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Kokoro (True Heart) - Full Length Play

Kokoro (True Heart)

Velina Hasu Houston

Full Length Play

1m, 5f

ISBN: 9780822225041

Yasako, a young Japanese mother, struggles to adapt to the very foreig…

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Full Length Play


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Yasako, a young Japanese mother, struggles to adapt to the very foreign culture of the United States. Feeling hopeless after discovering her husband's infidelity, Yasako feels that oyako shinju, or parent-child suicide, is her only honorable escape from a world that does not accept her. Yasako truly believes that the outcome to such an act is not the finality of death but a chance for herself and her daughter to reunite with their family on a spiritual plane of existence. But Yasako survives the suicide attempt, and she learns that she is being tried for the murder of her daughter. We are challenged to question how much culture and spirituality shape our perception of truth and morality in Velina Hasu Houston's beautiful play.
"Cultural conflicts have seldom been so intelligently explored on the stage." —The New Yorker. "Houston's engrossing riff on the flip side of the American immigrant experience is a fascinating, elegant debate about differing perceptions of honor. The piece is a winning, subtly complex melding of Western theatrics and Japanese conversational oratory in which simple sentences are often fraught with untold layers of meaning." —BackStage. "…Velina Hasu Houston explores Japanese and American ethnic distinctions to often stunning effect. The line between the quick and the dead is a fine one in Houston's cosmology, where spirits wander freely and the afterlife seamlessly melds with the now. Houston creates a timeless, timely parable of mother love and a woman wronged." —LA Times. "…intriguing and complex…[a] touching story…a thought-provoking piece of theatre." —Drama-Logue. "Something deep inside of me had been touched. My soul had grown. [The play is] a bittersweet reminder of the beauty of tolerance." —Pound Ridge Review. "Houston herself plays a role as a counselor between two cultures and two countries, and guides us to the most profound side of human psychology. Houston…evaluate[s] the misjudged characteristics of female immigrants, to articulate their voices in a poetic space, and to present to us a transnational feminist drama." —Japanese Journal of American Studies. "…multicultural illumination on the age-old struggle between an immigrant's native culture and the expectations of American society." —Rafu Shimpo.


1m, 5f


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