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Tomoya Kawamura

Theater Artist, Actor, Producer

The Last Letter: Image


Performance and Concept; Tomoya Kawamura

Directing ; Francesco Procopio

Co-Writing ; Tomoya Kawamura & Francesco Procopio

The show is inspired by the story of Tome Torihama, a Japanese woman, who survived in WW2, and hid and delivered the last letters of several Kamikaze pilots before their last mission. If it wasn’t for her, those letters would have never been delivered due to the military censorship. During the show, she tells the story about the episodes and memories of those young pilots who spend the time with her before the mission. The story is not focusing on the situation of one ordinary civilian during the War time, and putting emphasis on her daily life situation. The show is co-written and co-directed by Francesco Procopio and Tomoya Kawamura. On stage it’s played by Tomoya Kawamura alone as a narrator and 2 mask characters, including a female character Tome Torhama herself. The production aim to seek the potential to research in the combination of traditional Japanese Nohtheatre and western modern Mask-theatre

The Last Letter: Image

"The Last Letters" is a poignant solo mask storytelling performance by Tomoya Kawamura, inspired freely by the story of Tome Torihama and the historical facts of World War II. Co-written and created by Tomoya Kawamura and Francesco Procopio, with stage and creative direction by Francesco Procopio, the play delicately unveils the ordinary lives of people in the midst of the Second World War, focusing on the small town of Chiran in Japan. As the lights come on, the stage is set with a chair, some clothes, masks, and a letter hidden from view. The storyteller takes the audience on a journey through the lesser-known town of Chiran, introducing Tome Torihama, the owner of a local Shokudo, against the historical backdrop of Japan's involvement in the war.

The Last Letter: Image

The narrative subtly unfolds the daily experiences of Tome and the young kamikaze pilots stationed at the nearby military base. Tomoya Kawamura skillfully weaves the story, drawing attention to the ordinary, everyday life of civilians during wartime without delving too much into the sadness and crucial aspects of the era. Through the use of masks, transitions occur seamlessly between the storyteller, a historian, and Tome herself. The play brings to light the camaraderie, warmth, and resilience found in Tome's Shokudo, where young pilots sought comfort and familiarity amid the complexities of war. As the audience is introduced to Tome's interactions and relationships with the pilots, the play emphasizes the human side of the war, steering away from excessive drama. The performance just tells the facts and invites the audience to reflect on the lives of those caught in the crossfire, the impact of censorship, and the exchanges embodied in the last letters penned by the kamikaze pilots.

The Last Letter: Image
The Last Letter: Image
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