Cast19 total (5 F and 14 M)
Variable cast sizeNo
RepresentationNordic representation
In 1930, the Japanese dramatist and author Yamamoto Yuzo (1887 – 1974) wrote a play about one of the most popular figures in late Japanese history; the singer and Okichi Saito the geisha. When USA in 1856 forced the isolated and feudal Japan into opening up to the world, she was made available to the American Consul as a concubine. With imperialistic gunboat diplomacy, he had threatened to shoot at the harbour town Shimoda if trade links were not established. Okichi succeeded in fighting the Consul and save the town from its doom. Her country men never forgave her for the 5 years she spent prostituting herself to a strange barbarian. The rest of her life she was hated and ostracized. This act of heroism – this sacrifice is the focus of the play. A long and lonely fall, ending in suicide. Brecht read the English translation of Yuzo’s play in 1940, whilst spending three summer months in his Finish exile at author Hella Wuolijoki’s place. He was enchanted by the dramatic biography’s epic structure and its ”little” female folk hero, and he commenced an adaption for the European stage in cooperation with Hella Wuolijoki. Seeing how only 5 out of the 11 planned scenes were found after his death, the material only counted as a fragment. However, a wonderful find in Wuolijoki’s estate revealed a Finnish version, and with this find, the researcher and the dramaturge Hans Peter Neureuter were able to reconstruct a final version. Classic Brecht material which premiered at Theater an der Josefstadt in Vienna, 2008