Contemporary Japanese Plays Playtext Collection

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Author: Yuko Kuwabara, Takuya Yokoyama, Shiro Maeda, Satoko Ichiharam Tomohiro Maekawa

Format: Paperback

Pages: 400

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by Yuko Kuwabara, Takuya Yokoyama, Shiro Maeda, Satoko Ichiharam Tomohiro Maekawa

Published alongside The Japan Foundation, this collection features five creative and bold plays by some of Japan's most prolific writers of contemporary theatre. Translated into English for the first time, these texts explore a wide range of themes from dystopian ideas of the future to touching domestic tragedies.

Brought together in one volume, introduced by the authors and The Japan Foundation, this collection offers English language readers an unprecedented look at some of Japan's finest works of contemporary drama by writers from across the country.

The plays include:

The Bacchae-Holstein Milk Cows by Satoko Ichihara (Translated by Aya Ogawa)
This play takes themes of the ancient Greek tragedy Bacchae by Euripides to examine various aspects of contemporary society, from love and sex, man and woman, intermixture of different species, discrimination and abuse, to artificial insemination, criticism of anthropocentricism and more. It was the winner of the 64th Kishida Drama Award.

One Night by Yuko Kuwabara (Translated by Mari Boyd)
The setting is a small taxi company run out of the home of its owner in a country town. One night the mother, Koharu Inamura, decides to leave the home in order to protect her children from her husband's domestic violence, promising them that she will come back in 15 years. The play depicts the family's reunion after having to live with the burden of that one night's (hitoyo) incident and how they restarted their lives after it.

Isn't Anyone Alive? by Shiro Maeda (Translated by Miwa Monden)
This laid back, absurdist work examines death through a goofy lens. In the play, strange urban legends abound in a university hospital where young people die one after another, all with mobile phones in their hands.

The Sun by Tomohiro Maekawa (Translated by Nozomi Abe)
Depicts young people torn apart in a near future setting where humanity has split into two forms: Nox humans who can only go out at night, and Curios, the original type of humans that can live under the sun.

Carcass by Takuya Yokoyama (Translated by Mari Boyd)
This play takes its name from the Japanese word for dressed carcasses of beef and pork that have been halved along the backbone for meat . It deals with the dignity of being alive as seen through the lives of workers in the meat industry based on interviews and research. It won the Japan Playwrights Association's 15th New Playwright Award in 2009.

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