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Born: 1963
Function: playwright
Company: Jitensha Kinqureat

Iijima was born in Tokyo and graduated from Japan Women's University. In 1982, while a student, she formed Jitensha Kinqureat theater company together with the director Suzuki Yumi and other fellow students, and has written almost all of their productions since. Iijima has been widely acclaimed for depicting the subtleties of life through upbeat dialogue and characters brimming with vitality as they live their lives to the full. Recently she has also written scripts for other theater companies as well as for TV, radio, and film, and has demonstrated a talent for adapting and recasting translated plays and novels. Notable works include Haetori-gami (Flypaper), in which five siblings view their lives in a new light after seeing an apparition of their mother, who has fallen sick while away on holiday, and Kenran toka ranman toka (Dazzling, Blooming), a crazy story about four young aspiring writers in the late 1920s who cause pandemonium as they each pursue their dreams and loves.

Photo: Rokudo Tatsuo
Hoocho no hininho (Rhythm Method)
(co-authored by Suzuki Yumi)
It is the early 1920s. In the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Niigata’s Takeyama Hospital, Dr. Ogino Kyusaku is absorbed in his research into women’s ovulation cycles. His enthusiasm is such that he even asks a prospective bride, Tome, to record her monthly cycle and sexual activity. Tome is hesitant at first but decides to comply, and the two marry. Ogino is also a practicing physician, and by observing and listening to the local women and sometimes being able to help them—including Kiyo who wants an abortion due to financial troubles; Hana who worries about not being able to get pregnant; his nurse Yoriko; as well as his wife—he manages to continue his research.

First staged: 1994
Acts/scenes: 2 acts, 7 scenes
Cast: 8 (4 male, 4 female)
First staged by: Jitensha Kinqureat Store
[Translation] English: Half a Century of Japanese Theater II, published by Kinokuniya and available from Jitensha Kinqureat Company

Photo: Kiyama Akiko
Tsu auto (Two Outs)
An autumn holiday. Hideyoshi, who lives by the credo “put off all your problems,” has come to a game of the Hokettsu sandlot baseball team he coaches to escape from the fact that his wife has just left him. With such an unmotivated coach, the game is normally proving tough, and scorer Kusano is beside himself with worry. To make things worse, it causes turmoil for Hideyoshi’s son Ruiji, fed up with his father’s irresoluteness, as well as Hideyoshi’s subordinate at work, the lovesick Masaka, as the benches by third base erupt. Is there any way to save the game and resolve Hideyoshi’s family problems? This is a comedy that realistically describes a typical crises in a Japanese family and their modest recovery from it.

First staged: 2007
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 7 scenes
Cast: 5 (4 male, 1 female)
First staged by: Jitensha Kinqureat Store