Visits to the United States by the Azuma Kabuki Dancers and Musicians in the mid 1950s and the Grand Kabuki in 1960 took place against the backdrop of a Cold War imperative to secure Japan as an American friend in Asia. Even before the Occupation officially ended in April 1952, kabuki was being promoted in the United States as the preeminent example of a Japanese culture that could be presented with no reference to the Japan that had been America's wartime enemy. The discourse that I have labeled America's kabuki-Japan was shaped by prominent critics and "Japan hands" during the 1952–1960 period, a defining one for cultural exchange and for establishing a new relationship with Japan. With its exoticizing focus on tradition and ahistorical continuity, America's kabuki-Japan was the product of and is still nurtured by a complex mix of political, cultural, and commercial interests on both the American and Japanese side.


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pp. 193-230
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