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Dunn, Charles James (1960) The development of Zyooruri up to 1686. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Zyooruri is the puppet drama of Japan and takes its name from Zyooruri, the heroine of the tale which was the original piece recited by the chanters who, in about 1610, made the vocal contribution to the first full puppet theatre, and who derived ultimately from the biwa players who recited 'Heike monogatari'. There had been puppets in the tenth and eleventh centuries, but they are unlikely to have been the ancestors of those of the seventeenth century, which probably came from China. The first repertory was derived from previously-existing works except for the buddhistic 'Amida no Munewari', the various subsequent versions of which illustrate the changing tastes of the audiences. The puppets during the 'old-zyooruri' period were generally of a type which were held high by the manipulator who worked them from below. This method involved a specialised stage architecture. Mechanical and string puppets were also used, particularly for special effects. Theatre architecture, apart from the stage, was not different from that of the kabuki. The surviving puppet drama of the island of Sado is still very close to old zyooruri. Kyooto was the home of the earliest performances, but the centre moved to Edo in the 1620's. The chanter Satuma Zyooun started there a tendency towards plays of a violent nature and these became popular in the 1650's, under the leadership of Sakurai Tanba no syoozyoo, who performed plays showing the adventures of Kinpira, a warrior of superhuman valour and skill. This vogue spread to the whole of Japan, but was gradually replaced in the Kyooto/Oosaka region by plays of more literary and developed style. Uzi Kaga no zyoo reformed puppet drama with the noo as model and foreshadowed the end of 'old zyooruri' and the arrival of 'new zyooruri' in 1686.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:28

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