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The Mainichi opens int'l essay contest on Hisashi Inoue's Hiroshima A-bomb play 'The Face of Jizo'

A still photo from the film "The Face of Jizo" (Image courtesy of The Face of Jizo Partners, 2003)

In collaboration with The Mainichi Newspapers' Hiroshima Bureau, The Mainichi is holding an international essay contest on the theme of the play "The Face of Jizo," penned by the late Hisashi Inoue about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, for our young readers around the world.

The full script of the four-act play will be made available on The Mainichi from Aug. 6 through Oct. 31, courtesy of copyright holder Yuri Inoue and Roger Pulvers, who translated the work into English. One act per day will be posted beginning on Aug. 3, making the entire play available by Aug. 6.

"The Face of Jizo" is considered to be one of the greatest theatrical masterpieces of post-war Japan. After reading the accounts of several hundred atomic bomb survivors, or "hibakusha," Inoue decided to write the play not as a tragedy, but as a comedy, in order to convey the horror of the atomic bomb to as many people as possible.

The Mainichi Editorial Office shares Inoue's wish, and hopes that as many people as possible will read the script so that the tragedy endured by Hiroshima and Nagasaki will not be forgotten.

The essays reflecting on the play must be no more than 1,000 words in English, and from readers between the ages of 13 and 23. The essays can be submitted through The Mainichi's "Contact Us" page. Entrants must include their name, address, date of birth, school, and school year, and the subject of the email must be "Face of Jizo Essay" followed by the entrant's name when submitting an essay. Submissions are limited to one per person.

The deadline for submitting the essays is Oct. 31, 2017, and entries will be judged by a panel composed of writer and film director Roger Pulvers, former Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and The Mainichi Chief Editor Arisa Ohta. The winning essays will be announced via The Mainichi website on Dec. 1, 2017, and prizes worth 100 U.S. dollars each will be awarded to the top three essay writers.

(Please note the copyright for the winning essays will be transferred to the organizers of the contest.)

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