MODERN JAPANESE THEATRE HISTORY WORKING GROUP
Date:2021-08-23 / Modified:2022-05-16
History and Research Results of the Group
■The working group was established in September 1975.
The founding members were Hiroyuki Fujiki, Hidehiko Soda, Hiroko Nishimura, Yoshie Inoue, Nobuko Matsumoto, Hiroko Fukuda, and Goro Minamoto. The aim of this group is to review the history of modern Japanese theatre and to academically establish research methods for modern and contemporary plays and theatre. The group met once a month at the Waseda University Theatre Research Laboratory, with Inoue serving as secretariat. Two years later, it was recognized as a special interest group of JSTR, and Hiroyuki Fujiki became its representative.
The history of the inauguration of the study group and its monthly meetings up to the 36th meeting (July 1979) were outlined in Theatre Studies, Journal of Japanese Society of Theatre Research No. 18 (October 1979) by Yoshie Inoue, secretary general of the group at that time. The special feature in this issue, “Modern Theatre in Japan,” was planned by the study group.
■The first issue of the “Journal of Modern Japanese Theatre History Working Group” was published in May 1984.
The B5 size, double-column, 8-page bulletin was published at the initiative of representative Hiroyuki Fujiki and new secretary general Tatsumi Baba. It contains records of the monthly meetings from the 37th to the 79th. Thereafter, the bulletin was issued once a year, and the number of pages increased to include the following items: preface, research, research afterthoughts, essays, drama reviews, book reviews, reports on regular meeting presentations, obituaries, and records of regular meetings.
In May 1987, Rie Inoue took over the secretariat and was in charge of publishing the Bulletin. In the “Postscript” to the fourth issue, which was published just before the 100th anniversary of the regular meeting, the group wrote a reflection that it had not yet reached its ultimate goal: “Our aim is to trace and examine the historical development of modern theatre while reviewing the accumulated researches on modern theatre, and ultimately to create a new image of the history of modern theatre through this process.
■Journal No. 5 (May 1988) is the Posthumous Commemorative Issue of Sakae Kubo, Juro Miyoshi, and Kido Okamoto.
The year 1988 was the 30th anniversary of the deaths of Kubo and Miyoshi, and the 50th anniversary of Okamoto’s death. Articles: Tadazumi Imamura, “Kubo Sakae no Michi”; Kazuo Nagahira, “From ‘Senta’ to ‘Oriki'”; Hiroko Nishimura, “Miyoshi Juro”; Tanshi Tanaka, “From the Miyoshi camp to the Kubo camp”; Rie Inoue, “On the play ‘Seisan Kari (potassium cyanide)'”; Hiroyuki Fujiki, review of “Okamoto Kido Nikki” edited by Kyouichi Okamoto.
In this year, there were several events to commemorate their deaths: “Remembering Sakae Kubo: 30 years after his death” at the Association for Japanese Social Literature (March), “Symposium: On Juro Miyoshi” at the JSTR (May), an exhibition on Kido Okamoto 50 years after his death (April-May), The Waseda University Theatre Museum, etc., were held.
■First Research Conference and Research Results of Members
The First Research Conference at Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University (June 24, 1989)
Research presentations: Kunihiko Nikaido, “Studies on Shoyo Tsubouchi”; Hiroko Nishimura, “Sakae Kubo’s Dramaturgy: A Short Study”
Special Lecture: Hiroyuki Fujiki, “Prospects for the Study of Japanese Modern Theatre History
Symposium: “On Kokushi Kishida”-Tadazumi Imamura, Koichi Abe, Toshio Suzuki, Rie Inoue, and Goro Minamoto (chair).
Special Feature on Members’ Research Results – Book Review, “Journal” No. 7, June 1990
Preface by Hiroyuki Fujiki, “Research Results of Members,” Kazuo Nagahira, “Rie Inoue, ‘The World of Sakae Kubo'” Tanshi Tanaka, “Hiroko Nishimura ‘Jitsuzon eno Tabidachi (Departure to Existence)'”, Hirochika Hayashi, “Hidehiko Soda, ‘I am Carmen: Madame Tokuko’s Asakusa Opera'”, Koichi Abe, “The Complete Works of Kunio Kishida and the Continuous Performance of Kishida Plays (editing assistance by Tadazumi Imamura)”, Fujio Fujita, “Toshio Suzuki, ‘The Present School'” , Tadazumi Imamura, Inoue and Nishimura, ‘Logical and Pathetic'”. Goro Minamoto, “Fujio Fujita ‘Viva! El Teatro'”.
