Photo by Shingo Wakagi

Director Tamiya Kuriyama stages a modern take on Masataka Matsuda’s Yomiuri Prize winning script Over Summer Sands, a play that exudes a sense of inescapable sorrow and yearning

Tamiya Kuriyama, one of the leading directors in the modern Japanese theatre world, is staging a new production of director and playwright Matsuda Masataka’s Over Summer Sands. This play takes place in Nagasaki, where Masataka was born and raised. It is one of the playwright’s most well-known works, and it received the 1999 Yomiuri Prize for Literature in the Drama category.

Setagaya Public Theatre (SePT) has worked with director Tamiya Kuriyama to present a number of excellent theatrical productions in the past, including The Great Doctor Yabuhara (2012, 2015), Shanghai Moon (2018), CHIMERICA (2019), Murderous Intent (2020), and Even If There Are People Who Laugh at Her (2021)

This is the first time Kuriyama has directed a piece by Matsuda since his production of The Valley of Tears, Milky Way Hill (New National Theatre Tokyo, 2003). Kuriyama decided to stage Over Summer Sands during this age of Covid-19 because of the play’s depiction of the misery and mercy of people going about their day to day lives amid a stifling social atmosphere.

The protagonist of Over Summer Sands is a man who has lost his job and whose wife has left him. He and those around him seem at first glance to lead simple, ordinary lives, but their conversations exude a sense of the inescapable sorrow and yearning that looms in the background.

Kei Tanaka plays the role of protagonist Osamu Koura. This is his first appearance in a production directed by Kuriyama since his earnest performance in CHIMERICA received critical acclaim three years ago. Naomi Nishida, known for her one-of-a-kind presence on both stage and screen, plays the role of Keiko, the wife who leaves her husband Osamu. Additionally, the young and talented screen actor Anna Yamada makes her first stage appearance in this production.

The cast also includes increasingly popular supporting actor Hiroyuki Onoue and the talented Kinokuniya Theatre Prize winning (2020) actress Izumi Matsuoka. Finally, Kuriyama has rounded out the cast by assembling a group of actors with abundant stage experience that he trusts implicitly: Yoshihiro Kasuya, Miho Fukaya, and Kazunori Mimura.  

In this production, director Tamiya Kuriyama and his incredibly talented cast will present a truly modern portrayal of the delicate emotions that gradually come to the surface over the course of this play’s conversations. Don’t miss your chance to see it!


Photo by Shingo Wakagi


In a certain provincial town, in a neighborhood on a hill.
House cling to that hill, overlooking the ocean.
In the harbor, there is a rusted shipyard.
It all started, one summer day.

Osamu Koura has lost his job at the shipyard, and his wife Keiko has walked out on him. Then, one day, Keiko returns. She is there to pick up the memorial tablet for their son, who died when he was 4. Osamu gradually comes to realize the nature of Keiko’s relationship with one of his former co-workers.

At the same time, Osamu’s younger sister Asako and her 16 year old daughter Yuuko arrive from Tokyo. Asako declares that she is going to open a small hostess bar in Fukuoka to pay off some debts. Asako gives Osamu no choice but to take care of Yuuko, and then she leaves.

And just like that, Osamu and Yuuko begin their life together.


Photo by Shingo Wakagi

Cast & Creative

Written by Masataka Matsuda
Directed by Tamiya Kuriyama






Kei Tanaka, Naomi Nishida, Anna Yamada
Hiroyuki Onoue, Izumi Matsuoka, Yoshihiro Kasuya,
Miho Fukaya, Kazunori Mimura



◎= Post-performance talk will be held.※Holders of tickets for the performance may attend.
〇= Exclusive performance
△= Cameras will be installed in the audience area for recording purposes.

Audience Support

Childcare Service

A childcare service is normally available for performances for which advance tickets are sold.
However, as capacity is limited, use of childcare service is by reservation only.

Charge: ¥2,200 per child
Eligibility: Children aged over 6 months and up to 9 years of age
Applications: Setagaya Public Theatre
Tel. 03-5432-1526
Subcontractor: Kids’ Room Tinker bell Sancha

You may reserve childcare services up to noon of the day 3 days before the desired reservation time, but when the number of children registered reaches capacity, applications will closed.
So please make your reservation well in advance.
Also, please consult with the theatre regarding children with special needs.

Wheelchair Spaces

Both Setagaya Public Theatre and Theatre Tram are equipped with wheelchair spaces to allow visitors to watch performances from their wheelchairs. However, as capacity is limited, use of wheelchair spaces is by reservation only. So please make your reservation well in advance.

Charge: 10% discount on the corresponding area ticket charge (plus up to one attendant free of charge)
Applications: Theatre Ticket Centre
Tel. 03-5432-1515

Guide dog-accompanied seating for the visually impaired

Guide dogs are allowed in the theatre.
Please consult with the theatre in advance as large and small seating spaces are available.

Inquiries: Setagaya Public Theatre
Tel. 03-5432-1526

Written communication devices

Written communication devices are available in theatre lobby and ticket centre.

Voice Support for the Hearing Impaired

Earphones are available at the theatre lobby for lending out free of charge to hearing impaired audience members.
To borrow an earphone, after purchasing your ticket, please apply to the theatre no later than three days before the performance in question.

Applications: Setagaya Public Theatre
Tel. 03-5432-1526
Fax. 03-5432-1559
Apply from the inquiry form here

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