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琉球弧の潮風に吹かれこの地を掘ると世界と繋がるに違いない。世界は劇場、この島も心も劇場!貴方も私も劇場の主人公!

Shinsaku-Kumiodori: Theatrical Intersections Okinawa/Japanese Identity Construction(報告書) 

2012年05月04日 16時12分50秒 | 沖縄演劇
   (伊江島ハンドー小のリハの様子:花岡尚子の歌唱は魂がトロけるようだ!マチ小の知念亜希もいい声だね!加那役佐辺良和の伸びのある声も最高!船頭主の嘉数さんも安定!石川直也、大湾三瑠、金城真次も伸びのいい声なので、まさに琉球オペラですね!今後演技もそうだが、歌唱力が問われる。ハンドー小は演技の、情感の力量が常に問われるがしかし花岡さんがこんなに魅力的なハンドー小を演じきるとは、本番がとても楽しみである!)

以下は早稲田復帰40年記念シンポジウム事務局に送ったものです。A4で4枚以内ということですが、少しオーバしています。それでも詳細は割愛されています。

Shinsaku-Kumiodori: Theatrical Intersections Okinawa/Japanese Identity Construction

Panel Organizer/Chair: Shoko Yonaha (Ryukyu University)
Panelist: Masae Suzuki (Kyoto Sangyo University
John D. Swain (California State University, Northridge)
Shoko Yonaha (Ryukyu University)
Discussant: Wesley Ueunten (San Francisco State University)

First of all, we didn’t have a large audience, but our presentation and discussion were very meaningful with the floors’ enthusiastic response. At the beginning the chair Yonaha had to apologize that John D. Swain couldn’t attend the symposium for his sudden family affair, but his paper was presented by Wesley Ueunten.

Our panel abstract and academic significance

Prize-winning Okinawan author Oshiro Tatsuhiro has noted that Okinawan culture exists today in a triangle of Japanese, Ryukyuan and American influences. This panel propose to examine shinsaku-kumiodori (lit. “new combined dances”) a performance form that Oshiro himself created, from that same three-way point of view.” Masae Suzuki (Japan), John D. Swain (USA), and Shoko Yonaha (Okinawa) will discuss aspects of Okinawan identity construction as found in shinsaku-kumiodori. Some questions that inspired the panel are: What does the lived experience in Okinawan Prefecture tell us about how theatre works? How it is changing and develops in a cross/intercultural way? What are our definitions of “theatre,” and of “intercultural” theatre? What role does the ritualistic and shamanistic play in 21st century Okinawan?
The three analyses look at the place and function of women as they are embodied in the narrative structures of the plays, the implications that Oshiro’s theatrical constructions have for broader global views of “intercultural” or “cross-cultural” theatre, and the importance of Okianwan traditions to Okinawans themselves. Where does gender come into the question? The conclusions are of interest to scholars of literature, anthropology, performance studies and theatre.

Professor Suzuki’s presentation:

The Representation of Women in Okinawan Theatre: From Shakespeare to Shinsaku-kumiodori

Shinsaku-kumiodori is comparable to Shinsaku-Noh in a sense that it is an attempt to introduce new themes to the classical repertoire and also to challenge and stretch the limits of the indigenous tradition. Noh themes have been based on classical literature and poetry, just like Shakespeare’s intertextual borrowings on other literary work. Kumiodori, also borrowed various intertextual elements since its creation, and can be regarded as a genre that is still evolving. Among the newly created Kumiodori, Hana no Maboroshi (“The Vision of a Flower”) written by Oshiro Tatsuhiro, seems to be the most suitable work to raise the question of gender and the succession of performing arts in Okinawa. In the play, the hero, modeled after Tamagusuku Seiju (1868-1945), the rightful successor of the art of Kumiodori, dies during the Pacific war, as well as his son-in-law who was to be his heir, and the play ends with a hint that the two female characters, Tamagusuku’ s female disciple as well as his own daughter, would be his successors instead. Indeed, many female dancers thrived after the war, and some of them taught the art of Kumidori to their own disciples.After Okinawa was “reverted” to Japan in 1972, Kumiodori, was proclaimed as an intangible cultural property to collective recognition through Koten Kumiodori Hozonkai, or the Traditional Kumiodori Preservation Society. This was the fifth traditional performing art to be selected as such by the Japanese government, following Gagaku(1955), Bunraku(1955), Noh ( 1957) and Kabuki(1965). The Hozonkai, however, adopted a regulation that prohibits female performers in this genre, owing to the fact that Kumiodori had been all-male productions when they were shown at the Court. This marks a clear contrast to the rise of female Noh actors in mainland Japan, who, after a long struggle in the male dominated tradition, found their way to perform at the National Noh Theatre in Tokyo and were permitted to join the Nihon Noh Gakkai in 2004. Ironically, this coincides with the year the National Theatre Okinawa was opened. Hana no Maboroshi itself was performed with actresses in female roles in the first production at the National Theatre Okinawa, but with onnnagata actors in the second production this year. Does this mean that the director Koki Ryoshu is still experimenting with various performing styles? The potential of Shinsaku-Kumiodori and the role of women is still an open question.

