The Methuen Drama Book of Contemporary Japanese Plays: The Bacchae-Holstein Milk Cows; One Night; Isn't Anyone Alive?; The Sun; Carcass (Paperback)

The Methuen Drama Book of Contemporary Japanese Plays: The Bacchae-Holstein Milk Cows; One Night; Isn't Anyone Alive?; The Sun; Carcass By Yuko Kuwabara, Takuya Yokoyama, Shiro Maeda Cover Image
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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,
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
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
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
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
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.

About the Author

Satoko Ichihara was born in Osaka in 1988 and grew up in Fukuoka Prefecture. She studied theatre at J. F. Oberlin University. Since 2011, she has led the theatre unit Q. Ichihara is known for creating and directing dramas that deal with human actions and the di scomfort of the physiological needs of the body, as well as for her distinctive use of language and physicality. Ichihara was a Junior Fellow Artist of the Saison Foundation. She won the 11th AAF Drama Award for her play Mushi Insects in 2011, and the 64th Kunio Kishida Drama Award in 2020 for her play The Bacchae Holstein 3 Milk Cows. Shiro Maeda is a Playwright, Director, Novelist, Film director, Screenwriter and Actor. Maeda founded the theatre company GOTANNDADAN in 1997 while he was a university student. He won the 52nd Kishida Drama Award for "Isn't Anyone Alive?" (2007). As a novelist, he won the 22nd Mishima Yukio Prize for "The Mermen of Summer Water" (2009) and was nominated for the 137th Akutagawa Prize for "The Great Life Adventure" (2007) and again for the 158th Akutagawa Prize for "Triple Bind" (2017). He also won the 46th Galaxy Award for Excellence for his teleplay for the NHK drama "Shopping" (2009) and the Mukouda Kuniko Award for his script for the NHK drama "Seven Minutes on Foot" (2015). Takuya Yokoyama is a Playwright, Director, and Head of the iaku Theatre Company. Born in Osaka on January 21, 1977, Yokoyama is a playwright, director, and head of iaku theatre company (f.2012). He is known for writing plays structured in precise conversational layers that, like a spiral stairway, lead the audience unexpectedly into moments of conflict among his characters. The rich dramaturgy of his plays invites repeated productions. Furthermore, he aims to create plays that are entertaining while also standing up to critical viewing by adult audiences. Yokoyama has received numerous awards including the 1st Sendai Short Drama Award for Not Knowing How Others Feel (2013), the Kansai district 's 72nd Agency for Cultural Affairs National Arts Festival New Artist Award (2017) and the Osaka City Sakuya Konohana Award (2018). Tomohiro Maekawa founded the performance group Ikiume (Buried Alive) where he worked as a playwright and director. He has written and produced SF, occult and horror works such as Strolling Invader, The Sun Holy Land X, Mathematical Domino, and The Obelisk of the Beast. He also wrote plays for other companies including The Sun 2068 (directed by Yukio Ninagawa) and From a Dark Place (directed by Eriko Ogawa), and he wrote and directed The Super Kabuki plays Sculpting the Sky (starring Ennosuke Ichikawa) and Endless (supervised by Mansai Nomura). He has won the Yomiuri Theatre Award, the Kinokuniya Theatre Award and many others. Yuko Kuwabara is a Playwright, Director, and Head of the KAKUTA Theatre Company. Born in Tokyo, Yuko Kuwabara founded the KAKUTA theatre company in 1996. A Sweet Hill (2006) was her very first work to be shortlisted for an award, the 2007 Kishida Drama Prize, and the revival of the play won the 64th Agency of Cultural Affairs National Arts Festival Award and the New Artist Award (for script and directing) in 2009. Her Outen was shortlisted for the 15th Tsuruya Nanboku Drama Award and the 56th Kunio Kishida Drama Prize in 2012, and Traces on and on won the 18th Tsuruya Nanboku Drama Award in 2015. The Wasteland (Honokuni Toyohashi Arts Theatre PLAT independent won the 5th Hayakawa Higeki Kigeki Award in January 2018. She won the 70th Yomiuri Prize for Literature in the Drama and Scenario division in 2019. Besides plays, Kuwabara writes TV dramas and screenplays, such as Junior High Student's Diary (NHK Educatio nal TV) and the film Rambling Heart. One Night was made into a film (dir. Kazuya Shiraishi) in 2019.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781350278363
ISBN-10: 135027836X
Publisher: Methuen Drama
Publication Date: April 21st, 2022
Pages: 400
Language: English