- 演劇学論集 日本演劇学会紀要 (ISSN:13482815)
- vol.72, pp.1-21, 2021-06-15 (Released:2021-06-29)
Currently, a simultaneous audio commentary “Earphone-Guide” is provided in Kabuki performances through earphones to explain the synopsis, casting, costumes, tools, and Kabuki-specific conventions in a timely manner as the drama progresses. Officially introduced at the Kabuki-za Theater in November 1975, it was an epoch-making attempt in the history of theater, providing commentary for native speakers of Japanese. Since its introduction, it has been used by many spectators, but, while it occupies an important position in Kabuki, several pros and cons have been identified since its introduction, and even now, 45 years later.Based on this situation, we will clarify the background and origin of the Earphone-Guide, describe what the Japanese commentary in Kabuki comprises, and examine the relationship between the audience and the commentary during the viewing experience by comparing it with the announcer of radio stage broadcasts. In recent years, research on the relationship between theater and new media has been progressing, both visually and audibly. By discussing the Earphone-Guide, I hope to help explore the possibilities of the use of “guide” in theaters in the future.