【Books】A History of Japanese Theatre


Edited by Jonah Salz, Cambridge University Press, 2016.

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.

• Contains chapters on major genres, as well as shorter spotlight and focus boxes covering less well-known genres and individuals • Contributions from Japanese scholars, many translated into English for the first time, offer new contextual insights • Includes discussions of dance, folk, and popular culture genres often ignored in Western definitions of theatre • Chapters on shamisen, costumes, architecture, and national theatres provide a cultural and contextual grounding for theatrical genres in affiliated arts and institutions.

Iwaki Kyoko ‘Tokyo: world theatre capital’, pp.349 – 353.

Iwaki Kyoko “Charting Tokyo theatre today: 24 November 2012”, pp. 354-357.

Iwaki Kyoko “Modern theatre tomorrow: interview with Hirata Oriza Iwaki”, pp. 358-363.

Posted on by K.Iwaki in BOOKS / 出版物