Hirata Oriza's Tokyo Notes, which has had some forty productions since it won the thirty-ninth Kishida Kunio Award, Japan's highest prize for new drama, in 1995, toured North America in the fall of 2000. In its focus on the understated and ordinary, the play is an exemplary work of the shizuka na engeki (quiet theatre) movement prevalent in Japan in the past decade. In his introduction, translator M. Cody Poulton argues that while Hirata's theatre recalls the naturalism of early-twentieth-century shingeki (new theatre), the playwright's aversion to dramatic convention and overt expressions of emotion or ideological messages, as well as his use of colloquial Japanese, make him a significant voice in contemporary Japanese theatre.
Asian Theatre Journal – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 1, 2002