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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Undergraduate Course: Japanese Performing Arts 4 (ASST10117)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course aims to introduce students to Japanese performing arts in their historical, cultural and performative context; and to enable them to analyse and appreciate different kinds of performance that incorporate Japanese performing arts.
The course will deal in detail with noh, kabuki and bunraku: these are the three best known and most widely staged traditional Japanese performing art forms, and all combine acting, music and dance. Key aspects of these forms will be examined using examples from audio-visual performance recordings as well as the scripts of selected plays. Additionally, the course content will cover the major movements in Japanese theatre in the period since 1868 and introduce scripts from modern theatre that have been translated into English, focussing on those that have been performed in Edinburgh. Attention will also be paid to the reception of Japanese performing arts abroad and examples of non-Japanese performances that have used Japanese techniques of performance.

All students will be given a formative feedback exercise that will be helpful for the assessment for this course and students' general academic development.
Course description The course will address the following topics:

Introduction to traditional Japanese performing arts and the concept of total theatre

Relationships between theory and practice in traditional performing arts

Origins and development of noh, training for performers; composition and content of plays; conventions of performance; identity and role of the audience

The emergence and development of popular theatre (kabuki and bunraku); history of commercial theatres; composition and content of plays; conventions of performance; identity and role of the audience

Gender issues in the traditional performing arts

Modernism; reform and experiment in Japanese performing arts; the contemporary performance scene

What is universal and what is culturally specific about Japanese performing arts?

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Modern East Asian History A (ASST08042) OR Modern East Asian History B (ASST08043) OR Pre-modern East Asia to 1600 (ASST08039)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements As an alternative to the above pre-requisites, it is RECOMMENDED that students have passed TWO literature-based courses offered in the first and second years in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the historical and cultural background to the performing arts in Japan
  2. Identify, understand and explain the key features of traditional performing art forms
  3. Present information and express ideas on Japanese performing arts cogently in both oral and essay form
  4. Analyse and appreciate different kinds of performance that incorporate Japanese performing arts
Reading List
Adachi, Barbara, Backstage at Bunraku: A Behind-the-scenes Look at Japan's Traditional Puppet Theatre (New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1985.)

Araki, James T., The Ballad Drama of Medieval Japan (Tokyo: Tuttle, 1978.)

Bethe, Monica and Brazell, Karen, Dance in the Nô Theater (China-Japan Program, Cornell University East Asian Papers, No. 29, 1982.)

Bowers, Faubion, Japanese Theatre (New York: Hermitage House1952, reprinted Tokyo: Tuttle, 1974.)

Brandon, James, ed., Studies in Kabuki: Its Acting, Music and Historical Content (Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii, 1978.)

Brazell, Karen, Traditional Japanese Theater: An Anthology of Plays (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.)

Clay, Simon T. tr. Iwasaki Masuhiro. A Country Far from Here. (Tokyo: Japan Foundation 2006.)

Dunn, Charles J. and Torigoe Bunzô, The Actors' Analects (Yakusha Rongo), Edited, Translated and with an Introduction and Notes (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1969.)

Gerstle, C Andrew, Chikamatsu: 5 Late Plays (New York: Columbia Unviersity Press, 2001.)

Gerstle, C. Andrew, Circles of Fantasy: Convention in the Plays of Chikamatsu (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986.)

Gerstle, C Andrew, " Heroic Honor: Chikamatsu and the Samurai Ideal" in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 57, No 2 (1997): 307-81.

Gerstle, C. Andrew, Inobe Kiyoshi and Malm, William P., Theatre as Music: The Bunraku Play "Mt Imo and Mt. Se: An Exemplary Tale of Womanly Virtue" (Ann Arbor: Centre for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 1990.)

Halford, Aubrey S. and Halford, Giovanna M., The Kabuki Handbook (Tokyo: Tuttle, 1956.)

Hare, Thomas Blenman, Zeami's Style: the Nô Plays of Zeami Motokiyo (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1986.)

Jones, Stanleigh H. Jr., "Miracle at Yaguchi Ferry: A Japanese Puppet Play and its Metamorphosis to Kabuki," in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 38, No. 1, 1978.

