I Clap My Hands And With The Echoes It Begins To Rise The Summer Moon

Institute History

  • 1996 Playwrights Lab


I CLAP MY HANDS….is a comedy about a Japanese man, Naotake Fukushima, who comes to California in 1960 to sell Japanese cars. As someone asks him early on, “Isn’t that like trying to sell sandwiches at a barbecue?” The highly lyrical and cinematically structured play documents Naotake’s first year in America, his intense homesickness, his struggles with the American way of business and the English language. The play centers on his relationships with Rosie Yoshida, a fiery Nisei woman, and with Arnie Stengel, a memory-less and wildly creative WW2 vet. In Act Two, via a wildly crazy event-filled journey through southern California, the three of them make Naotake’s Sakata cars famous. The beachhead is established.


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