By Ayako Kano (auth.)
Weaving jointly cautious readings of performs and reports, memoirs and interviews, biographies and significant essays, performing Like a lady in sleek Japan lines the emergence of the 1st new release of recent actresses in Japan, a kingdom during which male actors had lengthy ruled the general public degree. What emerges is a colourful and complicated photograph of recent jap gender, theater, and nationhood. utilizing the lives and careers of 2 dominant actresses from the Meiji period, Kano finds the fantasies, fears, and influence that girls on level created in Japan because it entered the 20 th century.
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Additional resources for Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender, and Nationalism
The educational policy was to produce the "good wife, wise mother" (ryosai kenbo), identifying the role of women as helpmates and reproducers of the loyal male subjects of the nation-state. 52 The ideology of women as "good wives, wise mothers" was now used to justify the explicit exclusion of all women from politics. Whereas previously there had been various venues for women to participate in local politics, depending on their different positions in society, now, women were prohibited from participating directly in the political process yet were expected to contribute to the nation indirectly by serving the men in their lives.
These references are reticent when it comes to Sadayakko's contributions to theater history. Her early success in the United States and Europe are dismissed easily: [B)y displaying dubious pseudo kabuki [iikagen na kabuki magai no mono] to foreign countries, Kawakami's and his wife Sadayakko's names became famous; yet we can perceive no meaningful achievements, and it may be more accurate to say that they rather embarrassed themselves [haji o sarashite kita]. 3 Her role as pioneering actress in modern Japan is also often elided in these references, and attention is shifted to what came after her: The word "actress" is conventionally applied beginning with the Actress Training Institute, which Kawakami Sadayakko opened and then handed over 40 AcTING LIKE A WoMAN to the Imperial Theater.
He blames the architectural features of the Japanese stage, with its lateral beams, its great width, and its relatively low ceiling, which trick the audience into always measuring the performer's height against the stage dimensions, and thereby accentuate the shortness of the actress. The solution is to build a different kind of theater with a stage that is tall and not too wide and that is also small enough to benefit from women's softer voices. 16 Another solution is for actresses to learn to disguise their shortness.
Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender, and Nationalism by Ayako Kano (auth.)