By Toshiki Okada
Director: Toshiki Okada
According to surveys by the Japan Family Planning Association, sex no longer matters to half of all Japanese couples. What’s more, almost 50% of 18 to 24-year-olds have never had sex. “I’m attracted to some of my girlfriends, but I’ve learned to live without sex. Emotional entanglements are just too complicated. I’m not into that,” as an article in The Guardian quotes one young man as saying. “People seem to have concluded that the satisfaction they get from sex is lower than the effort required,” says Masahiro Yamada, Professor of Family Sociology in Tokyo. Is this state of affairs a systemic failure, or is it driven by a fear of real-life intimate moments with an actual counterpart — something that seems much simpler in the virtual world? Are relationships just another stress factor for people exhausted by long working hours, or does this version of “I would prefer not to” embody a subversive act in the face of a male-dominated culture of desire? Director Toshiki Okada and his theatre group chelfitsch celebrated their first international success in 2004 with the play “5 Days in March”, in which two young people flee from the outside world into a ‘love hotel’, primarily to have sex for five days. In his third production at the Münchner Kammerspiele following “Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech” and “Nō Theater”, Toshiki Okada now narrates the tale of young and not-so-young people, who sing love songs in a karaoke bar without physically touching each other.