Report on joint research findings

fiscal 2017

Principal research
1. Basic Research Survey of Materials Relating to Shoyo Tsubouchi and Shiko Tsubouchi

Selected Research
1. Research on Movie Theater and Music during the Silent Era Based on Musical Score Materials
2. A Linked Data Catalog of Movie Theater and Exhibition Materials Owned by the Theatre Museum
4. Reconsidering the Magic Lantern in the History of Visual Culture: A Study on the Intermedial Relationship between the Magic Lantern and Visual Cultures during the Meiji and Taisho Periods
5. A Study of Traditional Chinese Opera Theaters and Genres of Plays: An Overview of Programs in the Republic of China

Principal research 1

Basic Research Survey of Materials Relating to Shoyo Tsubouchi and Shiko Tsubouchi

Principal Researcher
Kuniko Hamaguchi (Affiliated Lecturer, The College of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University)

Collaborative Researchers
Akira Kikuchi (Adjunct Researcher, Waseda University Theatre Museum),
Tomoaki Kojima (Part-time Lecturer, Musashino Art University),
Kaoru Matsuyama (Part-time Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, Waseda University),
Kaho Mizuta (Adjunct Researcher, Waseda University Theatre Museum),
Kazuko Yanagisawa (Part-time Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, Waseda University)

Research Objective

This research project aims to complete the cataloguing of all the letters addressed to Shoyo Tsubouchi that are yet to be sorted out. The project also plans to sequentially reprint and release these letters, with a focus on the letters connected to the “Collected Letters of Shoyo Tsubouchi.” The organization and reprinting of the letters, and research on the letters, make estimating the age of the undated letters found in the “Collected Letters of Shoyo Tsubouchi” possible, as well as research into the content of the letters seen as correspondence. This process will hopefully bring to light new aspects of Shoyo’s activities, as well as the context of the time and his relationships. This is regarded as a project that contributes to the revision of “Shoyo’s Diary,” on which progress is currently being made.

Moreover, the results of the examination of the Shiko Tsubouchi materials, which began as a part of this research project, are expected to be released. This examination involved materials that represent Shiko as an individual whose various theater activities have become increasingly recognized in recent years. It is anticipated that from the manuscripts, scripts, fliers, letters, and photos, Shiko’s achievements in modern Japanese theater and dance history will be brought to light in detail, including the prewar plans of Shin Bungei Kyokai (arts and literature societies) and Takarazuka Shingekidan, the Shingeki activities of Takarazuka and Toho, and critiques on postwar classical Japanese dance.

Summary of the Research Findings

Shoyo Tsubouchi-related materials

This year, progress was made in the organization and tentative cataloguing operations of the remaining unsorted letters addressed to Shoyo Tsubouchi. The digital scanning of 56 letters written by 42 people, as well as the 46 handwritten documents once belonging to Shoyo was also completed, and the “Collection of Materials on Shoyo Tsubouchi’s Theater Performances,” which contains 16 volumes and 214 pages 43 letters from 35 people was also scanned. With regard to reprinting letters addressed to Shoyo, 119 letters from people such as Yuriko Chujo, Takamatsu Yoshie, and Fukusuke Nakamura V were successfully reprinted. Furthermore, a total of 25 letters from Seitaro Atsumi, Kiyokata Kaburaki, and Yakumo Koizumi (Lafcadio Hearn) were annotated in detail and printed in Engeki Kenkyu No. 41 (“Reprint of the Letters sent to Shoyo Tsubouchi” and “Reprint of the Letters sent by Seitaro Atsumi, Kiyokata Kaburaki, and Yakumo Koizumi to Shoyo Tsubouchi,” both compiled by Kojima, Matsuyama, and Yanagisawa). These letters are the first materials of their type released to the public. Atsumi’s letters reveal the process behind Atsumi and Shoyo’s coedited publications, Kabuki Kyakuhon Kessaku-shu and Dai Nanboku Zenshu, including selecting the featured works, the difficulties involved in collecting and revising the material, the economic situation with regard to the publications, and other steps. Kiyokata’s letters reveal information about the binding of Shinkyoku Urashima, Shoyo’s first work toward the innovation of Japanese dance, for which Kiyokata was in charge of the binding. These letters also reveal the interactions between Yakumo, a Waseda University lecturer, and Shoyo, when Yakumo met Shoyo requesting advice about how to introduce Japanese theater abroad. The research team (Matsuyama, Yanagisawa, and Kojima) held an event to report the outcomes from Kiyokata and Yakumo’s letters and Shoyo’s discourse on Gidayu-bushi, (October 27, Building 1, Room 310).

