Kabuki as Multiple Narrative Structures and Narrative Generation

Kabuki as Multiple Narrative Structures and Narrative Generation

Takashi Ogata (Iwate Prefectural University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 84
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7979-3.ch005
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This chapter undertakes a comprehensive survey and analysis of kabuki, aiming to explore a narrative generation-reception and a narrative production-consumption model of kabuki from the viewpoint of an information system and, in particular, a narrative generation system. A fundamental concept of the modeling is “multiplicity,” or multiple narrative structures. In addition, the author associates this model with the concept of the Geinō Information System (GIS), representing a system model in which multiple narrative generations and production mechanisms or processes are included. This chapter presents introductory knowledge on kabuki, including history and basic terms, as background for the discussion. In addition, this chapter shows the results of concrete analyses of kabuki's elements, including “person,” “story,” “tsukushi,” and “naimaze.”
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This chapter aims to survey and analyze kabuki in order to explore and create a “narrative generation-reception model” or a “narrative production-consumption model” of kabuki from the viewpoint of an information system or, in particular, a narrative generation system. A fundamental concept applied to this task is that of “multiplicity” or “multiple narrative structures” in kabuki. In addition, this chapter seeks to bridge a comprehensive survey and analysis of kabuki based on the concept of multiplicity or multiple narrative structures with a more a generalized conceptual model, including both narrative generation-reception and production-consumption processes.

The synthesized narrative generation architecture that the author has been designing and developing, i.e., the “Integrated Narrative Generation System: INGS” (Ogata, 2010; Akimoto & Ogata, 2014; Ogata, 2016), forms the background of this study. Moreover, it represents an objective into which the results of this study can be fed. The INGS has been explained in detail in the introductory chapter of this book. It is a basic or fundamental system that has a narrative generation process by a single subject operating on a basis similar to that of an individual human being. However, the ultimate goal of the author’s narrative generation project, including the development of INGS, is to involve one or more INGSs to realize various narrative generation application systems and social distribution mechanisms using automatic narrative generation functions, etc. By social distribution, the author means mechanisms to be linked to a new type of business model for social applications using the WWW for the narrative generation system itself, a content business mechanism using narrative generation functions, etc. This chapter anticipates the relevant concepts and directions for the future social distribution of INGS through exploring and constituting a narrative generation model of kabuki.

In particular, the conceptual model referred to as the “Geinō Information System: GIS” (Amino, Kawamura, & Ogata, 2002; Kawamura & Ogata, 1997, 2000, 2002) is associated to INGS in this plan. Although the Japanese word geinō carries the meaning of entertainment and amusement, it simultaneously has complex and historical signification that includes elements from Shinto shrine rituals and magical tradition. The GIS is designed to be a system model in which multiple narrative generation and production mechanisms or processes perform a social level task using one or more INGSs. It is a framework in which various levels of narrative generation processes can be driven by the authors, receivers, characters, actors, and actresses included in the system. In short, INGS and GIS are designed, respectively, to correspond to narrative generation-reception and narrative production-consumption as an entire system. A kabuki play is a collection of multiple narratives built around original scenarios, authentic and related histories, and the actors’ private scenes. It is intended for the construction to be connected with plans for a future narrative generation system comprising several other narrative generation systems. This chapter will explore the conceptual design of the “GIS with INGS” (previously, the author has described “GIS including INGS) by surveying and analyzing kabuki according to the concept of multiplicity and multiple narrative structures.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Persons in Kabuki: In kabuki , there are various kinds of “persons,” such as “actors (or performers),” “(dramatic) characters” and “real persons.” These temporally and spatially form and possess multiple existences and relationships.

Multiplicities of Kabuki: In this research, these fifteen elements have been preliminarily or tentatively considered as elements constructing multiplicities of kabuki : (1) real incident, (2) work, (3) genre, (4) material or topic, (5) person, (6) story and plot, (7) actor and place, (8) time (era or age), (9) style (form or pattern), (10) theatre (stage and seating), (11) audience, (12) text, (13) production of scenario ( daicho ), (14) direction, and (15) stage performance.

Expanded Literary Theory (ELT): A concept for the research field in which narratology and literary theories are organically introduced into computational and cognitive approaches.

Geino Information System (GIS): A system model of geino production and consumption. GIS has been considered a framework in which various levels of narrative generation processes were driven by authors, receivers, characters, actors, and actresses.

Multiple Narrative Structures (Model): A conceptual model by which a narrative text is multi-constituted and the narrative generation process is also multi-executed.

Integrated Narrative Generation System (INGS): A synthetic narrative generation system architecture integrating the previous studies by the author.

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