Are We All Creons and Ismenes?: <i>Antigone</i> in Japan

Mae J. Smethurst

in Antigone on the Contemporary World Stage

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199586196
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191728754 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Are We All Creons and Ismenes?: Antigone in Japan

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This chapter analyses Miyagi Satoshi's Antigone, performed in 2004 by his Ku Na'uka Theatre Company in front of the National Museum of Art in Tokyo, which confronted the legacy of World War II and its aftermath in Japan. Antigone, supported by her fiancé Haimon, represented an intensely principled, positive, and pointedly female individual challenge to the political authority of a collective Creon, played by multiple actors, and to group identity embodied in timid, obedient citizens, represented by multiple Ismenes. The productions deployed a mixture of Japanese and Western theatrical traditions to communicate powerfully to a Japanese community.

Keywords: Greek tragedy; Antigone; reception; Japanese theatre; Miyagi Satoshi; noh; kabuki; ritual; theatre; Ku Na'uka Theatre Company

Chapter.  6269 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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