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43 - Representing theater: text and performance in kabuki and bunraku

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

Since the fourteenth century, theater has been at the center of cultural life in Japan to an extent rare in the world. several Japanese theatrical traditions, noh, kyogen, bunraku, and kabuki, continue to the present as living lineages of actors passing on their skills from generation to generation, actors have maintained control over the interpretations of texts on the stage. kabuki and bunraku differ fundamentally in their origins and essence. Joruri was the inheritor of the long oral storytelling tradition of blind musicians that flourished after the Genji civil war. During the time of the playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon, who wrote for both the bunraku and kabuki stages, it became standard to publish complete bunraku texts at the time of first performance with the name of the playwright as author. The theater was a vibrant aspect and stimulant of cultural life in the Edo period, one in which individuals from all walks of life participated through a variety of means.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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