Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy is a classic play from Japan's golden age of puppet theater. Written in the eighteenth century, it tells the tale of Sugawara no Michizane, a wronged scholar-official who, in death, joins the Shinto pantheon as a nurturer of scholarship and calligraphy. The story recounts Sugawara's entanglement with the powerful Fujiwara family, who accuse Sugawara of plotting against the emperor, resulting in his exile and death in 903. After a series of misfortunes befall those who conspired against him, Sugawara's enemies appease his spirit through deification. Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy centers on three archetypical brothers and their wives. Their fates unfold against the intrigues surrounding Sugawara and his foes, which reflect the cultural values of the Edo period woven into a stylized past. This annotated translation by Stanleigh H. Jones Jr. replicates the play's poetic and idiomatic language and its original mix of register while also clarifying the drama's complex story and dialogue for students of Japanese literature and drama.
An introduction situates the play within its eighteenth-century context and ninth-century setting and describes the relationship between bunraku puppet theater and kabuki. A unique illustrated appendix delves into the construction of puppets and the art of puppetry.
More than readable and accurate... the reader can even sense the different linguistic appeals that the narrative and dialogue portions of the play have for Japanese readers and spectators. Monumenta Nipponica Jones's Sugawara... reveals a rare love and understanding of the bunraku puppet theatre, coupled with careful scholarship and an imaginative realization of the author's aims. Asian Theatre Journal
AcknowledgmentsIntroductionDramatic PersonaePrologueAct IScene 1. The Imperial PalaceScene 2. The Bank of the Kamo RiverScene 3. The Transmission of the SecretsScene 4. Before the GateAct IIScene 1. The Journey-Sweet Words ExchangedScene 2. Yasui Beach: Awaiting the TideScene 3. The ChastisingScene 4. The Crowing of the CockScene 5. Sugawara's FarewellAct IIIScene 1. Tearing the Carriage ApartScene 2. Sata VillageAct IVScene 1. Mount TenpaiScene 2. North Saga VillageScene 3. The Village SchoolAct VScene 1. Tumult in the PalaceA Note on the PuppetsBibliography
Series: Translations from the Asian Classics
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 6th March 1985
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.47