Naoki is a non-verbal, autistic, Japanese boy, who was just thirteen years old when he wrote the book The Reason I Jump, a one-of-a-kind memoir and exploration of an autistic view of the world.

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump

  • The Reason I Jump


In this innovative adaptation, the book becomes an experience, a mysterious journey through a beautiful outdoor maze designed by renowned Dutch collective Observatorium. Once inside, audiences encounter the stories and insights of Naoki’s gardeners and become immersed in his playful world.

This adaptation is a unique blend of site-specific promenade performance and interactive installation, created with and performed by, a group of artists with autism ranging from 16 to 60 years old. Audiences are free to explore the outdoor maze, in which they can find some of the stories and ideas from the book as well as the personal experiences of the performers themselves. At the centre of the maze in Glasgow is a stone labyrinth, constructed by members of the local community using reclaimed cobblestone from nearby Maryhill. The stone labyrinth remains in the North Kelvin Meadow as a legacy for residents and visitors.

Find out more on the NTS project page

Production conceived and directed by Graham Eatough
Designed by Observatorium, dramaturgy by Clare Duffy, choreography by Zoe Halliday, Assistant Director Ellie Griffiths.

Based on the book by Naoki Higashida, translated by David Mitchell and Keiko Yoshida
Presented by The National Theatre of Scotland

Inspired by the bestselling Naoki Higashida book of the same name, translated into English by Keiko Yoshida and Cloud Atlas- author David Mitchell in 2013, the piece originally took the form of a unique site-specific installation in the Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow in the summer of 2018.

Glasgow cast: Fletcher Mathers, Michael Dawson, Calum MacRitchie, Emma McCaffrey and Nicola Tuxworth with four young performers from schools in Glasgow, Edinburgh and East Renfrewshire – Abercorn, St Crispins and Isobel Mair.