Monday, June 16, 2008

Notes On the Preface to "The 1687 Gidayū Collection of Jōruri Scenes" by Takemoto Gidayū


In the preface to the collectionTakemoto Gidayū 竹本義太夫 (1651-1714) relates the story of a friend who came to him in search of the secrets of and Jōruri. During their meeting, Gidayū discusses the various techniques of the two dramatic forms, and the importance of mastering Heike recitation and “maintaining the balance between the masculine (skill) and the feminine (heart)"; but he stops short there, advising his friend to dig through the "Kadensho" to find the deeper secrets.

Yet the practical advice he gives his friend reveals much about his attitude toward Nō and Jōruri. Here are some of his points:

*First, he explains that Nō is not the father of jōruri; rather, jōruri is both the mother and father of jōruri. Nō is jōruri`s foster-parent.

*Regarding individual tendencies and inevitable idiosyncrasies, Gidayū advises his friend to observe the laws of decorum and not to “startle the listener.” “When asked to perform at a private residence," he goes on, "one must tailor the performance to the desires of the patron.” Such an emphasis on decorum might be compared to similar advice given by Horace in his "Ars Poetica."

*Gidayū's Nō is no art-for-art`s-sake. For him, the purpose and meaning of the Nō lies explicitly in its relation to the audience, without whom there would be no Nō. “Is not its purpose to entertain the hearts of the audience?" he asks. Gidayū is ever-mindful of the primary importance of entertaining audiences. “The ability to entertain without boring one’s audience," he explains, "should be considered the secret tradition of the art of Jōruri. Those who achieve this skill should be considered masters.”

*Regarding the tradition, Gidayū recommends “listen[ing] to many kinds of music, drama, and storytelling, and to discard that which is not pleasing to one’s heart; that which remains will most likely be effective as art.” Again, the success of the work is measured in terms of its effect on the audience.

*Gidayū also warns not follow blindly the dictates of any single school. “One must open one’s ear and mind," he explains, "because no one school has the secret teachings and traditions.”

*Finally, he advises against seeking fame, for it will come naturally to those who deserve it.

[A translation of this preface can be found in Gerstle’s Circles of Fantasy: Convention in the Plays of Chikamatsu]

Friday, June 6, 2008

ピアノ・スクールを開業


三ヶ月前に英会話を復活させたが、あいにくもう潰れてしまった。「あんた全く教える気ないわね」と年増の生徒たちがいきなり激怒し、全員でやめた。「授業中にあくびするなんて、ありえないわねぇ。。」と云々。

だから新しいバイトを求めて、先日、環境問題の会社との面接に行ってみた。地球温暖化に取り組んでいる社長と副社長と対面して、二時間前後話した結果、「基本的に外人が嫌いだけども、あんたは普通の外人と違って嫌いじゃないから、お勤めください」と言われ、結局来週から勤めることになった。問題は、科学はそもそも苦手で、地球温暖化や環境問題などに関する知識は皆無であり、それがいつまでもバレないわけは無いから、すぐ首になるにきまっていると思う。

なので、バックアップ計画としてピアノ・スクールを開業してみることにした。せっかく子供のころから20才まではずっと稽古を受けていたし、教えていた時期もあった。教えるのはバッハのみだから、ショパンを習いたいなら別のところに行ってください。(偏見かもしれないが、どうかお許しを。)

それで、去年、和敬塾で撮影してもらったビデオが、バッハ専門サイトに写された(無許可で!)のをきょう発見したが、見たければここをクリックしてください。それでは、お待ちしております!