Bunraku Story (Part B)

New York, N.Y.  First time on the verge of bankruptcy

I managed to sell the tickets, so I thought it would be okay, but on the first day of the concert, there was some trouble at the box office. A mother with a child WAS furious and says she should return the ticket. When asked, he said, “Double Suicide (two suicides in a love story) is ridiculous! I came all the way with my child!”

At this time, I brought in two works, “Sonezaki Shinju” and “Shunkan,” of which “Sonezaki Shinchu” is similar to “Romeo and Juliet” and two people in love. The ending is to commit suicide by vowing to meet again in that world.

If I bring Bunraku at this time, I will bring the best performance! So, I chose these two works from various viewpoints such as the content of Joruri. “Sonezaki Shinchu” was a long-history work whose premiere was July 16th Genroku (August 1703), and it became popular as a Kabuki, and “Shunkan” was 4th year of Kyoho (1719) was the first performance, and it was popularBY THE PRIEST WHO WAS SENT OUT TO THE ISLAND AND DIED, so it is the content that has been remade many times and various schools have performed. ALSO PERFOMED IN KABUKI

Most think that it is a cute puppet show

Since it was an art for adults, there is an ending like “Romeo and Juliet”, but many parents brought small children because they thought it was a cute puppet show, and it was until the SCHOOL GROUPS CAME school that a group would come. ,

I didn’t know what kind of content it was in the mass media. By the way, after more than a dozen years, Bunraku came to the Japan Society, but at that time it seems that it was no longer a play for children. Although it is a theater with only 200 people.

Mr. Imai of Bunraku was a wonderful person, and the contents were so wonderful that people who were interested in Japan could understand immediately, so those who came to see the contents properly were delighted.

The Bunraku team of 30 to 40 people in total is very nice, the music of Joruri is a tearful beauty, and it was a very luxurious content because there were 3 people who are national treasures!

However, the situation in which the children came by mistake and they were not understood, and they were told to return the ticket price, all paid back. I was at a loss what to do, and this performance ended in a big deficit.

It was really hard at this time. Various things have overlapped. I happened to be asked to pay the performance fee in Japanese yen, so I got a lot of debt. Just that year, when the Nixon shock and the oil shock occurred, the dollar was 360 yen at the time of the contract, but the exchange rate fluctuated greatly, it fell to around 280 yen, and the payment amount when calculated in dollars Greatly increased.

At that time, the idea of creating a sponsor or receiving advertising expenses was not well-known, and all the expenses came to my company. Eventually, my company decided to close the office.

“Work” between colleagues, not labor

After that, when I was thinking of going to work from scratch again for a while, everyone who had worked with me came to help me without money. I was really surprised at this. When I said, “I can’t pay,” he said, “What are you saying, I’m not giving back.” That made me realize. We weren’t working as workers, but it was very tough, but we knew that people we knew were people who were working together.

After that, I picked up little by little, and eventually I got better.

It’s a painful and difficult memory, but it’s also a wonderful memory because of the friendship of everyone who helped me at this time.

My daughter, who was 3 or 4 years old at that time, loved dolls, WENT BACKSTAGE so I was really happy to take her to the dressing room, and I remember that kind of thing now.

(Next issue will be on October 5th)

About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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