Presentations in the United States of theatre from Japan are sites of linguistic contestation and tension. Non-Japanese-speaking audiences rely on technologies of access to foreign words spoken (and cultures experienced) live onstage. The titles flashed on screens, the translations and commentary transmitted through battery-powered devices, and the explanations printed in program booklets send audiences a message of remoteness, of difference, of a cultural "gulf." Professional (and, invariably, non- Japanese-speaking) critics are frontline negotiators with the foreign. through their writings, we can identify major modes of audience reaction to the unfamiliar. The analytical framework that I propose identifies three principal discursive strategies—advocating surrender, assuming universality, and putting up resistance—that mark critics' negotiations with the foreign. each of the strategies is a response to words not understood from the stage. there is no neutral stance: language inevitably calls attention to itself—and elicits a response.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 249-269
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.