Uzumasa has been called the Hollywood of Japan. Located in the historical Kyoto Prefecture, known as the cultural center of the nation, it has produced many “jidaigeki, ” Japanese period films which are set in or before the Edo period. These films are loved by the Japanese people and praised all over the world, but would not be what they were if it weren’t for the “kirareyaku, ” actors whose job it is to be killed by the lead star, without ever being in the limelight. Uzumasa Limelight is about those men, the unsung heroes of classic jidaigeki films; Actors who loved and respected the art, even when the production of classic jidaigeki films began to dwindle. Staring the legendary Seizo Fukumoto, Japan’s most famous kirareyaku who appeared as the “Silent Samurai” in the 2003 Hollywood film The Last Samurai, and using Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight as an underlying theme, the admirable story of these men dealing with a new generation and fading craftsmanship is told with melancholy and soul.
© © 2013 Eleven Arts / Tottemo Benri Theatre Company