- Editor's Note
While some recent issues of Asian Theatre Journal have sought a focus by topic or area, this issue celebrates the width of our field. Topics range from traditional ritual theatre (the nora of Thailand by Jungwiwattanaporn or the legong of Bali by Talamates and Davies) to a reevaluation of gender in works of the Cultural Revolution in the PRC (Roberts). Authors expose us to adaptations of Greek plays in the hebei bangzi style opera of China (Tian) or the transformation of Turkish kargöz in the modernization of the Republic of Turkey (Öztürk). The play translated by Christopher Pease shares a little-known work of Mishima Yukio, a giant of Japanese modern theatre, and shows that this Japanese playwright was "out" long before Stonewall. The bisexual themes, which are now popular in Western theatre, were ready for Japanese directors in 1955.
As I read these works, I welcome the linguistically gifted and culturally far-reaching authors who are sharing recent research. Liu's article regarding Japanese impacts on Chinese spoken drama shows how a multilingual researcher can reveal the interdependence of important Asian genres. It is interesting to learn how Medea is differently interpreted: Tian shows that in Chinese hebei bangzi the actor-centered nature of the art creatively ignores Greek tradition in favor of what "works" in that genre. Anan notes how Ku Na'uka borrows the story of this abused barbarian woman sojourning among the Greeks to comment on the patriarchy, colonialism, and comfort women in Japanese history. The East goes West for storylines.
Spiller shows us that Western artists continue to going East for artistic techniques such that the Balinese Tempests and Gatherings of Gamelan have become an embedded part of California performance. The West goes East for music and visualization.
Our authors likewise show considerable diversity in their background: Turkish, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, American, New Zealander. What binds us together is our interest in Asian performance. Though [End Page iii] the topics are diverse, I hope you will take the time to read each article. The patterns interrelate. We perform in interconnected historical and cultural nexus.
I thank my associate and area editors for their diligent reading and illuminating suggestions, the authors for their timely rewrites, and the University of Hawai'i Press staff and editors for their sharp eyes and keen sense of design.