Aunt Lily's Flowerbook: 100 Years of Legalized Racism

Upcoming Performance by Brenda Wong Aoki and Mark Izu on May 27, 28, and June 3! 


A hippie storyteller and jazz musician from the 1970’s tell true tales of resilience: A grandfather who built the railroad, a father in the 442nd - his wife in Poston Internment Camp, aunts and uncles in Hiroshima, a gallon of ice cream, a violin and the genesis of the Asian American Movement.  A compilation of Brenda and Mark’s greatest hits over the past 40 years plus new stories & memoirs woven together with live music, vintage San Francisco photos & film from the Victorian period, WWII, and the Movement.  Written & performed by Brenda Wong Aoki with music by Emmy Award winning composer Mark Izu featuring koto master Shoko Hikage.

Show Times and Venue

Saturday, May 27, 9:30 pm - Opening Night

Sunday, May 28, 2:00 pm - Followed by a talkback panel discussion!

Saturday, June 3, 7:00 pm - Closing Night


Southside Theatre, Fort Mason, San Francisco

Length of performance: 75 minutes


"Brenda Wong Aoki, the foremost Asian storyteller working in America today is a consummate performer of rare talent and conviction… spiritually uplifting."

           – The Morning Call, Allentown PA


"Aoki’s characters emerged from her dramatic gestures and powerhouse voice…backed by Asian Jazz master Mark Izu, this show delivered maximum bang for the entertainment buck- theatrical performance, world music, spoken word and jazz, it drew thunderous applause from a full house.”

          – Jonathan Bakan, Music Critic SF Examiner

About the Artists

Featuring the haunting eloquence of writer-performer Brenda Wong Aoki with the silk and iron tones of composer-contra bass player Mark Izu - artists in the vanguard of cultural metamorphosis. Their original story-dramas are rooted in Gagaku, Nohgaku, contemporary theater, personal story, history and legend. Izu is listed in The Grove Dictionary of Music as a seminal leader of Asian American Jazz. Aoki is the America’s first nationally recognized Asian American storyteller. Both Aoki and Izu come from founding families of San Francisco and San Jose J-towns, two of the three remaining Japantowns in the U.S. Their work has garnered multiple Hollywood-Dramalogue Awards, NEA Fellowships, Critic Circle Awards, INDIE Awards, Dramatist Guild, ASCAP awards and an Emmy.  Shoko Hikage, Mark Izu, Brenda Wong Aoki are world-class artists who continue to teach, tour and perform.

Shoko Hikage began playing koto at the age of three and completed extensive training in Japan. In 1992, she moved to Honolulu, Hawaiito teach koto at the  Sawai Koto Kai Hawaii (Sawai Koto Institute Hawaii branch) and at the University of Hawaii. There she held her first American solo recital at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Theatre as part of the New Music Across America Series. In 1997, she moved to San Francisco where she continues her concert and teaching activities.


"Shoko Hikage, koto player extraordinaire will take you through the universe and beyond on her strings of sound. From Cherry Blossoms to John Cage, Shoko's performances will make you hear things you never even dream before."

          – Lynda Hess, Artbeat