Dr. Swain’s presentation:

Shinsaku- Kumiodori and the “Interperformative” in Okinawa.

Modern Okinawan theatre is exemplified by what I call the “interperformative.” The interperformative is the live moment on stage when two or more theatrical genres and their attendant conventions come into contact. The concept can elucidate how changes happen on the Okinawan stage, or any stage. Examples are the shinsaku-kumiodori (“new-kumiodori”) of Ōshiro Tatsuhiro, and how they are adapted and directed by Kōki Ryōshū. Because of the historically eclectic nature of Okinawan culture, Ōshiro and Kōki try to take advantage of the interperformative to re-assert an Okinawan identity. Shinsaku-kumiodori is a genre that permits fluidity of a subject postition buffeted by Japanese, American and Okinawan cultures. That fluidity can be explained through the interperformative. The interperformative opens a cultural space for Okinawan identity to flow around, rather than be absorbed by, the Japanizing and Westernizing forces of Japanese and American culture.

Ōshiro and others have described the contemporary Okinawan condition as being squeezed in what I describe as a three-way-vise. Lived existence in Okinawa is a response to political and cultural pressures from mainland Japan, the U.S., and Okinawa itself. That begins to describe what I mean by “interperformative.” The concept of interperformative is similar to the critical interventions in literature known as the “interliterary” and the “intertextual.” In all forms of writing, especially prose and poetry, and including drama, authors borrow from, reference, and adapt various literary genres and traditions in an attempt to elicit fresh responses from the reader.

From the point of view of theatre theory, postcoloniality, shingeki was, and is, a genre of the Japanese hegemon—reinforced in Okinawa by the presence of the Euro-American hegemon. In attempting to escape shingeki’s influence, Ōshiro, Kōki, and others founded the Okinawa Jikken Gekijō (“Okinawan Experimental Theatre”). However, even the work of that group could not fully escape the Japanese hegemony because it was still dominated by contemporary hegemonic aesthetics and genres, especially shingeki.

Ōshiro’s solution was to once again strike out in a different direction, one that turned to a nostalgic ideal of Ryūkyūan culture: kumiodori. He knew that he could not simply revive that form—especially because interested parties on the mainland were planning to build a national theatre in Okinawa that would be an archive for kumiodori and other traditional Okinawan performance genres. Ōshiro wanted to draw away from the Japanese cultural center, so he created shinsaku-kumiodori. Two of Ōshiro’s plays; Tsukiyo no jinsei (Life in the Moonlight), and Umi no tenzakai (Gods Beyond the Sea) provide some examples of the interperformative fluidity of the genre. At the moment of performance, the theatrical conventions of speech, dance, and costume engage the spectator, either creating a form of cultural recognition for Okinawans, or an experience of exotic distance for those spectators not familiar with Okinawa. A production of the play at the Korinza Theatre in Okinawa City in the summer of 2009 was one of my first encounters with live Okinawan theatre.

