Jap Theatre essay

Essay Question: How do we equate the dark and serious theatre of the 1960s in Japan with the lighter, fluffy theatre of the 1990s? Is this a fair description of both theatres? Are they part of the same movement? Are they simply a mirror to contemporary Japanese society?
Shogeki-Jo, the little theatre movement of the 1960s, also called the underground (angura) theatre has formed the basis of contemporary theatre in Japan. This theatre developed in a spirit of revolt against the post war Japanese mainstream. Thefirst generation artist of angura, such as Terayama Shuji, Suzuki Tadashi and Kara Juro, created a dark world of passions that broke the conventional frame of theatre; thefirst modern theatre that is uniquely Japanese in aesthetics and practice. In the 1980s and the 90s, as the social conditions in Japan changed drastically, the focus of angura theatre also shifted. It developed mainly in two directions. One is the light, fluffy theatre of Noda Hideki and the quiet theatre of Hirata Oriza, where the radical element of underground theatre has been replaced by normalization and popularization; hence its relation to the original angura impetus becomes uncertain. However, the other strand of the angura development demonstrates the return of radical theatre in the 1990s. Dealing with issues concerning the despair of post bubble Japan, theatre groups such as Daisan Erotica, Gekidan Kaitaisha and Dumb Type integrated theory and practice in their performances, presenting a theatre that can ?§intervene in and subvert dominant construct of Japanese social reality? . Despite their differences in style and concept, traits of 1960s angura theatre are evident in both of these later developments, as they are indeed all, unique expressions concerning the contemporary Japanese society.
The 1960s in Japan was an era of radical social changes due to the wide spread political movement against the renewal of the US?VJapan Security Tre…


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