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Unformatted text preview: hat leads to the graveyard,
Vanishing with each step we take ahead:
How sad is this dream of a dream! Tokubei: Ah, did you count the bell? Of the seven strokes
That mark the dawn, six have sounded.
The remaining one will be the last echo
We shall hear in this life. Ohatsu: It will echo the bliss of nirvana. Narrator: Farewell, and not to the bell alone—
They look a last time on the grass, the trees, the sky.
The clouds, the river go by unmindful of them;
The Dipper’s bright reflection shines in the water. Tokubei: Let’s pretend that Umeda Bridge
Is the bridge the magpies built
Across the Milky Way, and make a vow
To be husband and wife stars for eternity. Ohatsu: I promise. I’ll be your wife forever. Narrator: They cling together—the river waters
Will surely swell with the tears they shed.
Across the river, in a teahouse upstairs,
Some revelers, still not gone to bed,
Are loudly talking under blazing lamps—
No doubt gossiping about the good or bad
Of this year’s crop of lovers’ suicides;
Their hearts sink to hear these voices. The Flourishing of a Bourgeois Culture Tokubei: 193 How strange! but yesterday, even today,
We spoke as if such things did not concern us.
Tomorrow we shall figure in their gossip.
If the world will sing about us, let it sing.21 Bunraku enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the half-century after Chikamatsu’s death, from about 1725 until the 1780s. An important technical
innovation during this period was the introduction in 1734 of the puppet
manipulated by three men, one responsible for the back, right hand,
head, and eyebrows; another for the left hand; and a third for the feet
(fig. 55). So vigorous was the puppet theatre that its influence was
strongly felt even in kabuki circles, where actors imitated the stiff body
movements of the puppets and producers adopted bunraku methods of
staging and presentation. One sad development, however, was the decline
in popularity of Chikamatsu’s plays, regarded as too wordy and slowmoving for the new, more lively puppets.
If Saikaku was a realist and Chikamatsu a romantic, the third great
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.
- Spring '13