Bibliography – Butterfly Project

Today am in need to grasp something solid and immovable, so that I may wake up tomorrow to start my second draft. Maybe.
…so with this in mind, here is the bibliography of draft 1.

Here is the Bibliography for Butterfly Project as of 8 December 2017, upon finishing the first draft of a theatre script, loosely entitled the Butterfly Project:

ABC Radio National, 2010. British Sculptor Antony Gormley, Australia: ABC Radiio National. Available at: [Accessed November 20, 2017].

Artemis International, 2015. Inside Australia, Artemis International. Available at: [Accessed November 21, 2017].

Attorney-General’s Department, 2015. DISCUSSION PAPER: OVERVIEW The National Opera Review. Available at: [Accessed December 7, 2017].

Australia, N.G. of, OUT OF THE WEST – | | WA Cobb and Co coach at Mt Malcolm. National Gallery of Australia. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Ballantyne, P., 2002. The fascination with Australian ruins: some other meanings of “Lost Places.” University of Melbourne Postgraduate Association. Available at: [Accessed December 1, 2017]., Map of Butterfly North-South Mine in Western Australia – Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015]., Map of Butterfly in Western Australia showing Leonora (highlighted in purple) – Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

BURROWS, J., 1939. 12 Jan 1939 – OVER THE PLATES. EARLY MT. MALCOLM. Life in the … Western Mail. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Commonwealth of Australia, 2016. NATIONAL OPERA REVIEW FINAL REPORT. Available at: [Accessed December 7, 2017].

Correspondent, 1898. An Alleged Capital Offence – The West Australian 8 Oct 1898. The West Australian. Available at: woman gleeson&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc%7C%7C%7Cl-state=Western+Australia%7C%7C%7Cl-availability=y%7C%7C%7Cl-australian=y%7C%7C%7Cl-title=30 [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Correspondent, The Argus 20 Oct 1898. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

David Belasco (Founded on John Luther Long’s Story), 1928. Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan. Available at: [Accessed December 6, 2017].

Degabriele, M. & Degabriele, M., 1996. From Madame Butterfly to Miss Saigon: One Hundred Years of Popular Orientalism. Critical Arts: A South-North Journal of Cultural & Media Studies, 10(2), pp.105–114.

Department of Premier and Cabinet, 1981. Government Gazette of WA 1981, Available at:$file/gg005.pdf [Accessed August 17, 2015].

Footage: Alicia Whittington, P. and W.W.K.J., Desert lakes fill with life — Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa: Martul Cultural Knowledge Program, Australia. Available at: [Accessed November 21, 2017].

Fukui, M., 2013. Madame Butterfly’s revenge. Griffith Review, 40. Available at: [Accessed August 9, 2015].

Hayashi, K., 2005. Watashi wa Senso Hanayome desu, Kanazawa: Hokkoku Shinbunsha.

Hayashi, K., Tamura, K. & Takatsu, F., 2002. War Brides Senso Hanayome: kokkyo o koeta onnnatachi no hanseiki, Tokyo: Fuyo Shobo.

Jenkins, Chadwick, C.U., New York City Opera Project: Madama Butterfly. Available at: [Accessed December 6, 2017].

Jones, N., 2002. Number 2 home: a story of Japanese pioneers in Australia, Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press.

Kaneko, Y., 1992. Baishō no shakaishi, Tokyo: Yuzankaku Shuppan.

Kato, M., 2008. Narrating the Other : Australian Literary Perceptions of Japan, Clayton, Vic: Monash Asia Institute.

Kim, I., 1980., Yujo karayuki, ianfu no keifu, Tokyo: Yuzankaku Shuppan.

Kim, I., 1997. Yujo, karayuki, ianfu no keifu, Tokyo: Yuzankaku Shuppan.

Kurahashi, M., 1990. Karayukisan no uta, Tokyo: Kyouei Shobo.

Lo, J., Diaspora, Art and Empathy. In A. Aleida, ed. Empathy and its Limits. Palgrave MacMillan.

Marinova, D. et al., 2010. Desert Knowledge CRC Working Paper 67 Profile of Leonora: A sustainability case study, Available at:

Masanao, K., 1990. Karayuki san no uta, Tokyo: Kyoei Shobo.

