Futatabi no Koi (Falling in Love Again)
Tokyo .... July 1(Tues.) - 27 (Sun.) 2003 at Parco Theater
Nagoya ....August 1 (Fri.) - 3 (Sun.) 2003 at Nagoya Civic Hall
Osaka .... August 6 (Wed.) - 10 (Sun.) 2003 at Theater Drama City
Koji Yakusho: Koichi Muro-o
Shinko Ohki: Hiromi Nagasaku
Yukio Sawada: Jun Kunimura
Playwright: Hisashi Nozawa
Based on his novel, "Futatabi no Koi"
Directed by Keiko Miyata
Music: Taro Iwashiro
One day in February, Koichi Muro-o (Koji Yakusho), a well-known Japanese playwright for TV dramas
flies from Tokyo to Okinawa to spend a three-day holiday at a hotel there. In a bar of the hotel, he is
stunned to find an attractive lady in her early thirties, named Shinko Ohki (Hiromi Nagasaku): Shinko
used to be one of his former students while he was an instructor at a scenario school. Koichi and Shinko,
who had rapidly fallen in love, had once made a trip to Okinawa, staying at the same hotel.
Thanks to Koichi's instructions, Shinko's scenario had won a prize at a scenario contest for TV dramas,
and she has gradually been famous; whatever she writes becomes very popular. Koichi's works, on the
other hands, have come not to appeal to the TV audiences so much. Critics point out that he can't catch
up with the modern trend. Koichi had ended up in getting divorced because his wife had become aware of
their love affair, soon after their secret trip to Okinawa.
At a gorgeous hotel bar, they begin talking about their recollections. At first Shinko tells him that she
has come to this hotel to spend her holidays but eventually she requests Koichi to help her with writing
her scenario. The fact is that she has been asked to write a scenario for a publicly owned TV Station, but
she says that it is beyond her power.
Koichi and Shinko start creating the synopsis together at the bar, getting some advice from the bartender
(Jun Kunimura) from time to time. They give out various ideas, gradually making up very appealing
story about a teenage couple who had to be separated following the strong objections from the girl's
father. They agree that the story begins with the hero and heroine's quite coincidental encounter after 20
While trying to complete their drama characters' love story, they feel that they are not able to create their
own love story anymore. In a soliloquy Koichi murmurs that any fiction is possible for scenario writers,
but it is impossible for former lovers to create new love.
But after an incident, Koichi comes to know Shinko's true intention in coming to this hotel: their
meeting was not coincidental at all! At the end, they confess their love for each other in quite a clumsy
but an impressive way....
I saw this play four times at Parco Theater, including July 1st (the first day) and 27th (the last day): I
wanted to see Koji Yakusho on the stage, enjoying his performance as much as possible. Do you think
that I became bored? No, quite to the contrary! Koji Yakusho's acting was so overwhelmingly superb
that each time I ended up feeling more moved and intrigued than before.
Yakusho portrayed an amiable 43-year-old scenario writer, Ko-ichi Muro-o marvellously well. I was
astonished to find that he spoke enormously long lines fluently and with natural emotion, walking
around swiftly on the stage all the while. I would say that I was intoxicated by his utterances from the
beginning to the end as if listening to lovely music; his penetrating clear voice sounded so comfortable,
soothing and appealing!
One of the most impressive scenes I remember was when Ko-ichi started confessing to Shinko (who
suddenly reappeared at the hotel bar) that after she had returned to Tokyo, he had tried to complete the
scenario of the TV drama the synopsis of which he and Shinko had created at the bar. He told Shinko
that the scenario he had written was not to impress TV audiences but actually a love letter to her. While
he was speaking his lines, I found myself watching Yakusho actually sobbing sitting on the sofa! This
showed how deeply he was concentrating on the portrayal of the character. I thought that I had actually
seen tears in his eyes.
Referring to the charcterization of Ko-ichi Muro-o, Mr Nozawa, the author of this play and the novel,
mentioned that he had added more variety to the chracterization of Ko-ichi in the play, commenting that
Koji Yakusho was an actor who could perform the role of a serious or a comical character.
As Mr Nozawa had expected, I found that Yakusho was excellent in conveying feeling of anxiety,
irritation, pride, jealousy, exhaustion, and love.
August 12, 2003