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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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The Darkening Storm

The Darkening Storm


(p.94) Chapter Four The Darkening Storm
Kabuki's Forgotten War

James R. Brandon

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses events surrounding the world of kabuki in 1939. Most Japanese citizens were disappointed that the China Incident had not been successfully resolved after eight years of bloodletting. After the public's great explosion of enthusiasm for the war in 1937 and 1938, it is not surprising that this level of commitment could not be sustained. Only a handful of new kabuki plays in 1939 addressed the war. The most common explanation was that the fighting in China, now intermittent and inconclusive, was not providing playwrights with noteworthy incidents to dramatize. Perhaps audience interest in the war did not diminish, but weekly newsreels and special frontline film reports covered the daily war news better than kabuki overnight pickle plays could. Kabuki producers were also beginning to face material shortages and higher costs.

Keywords:   kabuki play, wartime Japan, China, war, theater

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