Mihalopoulos, B., 1994. The Karayuki-san The Making of Prostitutes in Japan : Social Justice, 21(2), pp.161–184. Available at:

Mihalopoulos, B., 2001. Ousting the “prostitute”: Retelling the story of the Karayuki-san. Postcolonial Studies, 4(2), pp.169–187.

Mihalopulos, B.V., 2001. Finding Work Through Sex: Transforming pre-war Japanese female migrant labourers into prostitutes 1870-1930. New York University.

Mining Atlas, Map of Butterfly goldmine. Available at: [Accessed September 18, 2017].

Miyakoka, K., 1968. Shofu Kaigai Ruroki: mou hitotsu no Meiji, Tokyo: Sanichi Shobo.

Museum Victoria, 1886. Negative – Men at North Star Mine, Mount Malcolm, Western Australia, 1896 – Museum Victoria. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Nikkei Kokusai Kekkon Shinbokusha Osutoraria Shibu, Nikkei Kokusai Kekkon Shinbokusha Nyusu Reta.

Pedler, R.D., Ribot, R.F.H. & Bennett, A.T.D., 2014. Extreme nomadism in desert waterbirds: flights of the banded stilt. Biology Letters, 10(10), pp.20140547–20140547. Available at: [Accessed November 20, 2017].

Schickling, D. & Vilain, R., Puccini’s “Work in Progress”: The So-Called Versions of “Madama Butterfly.” Music & Letters, 79, pp.527–537. Available at: [Accessed December 1, 2017].

Shoaf, J.U. of F., The stories of Madame Butterfly. University of Florida. Available at: [Accessed December 6, 2017].

Sissons, D., Japanese in Australia – war brides, Papers of David Sissons, National Library of Australia, Series 27, Box 60 MS3902

Sissons, D., Japanese in Australia – photographs, Papers of David Sissons, National Library of Australia, Series 23, Box 58 MS3902

Sissons, D., Japanese prostitutes in Australia, Papers of David Sissons, National Library of Australia, Series 5, Box 13 MS3092

Sissons, D.C.S. (David C.S., 1977. ’Karayuki-san: the Japanes prostitutes in Australia, 1887-1916. Historical Studies, University of Melbourne, 17(68 & 69).

Sissons, D.C.S. (David C.S., 1990. Japanese Performers in Australia in the Nineteenth Century: The Sakuragawa Troupe (1873-1888). , pp.1–7.

Sissons, D.C.S. (David C.S., 1999. Japanese Acrobatic Troupes Touring Australia 1867 – 1900. Australasian Drama Studies, 35, pp.73–107.

Sissons, D.C.S., 1977. Karayuki-san: Japanese prostitutes in Australia, 1887 – 1916 – I. Historical Studies University of Melbourne, 17(68), pp.323–342.

Sissons, D.C.S., 1977. Karayuki-san: Japanese prostitutes in Australia, 1887-1916 – II. Historical Studies, University of Melbourne, 17(No 69), pp.474–488.

Smith, E., 2008. Representations of the Japanese in contemporary Australian literature and film. New Voices, 2(1978), pp.41–62.

Sone, S., 1990. The Karayuki-San of Asia, 1868-1938: The Role of Prostitutes Overseas in Japanese Economic & Social Development. Murdcoh University.

State Library of WA, Mount Malcolm – Outback Family History. Available at: Malcolm [Accessed August 14, 2015].

State Library of WA, Outback Family History | Home. Available at: Malcolm [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Strickland, B., Antony Gormley’s “Inside Australia” – Lake Ballard. Available at: [Accessed December 7, 2017].

Tamura, K., 2001. Home Away From Home: The Entry of Japanese War Brides into Australia. In P. Jones & V. Mackie, eds. Relationships: Japan and Australia 1870s-1950s. Parkville: The History Department, The University of Melbourne.

Tamura, K., 2002. An Ordinary Life? Meanjin, 60(1), pp.127–131.

Turnbull, C.M., 1997. Ah Ku and Karayuki-San: Prostitution in Singapore 1870-1940. Pacific Affairs, 70(2), pp.292–293.

WA Now and Then, GHOST TOWNS | Western Australia. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Walkatjurra Cultural Centre, Aboriginal Australian Art and Culture in Leonora Western Australia. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Warren, J.F., 1993. Ah ku and karayuki-san: prostitution in Singapore, 1870-1940, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Western Australia News, A Bicultural Future for Leonora Aboriginal Languages. Available at: [Accessed August 14, 2015].

