Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

Androgyny and Otherness: Exploring the West Through the Japanese Performative Body

Androgyny and Otherness: Exploring the West Through the Japanese Performative Body Erica Stevens Erica Stevens recently served as artistic director of Kentucky's Playhouse in the Park. She received her M.A. from California State University, Northridge, and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at UCL A. The way of the Western practitioner or scholar wishing to analyze contemporary Japanese theatre in terms of gender and culture is fraught with peril. How is it possible to apply critical theory without imposing Western perceptions or using master narratives that reduce and conquer the "foreign" ? This essay focuses on a recurring figure in Japanese literature and drama-- a hero of ambivalent sexuality and gender who uses a cloak of invisibility to pass through boundaries -- and considers its use in three contemporary Japanese theatrical productions set in a historically distant, even "mythologized," West. This mysterious, caped man/woman character, whose antecedents can be traced to Heian-period literature (794­1185), is reflected in current Japanese pop art as well as in theatre, suggesting that gender slippage (the oscillation between received ideas of male and female within an individual body) can be used as a strategy to explore issues of cultural otherness. Such a strategy reverses the process of Western colonization of the East through representation http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

Androgyny and Otherness: Exploring the West Through the Japanese Performative Body

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 18 (2) – Sep 1, 2001

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-hawai-i-press/androgyny-and-otherness-exploring-the-west-through-the-japanese-P6tJohtxaq
Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-2109
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Erica Stevens Erica Stevens recently served as artistic director of Kentucky's Playhouse in the Park. She received her M.A. from California State University, Northridge, and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at UCL A. The way of the Western practitioner or scholar wishing to analyze contemporary Japanese theatre in terms of gender and culture is fraught with peril. How is it possible to apply critical theory without imposing Western perceptions or using master narratives that reduce and conquer the "foreign" ? This essay focuses on a recurring figure in Japanese literature and drama-- a hero of ambivalent sexuality and gender who uses a cloak of invisibility to pass through boundaries -- and considers its use in three contemporary Japanese theatrical productions set in a historically distant, even "mythologized," West. This mysterious, caped man/woman character, whose antecedents can be traced to Heian-period literature (794­1185), is reflected in current Japanese pop art as well as in theatre, suggesting that gender slippage (the oscillation between received ideas of male and female within an individual body) can be used as a strategy to explore issues of cultural otherness. Such a strategy reverses the process of Western colonization of the East through representation

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 1, 2001

There are no references for this article.