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TYA, Culture, Society

International Essays on Theatre for Young Audiences- A Publication of ASSITEJ and ITYARN

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Manon van de Water

This unique edition is the result of the second International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN) conference that was held in Malmoe, Sweden, in May 2011 as part of the XVIIth ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival. In fifteen essays that are illustrative of the wide variety as well as of the many opportunities for research in TYA, this book covers six continents, includes quantitative, qualitative, ethnographic/action, and historiographical methods, and highlights critical theory, philosophical discourse, play analysis, and other approaches. The essays deal with a broad range of issues, including representation, cultural contexts, questions of identity, race-, class-, and gender theory, notions of child and childhood, aesthetics, and the influence of media and dominant ideologies. ITYARN aims to further research in the field of theatre for young audiences to contextualize and theorize the lively artistic products for children and youth globally. It is the research network of ASSITEJ, the International Association of Theatre for Children and Youth, which co-produced this publication.

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Quiet Dissent: Citizen Activism and the Kodomo Gekijo Movement in 1960-70s Japan

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55 Quiet Dissent: Citizen Activism and the Kodomo Gekijō Movement in 1960-70s Japan Michelle Solberg Two decades after the apocalypse, the signs of change and rebirth in Japan were everywhere. A rapidly rebounding economy brought middle class comforts to a broad swath of Japan’s population, and its industrial and pop culture exports were gradually building a dominant worldwide presence by the mid-1960s, project- ing a carefully crafted image of prosperity, stability, and harmony. Nevertheless, traces of conflict and upheaval stemming from the turmoil that had enveloped much of the planet during the Second World War were readily detectable be- neath the veneer of slick Toyotas, monster genre films, “cute” character goods, and animation created for worldwide mass consumption. As issues such as war memory and Cold War politics crept continually into the lives of individuals, artists and activists responded with intensity, producing work that continues to be both provocative and enlightening. Theatre scholars have thus given Japan’s vibrant theatre and arts scene of the 1960s significant attention in recent years, but they have almost uniformly neglected the theatre for young people in English language research. Despite this, the movement has strong potential to continue to inform and likely change our understanding of theatre, history, and grassroots politics in Japan and the world, as it was molded and shaped by the same cultural currents but was intended for a different audience. Integrating the binaries of global and the local, “high” culture and folk, mass culture and the more immediate, the cultural...

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