The theatre company of TSUTSUI Tokujiro, a shimpa actor, toured in Europe and America during 1930-31. He performed in more than 70 cities in 22 countries. In the present paper I examine, after a brief description of TSUTSUI's theatrical activities in Japan and abroad, his influence on the prominent stage directors in Europe, such as Copeau, Dullin, Piscator, Brecht and Meyerhold. Although not genuine kabuki, performances of Tsutsui company fascinated Western directors with simple stories full of humane feelings and traditional sword-fighting techniques. In particular, Meyerhold saw Tsutsui's performance in Paris, and believed it was kabuki. Hence some confusion is found in most Meyerhold criticisms. In any case, it seems certain that the above-mentioned stage directors regarded theatricality of Tsutsui's performance to be universally valid..
In this paper I will re-evaluate Hanako using materials from both the West and Japan.
The first point to note is that Hanako had begun her career not only as a geisha but also as a child actor in female actors' companies before she went to the West. At the same time, since all professional Kabuki actors were men, female actors had to model themselves on their male counterparts and thus Hanako learned traditional Japanese acting techniques such as mie or how to perform hara-kiri.
The American producer Loie Fuller made Hanako perform hara-kiri scenes at first, but it was Hanako's resolution to keep performing those scenes until the end of her career. They were good opportunities for Hanako to display her technique, and Western and Russian artists were indeed impressed by her skills.
Although Japanese journalists spoke ill of her appearance, their criticism was in fact a proof of her talent as an actress. Hanako was certainly the actress who brought ‘Japan’ in the early 20th century and it may safely be said that she left a strong image of the typical Japanese actor, who was skilful and versatile, to the Western audience prior to the arrival of authentic Kabuki actors.