By Samuel L. Leiter
Samuel L. Leiter's Kabuki on the Crossroads: Years of concern, 1952-1965 is the 1st special account of Japan's kabuki theatre within the years instantly following the tip of the profession. It examines each point of this conventional theatre because it struggled to take care of its place in a swiftly altering postwar leisure setting. It covers performing rivalries, significant productions, theatres, foreign excursions, the conference of fellows taking part in girl roles, name-taking and memorial ceremonies, the corporate method and managerial ideas. additionally, the amount comprises various appendixes chronicling the interval, together with an intensive chronology and one hundred fifty summaries of recent performs by no means formerly mentioned in English.
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Additional info for Kabuki at the Crossroads: Years of Crisis, 1952-1965
Each felt his special talents and standing should somehow be honored in his billing. Ebizō, as everyone knew, was the next in line to assume kabuki’s most prestigious name, Ichikawa Danjūrō, dormant for over half a century and accruing historical significance and prestige with each passing year; 16 Shōchiku countered with its own troupe to rival the Takarazuka Revue. It was created in 1928 as the Shōchiku Gakugeibu (Shōchiku Troupe of Musical Dramas), but this was changed to Shōchiku Kagekidan (Shōchiku Revue Troupe) after the war.
Photo: Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum) magarikado: kabuki at the crossroads15 difficulties and was sometimes in serious danger of disappearing entirely as Tokyo decisively solidified its position as kabuki’s capital. But as long as Osaka theatre survived, the East-West dichotomy continued, even after all important Kansai actors moved to Tokyo. There is no comparable situation in the US. One may argue for a rivalry between, say, Chicago and New York, but such a rivalry is one of overall quality and quantity, not some stylistic difference inherent in the type of play or the kind of acting associated with the region.
A major European film dealing with Japan was Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959). magarikado: kabuki at the crossroads13 One purpose of what follows is to show the world of kabuki as alive and brimming with the charms, strengths, and flaws of theatre people, with dedicated artists burning to find new ways to make their old world fresh, and with the needs of actors to balance creative advances with self-preservation. The book is written in the hope that anyone fascinated by the blood, sweat, and tears of theatre, by its achievements and its debacles, by its backstage struggles as well as its onstage achievements, will find a universal connection to kabuki.
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