The first full production of Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens in Japanese language will make its debut in Osaka, Japan in January 2024.

An accompanying photo exhibition will also open in Osaka on 12 December 2023 and continue until 21 January 2024.

This is a theatre work by one of Nikkei Australia’s founding members Mayu Kanamori; original collaboration was with another founding member Dr Lorna Kaino.

The English language version of this performance had its world premiere in Darwin in 2014, and the first Japanese reading was performed in Tokyo in June 2022.

Yasukichi Murakami arrived in Australia from Japan in 1897 and became a photographer, entrepreneur and inventor in Broome, Western Australia. After moving to Darwin in 1934 with his Australian-born wife and nine children, he opened a photographic portrait studio in the Stone Houses on Cavenagh Street. He lived the high life with Darwin’s elite, and photographed everyone and anything in town. The day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Murakami was arrested, suspected of being a spy, and his photographs impounded and subsequently lost. Murakami died while being interned as an ‘enemy alien’ in Victoria.

Nikkei Australian photographer and writer Mayu Kanamori went 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.

Dates and Times (in Osaka) for the theatre work (in Japanese)

Yasukichi Murakami Through A Distant Lens

19 January 2024 (Fri) 7pm 

20 January 2024 (Sat) 2pm (with a Seminar afterwards) 

 21 January 2024 (Sun) 2pm

Dates and Times for the exhibition

Yasukichi Murakami no Sekai Exhibition

December 12, 2023 (Tues) – January 21, 2024 (Sunday) 10:30-17:00

Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays

Venue: Osaka University Nakanoshima Centre
Bookings can be made from this website.

Photo of Yasukichi Murakami courtesy of Murakami Family Archives; Flyers designed by Chie Muraoka.

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