Yamada, M., 1992. Joshigun aishi: karayuki, shofu, ito kojotachi no sei to shi, Tokyo: Kojin Sha.

Yamazaki, T., 1973. Sandakan Hachiban Shoukan: teihen joseishi josho, Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo.


Goldfields of WA – part 1

Following signs upon signs, coincidences upon coincidences without logic, other than the ones formulated in hindsight, there I was, in the bustling Leonora Whitehouse Hotel.


Water pipe of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, Kellerberrin, WA. Photo by Mayu Kanamori

As our train named Prospector traveled alongside the seemingly never ending steel water pipeline that delivers water along the 530 km stretch to the Eastern Goldfields from Perth, I am once again reminded of the vastness of Australia, the aridity of this land’s interior, and that how our struggle for fresh water created much conflict since the time of first contact between its original inhabitants and new settlers.

The construction of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme started in 1898, the same year Okin, a Japanese woman working in the town of Malcolm in the Eastern Goldfields, was allegedly raped. Gold had just been discovered in Malcolm, yet another 230 kms further north from Kalgoorlie into the arid interior of Western Australia.

The thought of how she travelled from her village in Japan with plentiful fresh water from the mountains, what drove her so far into the interior of this dry land, makes me feel ashamed of my air-conditioned comfort. Something about the act of documenting this landscape and my journey to the place Okin had travelled to, lived and worked, with an expensive toy-like video recorder, a GoPro purchased recently especially for this trip makes me feel like a fraud, not to mention the chit chatting with my travel companions, and the sparkling wine from the train kiosk I had been sipping.

My travel companions are both women, both with Australian fathers and mothers from the UK. They had only met that morning for the first time in Perth, when I introduced them as my two long-time friends, who for their own reasons, decided to come along on this journey. Although this was the first time I had companions on a project related research trip, it seemed apt in a loose synchronistic way, considering I originally started this project with a vague idea that I would write about 3 Japanese women in Australian history and their relationships with Australian men, and as a result, my digital parent folder for this project is still labeled “3 Women”.

Travel companions Sue Dowell and Lisa Iley in the Eastern Goldfields near the fence line of the Butterfly Mine owned by Nex Metals Explorations Ltd, WA. Photo by Mayu Kanamori

After hiring a car in Kalgoorlie the following afternoon, we drove up the Goldfields Highway, north to Leonora for the night. Leonora is 19 kms west of, and the nearest town to the now abandoned ghost town site of Malcolm where Okin had once lived and worked in a house she said was a laundry, and others said was a brothel.

Wild flowers along the Kookynie Malcolm Road near the original town of Butterfly in the Eastern Goldfields., WA. Photo by Mayu Kanamori

Other than the two barmaids, one who was a beautiful young blonde haired ‘Skimpy of the Day,’ dressed in a tight black vinyl g-stringed body suit, the clientele in the main bar of the Leonora White House Hotel were all men. Many worked in nearby mines, others worked on pastoral stations or on road works. I was glad my friends were with me to assist my mission for the night to find local information, especially about the historic town of Butterfly, which used to exist 30 kms south of Malcolm and about the current Butterfly gold mine.

This project has never really had a planned route and destination. All I have really done is to follow signs and gut feelings as it revealed itself in time. The first sign was that I found the results of our 2015 National Opera Review Discussion Paper, which mentioned Puccini’s Madama Butterfly as one of the family favorites in Australian opera as problematic. I applied to the National Library of Australia’s Japan Study Grant (now Asia Study Grant) to research on the history of Japanese women in Australia to find out why. There I found Okin’s story nestled amongst the original manuscripts of historian D.C.S. Sissons, and upon googling the town of Malcolm where she had lived, found the town of Butterfly only 30 kms away. Then I found also through google, that there was a current goldmine called Butterfly too.

I have just been following signs upon signs, coincidences upon coincidences without logic, other than the ones formulated in hindsight, there I was, in the bustling Leonora Whitehouse Hotel with my girlfriends.We decided to go around the bar, buying beers for the men, asking them questions and pumping them for information.


