By Ayako Kano (auth.)
Weaving jointly cautious readings of performs and reports, memoirs and interviews, biographies and important essays, appearing Like a lady in glossy Japan lines the emergence of the 1st iteration of recent actresses in Japan, a kingdom during which male actors had lengthy ruled the general public level. What emerges is a colourful and complicated photograph of recent jap gender, theater, and nationhood. utilizing the lives and careers of 2 dominant actresses from the Meiji period, Kano finds the fantasies, fears, and effect that ladies on degree created in Japan because it entered the 20 th century.
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Extra info for Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender, and Nationalism
The part after she becomes self-aware could never be performed by a man. It is because a woman speaks at the top of her naturally thin voice [hosoi onna no ji no koe], and dares to let the sound of fury resonate, that the two words "self awareness" echo in the audience's hearts. It wouldn't work if a man were to use a feminine falsetto [onna no tsukuri goe]. " 9 In Tamura's view, then, a woman and her voice are naturally thin, but she can convey a woman's strength by raising her natural voice; a man, on the other hand can convey a woman's weakness by manipulating his voice, but as soon as he tries to convey a woman's strength, he reverts back to his natural masculinity.
This becomes clear in the arguments of several critics. If, as these critics insist, it goes without saying that a real woman would be better to perform women's roles, why should there be any need for onnagata? This is indeed Minaguchi's viewpoint, and he reluctantly admits that the onnagata has a bleak future: Considered "from the perspective of the national theater [kokugeki] of Japan in the future," 36 something as unnatural as men acting as women would not be allowed. Minaguchi insists that he is not proactress at heart, that personally he believes men to be superior to women in the artistic realm, and that the onnagata's art is unique to Japan and should be shown abroad as welL Minaguchi's tone betrays his aversion to the theater of the future in which it is assumed that men should play men and women play women.
In 1888, the year after Sadayakko started working, over 10,000 geisha were registered in the whole nation; they came in different ranks and priceranges, but the upper ranks were prized as accomplished and expensive commodities. Sadayakko belonged to the Yoshicho group of geisha, second in ranking after the Yanabashi and Shimbashi group. The price of a geisha from the Yoshicho district was 50 sen to 80 sen, about 50-80 percent of the cost of monthly tuition at Tokyo University. 15 Like all geisha, Sadayakko was trained in the performing arts: song, dance, playing instruments.
Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender, and Nationalism by Ayako Kano (auth.)