Mystical Abyss


A multicultural fusion inspired by Japanese and Iroquois creation myths

Mystical Abyss is the culminating production of a career in which Japanese-born director Yuriko Doi has brought to the West a distinctive fusion of traditional Japanese dramatic arts and cutting-edge world theater. In this production, Doi returns to origins, plumbing both Japanese and American prehistory and myths. 

Between Japanese and Native American cultures and sensitivities there are some known commonalities, such as: appreciation of ancestral relationships, spirituality and nature. However, prior to Yuriko Doi’s productions, serious artistic exploration that fused the artistic traditions and expressions of the two cultures did not exist. Mystical Abyss will be the third in a triptych of Japanese Noh and Native-American fusion works directed by Doi. Her commitment to studying the subject has embraced more than a decade, following Crazy Horse in 2001 and Moon of the Scarlet Plums in 2005. It will also be the final major theatrical production by the founder of Theatre of Yugen, the only ensemble theatre in North America specializing in the 600-year-old Japanese Noh and Kyogen theatres and contemporary productions with their influences.

During the four year-creation process for Mystical Abyss, Doi did considerable research into the early cultures and mythologies of ancient Jomon Japan and of the Iroquois Nations. This work included visits to sites and discussions with experts. The play has gone through an evolutionary process including workshops and staged readings. 

Mystical Abyss will be an intellectual yet widely accessible theatrical work that evokes powerful images of unity and harmony across different generations, cultures and traditions, telling the cyclical story of death and rebirth and the quest for balance between that which is deemed “good” and “evil/darkness.”

Discount code for ASNC members: ASIA (not case-sensitive)


Part of SFIAF's 10th anniversary season. Presented by Theatre of Yugen, U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network (CTN) and San Francisco International Arts Festival (SFIAF).

Theatre of Yugen, U.S./Japan Cultural Trade Network and San Francisco International Arts Festival present the world premiere of Mystical Abyss,
in collaboration with the Japan Society of Northern California, Asia Society, Museum of Craft and Folk Art, with media sponsorship by the Asian Week Foundation,
and generously supported by The James Irvine Foundation, the California Arts Council, the Western States Arts Federation and the National Endowment for the Arts, NEA/Art Works, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc., Johnson &  Johnson, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, Grants for the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund, The Mathias Lloyd Spiegel Foundation, Theatre of Yugen's Membership and individual contributors.

Event Details

Thu 27 Sep 2012 - Sun 30 Sep 2012
7:00 PM - 2:00 PM
ODC Theater, 3153 Seventeenth St, San Francisco, CA
Buy Tickets
Opening night: $40 (advance); $45 (at door); $35 (professional & community groups’ member discount); $25 (senior/student); $20 (Early Bird). All other performances: $30 (advance); $35 (at door); $27 (professional & community groups’ member discount);
Add to Calendar 20120928T020000 20120930T210000 UTC Asia Society: Mystical Abyss ODC Theater, 3153 Seventeenth St, San Francisco, CA