“I have absolutely no idea beforehand what exactly I am going to do. Everything comes together really at the last minute,” says 50-year-old English dramatist Simon McBurney when asked how he’s approaching his latest collaboration. Working with Japanese actors, McBurney is producing “Shunkin,” a play based on works by Taisho Era novelist Junichiro Tanizaki (1896-1965), for a world premiere on Feb. 21 at Tokyo’s Setagaya Public Theatre (SEPT).

The cofounder of the London-based Complicite theater company, McBurney first worked with SEPT in 2003 on “Elephant Vanishes,” a work based on stories by the novelist Haruki Murakami. Whereas “Elephant Vanishes” examined the lonely lives of modern urban dwellers, “Shunkin” looks to the past to tell of a mysterious relationship between Shunkin, a blind koto master, and her servant and lover Sasuke.

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