The fiinale of Puccini¡Çs "Madame Butterfly" is heard in
this age of slaughter and political mayhem
and poetry can no longer console us,
they are still better than the rhetoric of patriots.
glory crowning the dictator's bald skull is bound to fade.
is always laid at the foot of the hero's corpse.
adversity, which robs us of sleep, is immortal.
past is like a father stamping in rage or a mother sighing
future is like a son afraid of the dark or a shy daughter.
parents, the balance of time is behind them.
children, life is still to come.
and future are parent and child.
parents it is late, but they are responsible for the future.
children it is early, but they must learn from the past.
children have to set off on a perilous journey.
parents help them to prepare for the journey
then they'll take care of the rest.
ears can tolerate any noise.
nose can get used to whatever stench.
bow our heads but we do not believe
keep quiet be we won't lie,
suffer but we do not give in,
no fear of this ailing world
shall outlast even the end of everything.
shed become rain which waters the desert.
shed enters the rivers and runs back into the sea
desert assuages the wounded soul, the sea engenders new lives.
stars will shine out again tonight, oblivious to the tragedy on earth.
I Scene 1 Nagasaki
- Suzuki¡Çs residence
from a dream, Suzuki sighs and mutters. A young nun appears from stage right
and brings medicine to Suzuki¡Çs bedside, overhearing her musings.
I arrived in heaven already?
I look like an angel?
look like a woman who¡Çs been driven into God's arms by unrequited love.
talk! That poisoned tongue of yours needs some medicine.
to my poison, I¡Çve lived four times as long as Cho-Cho san. If my time was up,
I'd go willingly, but one thing I do regret.
about the son of Cho-Cho san, isn¡Çt it?
sure that when he is a grown man, he'll come here to receive Cho-Cho san's effects. Until that day arrives
I'll cling to my pillow, even if my time has come. I want to tell him tof
Cho-Cho san¡Çs feelings as she took her
own life, and what hopes she had for him. Now I understand her perfectly; her
heart was wedded to loneliness.
you¡Çve suffered loneliness yourself.
was not for me. You too must feel
it, having lost the man you loved. When the bud of
desire unfolds, we are overwhelmed by the scent and lost in its
poison. It cannot bloom for long. Sooner
or later both of you hurt each other, and one of you dies. But love never dies.
Like a flower, it withers, leaving its seeds. Love is a dream which cannot be
realised in this world, but is carried over into the next.
you like, I'll hear your will.
you tell him of it, when I am dead?
No.1 (SUZUKI) Suzuki¡Çs Aria: ¡ÈSince you are a child born between countries¡É
you are a child born between countries, you
fly back and forth between your father's and your mother's land like a
mother will be received in heaven through the intervention of the Goddess
Kannon (note - "Kannon" is the goddess of Mercy).
after your mother has gone, her spirit will never leave you.
her with you to your father's country, the spirit is lighter than air and won't
blessed by the new god in a land of
freedom and equality.
butterfly, awaking from the dream of sweet romance, has crossed a river which
from which there is no return.
born out of the wind and the butterfly, has turned into Sadness and roams
between the two.
born out of the wind and the butterfly, has became a bat and flown away to his father¡Çs land.
butterfly, having killed herself so that love should live, is merely waiting
for love to blossom at last in the next world.
the sign of the cross) May God go with you.
is cruel. To serve him, Cho-Cho san turned her back on her relatives and the
temple, but she's been abandoned by everyone, and doesn¡Çt even have a tomb of
her own. Suicide is supposed to be a sin, yet the man who drove her to kill
herself has been forgiven. Isn't this absurd?
loves those who are most alone in the world.
not easy to be loved by a cruel god.
me read to you from the Bible.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not
alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will
rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and
earthquakes. All these are merely birth
pains. (Mathew: 24) (The sound of bells is coming from the church.)
Hearing it, Suzuki sighs.
is about to begin. You pray too, please. (goes out stage right)
taking out her Buddhist rosary from
where she keeeps it concealed in her bosom) Na-mu-a-mi-da-bu-tsu.
Na-mu-a-mi-da-bu-tsu. What if, along with their god, the Americans don't also export the seeds of
conflict? (pause) I wonder whether the child has read my letter¡Ä
takes out Cho-Cho san's dagger out from
under her pillow, and the vision of a young child appears in the room, singing
a love song for her mother.
sings from the back of the stage.
