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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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Akita Ujaku

Akita Ujaku

The Skeletons’ Dance

(p.134) Akita Ujaku
A Beggar's Art

M. Cody Poulton

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter provides a translation for Akita Ujaku's The Skeletons' Dance—one of the first works to address the slaughter of Koreans after the 1923 earthquake. The Skeletons' Dance does not portray the earthquake itself; it is set some hundreds of miles away from Tokyo, in an evacuation tent at “M” (Morioka?) Station. Here Ujaku is less interested in a realistic rendering of the disaster than in capturing its political, social, and spiritual effect; hence his call for a “liberation of subjectivity.” In his directions, Ujaku indicates that “Cubist staging could be employed here. It might be interesting to try the 'Mavo' style,” with “Mavo” referring to a constructivist movement initiated by Murayama Tomoyoshi, Ogata Kamenosuke, Yanase Masamu, and others.

Keywords:   Akita Ujaku, The Skeletons' Dance, Korean massacre, Great Kantō Earthquake, 1923 earthquake, liberation of subjectivity

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