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Born: 1959
Function: stage director playwright
Company: M.O.P.

Makino was born in Shizuoka Prefecture. In 1984, after graduating from Doshisha University, he established the M.O.P. theater company in Kyoto along with Kimura Midoriko and other leading actresses. Since then, he has written and directed most of their performances. He also writes and directs for other theater and production companies and has written many TV dramas. Makino is well known for his wide range of works, from Westerns to historical dramas, which are humanist and heartwarming entertainment that never feature all-out villains. He is also acclaimed for his plays based on the lives of contemporary heroes, such as the poets Yosano Tekkan and his wife Akiko in Mother, the scientist and author Terada Torahiko in Fuyuhiko, and Hongo kiku fuji hoteru (The Kiku Fuji Hotel in Tokyo's Hongo District) where many literati used to gather in the twenties and thirties. Makino is the recipient of many awards, including The Yomiuri Literature Prize, the Tsuruya Nanboku Drama Award, the Yomiuri Theater Awards for Best Director and Best Play, and the Kinokuniya Theater Award for Personal Achievement.

Photo: Yakou Masahiko; PARCO Theater Production
Tokyo genshikaku kurabu (Tokyo Atomic Klub)
The year is 1932, and the Heiwakan lodging house in Tokyo’s Hongo district is as lively as ever. A physicist by the name of Tomoda, who works for the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, is losing confidence in his theories and is considering returning to his family home in Kyoto. Elite Tokyo University baseball team member Hashiba is despondent because on his very first hit he was exposed as not being a “Todai” student at all. Other residents of the somewhat quirky lodging house include a dancehall pianist, a young actor in the shingeki (new drama) movement, and the eccentric Fusako who keeps running away but comes back, and the landlord and his daughter. Their daily lives are lighthearted, but under the shadow of the impending war Tomoda and his fellow physicists bear the heavy burden of racing to develop an atomic bomb, while the other residents too face scattered fates.

First staged: 1997
Acts/scenes: 2 acts, 8 scenes
Cast: 12 (10 male, 2 female)
First staged by: Tokyo International Forum
[Translation] English/Russian: available from Office Makino

Photo: Ito Kazunori
Zubi zubi (Dooby dooby)
This is an omnibus performance of four stories. A newspaper reporter, Sawaguchi Eiko, visits Minami, a movie star of bygone years, for a story. She starts the interview on a merry note, telling him that she is a big fan of his. However, her true motive is to expose an incident that took place twenty-five years ago. This first story, Zutto anata ga… (You Always…), is followed by Biggu na otoko (Big Man) about a popular entertainment troupe that gets caught up in a ruckus. Zuibun na hanashi (A Horrible Story) is about a “delayed spring” arriving for a staff member of the women’s stage costumes. Bitasuitsu (Bittersweet) depicts the heartbreaking love between a man and woman who experienced the golden age of jazz in the postwar years. A lively portrayal of people during the Showa years (1926—89), with the same characters reappearing throughout.

First staged: 2006
Acts/scenes: Omnibus of four stories
Cast: 35 (23 male, 12 female, although actors may double up on roles)
First staged by: M.O.P.