Works in English on Japanese Kyôgen
Prepared by Timothy Moore, Department of Classics, Washington University in St. Louis, with thanks to Robert Khan.
On the Web
Kyōgen in English.
- Includes numerous translations of kyōgen plays by Don Kenny, and other materials on Kenny and kyōgen.
Challenges of Translating Kyogen From Stage to Page to Stage:
- Abstracts of a Panel at the 2007 meeting of The Association for Asian Studies.
Fuerring, Jacob. Noh and Kyogen Plays Live (Smithsonian Folkways).
- Includes recording of Shidōhōgaku in Japanese.
Japan Arts Council.
- Web site on Noh and Kyōgen.
The Oxford Kyogen Project.
- Report of Kyōgen Performances in Oxford in 2008.
Asian Theatre Journal 24.1 (Spring, 2007).
- Special issue dedicated to kyōgen. Includes translations with introductions of Suehirogari, Shimizu, Sakon Zaburō, Chakagi Zatō, Mikazuki, Oko Sako, Susugigawa (a modern kyōgen play), Ana (a modern kyōgen play), and Japannequins (a new bilingual kyōgen).
- Brazell, Karen (ed.). Twelve Plays of the Noh and Kyôgen Theaters. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University East Asia Program, 1988.
- Includes three kyôgen plays.
- Brazell, Karen (ed.). Traditional Japanese Theater: An Anthology of Plays. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
- Includes eight kyôgen plays.
- Haynes, Carolyn Martha. “Parody in the Maikyôgen and the Monogurui Kyôgen.” Diss. Cornell University 1988.
- Discussion of the thirteen plays in the kyôgen tradition that most closely parody nô. Includes translations of eight of the plays.
- Kenny, Don. The Book of Kyogen in English. Tokyo: Dramabooks (Gekishobo), 1986.
- Fourteen kyôgen songs and six plays, with extensive stage directions.
- ——-. The Kyogen Book: An Anthology of Japanese Classical Comedies. Tokyo: The Japan Times, 1989.
- Thirty-one plays, divided by categories (servant plays, woman plays, etc.), introduction, appendix listing all plays in the repertoire.
- McKinnon, Richard N. Selected Plays of Kyôgen. Tokyo: Uniprint, l968.
- Nine plays with commentary.
- Morley, Carolyn Anne. Transformation, Miracles, and Mischief: The Mountain Priest Plays of Kyôgen. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University East Asia Program, 1993.
- Translation of and extensive commentary on eight kyôgen plays that feature the “mountain priest.” Includes a discussion of how kyôgen performance has changed through the centuries.
- Sakanishi, Shio. Japanese Folk-Plays: The Ink-Smeared Lady and Other Kyôgen. Originally published as Kyôgen, 1938; rpt. Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 1960.
- Twenty-two plays and a useful introduction.
Japanese theater and society
- Ackroyd, Joyce. “Women in Feudal Japan.” Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 7 (1959): 31-68.
- Argues that the position of women in Japan was becoming worse during the time the kyôgen plays were first being produced.
- Arnott, Peter. The Theatres of Japan. London: Macmillan, 1969.
- Excellent introduction.
- Brandon, James R. (ed.). The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
- Includes a brief introduction to nô and kyôgen.
- Miner, Earl, Hiroko Odagiri, and Robert E. Morrell. The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985.
- Useful reference for the context of kyôgen.
- Pronko, Leonard C. Guide to Japanese Drama. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1973.
- Annotated bibliography.
- Ortolani, Benito. The Japanese Theatre: From Shamanistic Ritual to Contemporary Pluralism. Leiden: Brill, 1990; rev. ed. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995.
- Includes extensive discussion of performance of nô and a brief description of kyôgen.
- Raz, Jacob. Audience and Actors: A Study of Their Interaction in the Japanese Traditional Theatre. Leiden: Brill, 1983.
- Mostly on nô and kabuki, but includes some discussion of kyôgen.
- Smethurst, Mae J. The Artistry of Aeschylus and Zeami: A Comparative Study of Greek Tragedy and Nô. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989.
- A model of the comparative method applied to Japanese and Greek drama.
- Asian Theatre Journal 24.1 (Spring, 2007).
- In addition to translations (see above), an article on kyōgen sinces World War II, interviews with kyōgen actors, a bibliography of kyōgen in English, reports on productions of kyōgen, and reviews of performances and books.
- Berberich, Junko Sakaba. “The Idea of Rapture as an Approach to Kyôgen.” Asian Theatre Journal 6 (1989) 31-46.
- Argues that a common feature of many kyøgen is that characters become carried away with emotion or become intensely involved in some activity.
- Brandon, James R. (ed.). Nô and Kyôgen in the Contemporary World. Honolulu : University of Hawai’i Press, 1997.
- Includes an essay on contemporary performance of kyôgen by Nomura Mansaku, a leading kyøgen actor.
- Fujii, Takeo. Humor and Satire in Early English Comedy and Japanese Kyôgen Drama: A Cross-Cultural Study in Dramatic Arts. Hirakata City, Japan: Kansai University of Foreign Studies, 1983.
- Useful comparative work.
