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date: 26 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Despite growing interest in Asian Shakespeare performances, the intercultural strategy of Asian Shakespeare has largely been discussed from a scenographic perspective due to its powerful visual representations that transcend cultural boundaries. This chapter aims to correct the overemphasis on visual representation in critical assessment of Japanese Shakespeare performances by discussing, first, the presence of language in Yukio Ninagawa’s Shakespeare productions, and, second, the characteristic use of dramatic texts in productions by the Ku Na’uka Theatre Company, Mansai Nomura, and the Shakespeare for Children Company, which each demonstrate bold and unique modes of engagement with the text. The chapter finally discusses whether or not there is a uniquely Japanese theatrical response to the text and, if so, what cultural factors lie behind it.

Keywords: Key terms, Japanese, Asian Shakespeare, visual representation, language, Yukio Ninagawa, Ku Na’uke Theatre Company, Mansai Nomura, Shakespeare for Children Company, engagement with text

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