Is This Japan's Greatest Playwright?

Kabuki In-Depth -- Mar 19

Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653 – 1725) is widely considered the most important playwright in Japanese history, and in particular, in the 12 plays originally written by him that continue to be performed on the kabuki stage.

In 1981, Nakamura Ganjirō III, later Sakata Tōjūrō IV, founded the Chikamatsu-za to revive Monzaemon's plays, staging them as closely to the original text as possible. According to Tōjūrō IV himself, the idea was suggested to him by Laurence Olivier when they met in 1971 in Manchester, as a Japanese equivalent of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal National Theatre. Sadly, the Chikamatsu-za stopped touring yearly in the 2000s, and it seems to have now essentially disbanded. ...continue reading