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Study of Japanese performers in 1915’ KEIJO ENGEIKAN : Theater, performance, and Nakalai ToSui

Seunyoung Hong 1

1한림대학교 일본학연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In the early 20th century, Japan built theaters to take possession of colonial culture while establishing the Imperial University, libraries, and museums to accumulate and spread the knowledge of "imperial" Japan. Many different genres made a hit in theaters including theatrical troupes, theatrical companies, and motion pictures. One of the various features of expositions was "spectacles" or unusual events. They were integrated with a national festival in celebration of "5th anniversary of political commencement." In 1915, the longest hit series in Keijo (Seoul) was the dance performance by professional Japanese beauties and entertainers, whose songs delivered the legitimacy of governance. This study focused on the performance in the space of "cultural" spread called theaters, thus examining the "imperial" cultural waves they were in charge of. The study also focused on the tensional relations of Hierarchie along those cultural borders. The performance at the theater Engeikan(演芸館) in 1915 was especially an epoch-making event in the Japanese theatrical community of Keijo (Seoul): first, it marked the emergence of large-scale performance hall called Engeikan(演芸館); secondly, the performance kept its ongoing, stable streak for about 50 days; and it led to the appearance of leading troupes including Geijutuza(芸術座), which put on a show in Keijo (Seoul) in November, 1915. The study examined the issues of theater Engeikan(演芸館) performance in 1915 involving the art company, performance genre, and audience composition, showed that there was the coexistence of entertainment and governance through cultural ruling while securing amusement and entertainment, and found it was accompanied by the organized operation of "Keijo Sponsorship Council(京城協贊 會)" which brought together the cultural capabilities of Japanese people living in Joseon. The performance at theater Engeikan(演芸館) in Keijo (Seoul) in 1915 fully reflected the issues involving the tensional relations between different artistic genres, the competing relations between the subjects of performance, and the cultural power.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.