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Born: 1959
Function: playwright
Company: Gekidan Shinkansen

Nakashima was born in Fukuoka Prefecture, and has been the resident writer for the popular Osaka-based Shogekijo theater company Gekidan Shinkansen since 1985. Together with director Inoue Hidenori, he has become known for the uniquely spectacular fantasy action dramas known as "Inoue Kabuki" featuring complex narratives on historical and mythological themes. Fast-paced and stylish, Shinkansen's new entertainment style appeals to a young audience, and they have produced such popular hits as Susanoo, Dokurojo no shichinin (Seven Souls in Skull Castle), and Ashurajo no hitomi (Blood Gets in Your Eyes). In 2002, Nakashima won the 47th Kishida Drama Award for Aterui, while his most recent productions, including the 2007 Oboro no mori ni sumu oni (Lord of the Lies), have starred the Kabuki actor Ichikawa Somegoro. He is also active in other genres as the author of the manga, Yami kagishi (The Master Locksmith) and of the TV animeL Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Heaven-Shattering Gurren Lagann).

©Shochiku Co.,LTD.
Ashurajo no hitomi (Blood Gets in Your Eyes)
This play is set in the cultured and peaceful Edo. Fearing demons, the people established a special police force known as the Oni Mikado to fight them. Now an author of popular fiction and a protegé of Tsuruya Nanboku no less, Izumo was an original member of Oni Mikado. By chance he meets an enigmatic woman, Tsubaki, and finds himself once again drawn into a fight against demons as it turns out that sealed in Tsubaki’s memory is her capacity to awaken the leader of the demons, Ashurajo. This is Kabuki-style entertainment, full of fantasy and action.

First staged: 2000
Acts/scenes: 2 acts, 7 scenes
First staged by: Shochiku/Village

©Shochiku Co.,LTD.
The setting is ancient Japan. The Yamato general Tamuramaro is headed for northern Japan in order to subjugate the Ezo people. He encounters Aterui, the leader of the Ezo army, but the two prove to be evenly matched. After a chaotic period of scheming by both sides, Aterui once again faces Tamuramaro. Aterui has by now been made immortal by the Ezo god Arahabaki, but he is weary of the absurdity and pointlessness of the war. In the end, he allows himself to be defeated in return for Tamuramaro’s promise not to attack the Ezo people.

First staged: 2002
Acts/scenes: 8 acts
Cast: 42 (27 male, 15 female)
First staged by: Shochiku/Village