The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama

Edited by J. Thomas Rimer, Mitsuya Mori, and M. Cody Poulton

Columbia University Press

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama

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Pub Date: April 2017

ISBN: 9780231128315

736 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $35.00£30.00

Pub Date: April 2014

ISBN: 9780231128308

736 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£63.00

Pub Date: April 2014

ISBN: 9780231537131

736 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $74.99£63.00

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama

Edited by J. Thomas Rimer, Mitsuya Mori, and M. Cody Poulton

Columbia University Press

This anthology is the first to survey the full range of modern Japanese drama and make available Japan's best and most representative twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century works in one volume. It opens with a comprehensive introduction to Meiji-period drama and follows with six chronological sections: "The Age of Taisho Drama"; The Tsukiji Little Theater and Its Aftermath"; "Wartime and Postwar Drama"; "The 1960s and Underground Theater"; "The 1980s and Beyond"; and "Popular Theater," providing a complete history of modern Japanese theater for students, scholars, instructors, and dramatists.

The collection features a mix of original and previously published translations of works, among them plays by such writers as Masamune Hakucho (The Couple Next Door), Enchi Fumiko (Restless Night in Late Spring), Morimoto Kaoru (A Woman's Life), Abe Kobo (The Man Who Turned into a Stick), Kara Juro (Two Women), Terayama Shuji (Poison Boy), Noda Hideki (Poems for Sale), and Mishima Yukio (The Sardine Seller's Net of Love). Leading translators include Donald Keene, J. Thomas Rimer, M. Cody Poulton, John K. Gillespie, Mari Boyd, and Brian Powell. Each section features an introduction to the developments and character of the period, notes on the plays' productions, and photographs of their stage performances. The volume complements any study of modern Japanese literature and modern drama in China, Korea, or other Asian or contemporary Western nations.

An excellent representative sampling of modern Japanese drama and a substantial contribution not only to Japanese literature in translation but also to the body of Japanese scripts available in English for Western theater artists.

Kevin J. Wetmore Jr., Loyola Marymount University

Few anthologies are as comprehensive as this one, and the translators have done an admirable job in capturing the language and tone of each of the playwrights mentioned. The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama will open up much of modern and contemporary Japanese theater work to a wider audience.

David Jortner, Baylor University

This anthology is extremely important, as its chronological span illustrates the drastic transition of Japanese theater in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Yoko Shioya, artistic director, Japan Society

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama affords rich and detailed insights into the development of modern drama and provides an intimate sense of how theater contributes to Japan's modern history, culture, and self-identity. Thoroughly researched and beautifully presented, it will be an essential companion to the study of theater in Japan in the twentieth century.

Peter Eckersall, the Graduate Center, City University of New York

While not shunning canonical works, The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama promotes lesser-known—and exciting—dramatic texts, even dedicating a special chapter to 'popular theater.' In doing so, the volume fills gaps in the scholarship of drama literature from Japan. It is backed by informative introductions and essays that display fine and up-to-date scholarship in the field.

Stanca Scholz-Cionca, University of Trier

As well as providing definitive translations of a great range of works rarely published in the West, this Anthology of Modern Japanese Drama also interprets, explains, and analyzes the often misunderstood and complex journey Japanese drama has taken since the fall of the Tokugawa regime, creating, by the end, a strong argument for the uniqueness and importance of Japanese theater.

