Act I. scene 1 of The Teahouse of the August Moon takes place at an American military base on the Japanese island of Okinawa during the American Occupation of Japan in the aftermath of World War II. Sakini. a local Okinawan interpreter for the American military, speaks directly to the audience, introducing the setting and historical circumstances of the play in which Colonel Purdy is in charge of instituting the Americanization of the local culture.
Captain Fisby, a young officer, arrives at the base and is assigned to the tiny village of Tobiki to carry out "Plan B," which includes the institution of a local democratic government, the establishment of a capitalist economy, and the building of a schoolhouse. In scene 2, Fisby is delayed in his departure for Tobiki when an entire clan of local people, including a grandmother, daughter, grandchildren, and family goat, among others, crowd onto the jeep with their belongings, expecting a ride to the village. Against the officers' protests, they remain on the jeep for the duration of the journey. In scene El, Captain Fisby is set up in his office in Tobiki, along with Sakini as interpreter. The local villagers crowd around to present Fisby with gifts. He gets the villagers to appoint department heads for the setting up of a local democratic government. A Mr. Sumata presents Fisby with the gift of his daughter, Lotus Blossom, who is a geisha.
(The entire section is 692 words.)
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