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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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Japan and Kabuki at the Zenith

Japan and Kabuki at the Zenith


(p.188) Chapter Seven Japan and Kabuki at the Zenith
Kabuki's Forgotten War

James R. Brandon

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses events surrounding the world of kabuki in 1942. Among these is Japan's noble, civilizing mission in China and the Pacific; its use of theater as cultural propaganda; arrival of some twenty new plays to kabuki stages, stimulated by public excitement over the nation's stunning military successes; and the Bureau of Information's focus on three major initiatives that affected kabuki: it began to support Theater for the Masses, it continued to urge kabuki troupes to stage Citizens' Dramas, and it expanded the League of Touring Theaters. Each of these initiatives is assessed in turn. The chapter then considers greater restrictions imposed on kabuki and other forms of theater and how kabuki's dramatic fictions had to compete with stories of real Japanese dying every day while fighting for the nation.

Keywords:   kabuki theater, kabuki troupes, Citizens's Dramas, League of Touring Theaters, propaganda, wartime Japan

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