As a Western, white male American researcher steeped in the hegemonic theatre traditions of the West and mainland Japan, I experienced moments during the performance that were in discord with my theatrical expectations. Part of those expectations came from the well-appointed Western style prosceneum stage and auditorium seating of a type I often experiece in America and mainland Japan. However, the performed actions within that theatrcial space did not match my previous experiences. I had to accommodate my existing Western and Japanese theatrical knowledge and expectations to the language, movement, and visual spectacle that I experienced for the first time. The interperformative fluidity that disrupted my expectations did not allow me to categorize my theatrical experince into any Western or Japanese genre I recognized. I had to cross a fairly large cultural divide, but the Okinawan spectators around me had a much shorter gap to cross.

If, indeed, Okinawans and Okinawan culture is caught in a three-way vise of America, Japan, and Okinawa, the potential for Okinawa to be crushed by that vise is clear. I think many Okinawans want to keep their side of the vise secure while finding ways not to be destroyed by the other two sides. One thing that can contribute to that position of safety is seeing embodied elements of Okinawan subjectivity that are difficult for Japan and America to assimilate. Although kumiodori has been assimilated at the National Theatre Okinawa, shinsaku-kumiodori is still fluid enough to avoid assimilation. One reason is the performances outside Okinawa for audiences in mainland Japan and America are part of an interperformative response that is on the margins of the Japanese and American cultural spheres. Ōshiro’s dramas, and Kōki’s direction of those plays, are still distant from the hegemonic cultural centers because of directing style, language, cultural context of the venue, and gender. Theatre changes through the interperformative, and shinsaku-kumiodori, for the moment at least, still pushes the cultural expectations and adds to construction of Okinawan subjectivity.

Critic Yonaha’s presentation:

Oshiro Tatsuhiro’s Shinsaku- kumiodori: Revitalization of Okinawan performing arts

On 16th September 2010, Kumiodori was selected for the representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Following Noh, kabuki, and Bunraku, Kumiodori has been one of the Important Cultural Properties of Japan since 1972, when Okinawa reverted to Japan after a 27-year occupation by the USA. Within 38 years Kumiodori gained status as an international cultural asset.

It is a great pride for Okianwans that Kumiodori stands as an Okinawan cultural ethos of their ethnicity and identity. That symbol is because Kumiodori was first presented in front of diplomats from China’s Shin dynasty in 1719 when Ryukyu was still a kingdom. As Ryukyu’s national theatre, Kumiodori served as an important Ryukyuan cultural representation until the day the kingdom was annexed to Japan in 1879. However, under the centralized Japanese government, Ryukyu was forced to change her stance toward being a part of Japan, eventually assimilation (Japanization) became a necessary measure in all things in Okinawa. In this geo-political procedure, kumiodori still functioned as an important ethnic theatre and repository of cultural memory and identity.

By the time the new National theatre Okinawa opened in 2004, Oshiro Tatsuhiro, the Okinawan born prominent Akutagawa-award winning writer and playwright created five shinsaku-kumiodori, one of which Madamamichi (“The Rainbow over Madama Bridge”), was presented for the National Theatre Okinawa opening. Appreciated by many guests and Okinawans, Oshiro further continued creating shinsaku-kumiodori. He has completed twenty of them so far, and ten of them have been performed in Okinawa. One of his works like Umi no Tenzakai(“The God Beyond the Sea”) was performed in Nagoya and LA. It was highly valued by the LA audience and Oshiro’s energetic creativity and innovation have brought revitalization to the present Okinawan community and cultural sphere. Yonaha discussed some characteristics of Oshiro’s shinsaku-kumiodori and the impact the performance of his works have on the Okinawan community. She also focused on women’s identity in Oshiro’s new Kumiodori as a key theme as well. For instance, Juri (an Okinawan courtesan) appears as a successor of Ryukyu dances in Hana no Maboroshi (“The Vision of a Flower”).

