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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introduction chapter of the book, which offers convincing argument to bring its readers into agreement with the statement of pioneering kabuki scholar, Kawatake Shigetoshi, that "Kezairoku is a treatise on plays and playwriting which can fairly be compared in value to the nô treatises". It aims to make Kezairoku available to new readers and to promote recognition of play creation as a central activity in Tokugawa kabuki practice. It begins with historical and descriptive overview of the development of playwriting practices. It draws not only on Kezairoku, but also on other gekisho, including the Sakusha nenjû gyôji and several others. Next, it offers an analysis of Kezairoku as a whole and in some of its individual aspects. Finally, it sets the historical development and methods of kabuki play creation into a broader context by examining the networks of other creative artists and practices with whom kabuki professionals were interconnected.

Keywords: creative artists; gekisho; Kawatake Shigetoshi; Kezairoku; play creation; playwriting; Sakusha nenjû gyôji; Tokugawa kabuki practice

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