By W. G. Beasley
This can be a concise background - social, political and cultural - of Japan, one of many few countries by no means conquered (until the 20th century) via a international energy and the house of the longest-reigning imperial dynasty, considered as a minor Asian country until eventually the past due 19th century yet which grew to become an enormous strength within the 20th century. jap heritage has 3 large levels: a chinese language part as much as the 10th century, while chinese language types and concepts have been dominant in govt, artwork and manners; through an extended 'Japanese' feudal interval, which lasted until eventually the 19th century; after which, from the 1860s, a interval while Western principles more and more penetrated jap society. but regardless of the ever-growing impact of Western principles, Japan continues to be, on the finish of the 20 th century, a rustic with very distinct traditions and tradition.
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Additional resources for Japanese Experience (History of Civilisation)
The shinpa onnagata Hanayagi Shōtarō commented that “80 percent of kabukiâ•›’s essence lies in the onnagata’s art,” which was devoted to the creation of a “weird beauty,” a consciously artificial image of femininity that had a homoerotic charge. In shinpa, the onnagata’s eroticism was downplayed, and its portrayal of women tended to be more naturalistic than kabukiâ•›’s. But realism was not the ultimate goal of onnagata acting for shinpa any more than it was for kabuki. Hanayagi used the metaphor of painting versus photography to compare the way an onnagata (as opposed to an actress) would play Otsuta in the “Yushima no keidai” scene in Izumi Kyōka’s Onna keizu.
The dramatic event will occur in the fourth or fifth act, and the rest of the play will be there to lay down the plot or set up the character. In short, the play will be filled with anti-dramatic (higikyokuteki) elements. Of course, in order to write of intricate dramatic events, there is no doubt that it is interesting to incorporate preparatory scenes, scenes like black storm clouds roiling over a peaceful sea. But the essence of drama is not to be found in character portrayal or circumstantial exposition.
Yanagita Kunio, who would later become the father of Japanese folklore studies, described the galvanizing effect of reading Ibsen’s plays:â•‡ One is not so much moved as shocked by these ordinary characters, whose tempests, stirred up around the table of a conventional drawing room, seem not concocted out of an imagination divorced from reality, but natural and convincing, as if they had been witnessed and recorded just as they had happened. They did not seem in any way strange or exotic to us who are, after all, foreigners to the customs of Norway.