This paper compares Chinese drama in its late-mature period with Japanese drama of the early modern era. It was in the Southland of China, in so-called Jiangnan, that Ming dynasty drama went from its fully-developed to its late-mature stage, giving birth to what have been termed the“four great southern dramas”(sida nanxi):“Lute”(Pipa-ji), “Thorn Hairpin”(Jingchai-ji), “White Hare”(Baitu-ji), and“Killing a Dog”(Shagou-ji). In Japan, it was in Edo-period Kyoto and Osaka that kabuki progressed from its fully-developed to its late-mature period, one marked by the appearance of the“three great kabuki plays”(san dai-kabuki):“Exemplary Calligraphy for Initiation into the Secret Art of the Sugawara School”(Sugawara denju tenarai kagami), “Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees”(Yoshitsune senbon-zakura), and “The Treasury of Loyal Retainers; A Copybook of Models”(KanadehonChushingura). Both groups of plays represent the maturest dramatic work of the region economically and culturally most advanced in each country. Through their comparison, the following distinguishing features of Chinese drama emerge.