No.2 (J¡¦B¡ËJ.B.¡Çs Aria: ¡ÈMother¡É
I don¡Çt know your name.
don¡Çt even know why you took your own life.
you don¡Çt have a tomb, and no one
sighs are always dedicated to your image, Mother.
up at the sky, listening to the sound of the waves, touching the wind as it blows through the
forest, mother, I want to be close to
what future did you dream of?
don't believe in God. Instead, mother, I pray to you. I pray.
vision of J.B. fades, and the dagger falls to the floor.
back. Please someone, stop the child. Scatter
silently breathes her last.
"ACT I Scene 2
- The U.S. Consulate
(Act I Scene 2 is played in English)"
J.B, an agent of the U.S. Wartime
Information Agency, is working at the American Consulate in Kobe. His assignment is to study the
characteristics of the Japanese people, as well as their way of thinking, and
report. In the conference room of the Consulate, McCallum is waiting for J.B.
while he reads a report. McCallum is the Far East Division Chief of the Wartime
Information Agency, and has just returned from Manchuria.
McCallum Benjamin Pinkerton Junior! (mono) Son of
a U.S. Naval Officer. Born in Nagasaki. His mother was a Japanese Geisha. So
he is Junior Butterfly¡Ä
J.B. appears from stage left.
McCallum I heard you are in love with a Japanese
girl. I bet you have a better command of the feminine style of the language.
J.B. I¡Çm just seeing and hearing this country,
with the aid of a woman¡Çs eyes and ears.
McCallum There is no point in sacrificing
yourself in this day and age. You should fall in love until your heart is
satisfied¡Äjust like Pinkerton Senior.
J.B. It was OK for my father to forget about war
and become drunk with love.
McCallum That¡Çs the American way. Looking at a
war in a foreign country from a distance, and living for profit, happiness and
ecstasy. Money, money, and money...What should we spend the extra money on?
That¡Çs the issue. This country, where you were born, is like a child who is
getting fatter by eating wars. Soon, he won¡Çt find anything to eat. So what do
you think? Do you think this country is gonna have a war with the United States?
enemy of the last war is¡Ä the United States.
McCallum Probably it is. They say we are the
beast. But, the one who will win is...the United States.
J.B. There is no justice on either side. The one
who has pushed this country to the very edge is¡Ä the United States.
McCallum I met a man named Matsuoka. Every other
word he uttered was this, (dramatically) ¡ÈIt¡Çs America which is the invader.¡É
J.B. This country is like a mirror which reflects America.
McCallum Are the Yankee and the Jap brothers? The
younger brother, who doesn¡Çt know anything about liberty or equality, is
repeatedly conducting massacres on the continent.
J.B. The war is devouring this country.
McCallum You¡Çve passed through the tunnel where
the skeletons were piled. You¡Çve crossed the river where the dead were floating
away. Is this what you call ¡ÈArcadia¡É or the ¡ÈHarmony among the five races¡É?
To hell with ¡ÈThe Great East Asian Sphere of Co-Prosperity¡É!!
J.B. The United Stated pretended as if it had not
noticed any of Japan¡Çs acts of violence. The Japanese army is
struggling in the pit which they¡Çve dug for themselves.
McCallum America will fill in the pit for them.
J.B. They would fight, even while dragging
themselves out of the pit.
McCallum Since the day Russia lost to Japan, history started down an alternate
J.B. Those who have failed to keep up with the
flow of history buy their freedom by means of war. They get hold of equality by
means of discrimination. Their happiness is built upon dead bodies. We have to
sever this chain of evil.
MaCallum Look at the Chinese resistance to Japan. China has become equal to us in the war of
justice against her brutality. On top of that, even the people of India are starting to pursue the dream of
J.B. If that is the course history shall take, we
have no choice but follow.
McCallum Indeed, you do have Asian blood. Don¡Çt
feel obligated to do anything for the Japs. Think about how happy you are as a
J.B. Look at my face. I¡Çm neither Jap nor Yankee.
I¡Çm a bat born between the two. I¡Çll live the freedom of a bat.
McCallum Freedom for a bat is not so easy.
Romance is sweet but it¡Çs about time to wind it up. The war will kill romance
J.B. But there is a romance which can kill war.
McCallum All right. Let me ask you this one more
time. Will Japan start a war, even against the United States, if we corner them financially and
invade their territorial waters?
