Kabuki: Five Classic Plays

University of Hawaii Press
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While its actors made their entrace down the Flower Way over three hundred years ago, little of kabuki's repertory has been available to English readers. Not only are adequate translations difficult to produce, but also because the spoken parts of the drama constitute but a portion of that grand spectacle, English renderings often have an elliptical quality.These five plays, however, were translated from tapes made by James Brandon at actual performances, imparting to them an unusual immediacy. The superb translations are further enhanced by detailed commentary and stage directions that reflect music and sound effects as well as positions of actors on stage and their stylized gestures and posturing, all of which are such a vital part of a live performance.

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.

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About the author

James R. Brandon is emeritus professor of Asian theatre at the University of Hawai'i.

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University of Hawaii Press
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Published on
Dec 31, 1992
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Drama / General
Literary Criticism / Asian / General
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