Crossing the Sea: The Ishinha Theater Company’s Geographical Trail
In recent years, interdisciplinary research between theater studies and geography has intensified as questions of theater identity and culture arise. Analyzing and understanding theater in cultural and social contexts has drawn more attention to the place the performance depicts, where it is performed, and the geographical perspective from which it operates. These concerns will form a useful viewpoint for rethinking Asian theater in the twentieth century, when Asian countries were colonized and national boundaries were redrawn repeatedly.
Here the chapter will pick up Taiwan no, Haiiro no Ushi ga Senobi wo shita toki (When a Taiwanese Grey Bull Stretched Out), written by Yukichi Matsumoto and produced by the Ishinha Theater Company in 2010. The play describes the dreams and setbacks of the young Japanese who embarked on the “Road of Sea” from the Japanese islands to Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Indonesian Archipelago. The production describes how the Road of Sea has played an important role in making an inter-Asian network, and proposes how a theater production produces a sense of geographical reality and notion that suggests a new approach with us— Asian inter-theater experiments. The chapter will discuss the possibilities of the crossroads of theater studies and theater geography through this production.
KeywordsTheater geography Intercultural theater Japanese immigrants Theatre of sea Yukichi Matsumoto
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