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Introduction to Projects

Comparative Theatre Studies between Japan and Europe
Comparative Theatre Studies between Japan and Asia
Traditional Japanese Theatre Studies-text and image-
Research on modernization of Japanese theatre
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Introduction to Projects

> Introduction to Projects and Activities in 2006

Comparative Theatre Studies between Japan and Europe
Project Activities
Theatre Museum Research
What is the role of theatre museum today? How can the theatre museum function as a crossroad of theatre research? In a short and long range the theatre museum should find new needs, be open more effectively to the public, and construct interactive relationships with researchers, other institutes and the theatre industry on various levels.
Because of the increasing diversity of performing arts, the change of research methodology, innovation of technology and the specificity of the field, there are many difficulties in developing the activities of the theatre museum more dynamically. But these difficulties can become also possibilities.
In this context, this project refers to the activities of theatre museums (and their libraries) in Japan and abroad and tries to build a network , and studies the role of theatre museums today.
Reception of Opera in Japan – The Edo, Meiji and Taishô Periods During the first half of the last year, our research focused on the Taishô era, especially on Chikao Kobayashi (a translator of librettos at the Imperial Theater) and the reception of works by Offenbach and Suppé at the Imperial Theater. Research results were presented regularly during meetings. The need for further research of the origins of the genre of operetta became obvious; in the second half of the term we therefore began to do research on this genre, especially Viennese operetta. This year we intend to continue this line of work. We will be looking into a very unique way in which opera and operetta were performed and enjoyed during the Meiji, Taishô, and the early Shôwa eras. We will also investigate the relations between these genres and Japanese popular culture, as epitomized by the Asakusa Opera.
Fundamental Research into Theatre Administration The objective for this year will be a cooperation between the fields of theatre and researchers. We aim to find a common ground between theoretical research and practical research, and to find new ways for doing research that will integrate both of them with balance. In the future, this research will include cooperative projects with National Public Theatres. This research should be considered as preparation for future research – The studies of Cultural Environment for Theatre – for the 21st Century COE program.
Comparative studies of film acting between America, Europe, and Japan This year, I will focus my research on American and European films. I will first analyze the art of film acting in Alfred Hitchcock’s films. I will then compare Hitchcock’s works with the French new wave films from the point of view of filmed performances.
In Hitchcock’s works, the performers’ actions include several devices that are peculiar to film. These devices are relatively invisible, but they serve to intensify suspense and attract the audience’s attention to what is going on in the future scenario.
Since the French new wave directors have been deeply influenced by Hitchcock, they also examine the ways of filming performances in their own works. Compared to Hitchcock, however, they tend to make all the devices much more visible and problematize the connection between actors, roles, and audiences (cf. J. L. Godard).
By drawing a comparison between Hitchcock and the French new wave from the viewpoint of their different methods of directing performers, I will demonstrate the precise meaning of the transition from classical to modern in the history of cinema.

Comparative Theatre Studies between Japan and Asia
Project Activities
Research on Wenmingxi: Early Chinese spoken drama
1. To analyse the process of the emergence of Chinese spoken drama from the traditional Chinese drama (Xiqu), and its development into the modern Chinese performances (Spoken drama, Huaju).
The study will focus on the relation of Wenmingxi and Japanese drama, and Chunliushe, an organisation founded in Japan.
2. To closely examine the three periods of Wenmingxi : the period of prosperity during the 1910s, the period of decline in the 1920s, and the revival of Wenmingxi as popular or dialect spoken drama in the 50s and the 60s.
3. To identify the influence of Wenmingxi on traditional Chinese drama and on Chinese films.
A Sudy of Folk Performing Arts in Rural China We investigate folk performing arts in China, and collect photos and related documents to use of them for drama studies. In addition, we exchange opinions with research members on issues of field methodology in modern China. We have already conducted some international joint study projects with some Chinese research organizations. We will arrange many documents which we already collected as useful data for the study. This year we will confirm the distribution of yingxi "Chinese Shadow Puppet Theatre" in Heilongjiang, Liaoning Hubei, Hunan provinces and construct a network between researchers in China.
Research Group for Performing Arts in the Modern Era In order to collect and preserve digitalized visual material and performers’ material of Kabuki, we promote our task of collecting, digitalizing and picture-taking of these resources. We will continue to study research methods of better utilization of visualized material.
Preserving Performances-Comparative Studies of Methodologies Strictly speaking, different from other arts, a theatre performance is one time event. One production changes from one day to the next with different audiences. Therefore it is nearly impossible to preserve a theatre performance. But on the other side, theatre history can be seen as an accumulation of preserved performances. This project is concerned with the way of recording performances and its cultural and regional differences. The majors interests of the former and present research associates of the Theatre Museum who participate in this project are different, and the exchange of the information among the participants should be the advantage of this project. From this year on the project adds one more different angle and also pursues performing in movies.

