MODERN JAPANESE THEATRE HISTORY WORKING GROUP | Japanese Society for Theatre Research - beta -


Date:2021-08-23 / Modified:2021-08-23


■ This working group was established in September 1975, and became a special interest group of the Japanese Society for Theatre Research. We are proud of being the oldest of all the special interest groups of the Society. We affectionately call the group “Kin-Geki-Ken,” the abbreviated name of the group’s official Japanese name.

■ The group was initiated for the purpose of establishing proper methods to study Japanese theatre and dramas academically, so that we could review modern Japanese theatre history.

■ The results of the studies were published in the following books: Dramas of the 20th Century: The World of Modern Japanese Dramas, February 1998 (Shakai- Hyoronsha Publishing); Dramas of the 20th Century Vol. 2: Developments of Modern Dramas (Shakai-Hyoronsha Publishing); and Dramas of the 20th Century Vol. 3 – Changes of Modern Dramas (Shakai-Hyoronsha Publishing).

■ The regular study meeting of the group is held monthly from 3pm until 6 pm, except the periods of summer and winter vacations, at the Kanda Hitotsubashi Campus of Kyhôritsu Women’s University (Subway Jimbo-Chhô Station or Takehashi Station). Anyone is welcome. Annual fee is 1000 yen.

■ The three volumes of Dramas of the 20th Century examine many dramatists. Volume 1 discusses 51 dramatists, beginning with KAWATAKE Mokuami (1879) and ending with MORIMOTO Kaoru (1945). Volume 2 also deals with 51 dramatists, ranging from HOTTA Kiyomi (1946) to TSUTSUI Yasutaka (1973). Volume 3 discusses 72 dramatists, from TSUKA Kôhei (1973) to NAKATANI Mayumi (2000).

The introductions of Volumes 1 and 2 were written by NISHIMURA Hiroko, and that of Volume 3 was written by INOUE Yoshie. The three books attempt to focus on Japan’s theatre history in the modern and contemporary periods through studies of dramatists and their works. We proudly recommend that these books be used in university classes or in the graduation thesis writing of university students. In addition, the anthology of twenty dramas was edited by the Modern Japanese Theatre History Working Group and published by Kanrin Publishing under the title Japanese Dramas in the Modern Era. The book offers you the quick gist of the appeals of modern dramas.

■ The Modern Japanese Theatre History Working Group currently has approximately fifty members, with an almost equal number of women and men. Membership includes those in the 20s to those in 60s, as well as foreigners. Anyone who is interested in Japan’s theatre and dramas in the modern and contemporary periods is welcome. Those who are willing to make presentations are all the more welcome. Please email us if you are interested in an application. We can be contacted at:

Executive Office, Modern Japanese Theatre History Working Group,
1405 Theatre and Art Laboratory, Kyoritsu Women’s University,
2-2-1, Hitotsubashi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo  zip-code 101-0003
Yukako Abe (Secretary General)