Shiko Tsubouchi-related materials

Prewar performance-related materials from around two of 20 boxes were tentatively catalogued and digitized, totaling 473 items. More information was discovered on Shiko and his activities in the new school of Japanese drama (Shingeki) during the Taisho and early Showa periods, including the Gikyoku Kenkyukai (the drama studies association) and the Geijutsu Kyokai (arts societies) from 1921 to 1924 (Taisho 10-13), as well as the Takarazuka Popular Theater (Takarazuka Kokumin-za) from 1926 to 1930 (Taisho 15 to Showa 5). Until now, this information was given little attention due to the limited number of historical sources for it. The Gikyoku Kenkyukai (Geijutsu Kyokai), which was supported by cultural figures that included Waseda University graduates who lived in the Kansai area, held lectures, recitals, and tea parties, as well as free performances of Shingeki for members. Despite the fact that this occurred in the early stages of the Kansai, invitations and casting timelines were mostly set, and a chronological performance table was formulated. A similar chronological table was created for the Takarazuka Kokumin-za, and the team held a debriefing event to report on it (October 27, Building 1, Room 310) (Mizuta “Shiko Tsubouchi and Shingeki – On Takarazuka Kokumin-za”).

Yakumo Koizumi’s letters addressed to Shoyo Tsubouchi, June 4-September 15, 1904

Seitaro Atsumi’s letters addressed to Shoyo Tsubouchi, August 28, 1924

Geijutsu Kyokai, First performance, 26-28 May 1923, “Komyo” [Feat], Shinmachi Enbujo

Selected Research 1

A Research on Movie Theater and Music during the Silent Era Based on Musical Score Materials

Principal Researcher
Seiji Choki (Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo)

Collaborative Researchers
Makiko Kamiya (Visiting Researcher, National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo),
Fumito Shirai (JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists),
Yohei Yamakami (Part-time Lecturer, Faculty of Music, Tokyo University of the Arts)

Research Objective

The objective of this study is to clarify the practice of providing accompaniment music for silent films in Japan from the mid-1920s to the early 1930s. To examine the changes in the performances and exhibition styles, this study investigates the “Hirano Collection,” a collection of silent film musical score materials (approx. 800 items) preserved at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum.

Based on fundamental research into the musical scores and reference performances and screenings, occurring until 2016, that used these scores, the analysis and utilization of the musical scores is being advanced, as it relates to areas including preceding performing arts such as Kabuki, performances of wayogasso( a syncretic ensemble of Japanese and Western instruments), classical Japanese musical instruments from the same era, and the contemporary practices in movie theaters abroad.

Summary of the Research Findings

Cataloguing and digitization

Based on the catalogue that has been created up until 2016, a revised catalogue has since been refined. The main parts and separately kept parts of scores were verified, so the catalogue was consolidated according to the content of the compositions. A database, organized by opening melody, of the anthology Kino Music Nikkatsu Gakufu, which has been distributed to Nikkatsu exclusive theaters, was created in order to facilitate the verification processes and use of the materials.

Sound source examination of benshi narration recordings

As it was relevant to the study of the musical scores, short play (SP) records containing narration by benshi (live narrators at the silent movie theaters) and musical accompaniment were collected and partly digitized.

At the September 11 public meeting attended by music critic Masato Mori and benshi Ichiro Kataoka, a comparative analysis was carried out for these valuable audio sources, which are owned by both Mori and Kataoka. In particular, the compiling methods and performance methods in several movie narrator recordings for the movie Chuji tabi nikki (A Diary of Chuji’s Travels, 1927) were studied, along with the ohayashi (accompaniment music and sound by Japanese traditional percussion), for which no musical score is preserved in the collection.

