Epitaph for the Whales, by Kujira no Bohyo
English translation by Yoji Sakate
Epitaph for the Whales which deals with the lives of seven whale-hunting brothers, was written and staged at the Suzunari Theatre in 1993, Tokyo, initiating Sakate’s series of Contemporary Nō Plays.
He incorporated the conventions of Nō, Japan’s classical theatre, and blended aspects of fantasy and traditional culture.
'This new theatrical tool helped to enrich the art of Sakate’s theatre and to add to the plays maturity and subtlety. In Epitaph he focused his discussion on whaling, its community and family relationship. The play tells the story of this delicate issue from the traditional viewpoint of Japanese whalers, and the Nō conventions enforce this sense of tradition with its power of fantasy and romanticism.’ – Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur