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Chapter Summary

By placing Kezairoku -- the only treatise solely devoted to play creation -- at the center of the discussion, this chapter gives an accurate, historically-considered understanding of the work of play creation and the place of playwriting in that work, offering the notion that both playwriting and playmaking, as defined in the book, were complimentary and evolving practices throughout the Tokugawa Period. Most important, kabuki playwrights primarily served actors, and both together served the audience. The best playwrights were naturally those who combined a high level of imaginative power with long training and experience, men who came to be highly valued over the course of the eighteenth century. By examining how playwrights functioned in troupes, the chapter provides better understanding of art of kabuki in its heyday, and on its own terms.

Keywords: eighteenth century; kabuki playwrights; Kezairoku; play creation; playmaking; playwriting; Tokugawa Period



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