What are the musical principles, building blocks, and performance practices of traditional Japanese theater and music? How are traditional performing arts transmitted from master to disciple? How are they performed today? This course explores the music and genres of Kabuki and Bunraku, which are designated as UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, by tracing their origin and development throughout history and by investigating their influences on traditional and contemporary theater forms. The course aims to give students the skills to critically analyze audio-visual recordings of compositions and performances, identify the driving forces onstage, and recognize the space for improvisation within the rigidity of tradition. Students will learn instruments through oral transmission, integrating theoretical knowledge and practical skills.
Upon completion of the course, students will have an appreciation of traditional Japanese theater and performing arts. They will understand the characteristics of Japanese theater and music and will be able to discuss them with colleagues in academic and non-academic settings.
|An instructor with work experience as a performer will provide hands-on experience in the performing arts, based on practice in the field that fosters critical thinking and encourages creativity and self-expression.|
traditional Japanese theater and music, Japanese performing arts, Kabuki, Bunraku
|✔ 専門力||✔ 教養力||✔ コミュニケーション力||展開力(探究力又は設定力)||展開力(実践力又は解決力)|
The course focuses on class discussions. Students are expected to read the assigned materials before class to prepare for discussion and to write response papers on the readings and course material. A final exam will be administered at the end of the term. (Note: Syllabus is subject to change based on the level, needs, and actual number of students.)
|第1回||1. Introduction to course 2. Overview of traditional Japanese theater and music||identify course aims; acquire basic knowledge on traditional Japanese theater and music|
|第2回||Kabuki: History, genres and performers||understand Kabuki’s history, genres, performers, and performative elements|
|第3回||Kabuki: Instruments and music||understand Kabuki’s instruments and music|
|第4回||1. Quiz 2. Analysis of Kabuki Kanjinchō||demonstrate knowledge of course material; analyze traditional Kabuki plays; identify aspects of performative elements in performances|
|第5回||Guest lecturer: Lecture-demonstration||understand Kabuki instruments; learn instruments through oral transmission|
|第6回||Analysis of traditional and contemporary Kabuki performances||analyze Kabuki plays; identify aspects of traditional and contemporary elements in performances|
|第7回||1. Review of course material 2. Final exam||consolidate key concepts; articulate ideas and opinions on issues; demonstrate knowledge of course material|
Handouts will be uploaded into OCW-i.
1. Malm, William P. Traditional Japanese Music and Musical Instruments. Tokyo, London, and New York: Kodansha, 2000. (ISBN: 4-7700-2395-2)
2. Salz, Jonah, ed. A History of Japanese Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2016.
3. Keene, Donald. Nō and Bunraku. New York: Columbia UP, 1990.
4. Nakamura, Masayuki. A Bilingual Guide to Japanese Traditional Performing Arts. Translated by Jeffrey Hunter. Kyoto: Tankosha, 2009.
Class Participation: 30%
Homework and Response Papers: 25%
Final Exam: 30%
No experience in theater or music is required. Skills in reading and discussing materials in English are needed.
Attendance at the first class is compulsory for students planning to take this course. It is recommended that students take this course in sequence with (LAH.H316) Special Lecture: Traditional Japanese Theater and Music (Noh and Kyōgen).