Kabuki Plays on Stage: Darkness and Desire, 1804-1864

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James R. Brandon, Samuel L. Leiter
University of Hawaii Press, 2002 - Drama - 416 pages
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Darkness and Desire, 1804-1864, is the third volume in a monumental new series-the first collection of kabuki play translations to be published in nearly a quarter of a century. Fifty-one plays, published in four volumes, vividly trace kabuki's changing relations to Japanese society during the premodern era.

The fourteen plays translated in Volume 3, Darkness and Desire, 1804-1864, mark an extreme point in the development of kabuki dramaturgy. The plays are remarkable, even within kabuki, for their intense theatricality, gutsy individualism of character, cold-blooded and ferocious violence, realism pushed into fantasy and grotesquery, novelty for its own sake, sexual aggressiveness, and assertion of female will. The plays depict a society in extremis, the end of an era, a time often marked by unmitigated darkness and desire.


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Tenjiku Tokubei IkokuBanashi
Shitadashi Sanbaső
Osome Hisamatsu Ukina no Yomiuri
Fuji Musume
Sakura Giminden
Sannnin Kichisa Kuruwa no Hatsugai
Gosho no Gorozō
Kirare Otomi

Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan

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About the author (2002)

James R. Brandon is emeritus professor of Asian theatre at the University of Hawai'i.

Samuel L. Leiter is distinguished professor of theatre at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and also teaches at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

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