Thousand Cranes [Drama On 3]

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20201206Thousand Cranes is celebrated in Japan as a modern literary classic. Its author Yasunari Kawabata was the recipient of the 1968 Nobel Prize for Literature. This is a new adaptation for radio by Jude Cook.

Following the death of his parents, bachelor Kikuji finds himself attracted to his father’s last mistress, Mrs Ota. Meanwhile, his father’s first mistress – the manipulative Miss Kurimoto – urges him to pursue Yukiko, the ‘Inamura girl’, an ethereal young woman. Death, desire and envy convene around the art of the tea ceremony, where each detail is charged with intense significance.

The story takes place against the backdrop of a country in transition. In the late 1940s, Japan was attempting to value and preserve tradition, while seeking to industrialise and embrace modern capitalist values following the trauma of World War II. Part of this modernisation involved questioning the power balance of sexual relations, where men had traditionally held the upper hand. A meditation on fulfilment, isolation, submission and passivity versus action,

Dramatised by Jude Cook from a translation by Edward G Seidensticker.

Yasunari Kawabata…Eiji Mihara
Kikuji Mitani…Nino Furuhata,
Mrs Ota…Naoko Mori,
Miss Kurimoto…Kazuko Hohki
Fumiko Ota…Yuriri Naka
Yukiko Inamura…Miyuki Watanabe,
Cab Driver…Junichi Kajioka
Original music by Sylvia Hallett
Sound by Alisdair McGregor
Directed by Jeremy Mortimer
Assistant Producer: Gabriel Francis
Executive Producer: Joby Waldman
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3

By Yasunari Kawabata. Death, desire and envy convene around a traditional tea ceremony.

Series of drama performances, ranging from experimental works to the Classics