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In Search of Korean Traditional OperaDiscourses of Changguk$
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Andrew Killick

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832902

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832902.001.0001

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Origins and Origin Myths

Origins and Origin Myths

(p.28) Chapter Two Origins and Origin Myths
In Search of Korean Traditional Opera

Andrew Killick

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the still disputed origins of ch'angguk and reveals what is at stake in the debate. It shows how different theories of ch'angguk's origins enhance or detract from its claim to be traditional. The same is true of the comparisons often made between ch'angguk and other, older Asian theater forms. The closest equivalents of ch'angguk overseas may not be the recognized “traditional” forms like Kabuki or Beijing opera but the more modern genres that have been called “hybrid-popular theatres,” which originated in the colonial encounter. The relationship between the creation of ch'angguk and Korea's colonization by Japan is a particularly heated issue. The chapter connects it with the broader debate, often polarized between foreign and Korean writers, over Japan's role in implanting or (on the contrary) uprooting the “sprouts” of modern Korea.

Keywords:   ch'angguk, Korean opera, Japan, colonization, traditional opera

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