The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Japanese Drama Database
Japanese Title: Toki no Monooki
English Title: Time's Storeroom
Author: NAGAI, Ai
Author's Profile: Born in 1951. She produces shows with her Two Rabbits Theatre Company and has completed a trilogy depicting postwar life in Japan\"Time's Storeroom", "Papa's Democracy" (1995), and "My Tokyo Journal" (1996). Her latest works include "Look how High the Airplane Flies" (1997), "The Murderous Malice of Language" (1997), "Brother Returns," "The Three Sisters of Hagi" and "Hallo Mom." She was elected the President of the Japan Playwrights Association in 2002.
First Performance:   1994
Performance time:   2 hours 30 minutes
Acts / Scenes: 14 scenes
Cast: 16 (7 men, 9 women)


This play depicts comically Japan's transformation into a consumer society through the goings-on in a three generation family in the 1960s.


One day, toward the end of 1961, SHINJO Shusei and his friends are discussing the possibility of his running in the next election for the chair of the university student union. Although Shusei is not exactly ideal for the post, he is the "last resort" candidate considering the stagnant mood dominating union activities.
In his family, his grandmother, Nobu, is the dominant figure of the household. She is always conscious of her good upbringing and education, and tries to exercise good judgment. As a result, she has ended up accommodating a free boarder of unknown background, Tsuruko, in their storage room, where family memorabilia would otherwise have been kept.

Shusei's father, Mitsuhiro, is a junior high school teacher. He was once a left-wing activist, but has given up on radical thoughts and is now a divorcee unsuccessfully pursuing a career as literator. In clear contrast to Mitsuhiro, are his sister, Utako, and her husband, both of whom are always full of energy. The two are expanding their factory business, buoyed by Japan's fast-growing economy, and have a secret desire to build a company dormitory on the SHINJO family property. To win the SHINJO' favor, they donate a television set, which is putin the storage room which Tsuruko uses. At first, stubborn Nobu adamantly refuses to watch television. However, a fight over the forbidden TV with her granddaughter Himi, makes her feel lonely, and finally she is persuaded to join the viewing of TV entertainment. Totally enchanted by TV, Nobu begins to quote popular phrases from it, bringing bright excitement to the SHINJO household. Around the same time, Shusei makes a surprising success in his bid to become the chair of the student union. The family is filled with joy, except for Mitsuhiro.
A series of the latest household appliances begins to pour into their house. Nobu is over the moon, and the Utako and her husband's strategy appears to have worked. However, it turns out that Shusei's successful election, Himi's dream to become an actress, Mitsuhiro's passion for literature and new love, and Tsuruko's independence and relationship with MANABE, all fail in some way or other.

The family decides to go on a ski trip, an idea implanted by Utako and her husband. On the day of departure, Shusei, who was to go along on the vacation, decides instead to go to the university to confront reality.
TOP