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NARUI Yutaka
Born: 1961
Function: stage director playwright
Company: Caramel Box

Narui was born in Saitama Prefecture. In 1985 he formed the Caramel Box amateur theater group, most of whose members were from the Waseda University theater circle Teatro 50. Since then he has written and directed all of their productions. Their mottos are "Anyone who watches our plays can understand them," and "Anyone who watches our plays can enjoy them," and they produce two or three plays every year on the theme of people caring for each other. Since 1993, founding member Mashiba Azusa has been a co-writer, and in recent years Narui has also adapted some novels to theater. He has created a varied repertory within their entertainment fantasy base, including "Half Time Theater" programs with two short sci-fi historical plays set at the end of the Edo period. With fast-paced stories and a rock concert sound system, Caramel Box have become highly popular and currently attract audiences of 30–40,000 to each performance.

Photo: Ito Kazunori
Hakkuruberi ni sayonara o (Farewell to Huckleberry)
Kenji is in the last year of elementary school and is crazy about canoes, which he has just learnt about from his home tutor Kokichi. His mother is against him getting into a canoe, so he looks forward to going boating on the pond in Inokashira Park with his father, who lives separately from them, on their monthly day out together. One day, Kenji’s father introduces him to a woman called Kaoru, but Kenji runs away. His “elder brother” tells him off, and they go together to visit Kaoru’s house. As the “brothers” get to know Kaoru, they begin to like her, but the second time they visit Kaoru’s home, Kenji yells at his father “You might be happy, but Mom is looking after me all by herself and she’s getting older all the time. It’s not fair!…”

First staged: 1991
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 8 scenes
Cast: 8 (5 male, 3 female)
First staged by: Caramel Box
[Translation] English: Half a Century of Japanese Theater II, published by Kinokuniya and available from Caramel Box

Photo: Ito Kazunori (production of 2007)
Courage of the Wind
It is the end of August. College student Hoshimi and her family leave on their annual holiday, but they are in a car accident and Hoshimi loses all five family members in one go. Her grief, however, is short-lived as the family appears to her in the hospital as ghosts. Hoshimi regrets that the family had not been united before their deaths. In the midst of this commotion, her uncle Teppei, her sole remaining blood relative, sneaks into the hospital in the dead of night. He has committed a crime, and is on the run from the police. Since he came to visit Hoshimi and to meet his estranged wife Ayame, Hoshimi covers for him, but…

First staged: 1992
Acts/scenes: 1 act 14 scenes
Cast: 14 (5 male, 9 female)
First staged by: Caramel Box