Joruri

Joruri

 

a type of song tale and also puppet theater in Japan. The name is derived from The Tale of Joruri in Twelve Songs (1530), which tells about the beloved of the hero of the medieval Japanese epic of Yoshitsune. Performances of the Tale were accompanied by music on the biwa, and after 1560, on a new seven-stringed instrument, the samisen.

In 1600 the performance of joruri was combined with a puppet presentation, and this resulted in a new, eventually traditional, puppet theater called joruri. In the mid-17th century two types of joruri were distinguished: the heroic (Jidai)and the one dealing with contemporary life (sewa). Joruriflourished from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 18th and was linked with the activity of the Takemotoza Theater, founded in 1684 in Kyoto. This was the working place of one of the leading figures of Japanese theater, Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724), and of the singernarrator Takemoto Gidayu (1651-1714), the creator of the canonical style of joruri performance. The name “gidayu” became a generic term for all joruri reciters. Joruri plays are also presented on the stage of the classical Japanese Kabuki theater, where part of the dialogue is recited by actors.

REFERENCES

Konrad, N. I. “laponskii teatr.” In Vostochnyi teatr. Moscow-Leningrad, 1929.
Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Dramaticheskie poemy. [Moscow, 1968.] (Translated from Japanese.)
Gunji Masakatsu. laponskii teatr kabuki. Moscow, 1969. (Translated from Japanese.)
Engeki hyakka daijiten (Theatrical Encyclopedia), vol. 3. Tokyo, 1969.
Hironaga Shuzaburo. Bunraku: Japan’s Unique Puppet Theater. Tokyo [1964].

L. D. GRISHELEVA

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