Jones, Stanleigh H, Jr., tr. Takeda Izumo et. al., Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1985.)

Jones, Stanleigh H. Jr., Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees: A Masterpiece of the Eighteenth Century Japanese Puppet Theater (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.)

Kawatake Toshio, A History of Japanese Theatre, Volume 2: Bunraku and Kabuki (Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkôkai, 1971.)

Keene, Donald, Dawn to the West (New York: Henry Holt, 1987.)

Keene, Donald, The Major Plays of Chikamatsu (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1961.)

Keene, Donald tr., Yoshida Kenkô, Essays in Idleness (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1967.)

Klopfenstein, Eduard, ¿Gassaku - Co-authorship in Classical Jôruri of the Eighteenth Century, in Nish, Ian and Dunn, Charles J. eds., European Studies on Japan (Tenterden, Kent: Paul Norbury 1979.)

Kominz, Laurence, 'Origins of Kabuki Acting in Medieval Japanese Drama' in Asian Theatre Journal, Volume 5, No. 2, Fall 1988.

Komparu Kunio, The Noh Theater: Principles and Perspectives (New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1983.)

Konishi Jin'ichi, "Association and Progression: Principles of Integration in Anthologies and Sequences of Japanese Court Poetry," in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 21, 1958.

Kornicki, Peter F., The Reform of Fiction in Meiji Japan (London: Oxford Oriental Monographs, Ithaca, 1982.)
McCullough, Helen Craig tr. Yoshitsune: a Fifteenth Century Japanese Chronicle (Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1966.)

McCullough, Helen Craig tr., The Tale of the Heike (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988.)

Miner, Earl, Odagiri Hiroko and Morrell, Robert E. eds., Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1985.)

Nearman, Mark J., 'The Visions of a Creative Artist: Zenchiku's Rokurin Ichiro Treatises' four-part translation in Monumenta Nipponica Nos. 50:2, Summer 1995, 50:3, Autumn 1995, 50:4, Winter 1995 and 51:1, Spring 1996.

Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkôkai tr. Japanese Nô Drama II (Tokyo: Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkôkai, 1960.)

O'Neill, P.G., Early Nô Drama: Its Background, Character and Development 1300-1450 (London: Percy Lund, Humphries and Company Limited, 1958.)

Ortolani, Benito, The Japanese Theatre: From Shamanistic Ritual to Contemporary Pluralism (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1990.)

Ôshima, Mark tr. Nakamura Matazô, Kabuki Backstage, Onstage: An Actor's Life (Tokyo: Kôdansha, 1990.)

Parker, Helen S E, Progressive Traditions: An Illustrated Study of Plot Repetition in Traditional Japanese Theatre, Brill's Japanese Studies Library Series No. 22, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, 2005.

Parker, Helen, 'Drama as Celebration: Seasonal Festivals in Kabuki of the Tokugawa Period' in Cosmos, the Journal of the Traditional Cosmology Society, volume 10 (Edinburgh: Hisarlik Press, 1994.)

Pinnington, Noel J., 'Crossed Paths: Zeami's Transmission to Zenchiku' in Monumenta Nipponica, No. 52:2, Summer 1997.

Powell, Brian, Kabuki in Modern Japan: Mayama Seika and his Plays (Houndmills, Hants. and London: St Antony's Macmillan Series, Macmillan, 1990.)

Powell, Brian. Japan's Modern Theatre: A Century of Change and Continuity (London: Japan Library, 2002.)

Quinn, Shelley Fenno, 'How to Write a Noh Play: Zeami's Sandô' in Monumenta Nipponica, No. 48:1, Spring 1993.

Rath, Eric C. 'Legends, Secrets and Authority: Hachijô Kadenshô and Early Modern Noh' in Monumenta Nipponica, No. 54:2, Summer 1999

Tyler, Royall tr. Japanese Nô Dramas, Penguin Classics (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1992.)

Yasuda, Kenneth, 'Ataka: The Dramatic Structure of a Nô Play' in Monumenta Nipponica, vol 27, no.4, Winter 1972.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Helen Parker
Tel: (0131 6)50 4230
Course secretaryMrs Alexandra Marie Aedo Mezeul
Tel: (0131 6)50 3702
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