Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6½ x 9¼
978-1-4422-3910-4 • Hardback • October 2014 • $234.00 • (£181.00)
978-1-4422-3911-1 • eBook • October 2014 • $210.50 • (£165.00)
Samuel L. Leiter is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He is the author and/or editor of 26 books on Japanese theatre, New York theatre, the great stage directors, and Shakespeare.
Editor’s Foreword Jon Woronoff
Appendix A: Play Title Translations
Appendix B: Simplified Table of Japanese Historical Periods
About the Author
The history, elements, practitioners, and major works of the four major traditional theaters of Japan (nô, kyôgen, kabuki, and bunraku) are thoroughly treated in this exceptional volume. The second edition of an invaluable resource builds upon the excellence of the first, also by the author. As one of the foremost authorities writing on Japanese theater today, Leiter has produced a fine-quality work that will serve multiple disciplines. The entries have been expanded, errors in the first edition corrected, and the chronology of traditional theaters updated, from 1301 to 2013. The volume offers more than 1,500 alphabetical entries; ample cross-references help to aid discovery by those without prior knowledge of the subject. The bibliography is comprehensive, with resources in English suitable for a range of users, from students taking their first drama course to specialists working in the discipline. The volume is readable in every sense—from the quality of writing to the size of the typeface. The writing is aimed at nonspecialists, although scholars also will find much of value here. A greater number of photos to illustrate the entries might have been welcome, but this labor of love should be a part of reference collections in all libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Beginning students and above; general readers and professionals/practitioners.
— Choice Reviews
The Historical Dictionary of Traditional Japanese Theatre is a densely rich resource with an acute focus on the four classical genres of no, kyogen, bunraku, and kabuki. . . .The subject is hard to penetrate and all the more intimidating for a novice to the Japanese language; however, Mr. Leiter does an admirable job of carefully demystifying the evolution of terms and word origins. He has a deft sense for charting the ebb and flow of fashions over time and updated this edition so that it includes modern innovations such as the introduction of female performers and the melding of genres. This dictionary is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate researchers and would be a solid addition to any reference collection that covers the humanities in general and theatre specifically.
— American Reference Books Annual