Nine theater troupe members who perished in Hiroshima atomic bombing to be honored tomorrow in Tokyo

Sakuratai acting troupe
Nine members of a traveling wartime theater company known as the Sakuratai (cherry blossom troupe), who lost their lives to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, will be remembered on Aug. 6 in a memorial service at Gohyaku Rakanji Temple in Tokyo’s Meguro Ward. The ceremony will also include a storytelling performance titled “Sakuratai: The Night Before,” which is based upon letters written by individuals connected with the troupe, and recounts the members’ personal connections with the theatrical world.

Gohyaku Rakanji Temple
During World War II, theater troupes that did not comply with state objectives were forcibly disbanded. In order to continue performing, the only available option was to join the state-run Japanese Traveling Theatricals Association, whose member troupes performed pieces aimed at boosting national prestige. Actors in the Sakuratai member troupe included popular actor Sadao Maruyama, and former Takarazuka troupe member Keiko Sonoi.

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