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As a promising playwright, director and actor, 31-year-old Junichi Hirota highlights a cruel fact running through Japan’s theater world — namely that once technicians such as lighting engineers, sound people and set-builders are paid from box-office profits, there’s often little or nothing left for the likes of Hirota and other such talent in the business.

Most stage actors outside the big- theater league can’t live on what they earn from acting, and most young dramatists have to pursue other jobs to survive.

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