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Japanese Literature

Japanese Literature

Use of different masks for different roles:

In Japanese Noh theatre, different masks are used for representing different roles played by the actors. An example is a Hannya mask which is used to represent a spirit or a demon of a jealous female. Rokujo wears a hannya mask to represent her jealous demon. It is used to portray her demonic and inhuman character. Teruhi the shaman also wears a mask to portray her divine character.

Conventions of stage and performance

In the stage, it is a norm for the Japanese actors to be placed in four positions in accordance with their prominent actions during the play. Normally, the positions are just given verbally. Usually the Waki stands in the front. To the right near the waki is the shite. Next to the shite at the left corner standsthe fue. During performance there is chanting, music and dance. The music mainly accompanies the entrance of characters

From this passage it comes out clearly that there is consistency of feudal relationships and regret among action of the characters. Rokujo feels that he should not be morning nor troubled because of her status as a princess. At the same time, Genji has the notion that he can have any woman he wants because of being recognized as a man with unchallengeable power. The theme of regret is also portrayed where both characters regret their previous deeds.

Structural elements in this play

The play has several structural elements that are inherent in modern literature. The play is subdivided into three parts. The first two portions deal with the life of Genji , as the main character. In these episodes, we find his love, romance, and exile. He allso encounters a taste of power before the death of his dear wife. The last part deals with the early years of his children, Niou and Kaoru. These form the minor characters in the play. In between, are can be found parallel plots as well as conflict.


Both characters are willing to do anything for love and passion. Yet in both cases the forbidden love only leads to their grief. In the plays, she is revealed as male ideals antithesis. In addition, her qualities come out clearly in the two plays as jealous, resentful, strong willed, vicious and of two minds. Her jealously is changed into a ghost that is revengeful and comes later to steal from her. In N&#244, there is firm closure as we see Rakoju’s end when her spirit is banished by the monk. On the other hand, Genji does not have a firm closure as it ends abruptly as Genji is deemed to have vanished to the clouds.



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