Modern Noh Plays ~Yorobshi~


Role: Toshinori (俊徳) 

Director: Yukio Ninagawa
Writer: Yukio Mishima 

Performance Details

09 November 2000Actcity Hamamatsu, Japan
14 - 15 November 2000Biwako Hall, Japan
19 - 23 November 2000Aichi Kinro Kaikan, Japan
27 - 30 November 2000Theatre Drama City, Japan
27 - 30 June 2001Barbican Theatre, London
12 - 14 July 2001Saitama Arts Foundation, Japan
20 - 21 July 2001Ryutopia, Japan
25 - 27 July 2001Theatre Drama City, Japan
31 July - 12 August 2001Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon, Japan


In "Yoroboshi," set in an antiseptic courtroom that will be magically transformed by Tamotsu Harada's lighting, two couples argue over who should take charge of Toshinori (Mr. Fujiwara), a 20-year-old man who was lost at age 5 during the war and blinded. Does he belong to the urbane pair who adopted him (Tetsuro Sagawa and Machiko Washio) or to his original, folksier parents (Mikio Shimizu and Tomoko Jinbo), who have only now discovered that he is still alive?

As in "Sotoba Komachi," the play builds, with surprising shots of nasty humor, to a climactic pas de deux. In this case, the participants are Toshinori and Shinako Sakurama (Mari Natsuki), the court magistrate and a woman of exquisite calm and composure. Sakurama quietly champions the forms that shape the structures of society and family. But before he lost his sight, Toshinori saw a landscape in which form had disappeared, a fiery void that erased all boundaries, including those between the living and the dead. The world, he now insists with shattering and vehement certainty, has already ended.

"Yoroboshi" operates both as a lyrical, abstract study of death-in-life and as a pointed social commentary on the impact of the war on the children who survived it and their guilt-crippled parents. Played as a dazzling counterpoint of asocial rage and toxic, smiling complacency, Mr. Fujiwara's Toshinori is both a bard of destruction and a spoiled brat, expert in emotional blackmail. That you are able to fully grasp both aspects of this character speaks reverberantly of the double-natured genius of Mishima's theater.



Since the first production, Tatsuya has starred in another special revival version of the production, in 2005, which was performed in Japan and the Lincoln Center Festival (New York).

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