Claire Hazelton, Times Literary Supplement
A Note on Japanese Names
Introduction: The Prelude to Modern Drama in the Meiji Era (1868–1912), by Mitsuya Mori
Part I. The Age of "Taisho Drama" by M. Cody Poulton
Kerria Japonica, by Izumi Kyoka, Translated by M. Cody Poulton
Father Returns, by Kikuchi Kan, Translated by M. Cody Poulton
The Skeletons' Dance, by Akita Ujaku, Translated by M. Cody Poulton
Part II. The Tsukiji Little Theater and Its Aftermath by J. Thomas Rimer
The Couple Next Door, by Masamune Hakucho, Translated by John K. Gillespie
A Nero in Skirts, by Murayama Tomoyoshi, Translated by Yuko Matsukawa
Paper Balloon, by Kishida Kunio, Translated by Richard McKinnon
Fascist Doll, by Kubo Sakae, Translated by Yuko Matsukawa
Restless Night in Late Spring, by Enchi Fumiko, Translated by Ayako Kano
Japanese Women Playwrights: From Meiji to the Present, by Yoshie Inoue
Part III. Wartime and Postwar Drama by J. Thomas Rimer
A Woman's Life, by Morimoto Kaoru, Translated by Guohe Zheng
The Man Who Turned into a Stick, by Abe Kobo, Translated by Donald Keene
Ceremonial Clothes, by Akimoto Matsuyo, Translated by Ganshi Murata
Twilight Crane, by Kinoshita Junji, Translated by Brian Powell
Education, by Tanaka Chikao, Translated by J. Thomas Rimer
Part IV. The 1960s and Underground Theater by M. Cody Poulton
The Little Match Girl, by Betsuyaku Minoru, Translated by Robert N. Lawson
Two Women, by Kara Juro, Translated by John K. Gillespie
Poison Boy, by Terayama Shuji, Translated by Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei
The Dressing Room: That Which Flows Away Ultimately Becomes Nostalgia, by Shimizu Kunio, Translated by Chiyori Miyagawa and John K. Gillespie
The Earth Station, by Ota Shogo, Translated by Mari Boyd
Living with Father, by Inoue Hisashi, Translated by Zeljko Cipris
Part V. The 1980s and Beyond by M. Cody Poulton
Poems for Sale, by Noda Hideki, Translated by Mari Boyd
Tokyo Notes, by Hirata Oriza, Translated by M. Cody Poulton
The Attic, by Sakate Yoji, Translated by Leon Ingulsrud and Keiko Tsuneda
Five Days in March, by Okada Toshiki, Translated by Aya Ogawa
Part VI. Popular Theater by Mitsuya Mori
Nihonbashi, by Izumi Kyoka, Translated by M. Cody Poulton
The Rose of Versailles: A Takarazuka Grand Romantic Play, by Ueda Shinji, Translated by Kenko Kawasaki
The Sardine Seller's Net of Love, by Mishima Yukio, Translated by Laurence R. Kominz
Selected Bibliography

About the Author

J. Thomas Rimer is emeritus professor of Japanese literature, theater, and art at the University of Pittsburgh. He has also taught at Washington University in St. Louis and at the University of Maryland, and he served for several years as head of the Asian Division of the Library of Congress. He is the author, coauthor, editor, and translator of several works, including The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature; Traditional Japanese Arts and Culture: An Illustrated Sourcebook; and A Reader's Guide to Japanese Literature.

Mitsuya Mori is emeritus professor of theater studies at Seijo University and the leading expert on Ibsen in Japan. His production of Double Nora, a modern no play based on A Doll's House, was performed at the International Ibsen Festival in Oslo. He is the former president of the Japanese Society for Theatre Research, and his published books and articles include Ibsen's Realism, Comparative Theatre of the East and the West, The Poetics of Theatre, "Problems of Theatre Modernization in the Meiji Era," and "Intercultural Problems and the Modernization of Theatre in Japan."

M. Cody Poulton is professor of Japanese language, literature, and theater at the University of Victoria. He is the author of Spirits of Another Sort: The Plays of Izumi Kyoka and A Beggar's Art: Scripting Modernity in Japanese Drama, 1900–1930, and coeditor (with Richard King and Katsuhiko Endo) of Sino-Japanese Transculturation: From the Late Nineteenth Century to the End of the Pacific War. He has been active as a translator of kabuki and modern Japanese drama for both publication and live stage productions in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and Japan.