The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Song of the Devil
Song of the Devil
Song of the Devil
(2005 / Honda Theatre)

First Performance: 2005
Performance time: Approx 2 1/2 hours
Acts / Scenes: 5 acts
Cast: 8 (6 men, 2 women)
art interview
Japanese Drama Database
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Song of the Devil, Keishi Nagatsuka  
Song of the Devil, Keishi Nagatsuka  
In a small village in a resort area there stands an old Western-style house.
The husband Ichiro has brought his wife Aiko to live here in hopes that the quiet will afford her rest and recuperation from the emotional and psychological problems brought on by her own infidelity. But Ichiro's efforts are in vain, as Aiko continues to run from him, crying that she wants to return to Tokyo and she wants to telephone the man Moriyama. When they enter the Western style house they find the young woman Saya sitting quietly in the living room, singing what seems to be an old song. Saya's husband Makoto comes in search of his wife. The plot evolves as the two wives seek to escape from their respective husbands and the two husbands continue to seek their wives.

One night, Saya leads Aiko out and asks her to dig a hole. From that hole a soldier who died in World War II rises from his slumber. This starts a succession of appearances by young soldiers who died in the War. Like zombies they gather, keeping to the darkness of the house's basement because, like Dracula, they will be "killed" if sunlight falls on them. They talk with Aiko about the days they spent fighting for their wives and children, for their siblings and their country. As the soldiers find hope in a plan to fulfill their duty by striking back at America, Aiko devises a plan by which she can also test her husband's love, and thus kill two birds with one stone.

The plan is to let herself be taken hostage and have the ransom request be that her husband Ichiro provide a bomber, with which the soldiers can then strike back at America. The time limit for the ransom is three days. To save his wife, Ichiro reluctantly agrees to the demand.

Meanwhile, we learn that Saya had a secret. On of the soldiers is her former fiance who died in WWII. The reason he has remained in the form of a zombie for these 60 years is the strength of Saya's love for him. After her fiance's death she married with Makoto but never got over her love for her first fiance and eventually dies, but only to remain in limbo in this world. Makoto followed Saya in death and became a ghost as well. It was Makoto who killed Saya because of her undying love of her first fiance and because she would not reciprocate his love. And now as a ghost he continues to pursue her.

On the third day of the kidnapping, Ichiro and Makoto lie that the bomber has been made ready in order to get their wives back from the zombie soldiers. They call the three soldiers up into the house, which has been curtained to keep out the sunlight. From there we hear the roar of the phantom bomber taking off into the sunset, carrying with it the unrequited hearts of the soldiers, of Saya, of Aiko, of Makoto and of Ichiro.

Profile : Born: 1975
Keishi Nagatsuka leads the theater production unit "Asagaya Spiders." While studying at Waseda University in 1994, he formed the theater group "Gekidan Warau Bara" (Laughing Rose Theater Company). After the dissolution of that company, Nagatsuka created the production group "Asagaya Spiders" in 1996 with the desire to do small theater productions using fewer people and not depending on the theater company format. With this group he has been active as playwright, director and actor. He has continued to expand his fields of endeavor to include writing scripts for television dramas and acting in movies while also drawing considerable attention and expectations in the theater world as a progressive director whose activities have included mounting commercial productions of contemporary Irish plays. Besides productions of his own plays, the Asagaya Spiders group has also brought together talented outside actors from the small-theater scene in productions of plays by other playwrights. Nagatsuka's own works are characterized by depictions of human relationships like between parents and children or lovers with a sense lying somewhere between reality and fiction. In 2004 his play Hataraku Otoko (Working Men) toured nine Japanese cities and drew a total audience of 14,800.