■Research Results Publication 1 (edited by the Japanese Modern Theatre History Study Group, a project group of JSTR, hereafter)
The Tsukiji Little Theatre Censored Performance Script Collection, 10 volumes, edited by the Japanese Modern Theatre History Study Group, Yumani Shobo, April 1991
Reproduction of scripts in Kyoritsu Women’s University Library, edited and annotated by Hiroyuki Fujiki, Hiroko Nishimura, and Rie Inoue.
■Research Results Publication 2
Drama in the 20th Century: The World of Japanese Modern Drama, Shakai Hyoronsha, February 1998 (expanded edition was published in 2002).
Twenty-two researchers have written on plays by fifty-one playwrights from Mokuami Kawatake in 1879 to Kaoru Morimoto in 1945. The project received a Grant-in-Aid for Publication of Scientific Research Results. It had been 22 years since its inception. With an introduction by Hiroko Nishimura, representative of the research group, “Modern Drama in Japan 1978-1945,” index and references cited.
Edited by Hiroko Nishimura and Rie Inoue.
■Research Results Publication 3
Japanese Literature Collection: Modern Drama in Japan, Kanrin Shobo, May 1999.
A collection of first published plays for teaching materials, including one-act plays and parts of multi-act plays. The following plays are included in this collection for teaching purposes: “Honoo no Shita (Flame Tongue)” by Awamina Iwano, “Shizuka” by Rintaro Mori (Ogai), “Rousencho no Genkaku (The Old Shipmaster’s Illusion)” by Takeo Arishima, “Izumiya Somemonoten (Izumiya Dyeing Shop)” by Mokutaro Kinoshita, “Aru Hi no Gogo (One Afternoon)” by Shigure Hasegawa, “Tsuge no Kushi (The Boxwood Comb)” by Yachiyo Okada, “Aru Hi no Ikkyu Oshou (A Day in the Life of Ikkyu)” by Saneatsu Mushanokoji, “Koujou Hou (Factory Law)” by Shikon Hirasawa (Keishichi), “Chichi Kaeru (Father Returns)” by Kan Kikuchi, “Tanizoko (Bottom of the Valley)” by Sentaro Suzuki, “Sentakuya to Shijin (The Washer and the Poet)” by Hirofumi Kaneko, “Okuni to Gohei” by Junichiro Tanizaki, “Gaikotsu no Buchou (Skeleton Dance Jump)” by Ujaku Akita, “Naraku (Abyss)” by Kaoru Osanai, “Kubi wo Kiru nowa Dareda (Who will behead)” by Juro Miyoshi, “Shimura Natsue” by Tomoyoshi Murayama, “Nijurokuban Kan” by Ichiro Kawaguchi, “Kazanbaichi (Volcanic Ash Land)” by Sakae Kubo, “Onna no Isshou (A Life of A Woman)” by Kaoru Morimoto, “Yuzuru” by Junji Kinoshita. The volume also Includes columns, articles and bibliography. Edited by Hiroko Nishimura, Rie Inoue, and Hirochika Hayashi.
■The “Journal” ended with the 23rd issue in May 2002.
The report of the regular meeting was written until the 159th meeting (May 11, 2002), and the bulletin was terminated with the plan of publication of a new magazine. The postface states that Plays of the 20th Century II was scheduled to be published in 2001, that the manuscript for Plays of the 20th Century III is almost ready, and that the inclusion of new writers is under consideration….
■Publication of Research Results 4
Drama in the 20th Century II: The Development of Modern Drama, Shakai Hyoronsha, July 2002.
Twenty-six researchers discussed fifty plays by forty newly emerged playwrights and eleven playwrights from the prewar period, from Kiyomi Hotta in 1946 to Yasutaka Tsutsui in 1973. The introduction is by representative Hiroko Nishimura, “Japanese Contemporary Theatre,” with index and references cited. Edited by Hiroko Nishimura, Rie Inoue, and Souichi Yuki.
