Brenda Wong Aoki
Writer, Performer, and Recording Artist
Brenda Wong Aoki has established herself in many areas of the arts as a writer, performer, and recording artist. Her work has been described as a "synthesis of Japanese Noh and Kyogen theater, Commedia dell’arte, modern dance, and everyday experience." Combining her Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, and Scottish heritage into unique compositions, Brenda Wong Aoki has produced a number of notable works including Tales of the Pacific Rim, Random Acts of Kindness, Obake!, Tales of Spirits Past and Present, and The Queen’s Garden. One of her most notable works is Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend, the true story of her grand-uncle’s struggle to marry Helen Gladys Emery, a white woman, confronting legal and public attempts to bar persons of Japanese descent from marrying Caucasians.
Brenda Wong Aoki has received numerous fellowships and awards for her work in the arts. In 1996, she was named one of the 500 most influential Asian Americans by Avenue magazine. Ms. Aoki is a Governor for the National Recording Academy, a founding member of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, and continues to teach and perform internationally.
- First Voice Brenda Wong Aoki homepage
- MSN Music
- National Japanese American Historical Society
- "Uncle Gunjiro's Girlfriend: The True Story of the First Hapa Baby". Nikkei Heritage X, no. 4 (Fall 1998).
- Aoki describes her research into her family's genealogy, investigating the difficult circumstances of the marriage between her Nikkei grand-uncle, Gunjiro Aoki, and his wife, Helen Gladys Emery, in 1909.
- --> see also Interracial Marriage
- This site presents her works and its reviews in Japanese.
- "Mermaid Meat is an original story written by Brenda Wong Aoki based on the Japanese proverb 'Eating the flesh of a mermaid is the secret to eternal youth.' Originally commissioned by Kent Nagano, conductor of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the piece speaks to our collective fascination with youth and beauty, and poses the question, ‘what would it really be like to live forever?’"
- Last updated on November 28, 2007