J.B. The enemy of Japan is the enemy of Germany. That¡Çs the assurance in order for Japan to maintain their hegemony in Asia. But the composed naval officers want
to avoid a war against the United States.
McCallum But how about the army?
J.B. Even if they know that they will lose, they
would leave everything up to the Divine Wind. If they start to see the bottom
of their stockpile, they will resort to a war of all or nothing. In order to
avoid a war, we have to release the trade embargo. Don¡Çt push Japan to the edge.
McCallum Could it be the Pacific Fleet that they
J.B. They are thinking about doing it before
their stockpiles are depleted.
McCallum It's just what I was expecting.
J.B. Isn¡Çt it our mission to avoid a war?
McCallum Officially, yes it was. But diplomacy
itself is a war as well.
J.B. Most Americans are not fond of getting into
McCallum Your pacifism is out of sync with the
times. If Japan is unified with one mind in regarding America as an enemy, the United States will be unified in retaliation against Japan.
J.B. Retaliation? Japan hasn¡Çt attacked the United States yet.
McCallum You¡Çd better think that the war has
already begun. We¡Çll launch air strikes and sow freedom and equality in this
J.B. If Japan signs a pact with China and India, then what¡Çs going to happen?
McCallum We have to interfere in Asia to avoid that kind of situation. We
have no choice but to westernize the whole of Asia before it awakens to Nationalism.
J.B. It¡Çs the Western nations which taught them
the methods behind invasions.
McCallum I¡Çm tired of your favoritism for Asia. (pointing to the door) Go now.
When McCallum is alone , he opens a map
and ponders with his arms crossed.
Aria No.3 McCallum¡Çs Aria: ¡ÈThe God of war smiles
The alliance of the three nations
If the British fleet is handed over to Germany intact, there will be a Swastika in the
The public is against the war. However¡Ä
We have to smash open the door to war.
From the back door, we are going to
plant the seeds of fire in the peaceful ocean.
The God of war smiles at America.
Their target will probably be Pearl Harbor.
Following their brutal air raid, public
opinion will shift.
This will be the last war for sure.
America will have the last laugh.(laugh)
Poet People want to believe in something
that will guarantee their homeland in
and bring assurances of peace and
This is why Nation and People are like a religion.
Money is the key to every door.
And since everyone prays to have it,
the religion of Capitalism attracts no
end of adepts.
When it comes down to it, love too is a
because it pursues the principle of
and tries to attain the realm of
Love seeks to invade the domains of
State, People and Capitalism.
This is love without bliss, which
refuses ecstasy or honour.
It finds no fulfilment and loses
This is why people continue to be driven
mad by love and suffer its reverses.
But its irrational nature only
reinforces our belief.
And only those who truly believe can
Scene 1 Kobe - Noda's Residence
J.B. frequents the house of his
girlfriend, Naomi Noda. He is, however, still in a dilemma between love and his
duty, and hasn¡Çt been able to bring himself to propose to her. Naomi¡Çs older
brother, Lieutenant Noda is worried about the relationship between the two, and
wants to find out J.B.¡Çs intentions.
The siblings are sitting facing one
another in silence. Suddenly he questions her.
Lt. Noda You are in love with that man, aren¡Çt
Naomi I know you don¡Çt dislike him either.
Lt. Noda I could not bear to see you unhappy.
Naomi There can be no unhappiness for newfound
Lt. Noda It's as if a flame were to be enamoured
Naomi I¡Çve already made up my mind. Rather than to
deceive my heart, I want him to set it on fire.
Lt. Noda He is an American spy. A woman who falls in love with a spy is
destined for hell. Before this leads to your death, sacrifice your love.
Naomi I won¡Çt do it. Our rulers declare us at war whenever they
like, but I am the one who decides my love.
Lt. Noda Would you betray your homeland?(sighs)
ARIA No.4 ¡ÊNODA¡ËNoda¡Çs Aria: ¡ÈMay a
smile return to this country.¡É
Noda The odour of war is blowing from Manchuria.
A girl who has been sold arrives in the
Some plan to seize power, some favour
some throw themselves into the crater of
there are couples who kill themselves,
hoping in love in the next world,
and somewho go round arresting
"reds" and "spies"¡Ä
All are in the throes of desperation.
Everywhere people are risking their
Spring has come and gone.
We shall live this haven in the sun,
and the music which puts a smile on our
There is nobody left who can listen to
ane and all, each voice in turn.
Everything in the world is now in the
hands of the military.
