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The Impact of Japanese Shinpa on Early Chinese Huaju

Liu, Siyuan (2007) The Impact of Japanese Shinpa on Early Chinese Huaju. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation explores the intercultural forces that affected the formation of wenmingxi (civilized drama), China's first Western-style theatre that flourished in Shanghai in the 1910s, following the 1907 production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by the Chinese student group the Spring Willow Society (Chunliu She) in Tokyo. In contrast to huaju (spoken drama), the present form of Western theatre in China, which came into existence in the 1920s through a whole-sale importation, wenmingxi adopted a localized approach by mixing Western drama, shinpa (new school drama, the first Western-style Japanese theatre), and traditional Chinese theatre. Based on primary sources as well as recent historical and theoretical studies from China, Japan, and the West, my dissertation focuses on the ideological, dramaturgical, and theatrical transformation wenmingxi brought to Chinese theatre.The study is divided into four chapters and an introduction, which lays out previous research on this topic and my theoretical framework. Chapter One presents a historical review of wenmingxi, from early Western theatrical productions in Shanghai by expatriates and students of missionary and other schools, through Spring Willow's productions in Tokyo, and finally to the rise and fall of wenmingxi in Shanghai in the 1910s. Chapter Two examines the role of nationalism in the emergence of speech-based theatre in Japan and China around the turn of the twentieth century when political instability and fear of national peril largely accounted for both the political focus of early wenmingxi and its continued nationalist content even during its brief commercial success in the mid 1910s. Chapter Three focuses on wenmingxi dramaturgy by tracing the intercultural transformation of several representative plays. It deals with three topics: the use of scripted plays vs. scenarios, adaptation vs. translation of European and shinpa plays, and melodrama as the emblematic dramatic mode for a society in transition. Finally, Chapter Four examines wenmingxi's localization of the theatrical institution—especially in the realm of performance—between the poles of "free acting," Western naturalism, and native theatrical conventions such as singing and female impersonation.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFavorini, Attiliobucfav@pitt.eduBUCFAV
Committee MemberMcConachie, Brucebamcco@pitt.eduBAMCCO
Committee MemberRimer, J. Thomasrimer@pitt.eduRIMER
Committee MemberGeorge, Kathleengeorgeke@pitt.eduGEORGEKE
Date: 30 January 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 November 2006
Approval Date: 30 January 2007
Submission Date: 30 November 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Theater Arts
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: adaptation; female impersonation; huaju; interculturalism; Kawakami Otojiro; Li Shutong; lost nation; melodrama; modern Chinese theatre; modern Japanese theatre; post-colonialism; seigeki; Shanghai; shingeki; shinpa; theatre reform; Tokyo; traditional theatre; translation; wenmingxi
Other ID:, etd-11302006-152701
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


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