Artist Interview アーティストインタビュー
Affirmation of the passive life,
the realism of Shu Matsui
Shu Matsui has made a name as one of the leading young playwrights in Japan today by winning the 55th Kishida Drama Award (2010). His Kishida Award-winning play Jiman no Musuko explores the realities of living a passive life through plots evolving around a reclusive middle-aged son who lives in a small apartment where he is “building his own nation” and his mother who comes in search of him.
After a period performing as an actor with Oriza Hirata’s theater company Seinendan, known for its contemporary colloquial drama style, Matsui started his own company Sample in 2007. The next year’s Kazoku no Shozo (Family Portrait), which can be seen as a prequel for Jiman no Musuko, drew attention for the way it portrays seemingly unrelated “samples” of the daily lives of a reclusive son and his mother, a part-timer, a convenience store manager and other self-injurious characters representative of the twisted side of contemporary Japanese life so realistically. This interview explores Matsui’s (born 1972) vision of contemporary life and the possibilities in expressing it and asks about his personal background.
Interviewer: Rieko Suzuki