Sansei North Productions

Region: Toronto


Sansei North Productions, a theatre production house, was established by Terry Watada and operated out of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto. Its primary purpose was to present Japanese American playwright Lane Nishikawa’s one-man show about Sansei identity, Life in the Fast Lane. It did so in 1983 and 1984.

In 1987, Watada teamed with Dr. Alan Tanaka to expand Sansei North’s reach by putting on Japanese American playwright Philip Gotanda’s Song for a Nisei Fisherman, starring the Japanese Canadian actor Robert Ito. It marked a return for Ito who hadn’t performed for a Japanese Canadian audience since before WWII. Many Nikkei, including bus loads from Hamilton and Montreal, attended to see the actor again.

Watada’s main purpose for the production was to focus attention on the issue of Redress for Japanese Canadians since the play’s theme is the internment camp experience before and after WWII.

The play was performed at the Toronto Free Theatre before its merger with the Canadian Stage Company.