enpaku 早稲田大学演劇博物館


For Our Children’s Tomorrow: Contemporary Japanese Theatre and Young People


Welcome to the Exhibition

   Shoyo Tsubouchi, the founder of the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum of Waseda University, is known for his research into kabuki and Shakespearean plays, but in his later years he also put a great deal of effort into other arts for the purpose of social reform. One of these was his study of and work in the field of child drama. This exhibition, entitled ‘For Our Children’s Tomorrow: Contemporary Japanese Theatre and Young People’, shows the direct influence of Tsubouchi’s legacy, while exploring contemporary Japanese theatre on the theme of children and youths. 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and therefore we aimed to create an exhibition that would reflect the age in which the Convention was adopted.
   As a result of population decline, globalisation, poverty resulting from social inequality, and a host of other issues, Japanese children and young people are experiencing bewildering changes in the society in which they live. In addition, on television and the Internet, we are exposed to a range of unfortunate events involving children each and every day. In this current age plagued by so many problems, what can the theatre possibly contribute? Can children gain through theatre a sense of hope and renewed strength to face the future?
   Through the exhibition of a variety of dramatic works and activities such as ‘Dramatic works created and performed by professional/adult performers for children’, ‘Dramatic works for adults that are centred on the theme of children’, ‘Dramatic works performed by children under the direction and supervision of professional performers and drama specialists’, and ‘drama in schools and drama education’, this exhibition provides a forum in which visitors can enjoy meeting the children and youths who appear in the productions, view the circumstances that children face today, and think about their future.
   I would like to offer my deepest gratitude to the many people who cooperated in this exhibition and the owners of works that are displayed in the exhibition.