- (Japanese: new drama) A 20th-century movement that aimed tocreate a more Western style of drama in Japan. It began early in thecentury with a commitment to realism and the principles of Stanislavsky.Many Japanese dramatists, actors, and playgoers still have difficultiesaccepting the genre, partly because the Japanese tradition of stylizedacting does not fit easily with realistic Western staging, and partlybecause women appear on stage.
The shingeki repertory includes works by Western playwrightsas well as modern Japanese dramatists such as Kobo Abe (1924 - 93)and Yukio Mishima (1925 - 70). Abe, who was much influenced byBertolt Brecht, wrote several protest plays, including Slave Hunt(1952), which attacked the traffic in the remains of those killedin war. Mishima wrote such works as The Nest of the White Ant(1955), about the dismal lives of Japanese living in Brazil. In recentdecades Shingeki has become more experimental and aware ofinternational trends.