Pilgrimage (play)

Play by Edward Sakamoto that follows the lives of three Nisei who were incarcerated at Manzanar through the eyes of three younger Japanese Americans who encounter their stories at a 1973 Manzanar pilgrimage, on the occasion of its dedication as a state historical landmark. The two Nisei men had both been ardent practitioners of karate before the war, and their attitudes towards the martial art—and Japanese culture in general—in camp and beyond are contrasted. The lives of the older characters are dramatized in flashback by the younger ones, sometimes in a stylized manner.

Pilgrimage debuted at East West Players in Los Angeles on June 24, 1982, as the fourth and last play of the company's year-long series of plays on the Japanese American incarceration. This production was directed by Mako and Shizuko Hoshi and starred Keone Young, Soon-Tek Oh, and Hoshi. The play debuted at Honolulu's Kuma Kahua theater in October 1991. It was eighth play by Sakamoto—whose plays mostly depict the lives of Japanese Americans in Hawai'i—to be produced by Kuma Kahua.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

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For More Information

"Finding Aid for the East West Players Records, 1965–1992." Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Kurahashi, Yuko. Asian American Culture on Stage: The History of the East West Players. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999.

Morioka-Steffens, Tamayo Irene. "Asian Pacific American Identities: An Historical Perspective Through the Theatre Productions of the East West Players, 1965 to 2000". Ph.D. dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, 2003.