Friday, April 27, 2012

Tea House of the August Moon

              The other day we saw a play called Tea House of the August Moon. It was about American soldiers in Japan trying to teach the people about American values. The main character was a unsuccessful soldier who had been thrown out of every military institution.  He is assigned to a town where his job is to set a democratic system, build a pentagon shaped school house and make it so the town has income. The islanders are very kind and respectful and seem to try their best but end up changing him instead of the other way around.
              The first thing he does is give a speech about democracy, but no one would listen until he accepted their gifts. One of his gifts is a geisha girl who he thinks is a prostitute. She tries to help him get dressed and he freaks out. Later  he realizes a geisha girl is actually is a person who tries to make people feel better about themselves by playing music and stuff. He then feels bad and lets her dress him in Japanese clothes which he decides are very comfortable.
            Later, the democracy decides that instead of a school, they want a tea house which eventually he agrees to. At this point, the guy's boss is very concerned about him and sends in someone to inspect him. The inspector is also changed by the town and begins wearing kimonos and wood sandals. Then the people go to market to sell their crafts but no one wants to buy them.  It turns out the town makes great brandy which was a huge hit with the soldiers.
             At this  point, the boss is furious and orders the tea house destroyed and the distilleries smashed, but the town people get the assistant drunk and none of the orders were carried out.  Just then, the boss gets a call from Congress congratulating him on the town's success. The captain then revokes the order so none of the orders were carried out. The people were changed very little by the experience while the Americans were.


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