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Japanese Title: Komachi Fuden
English Title: The Tale of Komachi Told by the Wind
Author: OTA, Shogo
Author's Profile: Playwright, director. Born in 1939 in Jinan, China. He matriculated at but withdrew from the Faculty of Politics and Economics at the Peers University in Tokyo. The selection of one of his plays for performance by a university theatre group gave him the opportunity to become involved in the praxis of theatre. He was a founding member of the Theatre of Transformation (1968-88). Becoming its head in 1970, he wrote his debut play, "Nine Scenes" on a Omnibus, in the same year. In 1978 he received the prestigious Kishida Drama Prize for "The Tale of Komachi Told by the Wind" (1977), which was first performed on a no stage. His theatre company received the Kinokuniya Theatre Award in 1984. In 1990, OTA was appointed arts director of the Shonandai Civic Theatre in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, and served for a decade.
At present he is professor at the Department of Visual and Theatrical Arts of the Faculty of Arts of the Kyoto University of Arts and Design and is a board member of the Japan Playwrights Association. His major plays include "The Water Station," "The Tale of Komachi Told by the Wind," and others; his major essay collections include "Flying and Chinning" (1975).
He is dedicated to international cultural exchange and has toured abroad many times with his own troupe and conducted collaborative projects with foreign artists.
First Performance:   1977, Overseas Tours: Toured London and Stockholm in 1981 and Paris in 1987.
Performance time:  
Acts / Scenes: 15 scenes
Cast: 10 (5 men, 5 women) and others


Based on the classical noh play, "Sotoba Komachi," the play treats the interiority of an old woman, Komako, by alternating reality and dream.

She, however, does not speak a single word.

Dressed in a "twelve-layered" court kimono, the old woman enters the stage slowly step by step. She hovers between dream and reality, recalling her youth. To a rendition of Vivaldi's "Piccolo Concerto in A Minor" at half tempo, various characters carry in furniture and reconstruct her room for her. The woman awakens slowly and begins her day. While Edith Piaff's "La Vie en Rose" is heard from the gramophone, the old woman prepares some instant noodles for breakfast. When she recalls the Lesser Captain who loved her, he appears in military uniform in her room. The tune changes to Damia's chanson, "Sombre Dimanche" and the woman remembers their love together. However, her real time landlord visits her rooms and destroys her reverie.

Following hard on this are the goings-on in the family that lives next door. The father scolds the son who has difficulty coping with ordinary living while the sister mediates between them. Overhearing their conversation, the woman worries about and feels affection for the young man. In her fantasy, she and the man enjoy a sexual encounter. This, too, is interrupted by a real time visit from her doctor and a nurse. They explain to the landlord why it takes so long for her to die. From the gramophone a folk song is heard and the doctor and nurse dance away to it. The time-space of the old woman's room collapses, the furniture floats away, reality fades, and the old woman is alone on the stage. Into her reverie, she beckons the young man and enjoys a rendezvous with him. But even he leaves and she is again alone. Then as if abandoning herself to the whims of a gentle breeze, she too fades into oblivion.
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