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Feb. 27, 2018
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Ryo Iwamatsu’s Usui Momoiro no Katamari wins the 21st Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Drama Award
 Sponsored by the Kobun Foundation, the Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Award is a yearly drama award for new plays staged in Japanese that year. For the 21st Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Award, seven active theater journalists formed a selection committee, gathering on Dec. 14, 2017 to nominate five works during their first round of selections. Of these, Ryo Iwamatsu’s Usui Momoiro no Katamari (Pale peach-colored bundle) was chosen as the winner at the selection committee meeting held Jan. 23, 2018. The prize is 2 million yen.
Born in 1952, Ryo Iwamatsu is from Nagasaki Prefecture. His talents as a playwright and a director began to manifest themselves in the late 1980s, and in 1989 he won the Kishida Prize for Drama for Futon to Daruma (Dharma and the futon). He went on to win Individual Prize of the Kinokuniya Drama Award for Kowareyuku Otoko (A breaking-down man) and Hato wo Kau Shimai (Sisters keeping pigeons) in 1993 and the Yomiuri Prize for Literature for TV Days in 1998. His winning play this time was written for the 7th production of the Saitama Gold Theater, a company for the elderly founded by Yukio Ninagawa. Ninagawa passed away on May 12, 2016. The play depicts people living in an evacuated area due to nuclear fallout from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. It is an area inhabited by wild Japanese boars, the animal which is almost an embodiment of nature and of the primitive. The play was staged at the Sai-no-kuni Saitama Arts Theater in Saitama Pref. between September and October of 2017 with Iwamatsu as director.
+Nominated works (in performance order)
Kuishinbo Banzai! – Masaoka Shiki Seishun Kyoshikyoku (Hail to hearty eaters! – Rhapsody of the young poet Masaoka Shiki) by Karou Setoguchi 60’s Elegy by Ken Furukawa
Anne no Hi (The Day of Anne) by Roma Shimori
Usui Momoiro no Katamari (Pale peach-colored bundle) by Ryo Iwamatsu
Hato ni Mizu wo Yaru (Water for the pigeons) by Seiji Nozoe
Selection Committee: Hiroko Yamaguchi (Asahi Newspaper), Masako Nakamura (Jiji Press), Naoyuki Hayashi (Nikkan Sports), Yoichi Uchida (Nikkei Newspaper), Sayumi Uchino (Hochi Newspaper), Shoko Kodama (Mainichi Newspaper), Norifumi Yamauchi (Yomiuri Newspaper)
+Tsuruya Namboku Memorial Award