You’ve Mistaken Me for a Butterfly (1st and 2nd instalments)

 – Photo by D. Nishi

When Professor Vera Mackie asked me to take part in the 2017 Biennial Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA) Conference   , I thought I would be talking about my research on Japanese women in Australia, and specifically about the Karayuki-san.  Being excited to partake as an artist among scholars, I accepted without much thought. I didn’t know then she was to propel this project in a direction I had not imagined.

Several months later, I found out that instead of me giving a talk, she wanted me to perform at the conference. Yikes.  I was no where ready to perform this work. I wasn’t even thinking of performing it myself, and I was still researching the material. As a matter of fact, I’d stopped researching since my health issues last year, and this project had been stagnant for a good nine months.

Composer and musical performer Terumi Narushima, who I had collaborated with before on Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens and Awase Miso, also happened to be on the JSAA Conference steering committee. She advised me that if I read my talk slowly, and with long pauses, and if she played the piano for me during my pauses… well, we would have a show.

So Terumi and I have decided to collaborate again.

As this work was still in progress, we especially compiled our first instalment of You’ve Mistaken Me for a Butterfly for the 2017 JSAA Conference at the University of Wollongong, and performed it for the conference delegates on the last night of the conference.

So now… we’ve got a show… and we are performing it again in September for the POETRY ON THE MOVE Boundary Crossings: A Festival of Poetry.

I will also be travelling to the goldfields of Western Australia for further research, and Terumi will join me in Perth as artists-in-residence at  University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS). We will develop and present our second instalment of  You’ve Mistaken Me for a Butterfly as its public event presented by IAS, and at the pre-opening of the Women in Asia Conference at UWA organised by the Schools of Humanities, Social Sciences and Music.

What I am really chuffed about is that this work is presented in context of performed poetry. I have dabbled in amateur poetry since I was a kid, fancying myself as a poet, yet too shy and not confident enough about my poems. But now, thanks to Vera and Terumi (and Carol Hayes, Rina Kikuchi, Laura Dales, Lyn Parker and many others), I might just add writing poetry to my job description.

*           *          *

Here are the dates and venues available to the public:

You’ve Mistaken Me for a Butterfly (the first instalment)

POETRY ON THE MOVE Boundary Crossings: A Festival of Poetry, presented by International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra.

16 September 2017, 2PM at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, ACT.

You’ve Mistaken Me for a Butterfly (the second instalment)

IAS PUBLIC PERFORMANCE, presented by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), University of Western Australia (UWA).

25 September 2017, 6PM at the Callaway Music Auditorium, UWA, Crawley, WA

*           *          *

Can I be so brave to tell… some of my poems are on Instagram:



About Okin – part 2 (State Records Office of Western Australia)

Nothing is as simple is as it seems. Why didn’t the police know?

Depositions of Witnesses, State Records Office of Western Australia Item no 210 1898 – Supreme Court case file no.2883 Okin & Kuchinotsu Port; montaged by Mayu Kanamori

According to newspaper reports of the time, during the trial Okin spoke through an interpreter, and was rigorously cross-examined by the defence. But there are no records left of what she had to say. However in the State Records Office of Western Australia, we can still find the original copy of her pre trial witness disposition along with those of Enaba and Constable John Donovan. There are also statements by the accused, Charles Francis, William Gleeson and Charles Edwards, prepared by their defence lawyer, along with a witness statement for the defence by John Harford, a regular client of Okin’s.

State Records Office of Western Australia, Perth; photo by Mayu Kanamori

From an overall point of view, visiting the State Records office didn’t yield much beyond what I had already known of this case. However some previously unknown details sang out: Constable John Donovan, the arresting officer, who testified that he didn’t know that Okin’s house was a brothel, said in his statement that he had “… not had the occasion to watch this house as a brothel. I have not been long at Malcolm.” Another point of interest was that he had rushed to the house with another police officer, Buttle.

Witness disposition by Constable John Donavan, courtesy, State Records Office of WA.

From what I had previously read about the times, it seems highly unlikely that both police officers not know that Okin’s house was a brothel and that she was a prostitute.

I cannot help but to think that things are not as simple is as it seems.

