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A Beggar's ArtScripting Modernity in Japanese Drama, 1900-1930$
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M. Cody Poulton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833411

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833411.001.0001

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Meiji Drama Theory before Ibsen

Meiji Drama Theory before Ibsen

(p.1) Chapter 1 Meiji Drama Theory before Ibsen
A Beggar's Art

M. Cody Poulton

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the debates surrounding theatre reform in 1880s Japan, which revolved around efforts to recognize the artistic value of the dramatic text and to reform kabuki playscripts (kyakuhon) in accordance with newly imported Western ideals of dramatic form. In addition to the high social status accorded to theatre in nineteenth-century Europe and America, the importance accorded there to drama as a literary genre exercised some of the best minds of the Meiji era. Moreover, these occurred during a time of modernization, when theatre “reform” (as it was called) was part and parcel of a public effort to create a modern, “civilized” nation.

Keywords:   kabuki, Meiji drama, theatre reform, drama theory, Meiji era, modernization

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