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The Bunraku Puppet Theatre of JapanHonor, Vengeance, and Love in Four Plays of the 18th and 19th Centuries$
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Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835620

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835620.001.0001

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The True Tale of Asagao

The True Tale of Asagao

(p.236) 4 The True Tale of Asagao
The Bunraku Puppet Theatre of Japan

Stanleigh H. Jones

University of Hawai'i Press

Kabuki, through its penchant for borrowing from the puppets, has been the beneficiary of a large number of works that were written for the puppet theatre—plays that have gone on to become favorites in both these traditional theatres. This interaction, however, has not been one-sided. The puppet theatre, particularly in the hands of some of its mid-to late eighteenth-century dramatists, has borrowed from Kabuki a fair amount of that theatre's stage techniques as well as modifications made by Kabuki writers to the texts of borrowed plays. One of these is The True Tale of Asagao (Shōutsushi Asagao Banashi), the translation of which is presented in this chapter. The play was ranked among the top ten Bunraku plays in audience popularity, based on a survey taken in the 1990s.

Keywords:   Bunraku plays, Kabuki plays, puppet plays, Japanese puppet theater

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