Two Cities - The Bells of Nagasaki & The Mask of Hiroshima

Two Cities - The Bells of Nagasaki & The Mask of Hiroshima $9.99

Ernest Ferlita from Takashi Nagai & Ernest Ferlita

Published by Samuel French Inc

Two one-act plays, each about 35 minutes in length, dramatising the aftermath of the atomic bombing of Japan with poetic lyricism

The Bells of Nagasaki

Based on the book by Takashi Nagai, a doctor who contracted leukemia, the play is set in the rubble of the Nagasaki cathedral in which hundreds of Christians died when the bomb exploded directly over its roof

Takashi Nagai wants to raise one of the cathedral bells that was buried beneath the rubble, and he solicits the help of a friend, Ichitaro Yamada, a soldier who survived the war only to return home to find his wife and five children dead

Nagai, a convert to Christianity, attempts to understand the catastrophe through the eyes of faith and to nourish hope and rekindle love in Yamada and every other survivor he can find

M3,F2 + chorus of one to four that serves as narrator and poet

The Mask of Hiroshima

Set seven years after the bombing, the play has to do with a couple who are expecting a baby, Shinji and Hisa Ishikawa

Both still wear the mask that the atomic bomb moulded to body and soul

The effects of radiation threaten Hisa's life, and her father urges an abortion

Why risk losing her, he asks his son-in-law, for a child who may not live?

In a dreamlike climax, Hisa loses her life, but the child lives

M3,F2 + chorus of one to four that serves as narrator and poet


"Two Cities is an 'eloquent expression' of faith" ~ The New York Times

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