THE VOYAGE OF CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE THEATRE by Senda Akihiko. Translated by J. Thomas Rimer. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 1997. xix + 306 pp. $45.00 The Voyage of Contemporary Japanese Theatre is a remarkable journey through two decades (19711987) of Japanese avant-garde theatre, led by Japan's foremost drama critic, Senda Akihiko. The book presents, in chronological order, sixty-seven short production reviews originally written by Senda for newspapers (most for the Asahi Shimbun, his primary employer) and magazines. Since the early 1960s no form of artistic expression has been so committed to exploring Japan's social and political problems as avant-garde drama, and this gives the book added significance by documenting Japan's responses to the social inequities and political crises in that crucial twenty-year period. Two introductions, one by the translator and one by the author, help the reader to make sense of the remarkable variety of artistic expression and thematic material that will be encountered in the reviews. J. Thomas Rimer, the translator, explains how the brutal murders within the left-wing Red Army Faction in 1972, committed as punishment for "ideological deviation," turned the leading dramatists of Japan's avant-garde away from their decade-long commitment to use theatre to support
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 1, 2000
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