A logical explanation of Shū Matui is already an oxymoron. This is because, Matsui has always been doubtful of those concepts such as coherent reason, single subjectivity and autonomous criticality: the basic principles of western humanism. He was always sarcastic about those humanistic ideals, which, for instance, Germans might lean through perusing the pages of Goethe. What is important to note, however, is that he is only dubious about humanism, and not altogether rejecting it. Yet, when his plays are observed through the culturally hegemonic ideals of the west, they are often mistaken, or even denounced, as anti-humanistic as he often questions the usefulness of those ideals, such as human rationality, which, I guess, should never be questioned.
For example, when one British theatre scholar learnt about Matsui’s works through my description, she instantly decried that ‘it is a horrible degradation of humanity.’ Since the comment was so decisive, regretfully, I was not able to defend Matsui’s plays against her claim. Taking that remorse as a springboard, I would like to use this opportunity to provide some counterargument on those often hasty and groundless reactions towards Matsui. Read more