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Unformatted text preview: f Japan. Although its low beginning may never have been entirely
forgotten, part of its repertory was also viewed as a repository of traditional morality and the feudalistic values of the premodern samurai class.
It was for this reason that the military authorities generally favored it
during the war26 and for the very same reason that SCAP cast such a
jaundiced eye upon kabuki after the war and strictly forebade the performance of “feudalistic” works, such as Chûshingura (Treasury of Loyal
Retainers), the perennially popular dramatization of the vendetta carried
out by forty-seven rònin in the early eighteenth century. But by about
1947 the SCAP-imposed restrictions on kabuki were relaxed, and it
promptly began to enjoy a brisk revival. Today, kabuki enjoys enormous
favor and at least one of its actors, Bandò Tamasaburo, is a popular star
of the magnitude of a leading rock-and-roll musician.
One of the arts that perforce drew much attention in the postwar
period, owing to the destructiveness of the war itself, was architecture.
Many of Japan’s largest cities, including Tokyo, had been devastated by
Allied high-explosive and incendiary bombing raids, and there was a 326 Culture in the Present Age desperate need for new buildings of all kinds. But because of the relatively low priority given by SCAP to the physical reconstruction of Japanese cities and the gap between any drawing up and implementation of
large-scale architectural projects, the postwar building boom in Japan
did not begin until the early 1950s. To understand the directions then
taken in building, it will be helpful to review briefly the general course of
architectural development during the preceding century.
Traditional Japanese architecture was based almost entirely on the
use of wood in construction. The advent of Western influences about
the time of the Meiji Restoration brought a sweeping technological revolution in architecture through the introduction of an array of new building materials, including cement, steel, and bricks. By the beginning of
the twentieth century, as modern capitalist industries began to achieve
significant growth in Japan, techni...
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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