- Golay, Jacqueline. “Pathos and Farce: Zatô Plays of the Kyôgen Repertoire.” Monumenta Nipponica 28 (1973): 139-149.
- Examines the disturbing plays in the kyôgen repertoire in which blind men are abused.
- Hata, Hisashi. Kyogen. Edited and translated by Don Kenny, photographs by Tatsuo Yoshikoshi. Osaka: Hoikusha, 1982.
- Descriptions of the various categories of plays and performance techniques, and a brief history of kyôgen. Includes many photographs of productions.
- Haynes, Carolyn. “Comic Inversion in Kyôgen: Ghosts and the Nether World.” Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese 22 (1988): 29-40.
- Examines how kyôgen plays featuring ghosts and demons parody and invert the presentation of Buddhist theology in nô. This issue also has (pp. 53-58) Haynes’s translation of one of these plays (“Yao”).
- ——-. “Parody in Kyôgen: Makura Monogurui and Tako.” Monumenta Nipponica 39 (1984): 261-279.
- Shows parody of nô at work in two plays: “Pillow Mania” and “The Octopus.” Includes translations of both plays.
- Kenny, Don. A Guide to Kyogen. Tokyo: Hinoki Shoten, 1968; 4th ed. 1990.
- Synopses of all plays in the repertoire and a brief introduction.
- ———. A Kyogen Companion. Tokyo: National Noh Theatre of Japan, 1999.
- Includes an brief introduction to kyôgen, a history of kyôgen by Kazuo Taguchi, and synopses (more extensive than those in A Guide to Kyogen) of each of the kyôgen plays currently performed by the National Noh Theatre.
- Kirihata, Ken. Kyogen Costumes: Suo (Jackets) and Kataginu (Shoulder-Wings). London: Thames and Hudson, 1980.
- 102 color plates and a brief description of Kyôgen costume.
- Kirihata, Ken. “Kyōgen Costumes: The Fascinating World of Dyed Textiles,” in Miracles and Mischief: Noh and Kyōgen Theater in Japan, ed. Sharon Sadako Takeda (Los Angeles, 2002), pp. 161-176.
- LaFleur, William R. “Society Upside-Down: Kyôgen as Satire and as Ritual.” In Lafleur, The Karma of Words: Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Medieval Japan. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1983: 133-148.
- Argues that kyôgen offers an inversion of Buddhist ideas of world order, but that that inversion was kept within limits by kyôgen’s close alignment with nô.
- Mangolini, Fabio. “Commedia dell’Arte and Kyôgen: Two Popular Theaters at the Opposite Sides of the Silk Road.” Proceedings of the Midwest Association for Japanese Literary Studies 1 (1995) 39-53.
- Notes similarities in the performance styles of commedia dell’ arte and Kyôgen.
- Matsuura, Koyu. “Kyogen and Yugen: the Characteristics of Kyogen-Plays Seen in The Same Old Drunken Dame (Inabado).” Memoirs of Shukutoku University 20 (1986) 31-53.
- Discussion of the basic elements of kyôgen and a translation of “Inabado”.
- Morley, Carolyn. “”Kyōgen: A Theatre of Play,” in Miracles and Mischief: Noh and Kyōgen Theater in Japan, ed. Sharon Sadako Takeda (Los Angeles, 2002), pp. 146-160.
- Brief introduction.
- Morley, Carolyn. “The Tender-Hearted Shrews: The Woman Character in Kyôgen.” Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese 22 (1988): 41-52.
- Argues that kyôgen “woman plays” present marriages enduring in spite of the foibles of both spouses. This issue also has (pp. 59-68) Morley’s translation of one of the “woman plays” (“The Stone God”).
- Serper, Zvika. “Japanese Noh and Kyogen Plays: Staging Dichotomy.” Comparative Drama 39 (2005): 307-360.
- Shibano, Dorothy T. “Begin with a Monkey, End With a Fox.” Hemisphere 26 (1981) 40-42.
- Brief introduction to kyôgen. The title comes from the custom whereby a kyôgen actor performs the role of the monkey in “The Monkey and the Quiver” as his first role and the role of the fox in “The Trapping of a Fox” when he has achieved mastery.
- Sutton, Dana Ferrin. “Euripides’ Cyclops and the Kyôgen Esashi Jüô.” Quaderni Urbinati 32 (1979): 53-64.
- Argues that the parody of a specific nô play in the kyôgen “The Birdcatcher in Hell” parallels parody of Hecuba in Cyclops.
- Takanawi, Fujita (transl. Alison Tokita). “Nō and Kyōgen: Music from the Medieval Theatre,” in The Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music, edd. Alison McQueen Tokita and David W. Hughes (Burlington, VT, 2008), pp. 137-144.
- Teele, Rebecca (ed.). Nô/Kyôgen Masks and Performance. Mime Journal, 1984.
- Includes several essays on the use of masks in kyôgen.
- Ueda, Makoto. “The Making of the Comic: Toraaki on the Art of Comedy.” In Literary and Art Theories in Japan, Cleveland: Western Reserve University Press, 1967: 101-113.
- Describes the theories of Toraaki, the most influential theorist of kyôgen.
- Busu (Poison Sugar). Kyoto, Japan : Akira Shigeyama International Projects. Distributed by Insight Media. New York, 1996.
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