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Kabuki's Forgotten War1931-1945$
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James R. Brandon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832001

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832001.001.0001

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Kabuki and the Manchurian and Shanghai Incidents

Kabuki and the Manchurian and Shanghai Incidents


(p.37) Chapter Two Kabuki and the Manchurian and Shanghai Incidents
Kabuki's Forgotten War

James R. Brandon

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the kabuki plays spawned by Japan's war with China. From 1931 to 1934, the effects of the war with China were still largely contained in Japanese society. The war had not yet absorbed all of the nation's energies. Kabuki artists and managers were happy to support national war policies and cooperate with government agencies. The kabuki repertory seemed appropriate at the beginning of the war. New plays were being written to suit the national situation, timely overnight pickle plays about the war and new-history plays that glorified warfare in the past. These were balanced with classic plays that taught feudal loyalty and self-sacrifice. It was thought that almost all of these plays helped prepare citizens for a larger war and hence were valuable to the government.

Keywords:   kabuki plays, war plays, Manchurian Incident, Shanghai Incident, pickle plays, wartime Japan

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