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Half a Century of Japanese Theater I: 1990'S Part 1 (review)

Half a Century of Japanese Theater I: 1990'S Part 1 (review) Book Reviews 303 HALF A CENTURY OF JAPANESE THEATER I: 1990’S PART 1. Edited by Japan Playwrights Association. Tokyo: Kinokuniya, 1999. 496 pp. 5000 yen This welcome book, funded by Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs, is the first in a series of translations of contemporary Japanese plays. The six playwrights chosen for this volume exhibit thematic concerns and distinctive styles which might surprise those who imagine that modern Japanese theatre is “imitation Western drama.” All are the leaders of major theatrical troupes. The insightful general introduction by Hasebe Hiroshi is translated by Mari Boyd. Hasebe sketches the forces affecting Japanese theatre during the last decade of the twentieth century. He notes the bursting of the eco- nomic bubble of the 1980s and Japan’s subsequent recession, the end of the cold war, the death of the Shöwa emperor (closing any possibility that he might accept responsibility for wartime atrocities), Japan’s financial complic- ity in the Gulf War, the political ambitions and deadly sarin (poison gas) attacks by followers of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyö, the fall of the Liberal Democrats after thirty-eight years in power, and the Great Hanshin Earth- quake of 1995, which resulted in more than six thousand http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

Half a Century of Japanese Theater I: 1990'S Part 1 (review)

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 17 (2) – Sep 1, 2001

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

Abstract

Book Reviews 303 HALF A CENTURY OF JAPANESE THEATER I: 1990’S PART 1. Edited by Japan Playwrights Association. Tokyo: Kinokuniya, 1999. 496 pp. 5000 yen This welcome book, funded by Japan’s Agency of Cultural Affairs, is the first in a series of translations of contemporary Japanese plays. The six playwrights chosen for this volume exhibit thematic concerns and distinctive styles which might surprise those who imagine that modern Japanese theatre is “imitation Western drama.” All are the leaders of major theatrical troupes. The insightful general introduction by Hasebe Hiroshi is translated by Mari Boyd. Hasebe sketches the forces affecting Japanese theatre during the last decade of the twentieth century. He notes the bursting of the eco- nomic bubble of the 1980s and Japan’s subsequent recession, the end of the cold war, the death of the Shöwa emperor (closing any possibility that he might accept responsibility for wartime atrocities), Japan’s financial complic- ity in the Gulf War, the political ambitions and deadly sarin (poison gas) attacks by followers of the religious cult Aum Shinrikyö, the fall of the Liberal Democrats after thirty-eight years in power, and the Great Hanshin Earth- quake of 1995, which resulted in more than six thousand

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 1, 2001

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