Chikamatsu and the State in the Kyoho Era : The Journey to Kanhasshu Tsunagiuma

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Explanatory Note : A conflation of puppeteering and chanted narrative (jōruri), the puppet theatre (ningyō jōruri) became established in the early 17th century and enjoyed a steady output of performances during Chikamatsu's time in Japan's three great centers of Kyoto, Osaka, and Edo. Playwright of the Edo period (1603-1867), Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724) initiated his training as a writer under Uji Kaganojō, the eminent jōruri chanter of Kyoto, and came to work, in addition, as a kabuki dramatist. In the second year of Hōei (1705), however, he became the exclusive playwright of the Takemoto-za theatre (the ningyō jōruri theatre founded by Takemoto Gidayū) in Dōtonbori, Osaka, and, by the time of his death in the ninth year of Kyōhō (1724), amassed an impressive corpus of works as a writer of solely jōruri plays. We will be taking his later works into consideration, particularly those historical pieces performed at the Takemoto-za during the Kyōhō era (1716-1736). ……


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