I am witnessing the twilight of the Land
of the Gods.
Soldiers are men who ultimately are
destined to die,
so those who throw themselves into the
crater or kill themselves for love
are my fellow creatures.
Win or to lose is the fate of soldiers
although nobody ever thinks they'll
The soldiers who have dedicated their
life to the Empero well know that if
they should die, the Emperor too will lose his life.
I don¡Çt want my death to be honoured,
but may a smile return to this country.
Noda exits stage left. Naomi remains
alone and looks at the goldfish, Joy and
Sadness. Then, J.B. appears with some records in hand.
J.B. Do these goldfish have names?
Naomi This Ryukin is called Joy, and this Demekin
Sadness. (note - Ryukin and Demekin are
kinds of goldfish).
J.B. Joy and Sadness seem to be good friends.
Naomi I was dying to see you.
J.B. I¡Çve brought you some music. Where is your
Naomi He is getting ready. He says his ship leaves
tomorrow from Tsuruga.
J.B. Oh¡ÄSo he¡Çs going to Manchuria.
Naomi Are we going to be torn apart, each to face
his own future?
J.B. We shall live in the same future. Naomi,
since I met you I¡Çve found the courage to fall in love. If I exist, it's for
you. My love for you will be my last.
Duet No.1 I am Joy and you are Sadness. (underscored
section is simultaneous)
Naomi I am Joy and you are Sadness.
J.B. Naomi¡Çs Joy is my Joy.
Naomi Your Sadness is my Sadness.
J.B. If I lost Joy, Sadness would die.
Naomi If I lost Sadness, Joy would die too. Sadness
J.B. ¡Äbecomes the father of Joy, and Joy¡Ä
Naomi ¡Äbecomes the mother of Sadness.
J.B. Naomi, whatever the future brings, my love
Naomi Whatever the future bribgs I shall have no
J.B. I¡Çll dedicate everything to you.
Naomi I love you more than I love this country.
J.B. I love Naomi more than I love America.
Naomi From henceforth, your body is my home.
J.B. Let¡Çs build our home in our hearts.
From backstage, shouts of ¡È Americans
out of Japan!¡É ¡ÈThere's no room for you in Japan!¡É
Noda, in uniform, enters from the back
room. J.B. noticesthe tension in the air, and Noda speaks out forcefully.
Tertzet No.1 ¡ÈA dark future of cruelty¡É
Noda I don¡Çt hold anything against you, but I
must ask you to conserve your love only in your memory.
J.B. Why is that?
Noda Because both of you are in positions which
won¡Çt allow you to betray your homelands.
J.B. I¡Çll maintain my neutrality.
Noda If you love Naomi, can't you just relinquish
her in silence?
J.B. I¡Çll remain in this country, where my mother
was born and ended her life. That is the duty of a bat who was born between two
Noda Once the war begins, ythere will be nowhere
for you to go, and Naomi will be exposed to groundless speculation and hatred.
Naomi If I had known that war could destroy this
love, I'd never have entered into it.
Noda Perhaps you both see a rose-tinted dream,
but what awaits you is a dark future of cruelty.
Naomi If there is cruelty in store for us, it¡Çs all
the more important to stay together. I¡Çm used to dark dreams. Whatever fate does to me, I shall not complain.
J.B. Whatever fate does to me, I shall live for
my last love.
Naomi However cruel the future may be, I shall
Noda Even if the war is going against Japan, I¡Çll fight to the death.
All three stand in silence. The chorus
is heard from behind on the stage.
Asia is crying.
Asia is dying.
Wipe your tears and take up arms.
Cross the river of blood,
Climb over the mountain covered with
Now is the time to show Japanese spirit.
Instead of a gloomy peace, how
refreshing it feels to be at war.
Listen, vicious Americans and British,
to our expression of nationalism.
Japan, the Land of the Gods, is immortal.
Noda Fetch some sake.
At the request of Noda, Naomi brings
a bottle of sake and cups. Meanwhile,
Noda whispers to J.B.:
Noda Since you are not so young, this will be
your last love. I have a woman in my heart, too. I¡Çm going to her with her
before I leave for the battlefield.
When Naomi returns, Noda makes J.B. and
Naomi hold their cups and, pouring sake, utters:
Noda I can't approve of this marriage. But
perhaps the day will come when I can celebrate it in good faith. Since I can't
be sure of living to see that day, let me now drink a toast to it.