■Research Results Publication 5
Drama in the 20th Century III: The Transformation of Contemporary Drama, Shakai Hyoronsha, June 2005.
Thirty-eight researchers discussed seventy-two plays by playwrights from Kohei Tsuka in 1973 to Mayumi Nakatani in 2000.
The introduction “100 Years of Theatre,” was written by Rie Inoue, secretariat gereral. with index and references cited. Edited by Hiroko Nishimura and Rie Inoue.
■Research Results Publication 6
The World of Kishida Kunio, Kanrin Shobo, March 2010.
A collection of articles discussing Kishida’s plays from his early works to his postwar works, analytical discussions of Kishida and related issues, translations of his work “Hazakura.”and discussion on Kishida’s plays abroad. The introduction is by Yuki Souichi, “Introduction to Kishida Kunio.
Includes a bibliography of research materials, a bibliography of overseas research materials, records of performances of the plays, an index, etc. Author: Hiroko Nishimura, Rie Inoue, Yukako Abe, Hirochika Hayashi, Keiko Miyamoto, Kei Hibino, Tomoko Saito, Maki Ito, Shima Terada, Mikio Ogawa, Masaaki Nakano, Kazuya Matsumoto, Naoya Shimada, Mariko Boyd, and Masako Yuasa. Edited by Yuki, Nishimura, Inoue, and Abe.
■In 2010, Rie Inoue was appointed as the representative of the study group and Yukako Abe as the secretary general, and the secretariat moved from Kibi International University to Kyoritsu Women’s University. Meetings are held five to six times a year. Research continued with a focus on some playwrights.
■Research Results Published 7
The Plays of Inoue Hisashi, Kanrin Shobo, December 2012
Includes articles on 14 of Inoue’s plays, an English translation of “Dougen no Bouken (The Adventure of Dougen)”, bibliography, and chronology of works.
also Includes a list of references and a chronology of the works. The introduction is by Rie Inoue, “Inoue Hisashi’s Plays,” and the authors are Masaaki Nakano, Yuichi Akiba, Satomi Kamogawa, Katsuyoshi Imai, Yuka Abe, Hirochika Hayashi, Takako Negishi, Shima Terada, Aya Suzuki, Yumiko Sekiya, Tomoko Saito, Mariko Boyd. and Tanshi Tanaka. Edited by Inoue, Abe, Tanaka, and Hayashi. Cover illustration by Katsuhiko Funasaki.
■Research Results Publication 8
Revolutionary Legend: The Dramatic World of Ken Miyamoto, Shakai Hyoronsha, February 2017.
Thirteen of Miyamoto’s plays are discussed, and English translations of “Hana-ichimonme” and “Meiji no Hitsugi (Coffin in Meiji)” are included.
Authors: Tokunosuke Kikukawa, Katsuyoshi Imai, Yukako Abe, Hirochika Hayashi, Maki Ito, Keiko Miyamoto, Aya Suzuki, Tomoko Saito, Takako Negishi, Hideki Uchida, Mariko Boyd, Masako Yuasa, Rie Inoue. Edited by Inoue.
■Research Results Publication 9
The World of Tsuka Kohei: The Erased “Knowledge”, Shakai Hyoronsha, February 2019.
Thirteen of Tsuka Kohei’s plays are discussed. Introduction by Rie Inoue, “Erased ‘Knowledge'”; authors: Katsuyoshi Imai, Yumiko Sekiya, Hirochika Hayashi, Tokunosuke Kikukawa, Tomoko Saito, Yoko Kubo, Yukako Abe, Hideki Uchida, Maki Ito, Takashi Hoshino, Aya Suzuki, Keiko Miyamoto, Masaaki Nakano. Edited by Inoue.
■Maki Ito became the secretariat general in 2022, and the secretariat moved from Kyoritsu Women’s University to Meiji University. The meetings continued to be held via ZOOM for the two years of the Corona Disaster, but are scheduled to be held face-to-face from 2022.
Executive Office, Modern Japanese Theatre History Working Group,
Room 905, Research Building, Meiji University
1-1 Surugadai, Kanda, Chiyoda-ky, Tokyo zip-code 101-8301
Maki Ito (Secretary General) firstname.lastname@example.org