Introducing Japanese Theater

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Editor in Chief:Samuel L. Leiter, Ph.D.

Introducing Japanese Theater: a New Digital Anthology in Four Parts :

  • 01.Lectures

    a. Introduction to Kabuki by Samuel L. Leiter (Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY, Emeritus).

    1. Historical Background
    2. Conventions 
    3. Theaters 
    4. Plays and Dances 
    5. Actors and Acting  

    b. Introduction to Noh by John Oglevee (Nohgaku Theater, Tokyo) 

    1. Historical Background 
    2. Theatrical Divisions: Mugen and Genzai 
    3. Main Categories: Gobandat 
    4. Acting and Actors 
    5. Hayashi: Music and Musicians 
    6. The Stage 

    c. Introduction to Modern Theater (19th – 21st centuries) by David Jortner (Baylor University)

    1. Meiji Era (1868-1912) 
    2. New Drama: Shinpa and Shingeki
    3. Kantō Earthquake and after 
    4. Post-World War II  
    5. 1960s 
    6. 1980s-2020 
    7. Special Focus: Tadashi Suzuki 
    8. Special Focus: Shimizu Kunio 

    Duration of lectures: approximately 70-90 minutes eachsplit into short sections (10-15 min. each). 

    Lectures include:images, clips of performances, and archival materials (such as production photos, sketches, and more).  

    Supplementary materials: summaries, glossaries, bibliographies, and “further reading” lists. 

  • 02.Practice Demonstrations – Noh

    Short videos (5-10 minutes each) providing practical demonstrations of various aspects of Noh given by shite actors Teruhisa Oshima and Kinue Oshima (Kita School) and kotsuzumi player Kayu Omura (Ko School). 

    Videos include:  

    • Masks: Ko-omote, Shakumi, Deigan, Hannya, Kantan-otoko, Shin-men. 
    • Utai (chant): Wagin and Gogin 
    • Ōgi (fans) 
    • Kotsuzumi (shoulder drum) 
    • Chant and Drum: Kiri from Shōjō 
    • Shimai from Yashima  
    • Shimai from Hagoromo 
    1. All videos are in Japanese, with English subtitles.  
    2. All videos include short opening text “slides,” for context and overview. 
  • 03.Workshops

    A series of workshops for learning basic movement patterns and techniques. 

    a. Nihon Buyō by Kaya Yamazaki: 10 video tutorials (5-7 minutes each), and a special short dance recital at the end.  

    1. Introduction
    2. Seated Bowing 
    3. Nihon buyō and Kabuki 
    4. Female-Role Postures 
    5. Head Movements  
    6. Ma: Interval and Timing 
    7. Female-Style Walking  
    8. Male-Role Postures and Movements 
    9. Using the Fan 
    10. Mai and Odori 

    b. Noh Kata by Kinue Oshima: the basics of eight different kata (in Japanese with English translation): Kamae, Suriashi, Hakobi, Shikake, Hiraki, Sashi, Mawashi, Shiori.

  • 04.Interviews

    Four interviews, each 15-25 minutes long (the first three are in Japanese with English subtitles).

    a. Female shite actor Kinue Oshima discusses her art and practice in a still widely male-dominated art form.

    b. Shite actor Teruhisa Oshima discusses his journey in the world of Noh.

    c. Female kotsuzumi player Kayu Omura discusses her life and work as a Noh musician.

    d. Japanese expatriate director Izumi Ashizawa (State University of New York, Stony Brook), who uses traditional Japanese concepts in her productions.

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