, REDCAT introduces diverse audiences, students and artists to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in this region the creative support they need to achieve national and international stature. REDCAT continues the tradition of the California Institute of the Arts, its parent organization, by encouraging experimentation, discovery and lively civic discourse.
For current program and exhibition information call 213-237-2800 or visit www.redcat.org.
Location/Parking: REDCAT is located in downtown Los Angeles inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex with a separate entrance at the corner of West 2nd and Hope Streets. Parking is available in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking structure. $9 event rate or $5 for vehicles entering after 8:00 pm on weekdays.
Street Address: 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles CA 90012
THE LOUNGE | Open to the public six days a week, the Lounge is a great place to spend an afternoon or grab a drink pre- and post-performance.
Lounge Hours: TuesdaysFridays from 9am until 8 pm or post-show; Saturdays from noon until 8 pm or post-show; Sundays from noon until 6pm or post-show
THE GALLERY | REDCAT’s Gallery presents five major exhibitions each year, and publishes artist books and catalogues. Admission to the Gallery is FREE.
Gallery Hours: TuesdaysSundays from noon until 6 pm and through intermission
THE THEATER | Tickets for programs held in the theater are available through the REDCAT Box Office, by phone 213-237-2800 or online at www.redcat.org. Group, member, student and CalArts faculty/staff discounts available.
Box Office Hours: TuesdaysSaturday from noon until 6 pm or two hour prior to curtain