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Born: 1967
Function: stage director playwright
Company: MONO

Tsuchida was born in Obu, Aichi Prefecture. He formed B-kyu Practice, now called MONO, in 1989 and has written and directed all of their productions since 1990. The hilarity and pathos of ordinary people talking at cross purposes during tense situations are manifested in his upbeat, highly acclaimed plays. In 1999 he won the 6th OMS Drama Award for Sono tetto ni otokotachi wa iru to iu (The Happy Lads), and in 2001 he won the 56th National Arts Festival Excellence Award for Kuzureta ish igaki, noboru saketachi (Running Salmon), a play he wrote for Bungakuza. In September 2003, he went to London for a year on the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists run by the Agency for Cultural Affairs. Tsuchida is also currently writing TV drama screenplays, including Tokyo Tower for Fuji TV. In 2007 Sono tetto ni otokotachi wa iru to iu (adapted as "It is said the men are over in The Steel Tower") was performed in New York in a production by Theatre Arts Japan.

Photo: Matsumoto Kenichiro
Sono tetto ni otokotachi wa iru to iu (The Happy Lads/It is said the men are over in The Steel Tower)
Four members of a vaudeville troupe entertaining the troops escape from an army camp and hole up in a steel lookout tower in the belief that if they can stay hidden for a week they will be able to return to Japan. They spend their time bickering about trivial matters such as whether or not to go and fetch water, or whether they should support the war and so forth. However, when they are joined by a deserter, Jonouchi, who tells them that conditions in the army camp have become brutal since they absconded, they feel trapped. A week later there is an exercise to flush out guerrillas and they realize they are all going to be killed. With guns pointing right at them, they begin to perform their show.

First staged: 1998
Acts/scenes: 5 acts
Cast: 5 (all male)
First staged by: MONO
[Translation] English: available from Cucumber Ltd.

Photo: Yakou Masahiko
Sotaiteki ukiyo-e (A Relative Ukiyo-e)
This play depicts four people who have always been together. Two of them, however, died in an accident one summer when they were high school students… Now the four are here animatedly chatting about the past and about present issues. Yet two of them are now adults while the two who died remain eternally high school students, resulting in mismatches in their conversation. As for relationships between people…everything may be relative, but some ideas are just too hard to digest. Like an ukiyo-e print, it is a simple portrayal of the transient nature of life.

First staged: 2004
Acts/scenes: 1 act, 4 scenes
Cast: 5 (all male)
First staged by: MONO