- 演劇学論集 日本演劇学会紀要 (ISSN:13482815)
- vol.49, pp.3-25, 2009 (Released:2018-01-12)
This paper first addresses the general academic inertia in the research on Japanese theatre during the Fifteen-Years War (1931-1945). A few shingeki-centered studies have emphasized the government's repression of theatre, but more detailed, evidence-based examination (rather than emotionally charged accusations based on limited experiences on the part of “victims”) will reveal the complex and complicated situation in which Japanese theatre was bogged down from 1931 through 1945.Second, it redefines Ozasa Yoshio's argument that the “National Theatre” (kokumin engeki) concept was not a detestably successful example of the nation's cultural control but a failed enterprise broadly supported by theatre practitioners who were encouraged by the nation's first attempt to support theatre. The National Theatre concept was so abstract and vague that government official, critics and scholars, shingeki people, and production companies could put their different ideals and plans on it, with the result that it failed to provide a unified vision of the National Theatre, whether it was based on shingeki or kabuki.Third, it proposes a new perspective on mobile theatre. The “uncontrollability” of theatre arts was most tellingly reflected in the realities of Japanese mobile theatre during World War II. These realities should be further examined not only by excavating unfound documents told by the performers and the leaders of the mobile theatre, but also by exploring the experiences of audiences in villages and factories.Lastly, the paper concludes that unlike the Nazi Theatre, which Japanese government official and scholars set an example of, Japanese theatre during the Fifteen-Years War was not so organized or unified that the government could control its broad activities. Although research on the influences of the Nazi theatre policies on Japan's National Theatre concept should be continued, they are expected to be limited ones.