chapter  10
19 Pages

Communist Kabuki: A Contradiction in Terms?

WithBrian Powell

In the midst of a busy late-autumn season, more than 120 kabuki scholars and critics gathered for three days at the Edo-Tokyo Museum to explore the present and future status of kabuki as an international theatre art. The occasion was the international symposium entitled 'Kabuki: Changes and Prospects', sponsored by the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties and held November 12-14, 1996. The symposium organizers posed five major issues in separate sessions: Kabuki: Its Meeting with the West, Kabuki in the Edo Period, Modern Kabuki, Present-Day Problems, and Training. The symposium was unusually valuable for several reasons. It brought forward issues of importance to the continuation of kabuki in the rapidly charging times. The issues were discussed in open forum. The symposium provided scholars from Japan and other countries the opportunity to hear new discoveries of research and to test the ideas in public. The discussion, by both Japanese and non-Japanese participants, was carried out in the Japanese language.