Performing Shakespeare in Japan

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Shakespeare has an astonishingly rich and varied performance tradition in Japan, stretching from the Westernizing and modernizing ferment of the nineteenth-century Meiji era to the postmodern performance culture. How has the tradition evolved? Where is it going? How is it to be accounted for in theatrical and cultural terms? What does it mean to perform Shakespeare in Japan? Such questions are raised in this 2001 book's introduction and pursued in fourteen essays on key aspects, moments and personalities in the performance tradition. These are followed by provocative interviews with four leading directors (Deguchi Norio, Ninagawa Yukio, Suzuki Tadashi and Noda Hideki) and with one leading performer (Hira Mikijiro). Unlike the very few existing books on Japanese Shakespeare, this book concentrates on modern and postmodern theatre, from c.1970, and contains contributions from both Japanese and Western scholars and theatre practitioners.