Classical and Modern Forms of Japanese Theater Term Paper by Master Researcher

Classical and Modern Forms of Japanese Theater
Looks at classical and modern forms of Japanese theater.
# 39738 | 1,150 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 12, 2003 in Drama and Theater (World) , Asian Studies (General)

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The paper explores a few classical Japanese theatre forms, namely, Noh, Kabuki, and Bunraku, and their historical setting. The paper then provides a description of modern Japanese theatre, and how it relates to "the new Japan" in its relation to classical theatre. The intention of this paper is to offer some characterization of what Japanese theatre was, and what it is today based upon its past.

Classical Japanese Theatre: Who was the Audience?
Butoh Dance Theatre

From the Paper:

"As in most cultures' theatre tradition, the most influential and remembered forms of theatre are those supported by the nobility or the ruling class. Myth and legend are very important in classical Japanese theatre, and in classical Kabuki, the same myths and legends and histories are retold in performance, over and over. This is not so different from theatre in Elizabethan England, where Shakespeare and Marlowe usually made sure that the play was based on a story their audience was familiar with. For Noh theatre, the royal or imperial court was usually the only audience Noh troupes and plays had. Contemporary Noh theatre continues to share many similarities with Shakespearian repertory theatre. Audiences for Bunraku puppet theatre tended to be smaller and less formal, although this type of theatre was also reserved for the upper classes. Kabuki theatre, like Noh, focused on traditional plots, formal language, and stylized makeup. In the Edo era, during which much of the development of Kabuki took place, the distinction between the warrior class and the commoners was more rigidly observed than at any other time in Japan's history, promoting its tendency towards plots focusing on conflicts between human desires and the feudal system."

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Classical and Modern Forms of Japanese Theater (2003, October 12) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from

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"Classical and Modern Forms of Japanese Theater" 12 October 2003. Web. 06 February. 2023. <>