Aunt Lily's Flowerbook: 100 Years of Legalized Racism

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Emmy winning musician Mark Izu accompanies his wife and "America's foremost Asian storyteller" Brenda Wong Aoki to share touching and personal family histories with universal and contemporary appeal. The two acclaimed artists weave memories recorded in a recently discovered family diary with further flourish, story and song tracking over 100 years of history in the American West. From the Transcontinental Railroad, to WWII's Japanese American internment camps and 442nd Infantry Regiment, to San Francisco hippies and through today. Joined by koto master Shoko Hikage, the performance offer a poignant glimpse of our shared history and demands it not be repeated. 

2017-18 National Tour


November 12-16 | Millersville University, PA


February | Riverside Art Museum, CA

Standing Ovation at the World Premiere

Standing Ovation at the World Premiere

Booking Information

California Artists Management

Sue Endrizzi Morris //

Don Osborne //

Video Trailer

Brenda’s powerful storytelling, Mark’s brilliant music, and Shoko’s spirited koto and singing. Her tribute to Sachiko was heart-wrenching, and full of love. Brenda’s multicultural and wide range of characters - are brought to life with such love - and her generosity in sharing the stage and stories with others is heart-warming. Mark’s composition for his mother was also a beautiful tribute.
— Audience Member
Wong Aoki’s skill as a storyteller lies in navigating between the big and small stories to create a

”Takes on the tales of struggle, sorrow and achievement – giving personality, individuality and dignity to communities that Donald Trump’s America would rather forget or demonize.
— Asia Times

"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