A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Adventures in Jamblini

On May 5, which is Children’s Day in Japan, there will be a musical for children performed at Capio. The musical is called “Adventures in Jamblini” and the main characters are played by children.

Adventures in Jamblini

The musical is in Japanese, but if you read the synopsis (see below), it should be fairly easy to understand what is going on. The performance involves acting, singing, and dancing, so it should be fun for both children and adults to watch.

(By the way, a certain regular contributor to TsukuBlog will be appearing the show as “Queen Shule”. Look closely at the second page of the pamphlet and you may spot her!)

Event: Adventures in Jamblini
Date: May 5, 2009
Times: 2pm and 5:30pm (two shows)
Place: Tsukuba Capio (map)
Tickets: JHS students and younger: 1300 yen, HS students 1800 yen, Adults 2200 yen

Tickets are available online or by contacting me (Shaney).

Adventures in Jamblini – Synopsis

The play opens up at a juku (cram school) where parents are being lectured on the importance of having their children enter a good school. At this particular juku, the head teacher has decided to offer “24-hour cram sessions” and the parents decide that they need to send their children to these sessions in order to secure their future.

The kids go to one of these cram sessions and are on their way home when they meet up with one of their friends, Cook. Cook doesn’t attend juku, so she has missed her friends over the past 24 hours. She tries to get them to play with her, but everyone is too tired or too busy to comply. She finally convinces one of the kids to start playing janken (rock, paper, scissors) and that finally wakens the need in all the kids to start playing. Janken turns into tag, and soon all of the kids are remembering how much fun it is to play. Finally, the kids come upon an open manhole and decide to explore what is inside.

What the kids don’t realize is that on the other side of the manhole is a whole other kingdom, Jamblini! When we first see Jamblini, we meet the Witch and her apprentices. The Witch is a proud, vengeful woman who has placed a spell on the peaceful inhabitants of Jamblini. Time has been stopped in the kingdom and all of its citizens are frozen in time.

However, all is not lost! When the kids come through the manhole, they sing a song that contains a magic word (“waku waku”) that breaks the Witch’s spell and frees the citizens of Jamblini and their queen, Shule. The Queen and her subjects are very grateful to the children. However, they have to deliver some bad news: the roads in Jamblini are all ONE WAY! So the kids have to travel all the way through the kingdom in order to get back to the manhole and escape.

The Witch is not going to be happy when she learns that the children have broken her spell. She is going to try to stop the kids with all of her powers. Queen Shule decides to help the kids by giving them some “Queen Dust” that will make a victim laugh for 10 minutes straight if exposed to it. She also tells them to call for her magic mice in a BIIIIIIIIIG voice if they need help. The mice are sure to come running!

Armed with the Queen Dust and Shule’s advice, the kids go on their way. At first they are reluctant to go, but then they realize that they all have to work together to get back to the manhole. The Witch and her apprentices do indeed have their fun with the children — trying to freeze them cold and blocking their way with fire — but the kids do their best to work together to get past these obstacles and (spoiler alert) find their way back home.

The kids — and their parents — learn through these adventures that they should not spend all of their time studying. Play time is important too, and the kids can learn many important things through playing with their peers. One of the most important things that kids can learn is how to work together to accomplish their goals and get what they want out of life.


For more information about the play and Gekidan Kurie Tsukuba, the drama club that is performing the show, please see the club’s website (in Japanese) or contact me.

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