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Just three years ago, in 2009, Yukio Shiba burst to stardom at age 27 with his masterful first play, “Waga Hoshi” (“Our Planet”), which premiered in Tokyo and the following year scooped Japanese contemporary theater’s prestigious Kishida Kunio Award.

“Up until then, even in my hometown Nagoya, only a few drama people had heard of me,” he said. “Of course I was so glad to receive the award, but it still hasn’t made me feel like a representative of today’s theater scene. It’s as if most of Japan’s dramatists are heading off on A-class national theater roads — but, as always, I am walking along a winding private track beside them.”

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