The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Campus Now > NEWS REPORT (March)

Campus Now



For the first time in 30 years, 1 performance on 1 night in Tokyo

Jinruikan depicts discrimination in modern Okinawa

Scene from the performance

On December 16th, the theatrical group Sozo performed Jinruikan at Okuma Auditorium.

In 1903, a national exhibition entitled Gakujutsu Jinruikan (Academic Museum of Mankind) was held in the Tennoji District of Osaka. In the exhibition, people from Okinawa, Korea, the Ainu culture, the Takasago culture, India, Malay, Java, and Africa were dressed in ethnic costumes and made to live in ethnic dwellings. The display of these people as an exhibition for viewers is known as the "Jinruikan Incident". The incident was the basis of the play Jinruikan, which was written in 1976 by Mr. Seishin Chinen. Jinruikan is a satirical comedy which uses black humor to depict the hardships experienced by modern Okinawa. The play received the 22nd Kunio Kishida Theatre Award in 1978. This past December, Jinruikan was performed for the first time in 30 years through a joint holding by the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art and Waseda University. The performance was part of the "Okinawa Prism: 1872 to 2008" exhibition which was held at the museum.