The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Sekai ha Uso de Dekiteiru
Sekai ha Uso de Dekiteiru
Sekai ha Uso de Dekiteiru
ONEOR8’s 28th
Sekai ha Uso de Dekiteiru
(Oct. 16 - 17, 2014 at Toyohashi Arts Theatre PLAT - Art Space / Oct. 21 - 29 at Shimokitazawa The Suzunari)
Photo: Takeshi Shinmura
Premiere: 2014
Length: 1 hr., 50 min.
Acts/scenes: 1 Act, 13 scenes
Cast: 13 (9 men, 4 women)
Japanese Drama Database
Play of the Month Play of the Month
Mar. 6, 2015
Sekai ha Uso de Dekiteiru (The world is made of lies) by Takahiro Tamura 
Sekai ha Uso de Dekiteiru (The world is made of lies) by Takahiro Tamura 
This is the play for which the resident playwright and director of the theater company ONEOR8 (One or 8), Takahiro Tamura, was selected as a finalist for the 59th (2014) Kishida Drama Award. The story is about a man named Takiguchi who works at a specialized cleaning service that cleans up the rooms and belongings of people that have died alone. But, this time he arrives to find that the deceased is his own younger brother, Takayuki. The scenes shift between the cleaning and the relationship between the two brothers, whose past was a series of misunderstandings and unsuccessful communication that separated them.
The setting is a small apartment in an old wooden building. Takiguchi arrives for work wearing a plastic rain suit and carrying his cleaning equipment and is joined by a man named Doi who is on the job for the first time. Takiguchi explains the work process to Doi, all the time feeling irritated by the new man’s disinterested manner and disrespectful way of speaking. When Takiguchi informs Doi that the corpse is that of his own brother, Doi is understandably shocked.

The scene shifts to a month earlier. The landlord comes to this apartment where Takayuki is living with a nurse named Maiko and demands that they pay the rent that is overdue. Maiko is out and Takayuki, feigning innocence, sends the landlord away.

Returning to the present, we see the interior renovation contractor and the tatami layer arrive to assess the job. The landlord is demanding that Takiguchi even pay for the cost of the reform work.

A return to the past, the setting is 25 years earlier at the home of the Takiguchi brothers. Feigning illness, Takayuki has skipped school and is sitting beside his mother absorbed in a video game. Takiguchi finds out that his brother isn’t really sick, and listens to the real reason why he doesn’t want to go to school. Takayuki punched a friend for bad-mouthing his mother because she works at a nightclub, and as a result, two of his friends are now ignoring him. Takiguchi asks their names and then leaves the house in silence.

Again, the scene shifts to a month earlier. In the apartment, Takayuki and a friend named Shimo from the care-worker training course he has been taking are playing a video game when Maiko comes home. Carelessly, Shimo tells Maiko that Takayuki has deliberately failed the care-worker exam so that he can live on unemployment for the time being. Disheartened, Maiko tells Takayuki to get out and find someplace else to live. Complaining of a headache, Takayuki slinks off to his room.

The scene returns to the present. As they sort through and clean up the deceased Takayuki’s belongings, Maiko tells Takiguchi that she now regrets that she didn’t give Takayuki more care when he would complain of a headache whenever he was in a bad situation.

The setting jumps back six years to the brothers’ room. Takiguchi tells Takayuki that he will be leaving home and marrying his girlfriend Fuyuko, who has gotten pregnant. After Takiguchi leaves to live with Fuyuko, Takayuki speaks about his loneliness and resignation.

Again the scene shifts to 25 years earlier. Takiguchi has brought home the two friends that were supposedly ignoring Takayuki but they deny any such conflict took place. After being admonished by his mother for telling a lie, Takayuki runs out of the house. It turns out that the whole event had been a bit of childish rebellion on Takayuki’s part in defiance against his mother, who had taken a job at the nightclub of pay off the debts that were left when his father disappeared. Seeing his exhausted and disheartened mother, Takiguchi says he will quit school and get a good-paying job at the specialized cleaning company.

Return to the present. As they continue to sort through and clean up Takayuki’s belongings, Maiko tells Takiguchi how it had happened that Takayuki quit the job Takiguchi had gotten for him.

It is a year earlier. The two brothers are talking over the phone. Takayuki says that he is going to quit the company because he has been falsely accused of damaging some products. When Takayuki tries to end the phone conversation, complaining of a headache, Takiguchi shouts at him to stop making up stories that will just turn out to be lies.

The scene returns to the present. Maiko tells Takiguchi that the real reason Takayuki quit his job was a fit of anger when he found out that the president of the company had been deliberately overcharging Takiguchi’s company with inflated billings. Suddenly, Takayuki’s cell phone that they had just packed into one of the boxes of belongings begins to ring. It is from the care-worker office, saying that Takayuki was supposed to have begun work today. Realizing the actualities of Takayuki’s situation, Maiko is unable to bear the truth. Takiguchi asks his assistant Doi to go find the certificate of completion of the care-worker course from the papers they had just taken down to the trash.

A flashback to 20 years earlier. As the brothers are leaving their home to work in Tokyo and for their mother to live with her lover, she gives each of her sons a strong hug in turn.

Return to the present. Takiguchi is now telephoning his mother. To reassure his mother, Takayuki tells one lie after another about the facts surrounding Takayuki’s death, the situation with his girlfriend, etc. Returning with Takayuki’s certificate of care-worker course completion, Doi says he is quitting this job as of today. Alone now, Takiguchi begins vacuuming to finish up the cleaning job. Suddenly he stops, and unable hold back, he begins to sob.

Born in Tokyo in 1976, Tamura is a playwright and director. After graduating from Butai Geijutsu Gakuin (Performing Arts College) in 1998, he formed the theater unit ONEOR8 (One or 8) with nine former classmates. Since then he has served as the unit’s playwright and director. His plays are known for their serious approach to human relationships within families and others close to one. Tamura also writes numerous plays for other companies and serves as director for large-scale theater productions as well. For this play he was nominated as a finalist for the Kishida Drama Award for the third time, following Zetsumetsu no Tori (Extinct birds) written for his company (2010) and Renketsu no Ko (Connected Child) written for the Bungaku-za company (2011). He is also active writing for television dramas and movies.