Abstract

This paper examines Zhuge Liang’s Military Talk on the Three Kingdoms, a Japanese bunraku play adapted from the famous Chinese historical fiction Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It discusses how the playwright recreated the world of the Three Kingdoms, focusing on two themes: loyalty and substitution. By comparing the Chinese original and the Japanese adaptation, it illuminates what kinds of efforts the playwright has made for dramatization, and how he transformed Three Kingdoms to reflect Japanese values and aesthetics. Meanwhile, this play provides a complement to The Battles of Coxinga, the best-known bunraku play with a historical setting, for our understanding of how “China” was conceived of by Japanese authors. The Battles of Coxinga is often considered to demonstrate the rise of national awareness and change in the Japanese attitude toward China at the time. This play shows that the traditional representation of the Sino-Japanese relationship still remained in some of the literary works during the transitional period.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2109
Print ISSN
0742-5457
Pages
pp. 26-47
Launched on MUSE
2017-02-15
Open Access
No
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