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Playmaking And Playwriting: Early Play Creation For Kabuki

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Chapter Summary

In his Kabuki sakusha no kenkyû, Kawatake Shigetoshi offers the following three-part periodization of kabuki plays and the work of playwrights: (1) infancy (yôranki); (2) growth (hattatsuki); and (3) greatness (taiseiki). During the first period, the position of playwright did not exist as a separate function in kabuki troupes. This is the period of improvisation, in which one-scene plays (hanare kyôgen) were created through the manipulation of individual skills and pre-existing plot material. Kawatake defines the Period of Growth - what is called as Genroku kabuki - as that in which the Way of the playwright (sakusha michi) was established. The author considers Kawatake's first period as that of pure playmaking, and the second and third periods as those in which playmaking and playwriting were combined in various degrees. Kawatake's first two periods are also examined in the chapter.

Keywords: greatness; growth; infancy; Kabuki sakusha no kenkyû; Kawatake Shigetoshi; one-scene plays (hanare kyôgen); play creation; playmaking; playwriting



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