Sakura Zensen—Journey over 2000km

Cancellation of “Les Souffleurs commandos poétiques Sakura Zensen-Journey over 2000km”

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to those individuals affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

As a result of the earthquake and subsequent events, the Tokyo Theatre Company KAZE has decided to cancel “Les Souffleurs commandos poétiques Sakura Zensen-Journey over 2000 km,” a project conceived in collaboration with the French group of artists, the “Souffleurs poetic commando,” in which we would travel northward across Japan together with the cherry blossom front, whispering poetry to people throughout the country from March to April.

Despite the tragic consequences of the earthquake on March 11, twelve members of the Souffleurs arrived in Japan on March 14 and engaged in rehearsals with twenty members of KAZE in Tsukiyono, Gunma Prefecture, on March 14 and 15. We were unable to hold our opening event in Tokyo, but on the evening of March 15, we set off for Fukuoka, where the next event was to be held. We arrived in Fukuoka on the 16th and continued with our preparations while discussing the current situation in Japan. In France's National Assembly, however, Prime Minister Fillon was asked to respond to questions concerning the accident at Fukushima's No. 1 reactor on March 15, and as a result, on March 16 the French Embassy in Japan advised all French nationals in Japan leave the country or seek refuge in the southern region of Japan. Given this situation, KAZE artistic director Yoshinari Asano, deciding that the safety of all participants was of the utmost importance, chose to cancel this project.

The twelve members of the Souffleurs left Japan on March 17-19, and have all safely returned to France.

We are deeply grateful to all the people who have assisted us and cooperated with us in this project. We would also like to thank those of you at each venue who continued to show your warm support for this project when we contacted you about the cancellation. KAZE artistic director Yoshinari Asano and France's Olivier Comte are currently engaged in preparations to hold this project at some point in the future, and all of us at KAZE are working hard to ensure that your kind support will not go to waste. Your continued understanding and cooperation are deeply appreciated.

Above all, we pray for the swift recovery of the disaster-stricken areas of Japan.

Since March 11, we have received numerous e-mails and faxes from friends and acquaintances expressing concern about our safety. While the situation remains unstable, all of us at Tokyo Theatre Company KAZE are doing fine. As we pray for the swift recovery of the disaster-stricken areas, we have been thinking hard about what, if anything, we can do to help. To those who have inquired after us, we want you all to know that we are alive and well, and are deeply grateful for your concern. Thank you so much for your kind messages.