Once they have emptied their cups, Noda
salutes the audience and runs off stage right.
forces us to be ready to die at any moment.
It is really so honourable to die for
when it is the rulers themselves who
cause the slaughter?
The good and the bad, the old and the
thousands are rendered equal in death.
Severed legs, necks and arms tumble in
The city becomes one great featureless
Yet we still have to go to war.
Better that than than losing your
There is a kind of freedom that turns
its back on freedom
There is a kind of freedom that takes
Since the dead cannot avenge themselves
we can think ourselves lucky not to have
The responsability lies with the living.
When war is lost, prisoners become
heroes and heroes black marketeers.
When war is lost, the ruins turn into
brothels, and girls into whores.
When war is lost, saints and sages are
toppled from their pedestals.
As long as we continue to be human
beings, nothing will change
Sooner or later the winners will shed
tears and the losers will laugh.
People will continue to live and to
and once we reach illumination, our time
will be up.
ACT II Scene 2
– The Noda's Residence.
The married life of J.B. and Naomi, with
nobody¡Çs blessing. J.B. gazes at the sun setting over the ocean.
Duet No.2 We met because of the sea
Naomi What a beautiful sunset!
J.B. Sunset in the land of the rising sun. When
the sun sets here, day breaks across the sea
Naomi Your past is across the sea I want to go
where you were raised.
J.B. I was living in a house on the top of a
Naomi This house is also on the top of a hill.
J.B. We met because of the sea
Naomi Tell me about the land across the sea
J.B. Looking at my face, everyone asked me:
¡ÈWhere are you from?¡É
Naomi You were born in Nagasaki and then crossed the Pacific.
J.B. It was a long journey. So long that Nagasaki turned into a mirage, while my mother
is like a woman in a dream.
Naomi You lost your past.
J.B. I didn¡Çt even know a name to fit this face.
Naomi Your face was your bond with this country.
J.B. Traces of my mother were etched in this face.
She watched over me, transforming herself into rain, wind and flowers.
Naomi Now I'm living with you. Isn't it marvellous?
J.B. When I saw your smile, my long journey was
over How long I'd been awaiting this moment!
Naomi How long I'd been awaiting this moment! When
I heard you speak, a bud unfolded in my wintry heart.
J.B. I¡Çve come back. To the house of my dreams,
in the furthest reaches of my memory.
Naomi jumps up as if she'd just
remembered something. She goes out into the garden and bursts into tears.
J.B. Why are you crying?
Naomi I¡Çm crying because I'm so happy.
J.B. I feel as though I'm living my future
Naomi On the sweet trre of our joy hangs a little fruit of fear.
J.B. There is nothing to fear.
Naomi One day we¡Çll be separated.
J.B. I¡Çll guard you all night long. So that
nothing can enter this room of dreams to
Aria No.5 Naomi¡Çs Aria: ¡ÈI want you to promise me.¡É
Naomi Summer is only on my lips.
I want to be inebriated with you like
this for ever.
I want you to promise me
that even if we are separated, our
hearts will still be one,
and that you will never forget our time
I want to believe in this promise more
even than love itself.
Will you be angry if I say this?
Since I¡Çve loved you,
I know I shall have to be punished.
When this love comes to an end,
who knows if the memory of our past will
vanish as well?
That would be too sad, and this is why
I want to build a fortress to protect
For me, since I fear loneliness
even when I'm with you
Even if our bodies get separated,
in the memory of the past,
our hearts will always be one.
J.B. I promise. I swear on this smooth skin of
yours. (Placing his hands over Naomi¡Çs) When I put my hands on yours, like now,
my tired hands immediately feel rested.
Naomi Oh¡ÄIt's as if everything is bursting into
flower. I feel as though I¡Çve been calling your name for a long, long time.
Anything which sparkled, like water, I called by your name.
J.B. Naomi, your hair is life to me. Your lips assuage my loneliness.
They begin to embrace. Then they go into
the bedroom. As the dimly-lit stage fills with the sweet music of love,
background noises are suddenly heard. The music is drowned out by voices on the
radio and a military song. Barton, from the American Consulate, enters out of
breath after running uphill.
Barton Benjamin, Benjamin, Benjamin.
J.B. appears from the back room.
Barton It's war. Pearl Harbor has been attacked.
J.B. So it's begun.
Barton The Consulate is being closed down.
