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Mar. 12, 2018
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The 62nd (2018) Kishida Drama Award winners are Yudai Kamisato and Mitsunori Fukuhara
The final judging of the 62nd Kishida Drama Awards organized by Hakusuisha Publishing Co. took place on February 16th and two winning dramas were chosen, Valparaiso no Nagai Saka wo Kudaru Hanashi (A story about descending the long hill of Valparaiso) by Yudai Kamisato (Okazaki Geijutsu-za) and Atarashii Explosion (New explosion) by Mitsunori Fukuhara (Pichichi 5, Bed & Makings).
Yudai Kamisato was born in Lima, Peru in 1982. In 2003, while a student at Waseda University, he formed the theater unit Okazaki Geijutsu-za and has directed his own plays with it since. In recent years, as an extension of his interest in his own identity, Kamisato has created works that reflect his concern about the problems of immigrants and laborers, the relationship between the individual and the nationality, communication with one's contemporaries and other issues. This is his first Kishida Drama Award following three previous nominations. This play is based on experiences Kamisato had while in Buenos Aires, Argentina on a 1-year Agency for Cultural Affairs' Emerging Artist Overseas Research Program grant in 2016, and it premiered at the Kyoto Experiment festival on November 2017. It was performed in Spanish by Argentine actors. Kishida Drama Award jury member Akio Miyazawa commented: "The scale of the world it speaks of and its position are fascinating. It is Patagonia, and Okinawa, and Chichijima Island. It is possible to grasp the nature of lands that are remote from the main centers. The attitude that questions theater is in itself a strong response to theater."
Mitsunori Fukuhara was born in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1975. He graduated from the Arts Department of Tokyo Polytechnic University with a major in film. In 2002, Fukuhara established the company Pichichi 5 and has served as its leader, playwright and director. He has also established a number of other theater units such as Nippon no Kasen and Bed & Makings and has engaged in a wide range activities. This is his first Kishida Drama Award following two previous nominations. This play premiered as a Bed & Makings production in March of 2017. It is a fictional story about the scandal surrounding the first kiss scene in Japanese film history that actually appeared in the Shochiku movie Hatachi no Seishun (Youth, aged 20) that premiered in May of 1946, nine months after Japan's defeat in WWII, and it appeared as the maiden performance of the Asakusa Kyugeki theater. About the play, Kishida Drama Award jury member Hideki Noda commented: "In this age, it is hard to write about things that aren't gravely serious. In this context, Fukuhara is not gravely serious, but he never writes works that make us feel embarrassed about that fact. This is because of the overwhelming skillfulness of the lines he writes for the actors in his scripts. That skill is always encouraging to find for those of us who write."
+Finalists (In Japanese alphabetical order)
Yukinosuke Itoi's Shunkan Konen (stage script)
Yudai Kamisato's Valparaiso no Nagai Saka wo Kudaru Hanashi (stage script)
SaringROCK's Shonen wa Niwatori to Yume wo Miru (stage script)
Kaori Nishio's Yobu Yondeiru yo (first printed in the 1st edition of Shihai, May 2017)
Mitsunori Fukuhara's Atarashii Explosion (stage script)
Shoko Matsumura's Koshiraeru (stage script)
Yuri Yamada's Fiction City (stage script)
Suguru Yamagmoto's Sonoyo to Tomodachi (stage script)
Ryo Iwamatsu, Toshiki Okada, Keralino Sandorovich, Hideki Noda, Oriza Hirata, Akio Miyazawa
+Kishida Kunio Drama Award (Website in Japanese)