国際交流基金 The Japan Foundation Performing Arts Network Japan

New Plays 日本の新作戯曲

Mar. 4, 2017
Dodome Yuki (Muddy-purple Snow)



Dodome Yuki (Muddy-purple Snow)
Mitsunori Fukuhara

This is a conversational play written by Mitsunori Fukuhara (member of Bed & Makings , Nippon no Kasen , etc.) for the theater company SHINKANSEN actress Shoko Takada’s theater unit Tsukikage Jubanshobu. Drawing on Junichiro Tanizaki’s novel Sasameyuki (The Makioka Sisters), the play revolves around four sisters, each carrying the burdens of their own complex pasts, and while combining comical touches and both forgiving and critical viewpoints and, while linking the plot to the changing of the four seasons, it tells a story of how people seemingly living tranquil lives are gradually caught up in the manifestations of the realities they have chosen to ignore.

Tsukikage-Bangaichi Dodome Yuki
(Dec. 3 – 12, 2016 at Shimokitazawa The Suzunari)
Director: Hana Kino
Data :
Premiere: 2016
Cast: 6 (4 women, 2 men)

Four sisters, Tsuruko, Sachiko, Yukiko and Taeko (in order from the eldest), live in a regional city where the municipal symbol is a 120-meter high Great Buddha statue. Tsuruko and Yukiko have become independent enough to leave home, and now left living in the old single-story house with its view of the Great Buddha that was their family home is Sachiko and her husband Teinosuke and the youngest of the four sisters Taeko, who is decidedly cynical in nature. Although they are poor, they seem to be living peaceful lives.

The season is spring. Yukiko has brought a man named Takanashi that she has met through a marriage broker to the family home. At this dinner that has brought the four sisters together for the first time in some while, Taeko lets out the family secret that Yukiko’s former boyfriend uploaded nude photos of her on the internet.

“I don’t care about things like that. Let’s get married,” says Takanashi, but as usual, Yukiko remains unable to communicate her feelings honestly to others. A few days later, Takanashi comes to the family home to try to convince Yukiko to marry him.

The season has changed to summer. After revealing the fact that her husband’s construction company has been guilty of sub-standard construction practices due to her strong sense of justice, Tsuruko has been divorced. In an unstable emotional state and with nowhere else to go, she has now returned to stay in the family home. Yukiko, in a lie that she and Takanashi are now married, has also begun living at the family home on the excuse that they need to save money in order to live together on the meager salary he earns as a part-timer. Because they are family, Sachiko and Teinosuke have accepted the new residents.

There has been a series of incidents of windows being broken at the outlet mall where Teinosuke works as a security guard, but Sachiko and Teinosuke are rather pleased with the development because it means more overtime pay for him. Then a window breaking occurs at their own home, and from the threat message left behind, it becomes evident that the perpetrators are members of the local merchants committee who had protested the building of the outlet mall that is now taking business away from them. Again moved by her strong concern for justice, Tsuruko has begun corresponding with the perpetrators and is admitting that there are problems with the outlet mall and that the people like her family who didn’t oppose it in the beginning should have been more diligent in studying the issue.

Sachiko argues with Tsuruko, however, saying that she wishes Tsuruko would worry less about her simplistic sense of justice and begin living for herself more confidently. Just then, a rock comes crashing through the ceiling. This causes Tsuruko to dash outside, where she is nearly hit by a truck. However, due to the quick reaction with a magical force exerted by Sachiko, who has followed her out, Tsuruko’s life is saved.

The season changes to autumn. We learn that twelve years earlier when she was in middle school, Taeko had pushed a classmate into the river and the girl had died of drowning. Taeko had atoned for her sin, but now it has come to light that delayed payment must be made of compensation owed to the victim’s family. This announcement causes Teinosuke and Yukiko to lose their jobs. The blow to the family’s finances, which are now stretched to the point that they will have to sell their house, forces all of them to take part-time employment working night shifts as surveillance guards for the prevention of illegal dumping.

Sachiko confides with Takanashi alone that she has the power to move things simply by pointing her finger at them, which is known as “Sachiko’s power.” But, this power only works when everyone present at the time are hoping for the same thing to happen. As she is saying this, Yukiko suddenly falls into the river. As she starts to drown, Yukiko is thinking that in order to decide what path she will take going forward, she simply has to decide which direction to face. Then, as if suddenly experiencing an awakening, she rises and crawls out of the water by herself.

Meanwhile, as she was watching Yukiko being swept away by the river’s current, Taeko began to remember the drowning incident twelve years earlier. Then she begins speaking, saying that actually she had not intentionally pushed her classmate into the river, in fact it had been an accident. However, thinking that no one would believer if she denied intentionally pushing the girl, Taeko says she had decided that it would be simpler to just admit to the crime, rather than trying to make excuses.

It is winter now. The day has come when the family must move out of their house. As they are all working to move their belongings, they suddenly hear a huge crashing sound. Tsuruko had snuck into the construction site where she had suspected sub-standard construction practices and climbed up into a huge pile driver, and when she tried to operate it the whole machine came crashing to the ground.

Seeing Tsuruko lying on the ground seemingly lifeless, Takanashi urges Sachiko, saying, “Now is the time to use your “Sachiko Power.” Sachiko is forced to decide if she really wants to save Tsuruko. Still in a state of indecision, Sachiko suddenly gathers her courage and uses the Sachiko Power to bring Tsuruko back to life. Just then, a single flake of snow falls.

Several years have passed. The four sisters are living their lives as best they can. Now 58, Sachiko is suddenly stabbed by a knife-man on the street. Tsuruko, who was walking her, copies Sachiko by pointing to her fallen sister and saying aloud to the passers-by around her, “Ready, everybody wish the same thing!” And, what happens …?


Born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan in 1975, Mitsunori Fukuhara launched the theater group Pichichi5 (quintet) in 2002, serving as its leader, playwright and director. In 2006, he formed the theater unit “Nippon no Kasen” with the actors Fumi Moriya and Yubie Mitsuse, and in 2011 formed the unit “Bed & Makings” with Koichiro Tomioka, thus being active in multiple units. Fukuhara has won a reputation for his skill in creating worlds around characters that are simply normal people steeped in images of everyday life. Works in recent years include the Pichichi5 production Haguresaraba ga “Ja-ne” to itta (Haguresaraba said “See ya”), Nippon no Kasen’s production Daichi wo Tsukamu Ryo Ashi to Monogatari (Both feet firmly on the ground and story), the Bed & Making production Misui no Hanzai Oh (King of attempted crime), and others (all written and directed by himself). Fukuhara is also active in many projects outside his units such as writing and directing for actress Shoko Takada’s theater unit Tsukikage Jubanshobu and various theater productions. He was nominated as a finalist for the 54th Kishida Drama Award for the production Sono Yoake, Uso , and as a finalist for the 59th Kishida Drama Award for the production Tsunzaki Koro, Sarerugamama . In 2006, he won the Audience Prize of the Annual Young Directors Contest. In recent years Fukuhara is also active as a scriptwriter for movies, television and radio.