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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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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 28 November 2021

Kishida Kunio

Kishida Kunio

Two Men at Play With life

(p.172) Kishida Kunio
A Beggar's Art

M. Cody Poulton

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents the decidedly absurdist semantics of Kishida Kunio's Two Men at Play with Life. As a playwright Kishida's style is subtle, naturally tended toward more symbolist and abstract forms, and possessing of a clear dramatic language that nevertheless highlights its own absurdity. Nowhere is this tendency more obvious than in Two Men at Play with Life. The two men of the title are nameless, featureless sketches, identified only by what they wear: one wears glasses, the other, bandages that cover the face. They have run into each other at a level crossing where each plans to commit suicide, and the play consists of a debate between the two over the pros and cons of ending one's life or, more to the point, who has a better reason to die.

Keywords:   Kishida Kunio, absurdism, dramatic language, Kishida's plays, symbolism

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