Globalizing Japan’s Traditional Performing Arts of Kyogen: A Collaborative Translation Project with Professional Actors and Scholars in Japan

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2010

Project Description/Abstract

Japan’s traditional theatre Kyogen has a continuous performance tradition spanning 600 years. While depicting humor in predicaments and foibles, Kyogen plays often reveal the essence of human nature. In 2001 Kyogen was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list as a Masterpiece of Oran and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. I have been appointed translator of Kyogen plays by the Yamato School of Kyogen. A CART Summer Grant will allow me to undertake a Kyogen translation project, which requires me to work side-by-side with actors taking into consideration the performability of the translation. This is a rare attempt on the part of professional Japanese Kyogen actors to perform a Kyogen play in English on stage. I will complete translating the original script into English in collaboration with Kyogen actors and scholars in Japan. This is the critical first step in the larger initiative, titled “Globalizing Japan’s Performance Tradition Project.” The purpose of the project is to enhance international understanding through art and performance.

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