Nippon Wars and Other Plays

Takeshi Kawamura

Translated by Aya Ogawa, Leon Ingulsrud, Peter Eckersall, Sara Jansen, Shoichiro Kawai


6 x 7.5 inches, 390pp, 20 halftones / color photographs. August 2011

ISBN : 9780857420022

Rs  525.00 (PB)
$25.00 (PB)
£16.00 (PB)

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Nippon Wars and Other Plays provides a unique and fascinating window into the last 30 years of Japan’s dynamic theatre scene. This collection of plays from renowned Japanese theatre artist Takeshi Kawamura gathers together for the first time in English several of his most important plays. Nippon Wars and The Lost Babylon explore Japan’s popular culture during and after the economic bubble of the late 1980s and capture the culture’s apocalyptic but sublime essence. The intertextual work Hamletclone examines the violent complications and stultifying inertia of contemporary politics. Two of Kawamura’s more recent plays, Aoi and Komachi, look at how memories of the past remain in our consciousness. Also included in this collection is the tragedy The White House in the Hills of Argos, where myths of ancient Greece collide with Japan’s popular culture.


With an introductory essay by a specialist in contemporary Japanese theatre, Peter Eckersall, and translations by leading scholars and artists, Nippon Wars and Other Plays provides an essential look into Japan’s contemporary theatre scene.


This anthology of plays will interest scholars and students of Japanese arts and culture, professional theatre-makers and lovers of theatre everywhere. 

Takeshi Kawamura is one of Japan’s leading playwrights and a professor of Performing Arts at the Kyoto University of Arts and Design. He is the author of over 50 plays, including A Man Called Macbeth and Obsession Site. He is also the recipient of the Kishida Kunio Drama Award, among several others. 


Aya Ogawa is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, performer, and translator.

Leon Ingulsrud is a theatre actor, director, translator and teacher.

Peter Eckersall is an associate professor of Theatre Studies in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, and author of Theorizing the Angura Space: Avant-garde Performance and Politics in Japan, 1960–2000 (2006). 

Sara Jansen is a researcher, writer and dramaturge.

Shoichiro Kawai is a scholar and translator and teaches at the University of Tokyo. 

In Performance
Theatre And Performance Studies