The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Japanese Drama Database
Japanese Title: Ie, Yo no Hate no
English Title: House at the End of this World
Author: KISARAGI, Koharu
Author's Profile: (1956-2000) KISARAGI Koharu was a playwright, producer and head of the theatre group, NOISE. In 1979 KISARAGI graduated from the Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences at the Tokyo Women's Christian University, and in 1983 she became the head of NOISE. While staging works such as "MORAL," "AR -- A Portrait of Ryunosuke Akutagawa," and "Morning, With Cold Water," she was actively involved in theatre workshops at community facilities across Japan.
As a member of committees, such as the Central Educational Advisory Committee and the Cultural Policy Promotion Board, she advised on cultural and educational policies.
In 1992 KISARAGI acted as the Executive Chairperson of the Conference for Asian Women and Theatre, and she won the 0 Women and Children Theatre Award in 1994 and the Special Prize for Educational Theatre in 1998.
She was also a lecturer at Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music and the College of Arts at Rikkyo University, a member of the Council for Management of the Japan Foundation and an executive director of the Tokyo International Exchange and Cultural Heritage Foundation.
KISARAGI's major works include "A Collection of Koharu Kisaragi's Works" (Shinjuku Shobo, 1982), "Opera House of the City People" (Chikuma Shobo, 1987), "Letter from Shiki" (Iwanami Shoten, 1993) and "The Children of August" (Bansei Shobo, 1996).
First Performance:   1980
Performance time:  
Acts / Scenes: 5 scenes
Cast: 14 (4 men, 4 women, 6 others)

This play depicts the lack of self-awareness of those living in a fully automated modern city that is inundated with material goods and information.

A young girl who is using a pocket flashlight to find her way around a large dark space that has no exit meets a man named Nekogawara. The two of them realize that the only way they can get out is if somebody opens the door from the outside. They are locked in a meat locker called the Fuyojo Supermarket.
Yuriko sits on a bench in a municipal park in Musashino city talking with Goro, her secret lover, about leaving Nekogawara, who is her common-law husband. The spark between Nakogawara and Yukiko has long since disappeared and Yukiko does not even let Nekogawara touch her anymore.

With the help of her pet dog Blackie (who is really her father), Hanako is trying to hang herself in the parlor but is discovered by her mother. As a punishment, the two of them are sent out to buy pork and bell peppers at the Fuyojo Supermarket. On the way, however, Nekogawara, Inuyashiki and Sarugashima, who all run a small butcher's shop, stop them. The butchers let Hanako and Blackie in on the secret that Fuyojo Supermarket's stuff is made by androids.

Searching for a life that has the real love, hate and loneliness that they can no longer find in this city, Yuriko and Goro set off on a trip from their window. They are going to "the house at the end of this world in the woods near the lake in the prairies of the deserts in the mountains." Hanako also sets out to find the "house at the end of this world" with Nekogawara, Inuyashiki and Sarugashima, but Blackie gets separated from them on the way and goes home to mother and listens to Moonlight Sonata on the record player. Yuriko becomes very disoriented by this song, but eventually realizes she and Goro have reached the "house at the end of this world." Their life there is not as Yuriko had hoped, however, and Goro is not able to save her either.

Then Hanako and the three butchers pass right by the house as they search for Blackie. Mother, who is also searching for Hanako, knocks on all the doors of the house. The sound of someone knocking on the window triggers Yuriko to again become mentally unstable, and she is in danger of being excluded from the town by the local housewives and Goro.

Nekogawara desperately tries to hold on, but Yuriko chooses to quietly hang herself.
When the young girl and Nekogawara regain consciousness in the meat locker, they hear Goro's voice calling from the roof. He tells them to look at the racks of frozen carcasses hanging in the meat locker. Holding the young girl, who will soon be frozen like the meat, Nekogawara expresses his will to live in a detached manner, muttering, "soon, we will be happy."