On Wednesday, May 20, at 6:30 pm, join Three Rooms Press as we celebrate the release of LAST BOAT TO YOKOHAMA: THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF BEATE SIROTA GORDON by Nassrine Azimi and Michel Wasserman, with a reading and Q&A in the galleries at the Rubin Museum. A book signing in the shop will follow the reading.
In 1946, a remarkable woman secretly helped create Japan’s new constitution, writing an article that mandated equal rights for all women in Japan. Few could imagine that Article 24 was the work of a 22-year-old Vienna-born, naturalized American woman of Ukrainian-Jewish descent who had grown up in Japan. Her name was Beate Sirota, and to this day she remains an idol for generations of Japanese women. This extraordinary biography includes a foreword by Beate, an in-depth look at her father, the world-renowned classical pianist Leo Sirota, personal diaries from the World War II era by her mother, Augustine, as well as a detailed overview of Beate’s life, including the ongoing impact of her contributions to the Japanese constitution, as well as her personal impact on world culture fostered by four decades of dedication to introducing authentic dance, theater, and music of the Far East to American audiences.
- Nassrine Azimi, author, LAST BOAT TO YOKOHAMA; founder of the Green Legacy project
- Michel Wasserman, author, LAST BOAT TO YOKOHAMA; professor, College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University
- Richard Lanier, founding trustee and president of the Asian Cultural Council; trustee, Rubin Museum
- Eiko Otake, performance artist (Eiko & Koma)
- Nicole Gordon, attorney and teacher; daughter of Beate Sirota Gordon
- Geoffrey Paul Gordon, playwright and actor; son of Beate Sirota Gordon
High Praise for LAST BOAT TO YOKOHAMA and Beate Sirota Gordon"All of us have a lot to learn from Beate Gordon—a woman with the courage to match her convictions." —Yoko Ono
"An important book. Every woman on both sides of the Pacific should know about Beate Sirota Gordon and what she did for the women of Japan." —Martha Burk, Money Editor, Ms. Magazine; Director, Corporate Accountability Project, NCWO; Equal Time with Martha Burk, KSFR
"LAST BOAT TO YOKOHAMA is a necessary addition to myriad of books written about World War II. It is complementary to Beate Sirota Gordon’s memoir The Only Woman in the Room and deserves a place in any school, public or personal library.” —Anne Lee, Shojo Power
"Anything about the remarkable Beate Gordon is interesting. And that's too mild an adjective. Nassrine Azimi and Michel Wasserman continue this tradition in their splendid new book, LAST BOAT TO YOKOHAMA. I was lucky enough to know Beate and my admiration for her is unlimited. You must get a copy for yourself. I will not lend mine." —Dick Cavett, talk show host, actor and writer
"Beate Gordon was an amazing woman who was a pioneer in many ways. What she did as a woman in helping to create Japan’s new constitution is historic. She introduced to me Suzushi Hanayagi. We collaborated on 15 major works for opera and theatre. Suzushi changed my life. It was the wisdom of Beate to bring us together. Few women of the 20th century have had her courage and vision. She did in the 20th century what Admiral Perry did in the mid 19th century." —Robert Wilson, experimental theater director and playwright
"An inspiring book about an inspiring woman." —Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore; and Chairperson, Water Leaders Summit
"A fascinating book about an extraordinary woman." —BookPleasures
“[Beate Gordon’s] contribution in drafting language about women's rights for the new constitution was instrumental in effecting significant cultural change. Later, she would pursue a career in the performing arts in New York, where through her work at the Japan Society she brought the very essence of what was precious in Japanese culture and art to America. Read LAST BOAT TO YOKOHAMA and be inspired by her remarkable life." —Yo-Yo Ma, cellist