Traditional Japanese Theatre Studies-text and image-

Project Activities
General Research Project into Noh The primary objectives for this year will be to establish the search database of the Kawasaki Kue-en (1873-1961, professional Noh performer) collection. We will also investigate the Yoshida-Bunko library in Niigata, and will make a library catalog of the Tôgô Yoshida (1864-1918, professor of Waseda university) collection. For the study of Noh scripts, we will continue preparatory work to publish “Shinpen-Yôkyoku-Taikan”(the New corpse of Noh scripts).
Research of Kabuki Play Scripts The roots of the present Kabuki can be found in the Gidayu Kyogen and the play scripts of Kabuki, performed in Osaka at the end of 18th century and the early 19th century . Our research focused on Kabuki play scripts of this period and on analyzing their contents.
This year we are planning to do research on materials on Gidayu Kabuki which can be found at the Department for Japanese Language at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Tokyo, in the Ikeda Archive in Osaka, the Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library, the University of Kyoto and at Kansai Shochiku.
General Research of Theatrical Paintings and Prints The goal of this project is to verify and expand the basic data included in the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum’s online “Ukiyoe Image Database.” The results of our research are constantly being uploaded onto this public database, which has garnered an increasing amount of positive attention worldwide. As we continue to accumulate data, we also work to better understand the meaning and value of using actor prints in theater studies, and to address methodological issues. We also publish articles on our research and develop new research tools. This year, as last year, we plan to continue surveying materials in affiliated institutions (we will be focusing on institutions in Kyoto), to present and then write up the results of our research, and accept requests for analysis of actor prints in the collections of non-affiliated institutions. We will continue to hold regular meetings to work through the collection of ukiyoe at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, and keep updating the information in the online database. In 2006-2007, we will begin focusing in particular on prints by Kunisada I, in addition to those of Toyokuni I, who has been the main focus of our research for the past decade. The incorporation of Kunisada into our research will finally allow us to gain an understanding of the genre of actor prints in the Bunsei-Bunka and Tempo periods.
The Gidayubushi Shôhon Association The Gidayubushi Shôhon Association aims to edit for the first time the comprehensive works of Gidayubushi Jôruri. The Association intends to provide high-quality reprints of them with the help of, not only literature, drama, Japanese language researchers, but also artists and Gidayu enthusiasts and to contribute largely for Japanese culture. Since the establishment of the Association, we have been engaged for eight years in researching a selection of original books and other textual materials. In this year, the Association is scheduled to publish six books as the outcomes of our research, from the First Volume ‘Shusseyakko osana-monogatari‘ to the Sixth Volume ‘Seiwa-genji jûgo-dan’, the First period the Twelfth volumes of The Collection of the Unreprinted Gidayu Jôruri Works by the Tamagawa University Press (The First, Second and Third volumes were already published in May). We are going to prepare for the publishing and to research and reprint Jôruri original texts with the aim of publishing the Second period volumes.
Basic Research into the Corpus of Kabuki Playbills Kabuki playbills issued for productions during the Tokugawa period can be classified into several different types, including opening-of-the-season playbills (kaomise banzuke), street playbills (tsuji banzuke), cast playbills (yakuwari banzuke), and picture book playbills (ehon banzuke). Alternate versions of each of these different types of playbills would be printed for each production, and the complexity of the relations between them makes it difficult to create a chronological chart of when all the playbills appeared. The Theater Museum at Waseda University has a large collection, but this is still only the tip of the iceberg. The first step toward opening up the field of playbill studies is to gather and compare the various playbills scattered in different locations. This is the goal of our project.
Research Group for Performing Arts in the Modern Era In order to collect and preserve digitalized visual material and performers’ material of Kabuki, we promote our task of collecting, digitalizing and picture-taking of these resources. We will continue to study research methods of better utilization of visualized material.
Research on the Folk Performing Arts in the vicinity of Honjo City The intention of this project is to do research on the folk performing arts in the vicinity of Honjo City.

Research on modernization of Japanese theatre
Project Activities
Modernization of Traditional Theatre The Modernization of Japanese traditional theatre, especially Noh and Kabuki, influenced by Western theatre right after the Meiji Restoration. Through rotational workshops each researcher will introduce some of the aspects of this research.
The workshops are as follows:
* Research about the modernization of Kabuki
Tsutsumi Harue : presenting results of her recently submitted dissertation
Petol Holy : Kabuki plays written by Tsuruya Namboku
Ri Mo : The moderization of Chinese theatre in the light of Chinese and Japanese comparative theatre studies
* Research of Modernization of Noh
Takemoto Mikio Tamura, Yoko Matrai, Titanilla
The consideration of Western theatre influence on Japanese theatre may be the basis of research for similar case studies in the European area.
Transformation in Dramatic Criticism of Works by Shoyo Tsubouchi The project will continue to focus on “Kiri-hitoha” by Tsubouchi Shôyô. Each researcher will strive to gather information in his specialized field so as to throw light on various aspects of “Kiri-hitoha“.
Studies of Chikusei Mimura's Diary This research group was founded in 1990 with the purpose of translating Chikusei Mimura’s Diary Fushusôdô Nichireki(Written between the end of Meiji period and the 20’s of the Shôwa Period)in order to study his other works, and introduce him to public. Chikusei Mimura (1876-1950) was a master of writing, seal engraving, classical literature, liberal arts, topography, and folklore. Being of noble birth, he also had the chance of meeting many important historical researchers of his time personally. The Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum holds 145 volumes of his diary (Meiji 43- Shôwa 28). This diary is of great value since it displays people’s behaviors during these times. We will continue to work on exhibitions and publications of Chikusei’s diary.
Engyo Mitamura Posthumous manuscript: Study of "Meiji·Taisho Jinbutsu-gettan" Engyo Mitamura’s (1870-1952) research on Edo is based on the extensive collection of information and the inquiry to people that surrounded him. In his late years (around Shôwa 23, 24) Engyo wrote down his memories, impressions, and criticism of people with whom he had contacts in his life. The number of these pages is estimated at around 360, and records on 95 persons, including politicians, celebrities, and artists can be found. Engyo’s critique is unique because he describes people from different angles using his ability as an excellent observant and a variation of writing styles such as long and short sentences.
360 pages of Mitamura’s posthumous manuscript “Meiji, Taishô Jinbutsu-gettan” were translated and stored in electronic files. Therefore, the purpose of this year’s research is to study these manuscripts and to develop a lively picture of these periods and phenomena as well as of the people mentioned in the diary.
Research of Engyo Mitamura’s Manuscripts Creating an index and a database for Engyo’s "Ganpo"

Project: Comparative Theatre Studies between Japan, Asia, and Europe,
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