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About the project

Tohoku Project

The Tohoku Project

Dramatic Reading of Sumidagawa, by Kanze Motomasa

Directed and Adapted by Bryan Doerries

Facilitated by Setsu Hanasaki

Translated by Nao Suzuki

Developed in collaboration with the Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University and Setagaya Public Theatre

The Tohoku Project: Sumidagawa presents powerful dramatic readings by professional actors of Sumidagawa, a Noh play from the early 15th Century that timelessly depicts the unique challenges faced by parents in the wake of unimaginable disaster. Each reading is followed by the responses of community panelists, culminating in a lively, facilitated audience discussion. This interactive event promotes healthy, constructive dialogue about the lasting impact of the Tohoku disaster upon individuals, families, and communities—fostering compassion, understanding, awareness, and positive action.

About the play

  • Sumidagawa by Kanze Motomasa

    A Noh play from the early 15th Century in which a grief-stricken woman searches frantically for her son who has been taken by slave traders. As a ferryman transports her across the Sumida river, she notices a memorial service on the opposite bank, and discovers that it is for her son.

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