Discussions and reference performances related to Japanese classical music performance

In a presentation by a collaborative researcher, Shakuhachi player Satoshi Shimura (Osaka University of Arts) demonstrated how to perform a shakuhachi (Japanese traditional woodwind instrument) part from a score. Only a single musical piece in this collection contains a part for this instrument. Through this reference performance, Shimura suggested various possible techniques for performance. In addition, Kisayo Katada, a Japanese classical music narimono (drums and sound effects) performer, was asked to study the ohayashi that was recorded on the aforementioned SP record, a rendition of which was incorporated in the performance at the reference screening of Chuji tabi nikki (January 13, 2018, Waseda University).

Exchanging opinions with the internal and external science community

Research presentations were held at the Interregional Forum of Musicological Society of Japan (April 29, Tokyo), the Young Researchers Forum at the Toy Film Museum (July 15, Kyoto), and the international conference specializing in film music, Music & The Moving Image (Shirai, May 27, New York University).

Furthermore, research outcomes by collaborative researchers, Shirai, Kamiya, and Kotaro Shibata (Theatre Museum), were discussed based on the latest research trends in Japan and overseas, through the commentary and discussions of Prof. Aaron Gerow (Yale University), a renowned researcher of Japanese silent film at a panel discussion (January 13, 2018).

“K. Sassa Music No. 53” from Kino Music Nikkatsu Gakufu (Violin part and separately kept part of shamisen)

Handwritten compiled score by Hirano for Teruhi kumoruhi (1926-1927)

Selected Research 2

A Linked Data Catalog of Movie Theater and Exhibition Materials Owned by the Theatre Museum

Principal Researcher
Manabu Ueda (Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Kobe Gakuin University)

Collaborative Researchers
Chie Niida(Adjunct Researcher, Waseda University Theatre Museum),
Susanne Schermann (Professor, School of Law, Meiji University),
Roland Domenig (Associate Professor, Faculty of Letters, Meiji Gakuin University),
Kazuto Kondo (JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists) 3

Research Objective

The objective of this research project is to identify the functions of cinema in Japanese film history by focusing on collaborative research centering on data sources, such as materials related to movie theater exhibitions owned by the Waseda University Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum, to develop basic research on Japanese cinema and film exhibition materials. As unpublished exhibition-related non-film material is unlikely to be preserved in existing film archives, organizational examination of the primary source material, which must be analyzed, is lacking. For this reason, this research project uses several primary source materials owned by the Theatre Museum to focus on the composite cataloguing of its in-depth exhibition content.

Summary of the Research Findings

First of all, this year continued last year’s digitization of the Theatre Museum’s materials related to movie theater showings, and achieved the completion of the creation of 92 digital stills from the materials.

Currently, film exhibition data such as audience numbers, expenses, sales, and films screened is being extracted, and the cataloguing process is in progress.

The creation of digital stills and the cataloguing of the “Kyoto Shochikuza wartime cinema materials” and the “Toho Co., supervisor Ichikawa, chosen haikyujo keieikan shisatsu materials” are also being advanced, and meetings were held for analysis to discuss joint ownership and analysis. According to Kazuto Kondo, with regard to extant materials about wartime film showings, there exists a tax issue. As with last year, for the films mentioned in the materials, preparations were made towards future integration with the Movie Theater Program Database. This will be accomplished by assigning movie numbers based on the “Nihon Eiga Sakuhin Jiten” (Encyclopedia of Japanese Movies) and the “Hakurai Kinema Sakuhin Jiten” (Encyclopedia of Imported Foreign Movies).

Second, a symposium called “The Present and Future of Cinema Research: Discussing Cinemas in the Past” was held at the Kobe Planet Film Archive. The symposium began with Manabu Ueda’s introduction of the event’s objectives and a collaborative research summary. The first part, “Historical Cinema Research Methods,” which followed the introductions, began, with Ueda presiding, followed by Chie Niita’s presentation “Modernity in Japanese Cinema: From the Great Kanto Earthquake to the Opening of Nichigeki,” and “‘Warring Cinema’: The Film Screening Environment of Japan during Wartime” presented by Kazuto Kondo. Next, part two involved presentations about Kobe cinema, with Fumiaki Itakura presiding. “The Current State of Kobe Cinema Research” was presented by guests Shimpei Tanaka (Kobe Film Preservation Network) and Daishi Yoshihara (Historical Data Network). Finally, the symposium ended with a panel discussion “What is Cinema in Film Studies?” attended by, in addition to the speakers, Susanne Schermann, Roland Domenig, and Chung Chonghwa (Korean Film Archive), which included questions and comments from the audience.

