Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu

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Columbia University Press, 1998 - Drama - 220 pages
2 Reviews
Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725) wrote some 130 plays, chiefly for the puppet theater, many of which are still performed today by puppet operators and Kabuki actors. Chikamatsu is thought to have written the first major tragedies about the common man. This edition of four of his most important plays includes three popular domestic dramas and one history play. Chikamatsu's domestic dramas are accurate reflections of Japanese society at the time: his characters are samurai, farmers, merchants, and prostitutes who speak colloquially, and who people the shops, streets, teahouses, and brothels that constituted their daily environment. The heroes and heroines of these plays gain their tragic stature from their conflicts with society. "The Love Suicides at Sonezaki" and "The Love Suicides at Amijima" became so popular that they actually initiated a vogue for love suicides, both in life and onstage. Donald Keene's translation of the original text is presented here with an introduction and a new preface to aid readers in their comprehension and enjoyment of the plays.
  

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Amazing for those interested in Japanese theater and eastern philosophies on religion, death, honor and suicide.

Review: Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu

User Review  - Robert Sheppard - Goodreads

"THE LOVE SUICIDES AT AMIJIMA" OF CHIKAMATSU, "ROMEO AND JULIET" & THE ARCHETYPE OF THE STAR-CROSSED LOVERS IN WORLD LITERATURE—FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Love Suicides at Sonezaki Sonezaki Shinju
39
The Battles of Coxinga Kokusenya Kassen
57
The Uprooted Pine Nebiki no Kadomatsu
132
The Love Suicides at Amijima Shinju Ten no Amijima
170
A Note on Prostitution in Chikamatsus Plays
209
Contemporary Puppet Performance of Chikamatsus Plays
212
Bibliography
216
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Joseph Roach is professor of English at Tulane University. He is the author of The Player's Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting, which won the Barnard Hewitt Award, and coeditor, with Janeele Reinelt, of Critical Theory and Performance.

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