新着情報

特別対談 舞台「黒部の太陽」を語る

平成18年11月5日

The 50th anniversary of the Kanden Tunnel opening
A conversation on the theatrical production of "Kurobe no Taiyo"

Hiroshi Ohta, President, Kumagai Gumi Co., Ltd.
Shidou Nakamura, Actor

The building of the Kurobe Dam is one of the greatest dramas in the history of Japanese construction in the 20th century. Based on actual fact, the story of this project was depicted in the film "Kurobe no Taiyo " by the renowned Showa-period actors Yujiro Ishihara and Toshiro Mifune. Forty years after the film was first released, it has been reborn as a theatrical production, scheduled to go on stage in October, 2008. Kumagai Gumi has been a partner in the creation of this project, and the star of the show, Shidou Nakamura visited our headquarters for a conversation with company president Hiroshi Ohta.

Ohta: I am very much looking forward to your stage performance of "Kurobe no Taiyo"...
Nakamura: Thank you.
Ohta: I heard that you actually visited the Kurobe Dam. What were your impressions?
Nakamura: The Kurobe Dam surprised me with its scale - it is truly awe-inspiring.
Ohta: I agree. Another surprising point is that it was built in a time when surveying technology and other construction techniques were still lacking. It compares favorably with modern construction projects.
Nakamura: I certainly felt the weight of its presence.
Ohta: Did you see the crush zone?
Nakamura: Yes, I did.
Ohta: That blocked our forebears' work for 7 full months.
Nakamura: It was quite cold, even though it was summer.
Ohta: When winter comes, it becomes an unimaginably harsh site. Even now, once the tourist season ends in December, Kumagai Gumi works until March of the following year to inspect and conduct maintenance on the tunnel and pipes which carry water to drive the generator.
Nakamura: I put my hand into the water welling up from the earth, but it was so cold that I felt pain throughout my body. It is hard to imagine how anyone could work with that kind of water pouring down on them.
Ohta: Yes. That water you experienced fell on our workers at the rate of 3 drums-worth a second - not a pleasant experience. They wore two jackets, lit bonfires behind the worksite, and switched shifts every 20 minutes, but even then it was extremely difficult.
Nakamura: I had the chance to look at other areas as well, but it was clear that no matter where I went the conditions had been very harsh - I was deeply moved as I came to understand this reality.
Ohta: It is clear that you have poured a lot of yourself, and a great deal of energy into this production.
Nakamura: Of course! But, I have to say that when this offer first came, I was uncertain. The film is extraordinary, and how can I compare to Yujiro Ishihara, one of the greatest stars of the Showa Period? I realized that simply following the course of the film would make this stage production meaningless. What I wish to say is that I am trying to keep a clear mind, working without preconceptions, creating a role that suits me, building a character that reflects me as an actor.
Ohta: One thing everyone is talking about is how you, in the role of site manager Kiyoshi Sasabe, perform a scene where the crush zone is broken through, releasing an enormous amount of water on-stage. As you know, Kumagai Gumi has been assisting with the stage sets required for this scene. We are currently working on the stage machinery at our research facility in Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Nakamura: I plan to visit the facility, and actually rehearse there when the set-piece is ready.
Ohta: Really! But isn't this the first time you have experienced 20 tons of water used on stage?
Nakamura: Yes… It is hard for me to imagine, but…
Ohta: As professionals in the construction industry, particularly everyone involved in public works, we are all very excited (laugh).
Nakamura: That is a point that is different from cinema - the live quality of the stage. I believe it will be the opportunity to experience something truly special.
Ohta: I wish all the best for this production. Thank you very much for speaking with me today.
Nakamura: I thank you for sharing your thoughts with me today.
 
*This interview was conducted at the Kumagai Gumi Headquarters in Shinjuku, Tokyo in August, 2008.

 

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