Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees

Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees

A Masterpiece of the Eighteenth-Century Japanese Puppet Theater

  • Author: Jones Jr., Stanleigh
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • ISBN: 9780231080521
  • eISBN Pdf: 9780231515023
  • Place of publication:  New York , United States
  • Year of digital publication: 1993
  • Month: October
  • Language: English
A masterpiece of eighteenth-century Japanese puppet theater, Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees is an action-packed play set in the aftermath of the twelfth-century Genji–Heike wars. It follows the adventures of the military commander, Yoshitsune, as he tries to avoid capture by his jealous older brother and loyal henchmen. The drama, written by a trio of playwrights, popularizes Japan's martial past for urban Edo audiences. It was banned only once in its long history, for a period after World War II, because occupying American forces feared its nationalizing power.

In this expert translation by Stanleigh H. Jones Jr., readers learn why Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees became one of the most influential plays in the repertoires of both kabuki and bunraku puppet theater. He opens with an introduction detailing the historical background, production history, and major features of the bunraku genre, and then pairs his translation of the play with helpful resources for students and scholars. Emphasizing text and performance, Jones's translation underlines not only the play's skillful appropriation of traditional forms but also its brilliant development of dramatic technique.
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Dramatis Personae
  • Prologue
  • Act One
    • Scene 1. The Imperial Palace
    • Scene 2. The Hermitage at North Saga Village
    • Scene 3. The Horikawa Mansion
    • Scene 4. Kawagoe Tarō Comes as Envoy
  • Act Two
    • Scene 1. Before the Fushimi Inari Shrine
    • Scene 2. The Tokaiya
  • Act Three
    • Scene 1. The Pasania Tree
    • Scene 2. The Death of Kokingo
    • Scene 3. The Sushi Shop
  • Act Four
    • Scene 1. Michiyuki: The Journey with the Drum
    • Scene 2. The Zaō Hall
    • Scene 3. The Conference at the Zaō Hall
    • Scene 4. The Mansion of Kawatsura Hōgen
    • Scene 5. The Fox
  • Act Five
    • Scene 1. In the Mountains of Yoshino
  • Bibliography



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