by Bruce Rutledge, The North American Post
“Benkei at the Barrier” is a classical Japanese tale that has been adapted as a noh play, a kabuki play, and Akira Kurosawa’s 1945 film “The Men Who Tread on a Tiger’s Tail.” It’s a heart-rending tale that has moved Japanese audiences for centuries. This October 16, Washin Kai hosts a free and open-to-the-public dramatic reading of this story on the University of Washington campus.
Kima Hotta, an accomplished dramatic reciter of Japanese literary texts, will perform a modern retelling of the classic tale, based on a novel by Hiroaki Toda. Her performance will be accompanied by English subtitles and introduced by Paul Atkins, professor of classical Japanese language, literature, and culture at the University of Washington.
Hotta is the leader of the Rodoku Network in Japan, which aims to preserve the beauty of the Japanese language through dramatic recitations of classical and modern Japanese literary work. This will be her second appearance in Seattle.
The performance will be held in room 210 of Kane Hall at 7pm. “Audiences should be prepared to be moved, inspired, and stimulated by this cherished story and the intriguing values it represents,” a press release from Washin Kai states. Washin Kai is a volunteer group dedicated to promoting classical Japanese studies at UW.