A Question of Loyalty/The Betrayed (play)


Play authored by Nisei playwright Hiroshi Kashiwagi set in Tule Lake and centered on the dilemmas brought on by the loyalty questionnaire. The main characters are Tak Fujimoto, a country boy loosely based on the playwright, and Grace Tamura, a sophisticated city girl from Seattle, who fall in love in the concentration camp. But they are divided by the loyalty questions and go their separate ways. The play's second act is set forty years later, when Grace, a widowed redress activist from Chicago, visits Tak, a divorced farmer in Fresno, prior to a camp reunion.

Considered by Kashiwagi to be his "most mature work," it originated as a one-act play titled A Question of Loyalty. In 1980, he received a grant from the Japanese American Citizens League to turn it into a full length play, though it was not completed and performed for another decade. As A Question of Loyalty, the play debuted at the Asian American Theater Company in San Francisco in a co-production with the Tale Spinners Theatre on November 14, 1990. It also had a reading at Los Angeles' East West Players in 1992. Funded in part by a grant from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program and retitled The Betrayed, the play was produced by the Grateful Crane Ensemble and the Japanese American National Museum in 2010, presented at various venues in Southern California and at the 2011 Minidoka Civil Liberties Symposium in Twin Falls, Idaho. The play was published in both Kashiwagi's 2005 memoir Swimming in the American and his 2008 collection of plays, Shoe Box Plays.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

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For More Information

Kashiwagi, Hiroshi. "The Betrayed." In Swimming in the American: A Memoir and Selected Writings by Hiroshi Kashiwagi. San Mateo, Calif.: Asian American Curriculum Project, 2005. Reprinted in Shoe Box Plays by Hiroshi Kashiwagi. Ed. Tamiko F. Nimura. Introd. Ron West. San Mateo, Calif.: Asian American Curriculum Project, 2008. 191–237.

"Guide to the Annotated Catalog to Productions and Scripts in the Asian American Theater Company Archives." Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kashiwagi, Soji. "'The Betrayed,' Why Now Is the Time." Discover Nikkei, Feb. 4, 2010.