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GORO MINAMOTO By and large, the situation of Japanese contemporary theatre reflects the history

of theatre in Japan. Noh, Kabuki, classic and contemporary theatre, all of these

are separate genres with their own history. For example, in Japan it is almost

unthinkable for an actor who has played Hamlet to play Jimmy Porter in John

Osborne’s Look Back in Anger. Different genres are separated by a very deep

gulf. For a time, Osanai Kaoru, the man considered to be the father of

Japanese modern theatre, even argued vigorously that it was necessary to break

off completely from the traditional performing arts. Today, very occasionally,

actors from the classical genres appear in modern dramas. This is a important

form of experimentation, but from the standpoint of the theatre world as a

whole, such examples are rare exceptions to the rule. In this report, I will

concentrate on contemporary theatre where movement has been relatively

vigorous. With other genres, I wil l comment simply on outstanding