"We take so many photographs. How do we know which ones are important, which ones matter?"


Japanese photographer, entrepreneur and inventor Yasukichi Murakami was the talk of the town in Broome and Darwin in the early 1900s, until the outbreak of the Second World War saw him and his family, like all Japanese in Australia, interned as enemy aliens. Murakami’s photographs were impounded and subsequently lost.

Using photographic projections, video, original music and soundscape, Japanese-Australian photographer and writer Mayu Kanamori goes in search of Murakami’s lost photographs. Uncovering a fascinating story of unlikely friendships, thwarted ambition and unrequited love, Yasukichi Murakami stirs our collective amnesia about the history of the Japanese in Australia.

Yasukichi Murakami is a meditation on love, truth and, in a digital age where cameras proliferate, the nature of photography.

A Performance 4a production, co-presented by Performance 4a and Griffin Theatre Company.

Cast & Creatives

Director Malcolm Blaylock
Dramaturg Jane Bodie
Composer, Sound Designer & Musician Terumi Narushima
Visual Designer Mic Gruchy
Lighting Designer Luiz Pampolha
Production Manager Benjamin Brockman
Producer Annette Shun Wah
Dramaturgical Consultant Yuji Sone
With Kuni Hashimoto, Yumi Umiumare, Arisa Yura

Performance Times

Previews 10 – 11 February
Season 13 – 21 February

Performance Times
Monday – Friday 7pm
Saturday 2pm and 7pm

Meet the Artists  17 February

Run Time
70 minutes no interval


“… a thought-provoking show and a valuable reminder of the formative influence of Asian peoples on Australian culture and of clumsy and inhumane attempts to downplay, dismiss or caricature it.” Sydney Morning Herald

“…a compelling and always absorbing work… Highly recommended.” Stage Noise

“Arisa Yura is completely charming..[and]..Kuni Hashimoto is superb as Murakami” Sydney Arts Guide

“This is an intimate, visually delightful show, with three excellently acted, delicately nuanced performances.” Arts Hub

“It’s largely due to these two performers’ vivacity [Arisa Yura + Kuni Hashimoto] that the work lifts from documentary to compelling drama” Daily Review Crikey

“…educational and insightful, not only in terms of one man’s Australian experience, but, more broadly, about the nature of art and race relations. It would be wonderful to see an exhibition mounted of Murakami’s photos; perhaps enough can be located for that to happen.” In Daily

“Enriching and enlighting.” The Clothesline

“Captivates and informs…it is to be hoped that this work gets to tour extensively around Australia and, in translation, to Japan. It is a worthy production.” Broadway World

Supported By

The development of Yasukichi Murakami was supported by: The Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts; Media, Music, Communications & Cultural Studies – Macquarie University; Japan Foundation; and Playwriting Australia.

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