Scene 1 Concentration Camp
120 A room in the camp, empty apart from a box.
Under the constant surveillance of the police and Military Police, prisoners
from both the Allied Forces and the Axis powers live in enforced proximity.
They are seen constantly crossing the stage, some carrying heavy packages,
others bartering possessions. Naomi appears stage right led by a military
policeman. She is here to visit J.B. with Chame (their son).
121 Military Policeman (MP) You know this is against the rules. Don¡Çt
mention my name.
122 Naomi Thank
you very much.
123 Naomi slips him a package wrapped
in cloth. He takes it, trying to avoid being seen.
124 MP Wait
125 Watching the policeman exit stage
left, Naomi takes Chame by the hand and sighs.
126 Naomi You're
about to see your daddy. Try and look a bit happier.
127 Levaine, a prisoner, appears
walking on crutches. He is obviously exhausted from hard labour.
128 Levaine (talking
to himself) Another day alive. I had no idea that surviving cost so much pain
129 Levaine falls over, Naomi helps him
up and tries to get him to drink from
her water bottle.
130 Levaine (taking
gulps of water) I'm not ready for my last words yet. (looking at Naomi, who
nods) Not until I reach the Promised Land.
131 Naomi Are
132 Levaine I¡Çm
a Jew who failed to get to America. Are you Chinese?
133 Naomi No.
134 Levaine This
is a place for prisoners of war. What are you doing here?
135 Naomi I¡Çv
come to see my husband.
136 Levaine Is
your husband in the Military Police?
137 Naomi He's American.
138 Levaine Here's
another strange Japanese charcater! You could team up with that man.
139 Naomi Who
do you meant?
140 Levaine Sugihara¡Ä
If I've got it right. That¡Çs the Moses's
Japanese name. What¡Çs your name?
141 Naomi My
name is Naomi.
142 Levaine Naomi!
I've met with hope! Who would've thought I'd hear Hebrew here!
143 Naomi Where
have you come from?
144 Levaine I
was forced to flee from Berlin, got my visa in Kaunas, went to Siberia, and ended up here.
145 J.B. entersstage left. As soon as
he sees Naomi and Chame, he runs to them and hugs them.
146 Levaine Here's
the husband of Hope. You are my future. When the war is over, get a visa for
me. In exchange I¡Çll give you Germany.
147 J.B. and Levaine shake hands.
148 Levaine Goodbye,
149 Levaine exits stage left.
150 J.B. Naomi!
I¡Çve missed you.
151 Naomi I¡Çm
so happy to see you again.
152 J.B. (to
Chame) Do you want daddy to hold you? (Lifting Chame, turns to Naomi) It must
have been hard for you.
153 Naomi Even
harder for you.
154 J.B. The
good times are back.
155 Naomi I¡Çm
so happy. But is it really you?
156 J.B. And
you, is it really you, Naomi?
157 They hug again. Naomi cries.
158 Naomi Worse
luck I had to promise only to see you for a moment. What a shame, now that
we've been able to meet up again at last.
159 J.B. In
this place, it's not only the prisoners who are locked up, but time too Time
doesn¡Çt move into the future at all.
160 Naomi Chame
is growing up. The war won¡Çt last forever.
161 J.B. I
wonder what¡Çs happening in the world outside. The newspaper and the radio only
162 Naomi Happiness
is always in the future.
163 J.B. Yes,
tit's true. When I get out of here, where shall we go, what shall we do?
Aria No.6 Naomi¡Çs Aria: ¡ÈWhen I wake up in the
I wake up in the morning, I hear the sea waves in the distance.
And when I open the window, I
see no fences or walls.
When the Pacific reverts to
being a sea of peace,
America will be much closer than it is now.
To be free of my resentment and
to love your resentment and your
I want to follow the course of your
I want to go to Nagasaki where you were born,
and find with you the memories
of your distant past.
I want to know what the Statue
looked like, which you gazed on.
I'll see with my own eyes the
sea of peace
which you looked out over from
the opposite shore,
I'll take the train which
we'll live together in a small
house on a hilltop,
I'll make a flowerbed in the
so that the butterfly which
crossed over to the next world
can come back at any time.
164 The military policeman enters stage
left and urges Naomi to leave. J.B. embraces Naomi and Chame and mutters
165 J.B. We'll
be able to see each other again soon, once the war is over.
166 Naomi I
will be waiting in Nagasaki, the town where your memories are
167 J.B. I
shall come and get you, no matter what.
