Yamanba: A Radio Play by Terayama Shuji

Erin Lofting

Abstract


Terayama Shūji was an important avant-garde Japanese artist and one of the most subversive contributors to Japan's underground theatre movement. Between dropping out of university and forming his theatre troupe, Tenjō Sajiki, Terayama wrote a number of radio plays that helped launch his career as a dramatist. As with his work in other media forms, Terayama's radio plays can provide insight into this fascinating artist's provocative methods and goals. Yamanba appropriates material from Nō theatre and Japanese folklore, and shows Terayama experimenting with representations of cruelty in drama, as described by the French poet and dramatist, Antonin Artaud. Yamanba, first broadcast on NHK Tokyo in 1964 and awarded a prestigious Prix Italia for radio drama that year, is an early version of Terayama's 1971 stage play Heretics, an important work that toured in Europe. Heretics has been published in English translation; this is the first English translation of Yamanba.


Keywords


Terayama Shūji; Terayama Shuji; Yamanba; Heretics; Antonin Artaud; theatre of cruelty; Angura; avant-garde; radio play; Japanese theatre; Japanese folklore; Ubasute; Ubasuteyama

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EISSN 1923-1334

University of Victoria