Rimu-Tei Kidan (Mysterious story about a restaurant called Rimu-tei)
                
Hachigatsu ni nemure (Sleep in August)
August 10, 11 & 12, 2000 at Keio Plaza Hotel
Cast: Koji Yakusho (Dramatic reading)
Playwright & director: Ryo Iwamatsu
Illusion Creator: Hiro Sakai
窶廩achigatsu ni Nemure窶�(Sleep in August) is a dramatic reading performed by Koji
Yakusho.

I went to see this performance twice. The staging of the performance at  Keio Plaza Hotel
Theater, Shinjuku, Tokyo was quite interesting. Not only the stage, but also the whole of the
stalls were used in the performance.

When the play starts, a man (Koji Yakusho) suddenly appears in the middle of the audience
chairs. Walking along the aisle toward the stage, he starts talking:

He has received a letter from a friend of his named Kashiwagi,whose wife has recently passed
away. With the letter in hand, the man is now visiting Kashiwagi窶冱 lakeside restaurant
named Rimu-tei at a lakeside. But there he has found no sign of him, even after searching for
him in the vicinity for a couple of hours.

The man then goes up to the stage and finds Kashiwagi窶冱 diary in one of the drawers of a
table in a living room as he is requested to do in the letter. He starts reading Kashiwagi窶冱
diary. The diary is filled with sadness and his passionate love toward his beloved wife, Yoriko.

While the man is reading the diary, strange things happen one after another in various parts of
the theater: thus for instance, a table in the living room suddenly starts moving; and some
chairs set a side of the audience in the garden start falling over. And the dry water fountain in
the stalls suddenly sprays water; the picture on the wall suddenly changes. And the man
suddenly disappears from an armchair in a small upper room on the stage and turns up in the
stalls. These tricks are actually done by world-famous illusionist, Hiro Sakai.

Koji Yakusho's reading was excellent. His voice sounded deep and resonant, conveying
Kashiwagi's complex feelings toward Yoriko. While Yakusho is reading the diary, the audience
comes to notice that the reader now may be Kashiwagi himself. What the audience can
understand is a very sad love story about Kashiwagi, Yoriko and a young man whom Yoriko
loved while she was young and who now sleeps at the bottom of the lake beside which the Rimu-
tei stands. It was Yoriko herself who suggested to open a restaurant beside this lake a couple
years before.

It is reported that while Yoriko was trying to pick up a flower in a flower bed on the slope to
the lake, she slips down into the lake and gets drowned. Kashiwagi makes a confession in the
diary: after knowing the fact that Yoriko is still in love with the young man sleeping at the lake
bottom, yet as her husband who passionately loves his wife, hoping whatever he does to please
her, what can he do for her sake 窶ヲ
Before the performance, the audience enjoyed a
mysterious and delicious dinner at a restaurant of the
Keio Plaza Hotel:
The menu said that the dinner would begin with
disseart and coffee, ending up with a starter!
Indeed, a piece of a cake and coffee were served in
the beginning, but that was only appearance.
Coffee tasted like soup and the cake tasted like pate.
In fact, all the dishes were served in a right order.
Created on September 22, 2008