Six Kabuki Plays

Six Kabuki Plays

Six Kabuki Plays

Six Kabuki Plays

Excerpt

These six plays, and Kanjincho, are the repertoire of the Kabuki's 1960 American tour, and these translations were made for that occasion. Since they were intended to be heard rather than read, being broadcast by Miss Watanabe and Mr. Richie during actual performance, each member of the audience hearing through closed-circuit, ear-phone transistor radios, the spoken English had to synchronize precisely with the spoken Japanese.

The method of translation was consequently somewhat different than is usual. Miss Watanabe made literal translations of all the plays and Mr. Richie experimented with the English until it fit the play not only literally but also stylistically, the ideal being a translation so unobtrusive that it would soon cease to be "heard," just as dialogue-titles for foreign films soon cease to be "seen."

In America, the plays were cut, just as they are often cut in Japan. Chushingura is represented by four of its best scenes; Kagotsurube is given without some of its middle acts and without its usual ending; and some of the choral passages are missing from musume dojoji. These cuts are retained in these translations and, in addition . . .

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