Wasabi Stories vol.109: “Once in Your Life, put Your Heart and Soul into Something”


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“Once in Your Life, put Your Heart and Soul into Something”

Today’s story teller is an actress Mitsuko Kusabue.

The story was about when she played “[W:Man of La Mancha]”.

Her house has a rehearsing room in the basement, where there is a painting of “Man of La Mancha” on the wall.

The picture was painted by a scenic artist, Kotaro Maki, and Kusabue was handed over the painting after Maki died.



In 1969, Kusabue appeared in a musical “Man of La Mancha”, which became a major turning point in her life.

Originally, she saw the musical at Broadway in New York and got so shocked that she asked the people concerned earnestly and achieved presenting the musical in Japan.

In fact, she had been seriously worried about if she would “quit acting” and what she met in such depression was “Man of La Mancha”.

“I wan to play this no matter what!”

The stage burned into her mind, she felt her burning spirit rising up.


Kuwabue’s word,

“Once the rehearse started, I got tense and couldn’t sleep at night. Wherever I went, mu role was hanging over my head all day. All my family in the house were nervous and walked stealthily.”


When the musical opened, she joined her hands in prayer at a shrine before she got up on the stage.

There was a scene where the actor played opposite lifted her up and her head almost hit the ground, and she was wishing “if I get injured, just kill me”.

This was the stage that she put everything into.


“I put my heart, soul and everything in my life into the stage”.


The charge of costumes for the musical, Maki painted of the stage. Later Kusabue found that and got really impressed.

That is why the painting is in her rehearsing room.


The NIKKEI Oct/7/2009  by Mitsuko Kusabue (actress)



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