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Asian Theatre Journal 21.1 (2004) iii

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Editor's Note

ATJ happily returns to its preferred policy of presenting a translation of a play in each issue, a policy interrupted only rarely over the past dozen or so years. In resuming this policy, we do so with a vengeance as the play in question—Nagai Ai's The Three Hagi Sisters— is a long one, so long, in fact, that it consumes all the space in this issue apart from that given to the reviews. The play, we are certain, will find a wide readership because of its fascinating and satirically amusing insights into contemporary gender politics as filtered through Anton Chekhov's similarly titled masterpiece. In a sense, this play is an example of the ancient Japanese tradition of honkadori, or "allusive variation," in which a classic text is reexamined from a new perspective.

ATJ continues to welcome new play translations as well as translations of scholarly essays and documents, along with traditional scholarship relating to Asian performance, past, present, and future. We sometimes receive material related to Asian American theatrical concerns, but our policy is to consider it only if it reflects issues related to Asian theatre. Moreover, while we have nothing against theoretical writing, much of what we receive in this vein is inaccessible to the wide audience we seek to serve. Finally, although we are aware that the boundaries do sometimes cross, we prefer, in general, discussions of drama as theatre rather than as literature. We want to understand what happens (or happened) on the stage more than what is printed on the page.

Samuel L. Leiter