The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Cameraman no Hentai Cameraman no Hentai Cameraman no Hentai
Cameraman no Hentai (performance at Mimasaka Town, Okayama pref)
(Jan. 2018 at special-needs nursing home Keiryuso)
Photo: hi foo farm
Premiere: 2017 Length:
Artist Interview
Play of the Month Play of the Month
May. 14, 2018
Cameraman no Hentai by Naoki Sugawara 
Cameraman no Hentai by Naoki Sugawara 
This is a play by Naoki Sugawara, the leader of the theater company OiBokkeShi based in the town of Nagicho, Okayama Prefecture, whose focus as a theater-maker is on aging. Set in a home for the elderly, it is a play for three characters that deals with the imminent issues of life and death and the way they intersect with underlying eroticism in human nature. It premiered in December 2017, at the Inryou Temple in Okayama City with 91-year-old Okayama City resident Tadao Okada (known in OiBokkeShi productions as “Old man Oka – Oka-jii”) playing the lead role, and performed again in January 2018 in Mimasaka City at the special-needs nursing home Keiryuso.
Act 1. The room of Masao Okaya, a nursing home resident. A stroke has paralyzed the right side of his body, and Okaya, who is no longer able to speak, spends his days in a wheelchair. A “bell” has been attached to the armrest of his wheelchair to signal others. Steven, an Australian caregiver, brings his dinner.
Subtitles on the screen in the background show Okaya’s life up to the present. Leaving Okayama for Tokyo; how he became a photographer; falling into debt due to failed stock market investments; his marriages to Setsu Tamura, a former geisha, and Asami Ikehara, an aspiring young actress, both ending in divorce; then return to his hometown to live in retirement.
Seeing that Okaya is not eating, Steven takes the spoon in his hand and tries to force him to eat, but he spits it out. Okaya rings the bell violently.
That signals that Okaya wants to take a picture. Steven picks up a single-lens reflex camera on the table beside him and Okaya directs him to take a picture each time he grunts “Uhn, uhn, uhn, uhn,” and he proceeds pressing the shutter aimed at various places around the room Okaya points to.

Act 2. An intense evening shower. Next to a sleeping Okaya appears a woman, dripping wet, who resembles Asami (a dual role also as Yoko). Okaya wakes up.
Subtitles display Okaya’s innermost thoughts, “You were the only beautiful one.” The woman replies, “You don’t understand anything. You only think of yourselfcit was always that way.”
Okaya rings the bell violently Ding! Ding! Ding!
Steven rushes to him. It seems as if he is saying to take a picture of the woman. Steven has been keeping him company taking pictures for him, but this is the first time to take a picture of a person. She says he once took her picture a long time ago.
Steven follows Okaya’s directions, “Uhn, uhnn, uhn,” pushing his wheelchair here and there around the room to take pictures of the woman as she strikes one pose after another. The three grow increasing absorbed in it.
It becomes clear the woman is a former actress, that Okaya was quite a ladies’ man as a photographer and that Steven has come to Japan to search for his mother who abandoned him when he was three years old.
The woman puts on a record and she and Steven dance. As Okaya tries to get up from his wheelchair to take their picture he falls, the woman helps hold him up. Steven photographs the two of them holding each other.
The woman puts an old photograph in Steven’s hand and leaves. It’s a picture that Okaya took of Asami.

Act 3. Morning. A woman appears. The woman is Okaya’s daughter, Yoko, who moved there two weeks earlier. Steven tells Yoko that after her visit, Okaya began to eat well, but soon died receiving care from a new caregiver, a younger woman. Yoko says, “It’s just like him to fall for every passing girl.”
“I’m not any good at being a care worker,” says Steven. Yoko replies, “Thank you for taking pictures for him until the end,” and gives the camera to Steven.
Steven says he will return to Australia next month. He says, “I would really like to know what it feels like to be cared for,” and asks Yoko to feed him one of the doughnuts she brought as a gift.
Subtitles flow on the screen of the “Future lives” of the two. Steven returns to Australia and runs an internet shopping site with a friend. He takes landscape photos with that memento camera but dies an early death in a traffic accident at the age of 34. Yoko marries a junior high school teacher. She loses her husband when he dies. She develops dementia and reaches her final resting place at 98.
Steven points to a box by the side. A photo album comes out of it. Yoko is looking intently at the photographs. Ding! Ding! Ding! Steven rings the bell violently.
Photos the old man took are projected on the screen. They show rooms at the nursing home, scenery from the windows. Steven and Yoko together that evening. Then Okaya holding Yoko. Okaya looks at us from the photograph.

Born 1983. Actor, certified welfare caregiver. A member of Oriza Hirata’s Seinendan Theater Company since 2010, Sugawara pursued a career in theater while working as a certified caregiver at a special-needs nursing home for the elderly. He moved to Wake City, Okayama Prefecture, in September of 2012, following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
He founded the theater unit OiBokkeShi and began the “Aging and Theater Workshop” program. With one of his workshop participants, an 88-year-old man named Tadao Okada as the lead actor, OiBokkeShi held its first performance in 2015 with a self-termed “Wandering Senility Theater” play titled “Yomichi ni Hi wa Kurenai” (The Day Never Ends on a Nighttime Road) set in the shopping arcade in front of Wake City train station. Since then Sugawara has been working under the concept of “bringing the knowledge of theater to care-giving, bringing the depth of caregiving knowledge to theater studio.” The works that OiBokkeShi have presented up to now include “Rojin High School” (High School for the Elderly) (2015); “BPSD: Boku no Papa wa Samurai Dakara” (BPSD: Since My Father is a Samurai) (2016); and “Cameraman no Hentai” (Transformation of the Photographer) (2017). In 2016, Sugawara moved his base of operations to the town of Nagicho, Okayama Prefecture and became the Nagicho Art Design Director. A television documentary program focusing on his activities titled “Yomichi ni Hi wa Kurenai: The challenge of a young actor/caregiver” won the 24th FNS Documentary Award for Best Documentary.