Station J (play)

Epic three-hour play by Richard France on the wartime exclusion, incarceration, and return of the Shigeta family told in three acts, each consisting of six scenes and a prologue and a epilogue. The play was part of the 1981–82 seasons of both East West Players in Los Angeles and the Pan Asian Repertory Theater in New York; both Asian American theater companies devoted that season to plays on the Japanese American World War II incarceration.

The Shigeta family includes Issei patriarch Chiyoji Shigeta, a noted breeder of roses; matriarch Yuki, who runs the household; two sons, Taro and Kenji, and a daughter, Emiko, who live with the family; and another son, Michael, who has enlisted in the army prior to the war. Act 1 covers their forced removal, Act 2 takes place at Jerome, where the family has been incarcerated, and Act 3 includes resettlement and their journey back to a ransacked home and business in California after Michael has been killed fighting in Europe with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The epilogue takes place at the dedication of the Peace Plaza in San Francisco Nihonmachi in 1968.

Authored by Brian Niiya, Densho

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For More Information

Colborn-Roxworthy, Emily. "Trading 'Earnest Drama' for Prophecy: Performing Japanese American Internment after 9/11." Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 20.2 (Spring 2006): 25–48.

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

Imamura, Peter. "Theater Review: East West's 'Station J.'" Pacific Citizen, Oct. 9, 1981, 3.

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.