KOUNOIKE Yoshitake (1914-1945) was a student of Bunraku puppet theatre who worked tirelessly for a decade, starting from 1935. He took an interest in Bunraku in his youth and studied Edo period literature at Waseda University, receiving guidance from senior researcher ISHIWARI Matsutarô.
Kounoike's critique work can be divided into three periods; practice, establishment, and completion. In the establishment period, Kounoike wrote critiques for a non-commercial magazine edited by TAKECHI Tetsuji, who was one of Kounoike's lifelong colleagues. After he formed his critique style, he wrote more than thirty.
One of the vital points of his critiques was the importance of “fuu,” (風) an artistic quality in Bunraku. Another point was a comparison of performances between two Bunraku theaters, the Hikoroku-za and Bunraku-za. Kounoike commended Hikoroku-za's performance because of their superb embodiment of “fuu”, while criticizing the performance of Bunraku-za. A third point was the sensuous importance of music in Bunraku. These critiques appeared in “Joruri Magazine”, a non-commercial theatrical magazine with a limited print run.
In this article, the author performs a comprehensive study of the “Critiques of Bunraku” written by Kounoike by integrating and analyzing his critiques, all of which were not issued as research publications, but rather appeared in non-commercial magazines.
“Modern theatre,” excluding chant and dance, was not necessarily born from a demand for ‘real’. In fact, until the mid-eighteenth century in Western Europe, where non-musical verse drama was developed, the most important notion in acting theories was ‘grace.’ This ambiguous notion suited the acting in this form of theatre, which, on the one hand, didn't rely on obvious musicality but rather appreciated its subtle form generated by verse. In this essay, I seek to prove that this notion was elaborated on by the mid-Stoic philosopher Panaetius (c.185-c.109 BCE), who associated Platonic and Aristotelian thoughts with Stoic philosophy.
In the Ancient corpus, the most detailed explanation of ‘grace’ in acting can be found in the Rhetoric of Longinus, who declares that “without an appropriate acting form, the discourse lacks grace,” and that “when it comes to expressing lament, one must do so in a voice between ordinary conversation and chant”. We can ascertain the source of Longinus' statement to be On Appropriate Actions of Panaetius, which was a model of Cicero's De Officiis. Therefore, we can assume that the notion of ‘grace’ in acting was associated with the Stoic “life is acting” discourse, Platonic musical acting theory, and Aristotelian ethics of moderation, made by Panaetius.
The purpose of this research is to clarify the trends of activities of theatre involving elderly people, and the aims of the activities through analysis of newspaper articles in Japan.
This research extracts 672 articles from three newspapers in Japan and classifies them into two categories, “watching” and “performing”. “Watching” means that elderly people watch performances by those of younger generations. “Performing” means that elderly people themselves perform. The first article referred to as “watching” appeared in 1953, and that which is referred to as “performing” appeared in 1971. The occurrence of both activities has been increasing since the late 1980s.
The aims of “watching” mentioned in the articles are classified into four categories: “comforting the elderly”, “contributing to society”, “fostering relationships”, and “calling for attention”. In the 1950s, the elderly were written about as unfortunate people. However, they gradually came to be described as learners. Therefore, theatre performances are used to support their understanding and forming of relationships.
The aims of “performing” mentioned in the articles are classified into five categories: “obtaining good health, relationships, and life”, “handing down local culture and history”, “cheering up the elderly by the elderly”, “enriching ‘second life’”, and “investigating physical expression through the elderly's own body”. The main aim of theatre performances by the elderly is to live in good health and maintain a good life. In recent years, both the bodies and the expressions of the elderly are getting a lot of attention as a new theatrical approach.