Third, as part of an outreach program, a lecture series on cinema, “When Cinema was the King of Entertainment,” led by Ueda, Kondo, Niita, Domenig, and Schermann, was held at the Meiji University Liberty Academy (June 10 ? July 8).

Kyoto Shochiku sales book in the box offices (December 1942)

Selected Research 4

Reconsidering the Magic Lantern in the History of Visual Culture: A Study on the Intermedial Relationship between the Magic Lantern and Visual Cultures during the Meiji and Taisho Periods

Principal Researcher
Ryo Okubo (Project Research Associate, Faculty of Letters, Department of Humanities, Aichi University)
Collaborative Researchers
Machiko Kusahara (Professor, Faculty of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, Waseda University),
Eriko Kogo (Associate Professor, Meisei University School of Humanities),
Miyuki Endo (Curator, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography)

Research Objective

The collaborative research team systematically organized the magic lantern slide collection owned by the Theatre Museum until 2016 and released and shared the results at exhibitions and in illustrated catalogues and databases. Based on the results, the magic lantern materials owned by the Theatre Museum were combined with related materials from the same era, such as sales catalogues and the museum’s ukiyo-e.

Overall, the Research Objective of the 2017 project was to bring to light the expansion of magic lantern culture in the Meiji and Taisho eras, and its mutually influential relationship with the visual culture of that time.

Summary of the Research Findings

2017 summary of research outcomes

Based on the digitalized data about the magic lanterns and slide catalogues owned by the Theatre Museum, Waseda University Library, and Machiko Kusahara, the collaborative research in 2017 involved the continuation of data analysis and a comparative analysis between the data in the catalogues, such as title or date of production, and the museum-owned slides. Moreover, by engaging in a comparative discussion on the visual materials owned by the museum, such as the ukiyo-e and kabuki programs, and the magic lantern and related visual cultural material from the same period not owned by the university, the mutual relationship between the details about the museum’s magic lantern slides and the visual culture of the same era is better understood.

The results were reported at the following two international conferences.

International conference: A Million Pictures

Machiko Kusahara and Miyuki Endo reported their collaborative research findings using the Theatre Museum slides and other related material at the international conference on magic lanterns, A Million Pictures: History, Archiving, and Creative Re-use of Educational Magic Lantern Slides, held at Utrecht University from August 29 to September 1, 2017. The conference is based on the research network of magic lantern research and its utilization in Europe, so it was a good opportunity to introduce Japanese magic lantern culture and activities into the world of international research.

International symposium: Reconsidering Japanese screen practice

On December 17, 2017, an international symposium called Reconsidering Japanese Screen Practice: Utsushi-e and nishiki kage-e, and Magic Lantern Culture in The History of Visual Culture was held at Waseda University. Research outcomes were reported at this symposium. The first half of the symposium consisted of introductions to the 2016-2017 collaborative research initiatives, presentations on the research findings of projects using magic lantern slides from the Theatre Museum, and presentations on both domestic and international research trends for magic lanterns, presented by Machiko Kusahara and Erkki Huhtamo. The second half consisted of utushi-e lantern performances by the Minwaza Theater Company and commentary by Fumio Yamagata, a nishiki kage-e lantern show performance by the Nishiki Kage-e Ikeda- Gumi Theater Group and commentary by Mitsue Ikeda, as well as a panel discussion, which was joined by Kusahara and Huhtamo. Throughout the symposium, the characteristics of Japanese utsushi-e, nishiki kage-e, and magic lantern culture, and its future research direction, were clarified within the research trends of international visual culture and media history.

Tsurubuchi Hatsuzo’s Catalogue and Price List of Magic Lanterns and Slides

Tsurubuchi Lantern Company Catalogue and Price List of Magic Lanterns and Slides for Science and Education

Ikeda Toraku’s Catalogue and Price List of Magic Lanterns and Slides

Selected research 5

A Study of Traditional Chinese Opera Theaters and Genres of Plays: An Overview of Programs in the Republic of China

Principal Researcher
Naoko Suzuki (Adjunct Lecturer, Rikkyo University Language Center)
Collaborative Researchers
Maya Hatano (Part-time Lecturer, School of Commerce, Waseda University)

Research Objective

A total of 49 Republic of China (ROC)-era theater programs were examined and organized, and based on this, research was conducted by research representatives and research members according to their respective specializations. Results related to the research of each respective field, such as program location and actors, can be anticipated from information such as the type of play, including traditional theater, modern theater, and cinema, and the point of contact for each of these genres, their performance styles, and the developments that came from them. The objective is to verify the value of the program itself, and to precisely uncover its link to ROC-era traditional theater and the surrounding genres.

