This production portrays the life of Ruikoh Kuroiwa, founder of newspaper “Yorozu-Cyohou” launched during the Meiji era. In the Meiji era, press regulation laws and defamation laws meant that newspapers were frequently subject to suspended publication due to their frank stance against the authorities, or their scathing social criticism. At a time when all the newspaper companies were increasing their prices, the price of Yorozu-Cyohou stayed the same, and there was no tampering with reporters’ articles. Ruikoh’s liberal outlook led to buoyancy and conviction. At one time Yorozu-Cyohou boasted the highest circulation among Tokyo newspapers, but the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War transformed the circumstances surrounding Yorozu-Cyohou, as well as Ruikoh’s ideology.
In an age when the keywords “stagnancy” and “intolerance” are commonplace, this play looks at liberty in the life of an individual, and the relationship between society and the individual, through its depiction of the time in Ruikoh’s life that centered around Yorozu-Cyohou. Director Keita Shirai received the Sugimura Haruko Award (for new talents) in the 25th Yomiuri Theater Awards of 2018; this is the troupe’s first performance since garnering the prize.
Formed in 2010, the troupe’s five current members are Atsushi Sakamoto, Ryuichi Tsukuba, Ken Iwainohu, Keita Shirai and Yu Harada. In recent years a unit-based structure has become standard in the Japanese theatrical world, with actors gathered to perform on a per-work basis, and one person doubling as writer and director. Onsen Dragon creates works with fixed members in order to guarantee the quality of the work. The troupe has two playwrights and regularly stages original works.
Yuko Uematsu (syuz’gen LLC.)
#203 3-18-27 Sugamo Toshima-ku, TOKYO 170-0002
RABINEST, Sinjuku City, Tokyo