The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
First Performance: 2003
Performance time: 2hr.30min.
Acts / Scenes: 2 act, 7 scenes
Cast: 9 (5 men, 4 women)
Japanese Drama Database
Play of the Month Play of the Month
Yume no Namida (Tears of the Dream) Hisashi Inoue's Tokyo Trials Trilogy, Part 2 
In April of the year after World War II ended, Kikuji Ito and his wife Akiko run a law office in a building in the Shinbashi district of Tokyo that escaped the wartime bombing. They have hired as a legal assistant the son of a local dumpling maker, a young law student named Tadashi Tanaka. When two nightclub singers named Nancy Okamoto and Cherry Fujiyama come to the office both claiming that they are the rightful owners to the song “Oka no Ue no Sakura no Ki” (The Cherry Tree on Top of the Hill),” Tadashi is sent out to investigate the case.

Akiko and Kikuji have been asked to take on the defense of one of the accused war criminals in the Tokyo Trials, Yosuke Matsuoka. Akiko is determined to win the innocent verdict from the fact of the triple alliance he was in charge, but she is then told by one of her father’s former law colleagues, the lawyer Takeyama, that the American prosecutors surely intend to pursue Matsuoka’s guilt back to the events leading up to the start of the War. This would include the string of violations of the Pact of Paris, including the Manchurian Incident, the attacks on Shanghai, Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations, the 2nd Shanghai Incident, etc.

Kikuji learns that they will not receive and legal fees from Matsuoka or the Japanese government and decides to begin collecting donations from the citizens on the street. He is told, however, by the legal attach? of the Allied General Headquarters, Bill Ogasawara, that collecting donations on the streets is forbidden, because there will be trouble if the people become too interested in the trials. If the people become interested in the trials, attention will come to focus on the war responsibility of the Emperor. Ogasawara informs him that it has already been decided that he Emperor must not be punished. Eventually it is decided that the American Department of Justice will pay the legal fees, but Akiko can’t get over the absurdity of the fact that the Japanese government will not pay for the legal fees.

Around the same time, a turf war is heating up between the Ogata-gumi yakuza gang that is behind the Japanese black market and the Kataoka-gumi yakuza that control the Korean black market. The leader of the Kataoka-gumi, Ken Kataoka, comes to Akiko’s daughter by another marriage, Eiko, to ask if there is a way to sue the police for always taking the side of the Ogata-gumi in their conflicts. When Akiko, Kikuji and Takeyama tell him that he just has to lay low and bide his time, Ken erupts with anger, saying that Japan has turned its back on him and the other citizens who are enduring hardships.

Nancy and Cherry come to Tadashi again with their suit. They both have husbands who are presently in the hospital and happened to be in the same company when they were in army, and both claim that they were the rights to the song by the composer Kobiyama, who was a lieutenant in their company. Their company was sent in to do rescue and clean-up work just after the Hiroshima atomic bombing, and Kobiyama is also in the hospital suffering from poor health.

Eiko visits Ogasawara’s office and asks if Japan has in fact turned its back on them. Ogasawara explains that it was the same for Japanese-Americans like him and begins telling her about the discrimination and prejudice they were subjected to during the War. He goes on to stress that as long as we have to obey the laws of our societies, the citizen’s have to keep an eye on the lawmakers to make sure that they don’t make irresponsible laws.

In her search for documents to help prove Matsuoka’s innocence, Akiko is shocked to learn that many documents were deliberately destroyed in the closing days of the War and that what remained was taken away by the American forces. At one point a telephone call is received saying that Matsuoka has been hospitalized with a probably terminal disease and that his legal staff has been dismissed as a result.
Eiko comes back from visiting Ken in the hospital. He was wounded in a confrontation between the two yakuza gangs. She says, “I guess we deserve to be tried by the Allies … or by anyone for that matter. But it is us that should be judging ourselves. The Japanese should be thinking about these things and deciding the verdicts. …It seems like those of us who have been discarded and the big-wigs who turned their backs on us are both trying to run from the truth. By putting all the blame on the people sitting in the defendants’ seats in the Tokyo Trials. …I can’t express it well, but that’s just the way I feel …”
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