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.
- Spring '13