A play featuring a doctor involved in the identification of Minamata disease will open in a Tokyo theater on Friday, marking the 60th anniversary of the official recognition of the mercury-poisoning disease.

The main character in "To a Quiet Ocean — Minamata" is modeled on Hajime Hosokawa, a former director at a hospital operated by Chisso Corp. in the coastal city of Minamata in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Hosokawa reported finding four patients with unexplained neurological disorders on May 1, 1956 — considered later to be the date when Minamata disease was first confirmed.