2023 年 22 巻 1 号 p. 30-45
Westernized theater emerged amidst Japan’s existing theater circuit during the early 20th century. Soon after, in the 1920s, Japan’s puppet theater scene saw the emergence of its Western counterpart. The pivotal moment came in 1923 when the marionette play Aglavaine et Sélysette was performed by Ito Kisaku and Senda Koreya, who would later become active in the shingeki theater world. While this play is widely recognized as pioneering the establishment of modern Japanese puppet theater, there has been little discussion about the period leading up to this performance. This thesis focuses on the context that led to the birth of modern Japanese puppet theater by examining discourse surrounding the art form in the 1900s and 1910s. Specifically, it explores why a new form of puppet theater emerged at this time, the concrete influences that shaped the creation of the ''Western-style,'' and the changes in the perception of the art form in Japan. The thesis first compares the performances of the Victorian marionette troupe, the D'Arc, which came to Japan in 1894, with the performance of Aglavaine et Sélysette of Ito and Senda in 1923. While the former was viewed as a mere spectacle, the latter was recognized as a sophisticated theatrical work. Second, to trace the evolution of perceptions of puppet theater between these two performances and the impact it had on the Japanese theater scene, this thesis refers to the commentary on Western puppet theater that appeared in literary and theatre-focused magazines, such as Kabuki, from 1905 onward. Likewise, critical discourse on Japanese puppet theater in general, found in Kabuki and Engei Gahō, are also compared. One notable influence of Western puppet theater on Japanese shingeki theater was the incorporation of costume designs from German artistic puppet theater into a shingeki play, which demonstrated the growing appreciation for Western puppet theater as a serious art form. Lastly, this thesis examines how Tsubouchi Shoyo re-evaluated Japanese puppet theater, in the late 1910s, by comparing it with Western puppet theater.