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44 - Puppet theater: from early jōruri to the golden age

from Part IV - The Edo period (1600–1867)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2016

Haruo Shirane
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
Tomi Suzuki
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
David Lurie
Affiliation:
Columbia University, New York
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Summary

Joruri refers to the vocal art of dramatic narration. Since the Tokugawa period, joruri works have been grouped into ko-joruri and toryu-joruri, which begins in 1685 with Shusse Kagekiyo by the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Chikamatsu Monzaemon composed over one hundred plays for the puppet theater stage over four decades. Chikamatsu's exposure to kabuki dramaturgy profoundly affected his approach to playwriting and later greatly influenced his joruri composition. All of Chikamatsu's most celebrated joruri were composed after his return from the kabuki theater. Modern Japanese anthologies of his plays devote their annotation efforts exclusively to his late-period plays. The golden age of joruri, spanning the years from 1715 until 1751, opened with the first performance of Kokusenya kassen, which enjoyed an unprecedented seventeen-month run at the Takemoto theater. Finally, joruri evolved into a theatrical form that produced cultural artifacts that were immersed in and shared characteristics with the literary and visual cultures of Tokugawa Japan.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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