168 J.B. On
the hilltop where you can see the ocean of peace.
169 Naomi In
the house of my memories, on the top of the hill.
170 J.B. Remember
me when I was at my best.
171 Naomi I
too want you to remember me at my best.
172 Naomi, led by the military
policeman, exits stage right. Lights down, scene change.
174 An atomic bomb is dropped from the
Enola Gay, as it flies over. The noise of its engine is heard. The stage is lit
up by two flashes in total silence.
176 The voice of the Emperor is heard
over the radio, sounding otherworldly.
Cheers are heard here and there in
the camp (backstage).
177 The prisoners hum the song of
To make sure we hadn't got it
We listened to the radio over
and over again, hugging it.
WAR IS OVER, WAR IS OVER, WAR IS
OVER, WAR IS OVER
No more sleepless nights.
The time has come for sighs and
prayers to be rewarded.
We'll be able to go wherever we
We'll be able to meet up with
everyone we wanted to see
Let¡Çs fill our bellies with
bread and meat
Let¡Çs find out how to smile
how blue the sky is today!
Ah, how can we pass on this joy
To the people that went ahead of
us into the next world?(cut at Kobe)
ACT III Scene 2
wanders around in a scene of desolation, muttering to himself. The
passers-by have servile smiles on their faces. Acting as if he had just learned
humility, a military policeman bows,
smiles and asks J.B.: ¡ÈIs there anything I can do for you?¡É A homeless child
dogs J.B., asking for food.
J.B. What's happened to all those men who wowed
to go on fighting even if they were the only ones left?
Overhead there is a B29, not engaged in
bombing but circling low. A craftsman,
standing amidst the ruins, says:
(double cast with the military policeman) What
more is there for you to burn? We¡Çll do whatever you like, as long as you keep
The sea in the Bay of Oura under a sunny sky, which little J.B. and his mother probably
used to gaze out over, glistens in the sun as if nothing had happened. And in
the bay, like fifty odd years before, an
American warship lies at anchor. The city has still not recovered from the
¡Èrational destruction¡É of the atom bomb. Contemplating the scene of
devastation, J.B. addresses the image of his mother.
J.B. What a cruel end to the love between you and
my father. Nagasaki, which I¡Çve dreamed about so often, has been
reduced to ashes. There was nothing I could do. All those who died so futilely
are staring at me.
A reporter from The Daily Telegraph
appears on the scene, photographing the ruins caused by the atom bomb.
(double casting with Barton) Can only
complete destruction bring peace? This is the price to pay for Pearl Harbor.
J.B. (to the reporter) Can¡Çt you see? Can't you
see all the ghosts who still don't believe they're dead? Show this terrible
spectacle to those who are now laughing inanely. You must male Hiroshima and Nagasaki household names throughout the world.
It¡Çs your duty.
Reporter What are you doing here?
J.B. I¡Çm praying. If I'm not allowed to expiate,
prayer is all that's left to me.
Disregarding J.B. at prayer, the
reporter exits stage left.
After walking around for a while, J.B. comes to a church. Thinking
that this could be where his mother came
to seek advice about her conversion, J.B. opens the door and asks a nun who is
J.B. Do you know where my wife, Naomi, is?
Nun Who are you?
J.B. I¡Çm Benjamin Pinkerton, Junior, Naomi¡Çs
Nun This is just as Suzuki-san said. The son of
Cho-Cho san has come.
The nun takes J.B.¡Çs hand and leads him
into the church. The wall of the church opens, revealing a chapel. From behind
the chapel the nun appears, holding a dagger with a golden dragon emblazoned on
the lacquer work, and hands it to J.B.
J.B. What is this?
Nun It¡Çs a relic of your mother. Cho-Cho san
took her life with this dagger.
J.B. looks up at the ceiling and blinks
several times. Then he clasps his hands in prayer, addressing the image of his
mother, and asks:
J.B. What kind of a life did you dream of?
Chame, J.B.'s son, appears, wearing an
eye patch. J.B. embraces his son without saying a word.
J.B. I've missed you. Do you remember your daddy?
Chame shakes his head.
J.B. Where is your mummy? Go and call her,
Although J.B. urges him, Chame seems
unwilling. Finally he points mutely to the sky. Unable to understand his
meaning, J.B. asks the nun:
J.B. Where is Naomi?
Nun The cruel bomb turned the city into a sea
of fire and Naomi was¡Ä
J.B. And Naomi was¡Ä Naomi was¡Ä
Nun (crying) She was called up to heaven.
