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Reading of Play Based on Yuri Kochiyama’s WWII Experience

Rogue Machine Theatre will present staged readings of “Bits of Paradise” by Marlan Warren with Ariel Kayoko Labasan on Wednesday, July 19, at 3 and 8 p.m. and Thursday, July 20, at 8 p.m. at The Met, 1089 N. Oxford Ave. in Los Angeles.

The one-act play celebrates a little-recognized war effort of Japanese American girls and women who were held behind the barbed wire of U.S. concentration camps during World War II because of their Japanese heritage. Led by 20-year old budding activist Mary Nakahara — who would later be known as human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama — and calling themselves The Crusaders, these prisoners mounted a morale-boosting letter-writing campaign that included fun circulars that went out to “any (Nisei) soldier in need of a letter.”

This play also examines the growth of Mary into Yuri, who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and who once chained herself to the Statue of Liberty to protest injustice.

Tickets are $10 at the door, or purchase online at

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