New play portrays the aftermath of the atomic bombing

by Masakazu Domen, Staff Writer

Playwright Hisashi Inoue has completed a recitation play called “Little Boy, Big Typhoon“ which depicts Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing. The play, which premiered at the World P.E.N. Forum “Natural Disaster & Culture“ organized by the Japanese Centre of International P.E.N., includes the Makurazaki Typhoon, a ruinous storm that hit Hiroshima in the month following the bombing and claimed an additional 2,012 lives.

Mr. Inoue's play relates the terrible devastation that occurred under the mushroom cloud and contains a scene in which the Chugoku Shimbun, with its ability to publish the newspaper disrupted, resorts to communicating the news by using megaphones. Other elements of the story include the rampaging typhoon which exacerbated the city's miseries and an attempted revenge attack by surviving children against the occupation forces. Ultimately, though, the play affirms the preciousness of life, even amid such extreme despair.

During the performance held in Tokyo on February 22, 2008, 14 drama students in their 20s from the New National Theater, with Tamiya Kuriyama serving as director, energetically brought the play to life for the first time.

Mr. Inoue, who has created other A-bomb related works of note, including “Kamiyacho Sakura Hotel“ and “The Face of Jizo,“ remarked, “The damage caused by the Makurazaki Typhoon is often overlooked because of the bombing, but I have always wanted to write a play that includes both the bombing and the typhoon as interrelated incidents.“