A History of Japanese Theatre

A History of Japanese Theatre

By: Jonah Salz (editor)Hardback

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Japan boasts one of the world's oldest, most vibrant and most influential performance traditions. This accessible and complete history provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese theatre and its continuing global influence. Written by eminent international scholars, it spans the full range of dance-theatre genres over the past fifteen hundred years, including noh theatre, bunraku puppet theatre, kabuki theatre, shingeki modern theatre, rakugo storytelling, vanguard butoh dance and media experimentation. The first part addresses traditional genres, their historical trajectories and performance conventions. Part II covers the spectrum of new genres since Meiji (1868-), and Parts III to VI provide discussions of playwriting, architecture, Shakespeare, and interculturalism, situating Japanese elements within their global theatrical context. Beautifully illustrated with photographs and prints, this history features interviews with key modern directors, an overview of historical scholarship in English and Japanese, and a timeline. A further reading list covers a range of multimedia resources to encourage further explorations.

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About Author

Jonah Salz is Professor of Comparative Theatre in the Department of International Studies at Ryukoku University, Japan. As director of the Noho Theatre Group (established 1981) he works with noh and kyogen actors to interpret texts by Shakespeare, Yeats and Beckett, successfully touring the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Avignon Theatre Festival, and throughout the US and Japan. A programme director for Traditional Theatre Training, he organises an intensive programme to teach noh, kyogen and nihonbuyo dance to Japanese and foreign artists and scholars. He has published numerous articles and translations as a leading scholar of kyogen comedy and Japanese interculturalism and has reviewed theatre and dance performances for three decades for English newspapers and monthly magazines in Japan.


Foreword James R. Brandon; Timeline Rachel Payne; Editor's introduction Jonah Salz; Part I. Traditional Theatres: Preface to Part I Laurence Kominz; 1. Ancient and early medieval performing arts Terauchi Naoko; Interlude: katari narrative traditions: from storytelling to theatre Alison Tokita; 2. Noh and Muromachi culture Shinko Kagaya and Miura Hiroko; Interlude: noh and kyogen costumes and masks Monica Bethe; 3. Kyogen: classical comedy Jonah Salz; Interlude: iemoto: the family head system Eric C. Rath; 4. Kabuki: superheroes and femmes fatales Julie Iezzi; Interlude: nihonbuyo: classical dance Paul Griffith and Okada Mariko; Interlude: Okinawan theatre: boundary of Japanese theatre Suzuki Masae; 5. Bunraku: puppet theatre Goto Shizuo; Interlude: misemono and rakugo: sideshows and storytelling Matthew Shores; Interlude: kamigata geino: Kyoto-Osaka style Gondo Yoshikazu; Interlude: traditional theatre tomorrow: interview with Takemoto Mikio Shinko Kagaya; Part II. Modern Theatres: Preface to Part II Brian Powell; 6. Birth of modern theatre: Shimpa and shingeki Brian Powell; Interlude: new comedy, Asakusa opera, OSK musicals Nakano Masaaki; Interlude: Takarazuka: all-girls' revue and musicals Yamanashi Makiko; 7. Rise of shingeki: western-style theatre Guohe Zheng; Interlude: manzai and yoshimoto comedy vaudeville Joel Stocker; 8. Wartime colonial and traditional theatre Samuel L. Leiter; Interlude: kami-shibai: picture-card storytelling Washitani Hana; 9. Maturing shingeki theatre Guohe Zheng; Interlude: post-war musicals and commercial theatre Kevin Wetmore; 10. Sixties theatre Kan Takayuki; Interlude: butoh: dance of darkness and light Bruce Baird; 11. Contemporary theatre M. Cody Poulton; Interlude: Tokyo: world theatre capital Iwaki Kyoko; Interlude: charting Tokyo theatre today: 24 November 2012 Iwaki Kyoko; Interlude: modern theatre tomorrow: interview with Hirata Oriza Iwaki Kyoko; Part III. Arcs and Patterns: 12. Pre-modern playwriting practices Laurence Kominz; 13. Traditional meta-patterns Jonah Salz; 14. Modern drama as literature J. Thomas Rimer; 15. Modern meta-patterns Mari Boyd; Interlude: Dojoji: the lady and the bell Laurence Kominz; Part IV. Theatre Architecture: Preface to Part IV Jonah Salz; 16. Pre-modern patterns of spectatorship and space Shimizu Hiroyuki; 17. Modernization of theatrical space, 1868-1940 Samuel L. Leiter and Nagai Satoko; 18. Post-war theatres: development and diversification Otsuki Atsushi; Interlude: national theatres and funding Barbara E. Thornbury; Part V. Theatre Criticism: 19. Practitioner principles, Zeami to Chikamatsu William Lee; 20. Pre-modern criticism, research, and training Nakano Masaaki; 21. English language scholarship: a critical overview David Jortner; Interlude: university scholarship and training Nakano Masaaki; Part VI. Intercultural Influences: 22. Seven stages of Shakespeare reception Daniel Gallimore and Minami Ryuta; 23. Traditional training internationally Jonah Salz; 24. Intercultural theatre: fortuitous encounters Jonah Salz; Interlude: early influence from Europe Yoshihara Yukari; Interlude: interview with Ninagawa Yukio: Asian energy vs. European rationality Mika Eglinton; Epilogue: frozen words and mythology Eugenio Barba.

Product Details

  • publication date: 14/07/2016
  • ISBN13: 9781107034242
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 589
  • ID: 9781107034242
  • weight: 1300
  • ISBN10: 1107034248

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