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The Traditional Theater of Japan
by Yoshinobu Inoura, Tokyo University & Toshio Kawatake, Waseda University
  • A comprehensive history of Japanese theatre, written by two Japanese authorities in the field
  • Covers the development of theatre forms from the 6th century to the present day, including ritualistic Kagura, Chinese-inspired Gigaku, the court theatre forms Gagaku and Bugaku; Sarugaku and other prototypes of Noh, early and classic phases of Noh such as Ennen, Sarugaku, Dengaku, and Shugen Noh; comic Kyogen; the puppet theatre Bunraku; and the popular theatre Kabuki

  • An absorbing panorama in which the history of the Japanese theatre comes to life, and a valuable book for anyone interested in Japanese culture or dramatic arts in general

  • Copiously illustrated with photographs of performances, costumes, masks, and implements

The first book in English to present a comprehensive history of Japanese theatre, and was written by two Japanese authorities in the field. Beginning with ritualistic Kagura, a theatrical art developed around Shinto shrines well before the 6th century, the discussion proceeds to Gigaku, which originated in China and had Buddhist associations; moves on to Gagaku and Bugaku (court music and dance); and then to Sarugaku and other prototypes of Noh. Due attention is given the several early phases of Noh - Ennen Noh, Sarugaku Noh, Dengaku Noh, and Shugen Noh - as well as its emergence as a true classical theatre and its comic interludes of Kyogen. The discussion continues with the origins and history of the puppet theatre Bunraku and the popular theatre Kabuki.

For each of these performing arts, a thorough explanation is given and numerous examples cited, all copiously illustrated with monochrome photographs of performances, costumes, masks, and implements. The result is an absorbing panorama in which the history of the Japanese theatre comes to life, a valuable book for anyone in interested in Japanese culture or dramatic arts in general.

Published by Floating World Editions
Publ. 2006, 259 pp., 130 photos
ISBN 1 891640 40 2, paperback, 29.99