Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Dialogue with Oriza Hirata

I had a dialogue with the famed dramatist Oriza Hirata in the Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo. Oriza is known for such pieces as "Tokyo Note". Our dialogue will be published in the Drama magazine of SPT.
Oriza and I are both concerned with how people from different contexts can try to understand each other. Many people satisfy themselves in staying in one context. Some people are under the illusion that accomplishments made in one particular context automatically translate into something universal. In actuality, relevance in one context does not always travel well in another. In particular, when people from different cultural backgrounds meet, there is a genuine need to go out of your own context and try to extend the self-- a demanding and often failing attempt, a food for the soul even so.
Myself, I would like to go out of my own context. I would like to understand the context in which other people live, to stretch out my short arm and embrace their private worries and ambitions. Without that kind of attempt, life is not worth living.

Oriza Hirata, the Japanese dramatist.

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