About Okin – part 1 (National Library of Australia)

I met Okin for the first time buried inside a folder entitled ‘Violent Crimes’

I met Okin for the first time nestled amongst the original manuscripts of D.C.S. Sissons at the Special Collections reading room in the National Library of Australia (NLA). Okin was buried inside a folder entitled ‘Violent Crimes,’ inside a box full of folders dedicated to karayuki san.[1]

Some of the boxes containing papers by D.C.S. Sissons at NLA’s Special Collections.

Karayuki, literally means going to China, and is the term commonly used for Japanese women, mostly from Kyushu, who worked overseas for subsistence. According to an article in the Tokyo daily newspaper Kokumin in early 1896, often the women were smuggled outside onboard steamers; usually went to Hong Kong first, where they were found by agents, and sold to brothels including those in Australia. At the time there were about 200 Japanese brothels, perhaps more according to further research by Sissons, operating in Australia. Most Japanese women living in Australia around this time were prostitutes, although various census results showed that they had listed their occupations as seamstresses, laundress, servants and alike. [2]

Around 3pm on the 29th of July, 1898, three men allegedly forced themselves into a house occupied by a Japanese man and several Japanese women in Mount Malcolm (Western Australia). The two of the younger men, William Gleeson and Charles Francis raped Okin in her bedroom whilst the older man, Charles Thomas Edwards, stood guard at the door. The Japanese manager Enaba went to the police for help. When Constable John Donovan arrived on the scene, Edwards was no longer there, but he heard a woman screaming, and he found Okin lying on the bed with Gleeson at the foot of the bed, and Francis standing at her head. Clothing of all three were in disarray. Donovan arrested the two men. The third man Edwards was arrested at a later date. [3]

Francis stated that two days prior to the alleged offence, he had visited Okin and was entertained by her. On the day in question, he visited again in company of his friends. His friends waited in the next room whilst he was with Okin. He called his friend Gleeson for a loan of a pound to offer to her. Gleeson entered the room to lend him the money, whilst Okin replied she had no change. Gleeson was “making overtures ” to her, when the police arrived and arrested them.

blog 2016-02-15 13-40 ms 3092 box 13 Sissons karayuki women violent crimes page #5
Okin’s case notes found in the original manuscripts of D.C.S. Sissons, NLA Special Collections MS 3092, Box 13 Karayuki, folder entitled: Women violent crimes

Okin’s rape case went to the Criminal Court in Western Australia on 7 October, 1898 before his Honour Justice James and a jury of 12. Francis and Gleeson were charged with “carnally knowing against her will,” and Edwards, for having aided and abetted Francis. The men pleaded not guilty. All women and youths under 18 years of age were ordered out of court.

The Crown Solicitor, R. B. Burnside detailed the case, and stressed the importance of protecting the chastity of women whatever her “colour and creed.” He added that even if she was “only a courtesan, and however low her character, if she did not consent she was entitled to the protection which the law gave to her in common with the most virtuous of women.”

Okin and Enaba gave statements through an interpreter. They both denied that the place they and several other women lived was a brothel, and that Okin had been working there as a laundress. Her hour long cross examination by the defence lawyer Vyner was mostly to elicit facts regarding her mode of living, which at times were delicate, and solicited laughter from the court as well as from the accused.

Justice James summed up the case, referring to the difficulty of obtaining evidence from Japanese witnesses through an interpreter; that there was no evidence that Okin was a prostitute, and on the contrary, the evidence given by Constable Donovan showed that the house where she lived was not known, as usually was, as a brothel; that he agreed with the Crown Solicitor that rape was rape regardless of the reputation of the woman; and that the charge was most serious: rape was a capital offence.

The jury could not agree in the first instance and the court adjourned. [AN ALLEGED CAPITAL OFFENCE. THREE MEN CHARGED. THE JURY UNABLE TO AGREE., 1898]

The jury eventually returned a not guilty verdict and then men were acquitted on 18 October, 1898.[4]

[1] Sissons, D. C. S. & Horwitz, Solis.  1950,  Papers of D.C.S. Sissons, 1950-2006 [manuscript]

[2] Sissons, D.C.S. (1977) ‘Karayuki‐San: Japanese prostitutes in Australia, 1887–1916—       I*’, Historical Studies, 17(68), pp. 323–341. doi: 10.1080/10314617708595555.


[4] THE MOUNT MALCOLM CASE. ACCUSED ACQUITTED (1898) The West Australian, 19 October, p. 7.


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