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

Translations

  • Asian Theatre Journal 24.1 (Spring, 2007).  

    • Special issue dedicated to kyōgen.  Includes translations with introductions of SuehirogariShimizuSakon ZaburōChakagi ZatōMikazukiOko SakoSusugigawa (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.

Kyôgen

  • 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.

Videotapes

  • Busu (Poison Sugar). Kyoto, Japan : Akira Shigeyama International Projects. Distributed by Insight Media. New York, 1996.

last modified June 16, 2014 by tmoore26@wustl.edu