ASIA212Varley

The suppression in the 1930s not only of proletarian

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Unformatted text preview: that had previously been virtually all male, such as the theatre. Kobayashi, who aspired to produce a wholesome and modern musical theatre “for the people” (kokumin-geki), sought to blend Western music with traditional Japanese theatrical elements, drawing upon themes, for example, from The Tale of Genji and Madame Butterfly. Some of the Takarazuka performances were modeled on Hollywood-style musicals; others were revues that included operatic arias, internationally popular tunes of the day, and Japanese folk songs. At first, the Takarazuka performances were amateurish, but Kobayashi steered the troupe toward professionalism with the establishment in 1919 of the Tokyo Music Academy to provide his girls with formal training in singing and dancing. In the early years, the revue maintained a strong ensemble spirit and avoided having some of its performers emerge as stars. But in the late 1920s a star system did evolve, along with a special eroticism in its performances reminiscent of kabuki (although centered on women rather than men), as the Takarazuka troupe was divided into those who played male roles (otokoyaku) and those who played female roles (musumeyaku). The “male” performers in particular became popular stars as “beauties in men’s clothing.”34 Kobayashi wanted to bring men into the troupe, but his attempts to do so were unsuccessful. Remaining all female, the Takarazuka Revue became a fixture of Japanese theatre and continues to be popular today. We have noted that in the field of literature Japanese naturalist writers concerned themselves almost entirely with analysis of the individual and failed, for the most part, to follow the lead of European naturalists by moving also into the realm of social observation and commentary. Naturalist participants in the shingeki movement, on the other hand, quickly made society, rather than the individual, the focus of their attention, and tended to lean strongly to the left in their social thinking. This becam...
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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 UBC.

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