Good- Bye: Dazai Osamu Whom I Killed
(Fuji TV, June 19, 1992)
Real Dazai, left and Koji Yakusho as Dazai
Dazai Osamu (1909-1948) is one of the most popular modern Japanese authors, who wrote such novels as
"Shayo/The Setting Sun" and "Ningen Shikkaku/No Longer Human".
In June, 1948, Dazai commited a double suicide with a widow who was in love with him, by getting
drowned in a river after taking sleeping pills.
Yakusho portrayed marvelously well this mysterious, self-destructive, decadent author, who had attempted
some double suicide with women who had fallen in love with him .
Yakusho's acting, especially his resemblance to Dazai, was greatly praised when this 110 min. TV drama
was shown on Fuji Television on June 19, 1992.
This drama is based on the bold hypothesis that Dazai Osamu was actually killed by somebody.
In winter of Showa 32 (1957), a man on crutches, called Junzo, comes to make a confession to a priest at a
Catholic church in Nagasaki city, saying that it was himself who had killed Dazai at Tamagawa Jousui
(river). This man Junzo (B-saku Sato) had been in love with Sonoko (Madoka Kato), who died as a result
of Dazai's first double suicide attempt, and the drama then opens with Junzo's recollections.
In the main, however, this drama portrays Dazai's sufferings and the background to where his masterpiece
novels such as "Ningen Shikkaku", "Shayo", and "Good-bye", were created. The drama also portrays
Dazai's various loves with Sonoko, his first wife Beniko (Keiko Oginome), then with his second wife,
Michiko (Satomi Kuroki) and Shizu (Haruka Sugata) who gave birth to his daughter, and finally with
Tomie(Kanako Higuchi), who had repeatedly tried to commit double suicide with Dazai in bygone days.
Two magazine interviews by Koji Yakusho about this drama:
Before performing the role of Dazai Osamu, I had formed an image of him through seeing the photos of
him and reading various materials about him. However, writer, Mr. Hayasaka's scenario was quite an
unexpected one and really terrific. I managed to perform the role of Dazai through repeated trial and
error, which, I think, brought a good result. Why were such a lot of women attracted by him? I bet it was
that his human weaknesses or defects might have been so entrancing to them.
How amazing it is that there were women who tried to die with him, when he said, "Let's die together" I
think that Dazai is a man with strange power of words. I wonder why those women had become so kind to
him. I enjoyed performing that role, wishing that I were able to portray Dazai's human defects and
cuteness. I believe that I was somehow also able to underscore Dazai's persistence as an author.