A month ago I lost a very close friend. This would not be the proper place to write about it, except for the fact that despite her not being Japanese, her profound understanding of Japan and her love for the country were the lifeblood of her artistic career.

As an Australian artist, set designer and costume designer, Jennie Tate discovered her true voice in Japan. When she passed away on Dec. 28 last year, the Australian theater community was brought together in grief. In a profession that reeks of factionalism, jealousies and grudges, that was rare indeed.

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