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A comparative study on aspects of dramatizing and modernizing between Korean and Japanese ancient stories

Suh,Yeon-Ho 1 Poe Baek 2

1한국예술종합학교
2경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to compare aspects of dramatizing and modernizing between Korean and Japanese ancient stories. It would be assumed as discussion about modernization of traditional performance. This study begins with a premise that developing process of ‘bunraku’ or ‘kabuki’ could be a significant model for development of ‘changgeuk’, which is Korean classical opera. Changgeuk, bunraku, and kabuki was dramatize from ancient stories. Until early 20th century, ‘pansori’ only have been focused on improving singing ability by refining the contents and adding ‘dunum’. On contrary, ‘joruri’, which has much longer history than pansori have been concentrated on changing performance style to be adapted to taste of audience and stage condition in Japanese society that frequently undergoes social changes. Kabuki which dates from 1603 have ‘oyama’ settled by switching itself from women kabuki to boy kabuki and boy kabuki to youth kabuki. It was 1664 that kabuki has turned into multi-act play from one-act play. In Japan, the term ‘ja’ not only means sect(or troupe) but also designate theaters. The 'ja’s in bunraku or kabuki have developed performing arts by competing each other. On the other hand, in 1962, a troupe for ‘changgeuk’ has been established in Korea. With it’s founding, changgeuk now could enter the new stage. Until now, there were a number of attempts to reform changgeuk as the directors were replaced. However, comparing to pansori, the originality of changgeuk is still less resolute and is still stuck in out-dated manners. There could be several reasons for it, but above all, it is because same production system is repeated by force of habit. This inertia is originated from two main reasons: first, the difference between musical drama and ordinary drama is vague; second, peculiar acting method is undeveloped. Now, there are two changgeuk troupes in Korea. Both are barely run by annual subscription play with small scale of estimate. Those two changgeuk troupes are only one of the numerous troupes, and their historical, social positions and missions are still equivocal. Accordingly, it may be said that the future of modernization and globalization of changgeuk is opaque. Pansori and changgeuk is just intangible cultural asset, and fails to secure their own theater and their own training system. If it goes as it is, the Koreans would be spiritual nomad that has no cultural roots in a couple of years. Providing examples of Japan in this paper does not mean that we should copy them exactly. It is for urging the emergence of innovative cultural policy by letting those cases be a lesson to us.

Citation status

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