Oshiro’s new kumuodori, their themes and subjects are varied and quite modern settings, however, Osihro followed the basic style of the classic while synthesized Okinawa shibai (plays) and contemporary plays together in the combined form of musical theatre. Ryukyu classic languages, Okinawan languages, and Japanese are mixed. Oshiro revived new poetic languages following Okinawan ethnic rhythm 8,8,8,6 syllables and Classic music. A professor Katsunori Yamazato who translated The God Beyond the Sea for LA production says “ it may not be an exaggeration to say that Tatsuhiro Oshiro single-handedly revived the genre that originated in the 18th century. He brings into Kumiodori the modern history and culture of Okinawa and has succeeded in producing contemporary Kumiudui, which has since given an impact on Okianwan theatre.”(LA production brochure) Certainly, it is not exaggeration that his new pieces strike the audience as the advent of a new era of theatre in Okinawa. Likewise, the director Koki’s theatricality is toward a total theatre that its poetic drama is a synthesis of the whole Okianwan theatrical genre, and it could be interperformtive as John emphasizes. After Oshiro, Michihiko Kakazu and Yoshihiro Takaesu have also created new Kumiodori. Okinawan performing arts are reviving. It could be a new Okinawan Renaissance in the 21st century.

Professor Wesley Ueunten’s comment.

I think that the panel was very significant in that it brought up interacting issues of gender, "authenticity," and agency. Although there are probably many gaps in my understanding of John's paper, his concept of "interperformativity" has inspired me more to think of interactions between seemingly disparate things.

I was stuck by Shoko Yonaha, Masae Suzuki and John Swain's work in showing how traditional or traditional-based performing arts forms have been able to survive by innovating while being loyal to the past. From my perspective, it is very exciting to see how their research shows the agency of playwrights, actors, directors, and I think, even scholars themselves, in the process of rearticulating these traditional forms to insure that they remain relevant in the present. In other words, the "production" of these performances seems to necessarily involve the perhaps more crucial behind-the-scenes "reproduction" of the traditions in which these performances are located in. The "reproduction" of these traditions in the present necessarily requires the danger work of negotiating with and challenging notions of "authenticity." It is dangerous work because "authenticity" is political in nature. For example, modern representations of Okinawa's past, such as with Mr. Hirata's production of musical plays that depict the glorious Ryukyuan past are influenced by modern conceptions of nation-state and nationalism, which are the very things that have historically marginalized Okinawans. Further, the emphasis on the "Ryukyuan king" and male enterprises of warring and trading, romanticizes the past among patriarchal lines while ignoring the crucial role of women in our Okinawan past.

In other words, we risk glorifying -- and potentially working to replicate -- the things that have been problematic in our existence while marginalizing things that do not fit hegemonic conceptualizations of "Okinawans." However, what is exciting about the three panelists' works is that they look at the agency of people to critically reproduce the past in the present. What is intriguing is that a crucial, but obscured, part of the process of reproducing tradition is gender dynamics. For example, as pointed out by each of the scholars, there have been important women's influence and presence in Noh, Kumiudui, Shinsaku kumiudui, and other performance arts which have challenged male authority and notions of "authenticity." In doing so, they have the potential to contribute to a more informed, useful, and relevant "Japanese" and "Okinawan" identity.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of the ongoing efforts the reproduction of tradition from the perspective of a member of the large population of overseas Okinawans and an even larger population of "Nikkeijin" of which many are struggling with the issue of defining ourselves. Ironically, our search for an identity becomes increasingly important as our connections to our past become more tenuous as time passes.

Conclusion
Wesley’s description of Kumiodori is Kumiudui, and it is significant that official expression is Kumiodri, but actually it is said Kumiudui among those who engage in Okinawan classic music and Kumiudui. As John emphasizes the subjectivity of Okinawans, Okinawans should value their Ryukyu/Okinawa languages and their multi-cultural/cross cultural performance.
One thing became clear is because of Oshiro’s 10 new kumiudui production, the style of Classic kumiudui is now severely reexamined in every aspect.
(パネルセッションでの質疑では、現代組踊(平田大一)への批判もあった。新作組踊がテーマだが、異文化接触、越境的文化表象の可能性を演劇論としても論じられたことは良かったと思う。鈴木氏はお能との比較検証において、伝統組踊協会から女性が閉めだされている状況も論じた。新作によって伝統、あるいは古典組踊の詞章や演技やその継承の歴史・推移、劇場形態も含め、その論議が昨今闊達になっているのは好ましいと言えよう。ウェスリー氏の討論はまたアメリカの沖縄系三世、四世の沖縄文化、総合芸術への眼差しを提起してくれた。伝統をどう現代に生かしていくか、正当性なり本質的なものの中身も問われている。感謝!)

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