Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 02.37.30At the base of Mount Fuji lies an ominous stretch of forest known locally as “The Sea of Trees.” Centuries of secrets lie hidden under the mossy earth, where rivers of lava have hardened over to form the cavernous forest floor. Thousands of people who have entered these woods have never been seen again. Some simply got lost. Others went in intending to disappear…

Theatre Témoin worked in collaboration with Japanese Taiko drummers to devise a movement-drumming piece which incorporates Japanese traditional drumming with mask and physical theatre. Jukai follows the story of three women, linked by their shared connection to Aokigahara – a forest at the base of Fuji renowned for its natural beauty and haunted by its reputation for being the biggest hotspot for suicide in Japan, and possibly the world.

Jukai was workshopped in California and premiered in London in 2010 at the Blue Elephant Theatre with support from The Unity Theatre Trust.

Cast and Crew

Cast and Crew

Devising Cast: Daisuke Nomura, Dorie Kinnear, Julia Yevnine, Bradley Wayne-Smith, Tomoko Komura, Ikuyo Conant, Nao Masuda
Director: Ailin Conant
Musical Director: Ikuyo Conant
Set Designer: Laurence Webb
Lighting Design: Katherine Graham
Costume Design: Urara Sakurai
Stage Manager: Yukiko Kato
Choreographer: Bert Roman
Mask Director: Will Pinchin
Movement Director: Robin Edwards
Fight Director: Ronin Traynor
Mask Design: Grafted Cede Theatre

Workshop Cast: Jordan Zimmerman, Taeko D’Andrea, Marc-André Charron


Jasmine Cullingford, Watsonville Taiko, Shinsho-Mugen Daiko, The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, The Watsonville Japanese American Citizens’ League

Photo Gallery


Photos: Yuzuru Masuda and Tom Conant

Press Quotes


“”Thoughtful and moving…The physicality of each character in every scene has clearly been given a huge amount of consideration…the soundscapes capture the changes in mood and scene perfectly…excellent performances and understated moments of pathos.”
~ Amy Yorston, British Theatre Guide (London, UK)

“An exquisite storytelling piece…simply enchanting…Combining the evocative language of music, the use of masks, dance and contemporary theatre, this young company creates an intense and vibrant show, able to captivate audiences of all ages and nationalities.”
~ Giulia D’Amico, Remotegoat ★★★★★ (London, UK)

“An action-packed journey…a remarkable production…an excellent example of true international cooperation.”
~ Vanessa Villalobos, Japanese London (London, UK)