J.B. It¡Çs a lie. I can see it in your face. Tell
me the truth. Naomi is still alive, isn¡Çt she?
Nun I¡Çm sorry. Naomi asked me to do it. if you
came back to see her, I had to tell you she was dead.
J.B. Why? Chame, tell me where your mummy is.
Chame takes J.B. by the hand and tries
to lead him to the back of the stage.(cut at Kobe)
After a brief moment in darkness, J.B.
remains alone on the dimly-lit stage. (cut at Kobe)From backstage Naomi¡Çs aria is heard.
Aria No.7¡¡NAOMI'S Aria¡§"More than
Nobody made me unhappy.
Even if you were as happy as me, you
would not need to be pitied in the world, nor receive consolation.
Those who have drunk most deeply of the
joys of love have also suffered most from love's poison. And yet they still don't feel unhappy. (cut at
Just as pain scourges the flesh
more deeply than any medicine, so
suffering cuts deeper into the heart
than any words. Those who have wept so deeply understand the tear-stained words of all¡¡living creatures. More than any
sorrow, you can penetrate to the depths of my heart.(cut at premiere)¡¡
J.B. Naomi, I¡Çm back.(cut at premiere)
Naomi is seen lying in a bed on the dimly lit stage, completely
swathed in cotton gauze. She starts fitfully on
hearing J.B. call her name. She looks like a black and white
photograph.(cut at premiere)
Naomi Oh¡ÄI no longer belong to this world.
J.B. What do you mean? The war's over. Our future
is about to begin.
J.B. is going to approach the bed.
Naomi No. Please don¡Çt get any closer. I¡Çm no
longer the Naomi you once knew.
Aria No.8 J.B.¡Çs Aria: ¡ÈFrom the distant past.¡É
Oh, Naomi. All this time, unable to
I¡Çve called to you in my dreams every
trying to put life into your floating image.
I feel like as though I¡Çve been calling
your name, Naomi, for a long, long
time¡ÄI call every living creature Naomi.
As long as you are alive, my hope won¡Çt
disappear. Naomi, Naomi.
Naomi Remember when I was at my best...
J.B. Your voice
is just the same as ever.(cut at Kobe)
Naomi Chame will grow up, day by day. You will get older. Time will stop only for me¡Ä it
makes me sad. Tell me, please. Do the dead feel lonely?(cut at premiere)
Naomi raises herself weakly and squats in front of the altar, putting
on lipstick. When J.B. whispers her name, Naomi turns listlessy, her expression full of melancholy. (cut at Kobe)
J.B. Even if we should be separated, our hearts
will be one.
At J.B.¡Çs remarks, Naomi, still with the
same expression, replies: (cut at Kobe)
you still love me? If I rose from the dead, would you marry me again?
J.B. We'll live
in a house on a hilltop. We'll make a flower bed in the garden looking out over the harbor. You'll teach me
the name of the flowers. I¡Çll plant the kinds of flowers you like. I want to
create a place where you and my mother can come back to whenever you like.
Wouldn't that be nice?.(cut at Kobe)
Naomi The dead are like the people you see in a
dream. Come and see me whenever you like. You are just you. I am just me. Our
love will never end.¡¡Like the wave breaking on the shore and the breeze wafting
through the trees, our love will caress the echoes and fury of this world.
With these words Naomi passes away. J.B.
rushes to her and holds her up.(cut at Kobe)
Next to them Chame stands aghast.(cut at Kobe)
J.B. Naomi, Naomi, Naomi(cut at Kobe)
J.B. cries out ¡ÈNaomi¡É as he tries to
pick her up, but she breathes her last. Not far from them, Chame is building
something out of pieces of wood. J.B.
and Chame are brightly lit. Chame stands up suddenly as if remembering
something, and takes some steps surrounded by angels. He places his hand on his
father¡Çs head and tries to comfort him.
"The past, so close but so remote,
comes back to me.
When the cruel
wind blew and dried my tears.
When I sighed
as I looked up at clouds mirroring my heart.
Those who have
tear-stained words of someone who has lost a beloved.
Those who sigh
regrets of someone who has died leaving their loved ones.
spring. Just one love.
That is all
that¡Çs needed to light up the future.
For no hardship
ever lasts forever.
The dead can
wait, beyond sadness,for those still living to regain hope and courage,
strength and a smile.(new)"