Theatre One presents Sensai: The Storyteller

November 19, 2017

November 23-25, 2017, 7:30pm

November 25, 2017, 2pm matinee

VIU Malaspina Theatre

Adults $29 and Students $15

Visit here for tickets

Created and performed by Mark Kunji Ikeda


Sansei: The Storyteller uses dance, theatre, and humour to tell the story of one of Canada’s darkest decisions and how the rampant racism of past generations affected the Japanese community today. Mark Ikeda investigates the social climates and hardships when the Ikeda family was labelled enemy aliens. The silver lining? If not for the internment, Mark Ikeda wouldn’t be alive to tell this story…


He will be telling three quite different stories in Sansei. There’s Ito, a 15th century Japanese guy who marries a woman and tries to sire an heir. There’s the story of the internment, from the moment Pearl Harbour gets bombed in 1941, which Ikeda transforms into a violent, agonizing dance. That internment is also experienced through the eyes of his aunt and uncle, who we hear on audio, talking about what it was like to be rounded up, given 48 hours notice, and shipped to live in small, crowded conditions with no privacy. Ikeda digs deep into the history of these events, producing some genuinely stunning information.


This award-winning, socially conscious performance has toured across Canada. This theatre offering in Nanaimo will coincide with the 75thanniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, and the mandatory registration of Japanese Canadians. Sansei presents a profound personal context that educates and instructs; the show looks at some fundamental Japanese Canadian ideologies that suggest a peaceful, positive reconciliatory response. Thanks to a Multiculturalism Grant the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia, TheatreOne presents this acclaimed multi-disciplinary performance.


“Performers and audience alike were thoroughly engaged by Mark’s weaving of a personal story with a tale of profound historical impact. Sansei is storytelling at its finest; sophisticated, meaningful, moving, and humorous.”




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"Nanaimo Arts Council acknowledges with gratitude that we are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation."