A concise introduction includes the history of kabuki, its religious background and ties with prostitution, its themes and playwriting systems, and its performance conventions, actors, music, and dance. Appendixes provide a fascinating focus on various sound effects and music cues in performance. More than one hundred production photographs vividly convey the action and emotion of one of the world's greatest stage arts. First published in 1975, this volume remains a classic.A reprint to the 1975 edition. Accepted into the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, Japanese Series.
James R. Brandon is emeritus professor of Asian theatre at the University of Hawai'i.
Collecting 400 eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poems—with the romanized Japanese verse presented at the bottom of each page—Light Verse from the Floating World is divided into thematic sections, each preceded by a short introduction:
satirical senryu, aimed at people of the ruling warrior class and civilians of various professions;
senryu on human relationships—between young lovers, husband and wife, parent and child, or family members of different generations;
poems on townspeople enjoying themselves in the "amusement" district;
ridicule of well-known historical figures;
and poems on the poets' general outlook on life.
Replete with keen observations on the human world rather than the natural one, this first comprehensive anthology in English translation of this major genre of Japanese literature will appeal to scholars and students of Japanese culture, as well as general readers of poetry.
Geoffrey Lewis's classic translation retains the odd and oddly appealing style of the stories, with their mixture of the colloquial, the poetic and the dignified, and magnificently conveys the way in which they bring to life a wild society and its inhabitants. This edition also includes an introduction, a map and explanatory notes.