At the End of the Day (Brenda Kamino and Bustle & Beast Theatre) 2021 Fringe Festival

Historical photo of Hina Yoshida and child, inspiration for At the End of the Day.

At the End of the Day is an affecting telling of one Japanese Canadian woman’s lifelong experiences of relocation. Co-produced by Brenda Kamino and Bustle & Beast Theatre, this show is based on the story of Kamino’s maternal grandmother Hina Yoshida. Hina was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1898 and died a century later in Beamsville, Ontario. Her story is one of movement, survival and ultimately, resilience.

Written and preformed by Kamino, Kamino plays Hina at 100 years old, reflecting on all of the difficult relocations she’s endured in her life. After the end of her first marriage in Japan, Hina remarried an older Japanese Canadian man and relocated to British Columbia to live with him and his children.

Then, during World War II, Japanese Canadians living in British Columbia were forcibly relocated from their homes and interned under the War Measures Act. Hina and her stepchildren were moved to a livestock building in Vancouver’s Hastings Park, where 800 other Japanese Canadians were also held like prisoners. From there, they were moved again to Tashme Internment Camp until the end of the war in 1945. Her husband was sent to a work camp, alongside other Japanese Canadian men.

When we meet Hina, she is in her final home: living as a widow in a retirement home in Ontario, which is now at risk of being closed. It is this fear of another forced relocation that stirs up the memories of all her previous relocations.

Kamino plays Hina with an incredible ease. Her performance is natural, tender and even comedic. She carries the show as the sole performer and portrays a wide range of harrowing experiences including the loneliness of leaving one country for another, the inhumanity of being displaced and interned, and the anguish of not knowing whether her final home will remain her last.

In 25 minutes, At the End of the Day covers an immense landscape. It reckons with the experience of Japanese Canadians living in Canada during and after WWII through the intimate lens of Hina’s life. Shot entirely in (and in front of) one apartment, this show delves into the emotional upheaval of relocation and the painful memories that remain, years later. This is a moving performance, heartily recommended.

Details:

  • At the End of the Day is playing on-demand at the Virtual 2021 Toronto Fringe Festival.
  • Purchase a $5 Membership to access the On-Demand programming on the Fringe website, then Pay What You Can to each show as you go, with the suggested price of $13 per show.
  • Memberships can be purchased here. View the virtual on-demand show listings here.
  • Accessibility notes:
    • On-Demand shows: videos are closed captioned, transcripts are available for all audio content, documents are screen-reader friendly, and all digital images are provided with alternative text descriptions. These access supplements have been generated by the company and reviewed by the Festival. They may vary slightly from company to company.
    • Fringe Primetime presentations will feature Auto-Transcribed Captioning.

Photo of Hina Yoshida and child by Tom Yoshida. 

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