Summary of the research findings

Of the ROC-era program materials, 11 were donated materials, and of these, six were donated by Japanese dancer Ryuko Wakayagi. Wakayagi studied abroad in China in the early Showa period, and the Peking opera Lianpu (臉譜) depictions from that time are kept at the Theater Museum. The programs (called Xidan) were from Tianjin, Beijing, Dalian, and Shanghai, but many were from the north. In addition, there is one that belonged to Mei Lanfang (梅蘭芳), a famous Peking opera artist from Beijing, in August 1926; this item was donated by Keishu Saneto, who taught at Waseda University. It can be surmised that this item is associated with Mei Lanfang’s performance in Japan in the same year. The donors of the other four items are unknown. These items are from Shanghai, Tianjin, and Qingdao.

The Xidan theater locations were in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shanghai, and Qingdao, and the theaters are as follows:

Beijing … Shengping Chayuan (昇平茶園), Kaiming Xiyuan (開明戯院)
Shanghai … Tianchan Wutai (天蟾舞台)
Dalian … Yongshan Wutai (永善舞台)
Qingdao … Xinxin Dawutai (新新大舞台)
Tianjin … Zhangyuan Youyichang (張園遊芸場), Daluotian Youyichang (大羅天遊芸場), Dawutai (大舞台), Xinming Daxiyuan (新明 大戯院), Dangui Chayuan (丹桂茶園), Diyi Wutai (第一舞台), Xinxin Daxiyuan (新欣大 戯院), Mingxing Daxiyuan (明星大戯院)

There exist many venues for theaters in Tianjin; in particular, amusement parks (Youyichang) in Tianjin, which have been largely unknown until now, are now being examined, as there has not been a lot of research in the area. Zhangyuan Youyichang (張園遊芸場) is a residence built by Governor Zhang Biao in the Qing Dynasty in 1915. It is located in the Japanese settlement of Miyajima street (now Hepingqu Anshandao 59). In 1923, Zhang Biao, in cooperation with a Cantonese merchant named Peng, opened Bei’anli Cantonese restaurant (北安利広東餐館), a theater, a circus theater, an open-air movie theater, and a billiard room at the residence. The xidan is from June 1923 as well as June and July from an unknown year. The main program consisted of Qimingshe Wenming xinxi (啓民社文明新 戯), cinema, magic shows, and Shudeshe daxi (樹徳社 大戯), and there were fireworks on the weekends. The magic show was later removed from the program. In 1917, Cai Shaoji an educational supervisor in Tianjin invested in Daluotian youyichang, bought the land that crossed over Miyajima street (Anshanlu now) and Akashi street (Shanxilu now) and opened an amusement park. At 9400m2, it was a comprehensive amusement park with a garden. A theater, an open-air movie theater, a venue for Chinese folk style shows (circus, magic, etc.), a deer garden, and a room for wild animals (wolves, bears, monkeys, etc.) were set up, but in 1925, the venue for Chinese folk style shows was closed. From the amusement park program, associations can be found with Wenming xinxi (文明新戯, early modern theater) and early films.

Of the traditional theater performance programs, one is from Ping opera (評劇) and Hebei clapper (河北?子), and the rest are from Pekin opera, and with no overlap with the programs known thus far domestically, they are an invaluable supplement to the current material shortages with regard to region and period. The names of famous actors such as Mei Lanfang, Liu Hanchen (劉漢臣), Shang Heyu (尚和玉), Sun Juxian (孫菊仙), and Yang Huinong (楊慧儂) can be found, allowing for the discovery of the footprints of new performances. Additionally, various different performance styles were discovered, such as actress-only theater companies and performances in which female and male actors are co-stars.

August 14, 1926, Mei Lanfang’s performance at the Kaiming xiyuan in Beijing

March 9, 1935, Ping opera performance xidan from the Xinxin daxiyuan in Tianjin