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Ganjiro III and Chikamatsu's "Lost" Kabuki Masterpiece

Ganjiro III and Chikamatsu's "Lost" Kabuki Masterpiece Nakamura Ganjiro III, one of kabuki's outstanding contemporary actors, has made it one of his life's goals to reintroduce the long-abandoned kabuki plays of Japan's great playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Chikamatsu is best known for his puppet plays, many of which later became kabuki classics, but the plays he wrote solely for kabuki are not widely known. Reviving such "lost" plays is fraught with difficulties that assume a particular interest because the revival process is undertaken within a highly conventionalized theatre genre. A classical actor-director like Ganjiro faces the problem not only of how to bring three-hundred-year-old plays back in a semblance of their original form but how to make them viable for modern audiences. Laurence Kominz's essay on Ganjiro's recent revival of Keisei Mibu Dainenbutsu (1702) provides fascinating insights into the process. Kominz was present at rehearsals and was with the production at its first and last performances. He discusses not only the production process but the business and artistic environment in which Ganjiro's noble experiments are trying to take root. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

Ganjiro III and Chikamatsu's "Lost" Kabuki Masterpiece

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 17 (1) – Mar 1, 2000

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-2109
Publisher site
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Abstract

Nakamura Ganjiro III, one of kabuki's outstanding contemporary actors, has made it one of his life's goals to reintroduce the long-abandoned kabuki plays of Japan's great playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Chikamatsu is best known for his puppet plays, many of which later became kabuki classics, but the plays he wrote solely for kabuki are not widely known. Reviving such "lost" plays is fraught with difficulties that assume a particular interest because the revival process is undertaken within a highly conventionalized theatre genre. A classical actor-director like Ganjiro faces the problem not only of how to bring three-hundred-year-old plays back in a semblance of their original form but how to make them viable for modern audiences. Laurence Kominz's essay on Ganjiro's recent revival of Keisei Mibu Dainenbutsu (1702) provides fascinating insights into the process. Kominz was present at rehearsals and was with the production at its first and last performances. He discusses not only the production process but the business and artistic environment in which Ganjiro's noble experiments are trying to take root.

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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