Certain Noble Plays of Japan

from the manuscripts of Ernest Fenollosa, chosen and finished by Ezra Pound, with an introduction by William Butler Yeats

Author: Anonymous
Language: English
Wordcount: 12,671 / 42 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 61.9
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 972
mnybks.net#: 178
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Drama
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An explanation of the artistic style of the Japanese drama that has been developed in the shrines, temples, and theatres. The writer compares the Japanese plays with those of Europe and states that they are closely related to the development of religion.

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becomes as in the Greek theatre a part of the action. At the climax instead of the disordered passion of nature there is a dance, a series of positions & movements which may represent a battle, or a marriage, or the pain of a ghost in the Buddhist purgatory. I have lately studied certain of these dances, with Japanese players, and I notice that their ideal of beauty, unlike that of Greece and like that of pictures from Japan and China, makes them pause at moments of muscular tension. The interest is not in the human form but in the rhythm to which it moves, and the triumph of their art is to express the rhythm in its intensity. There are few swaying movements of arms or body such as make the beauty of our dancing. They move from the hip, keeping constantly the upper part of their body still, and seem to associate with every gesture or pose some definite thought. They cross the stage with a sliding movement, and one gets the impression not of undulation but of continuous straight lines.

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