About the Play and Company
“The Tashme Project” is a one-act verbatim theatre piece that traces the history and common experience of the Nisei through childhood, WWII internment and post-war resettlement east of the Rockies. The Nisei, now in their 70’s and 80’s, were children at the time of internment and their stories of adventure and play are presented in sharp relief to the more common internment narratives of hardship and injustice. Made up of 25 interwoven interviews with Nisei from Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Montreal and Vancouver, the piece moves from voice to voice, story to story with fluidity and with a purposeful and constructed gracefulness. Created and performed by Matt Miwa and Julie Tamiko Manning, The Tashme Project is an embodiment of Nisei character, language, spirit and story. More...
Generally saddled with a legacy of silence in regards to the internment, the greatest struggle facing the Japanese Canadian community today is the transference of cultural history and pride to its younger generations. Seeking to re-invigorate this process, we embarked on The Tashme Project: The Living Archives. It is our intention to connect younger Japanese Canadians more deeply to their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, as well as ignite a desire to rediscover their Japanese-ness and reinvigorate the dwindling Japanese Canadian community. In our very subtle “Japanese Canadian” way, the performing of The Tashme Project across this country is a political act: the displacement, incarceration and deportation of the Japanese Canadian community from the West Coast of Canada during the Second World War by the Canadian government was meant to erase our community. In 2018, we are now seeing the results of that: loss of culture, language and identity. By disseminating the oral history of our elders, we are fighting against the potential loss of our community and rebuilding a sense of Japanese Canadian identity and pride
About Our Interviewees and Supporters
Arigato to the Miwa,Taira and Takeda families for their support and encouragement and the 60+ Nikkei interviewees from across Canada for their invaluable participation- especially the Nisei, whose stories are woven throughout this play. Thank you for teaching us about resilience, love and community.
Thank you to our generous supporters at the Cole Foundation, the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Conseil Des Arts de Montréal, the Ontario Arts Council, fuGEN Theatre (TCR), The Ottawa Japanese Community Association & Community Center, Montreal Shokokai, the National Association of Japanese Canadians and Imago Theatre. The script for The Tashme Project: The Living Archives was created and
developed in collaboration with Playwrights' Workshop Montréal. Additional development support has been provided by the Powell Street Festival Society, The MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) and Soulpepper’s Tiger Bamboo Festival. More thanks…
Montréal, Quebec, Canada