Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Shinkokugeki [New National Theater] By Wetmore, Kevin

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM291-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 21 June 2024, from


In response to the growth of shingeki, the actor Sawada Shōjirō developed a form of theater designed to appeal to the urban masses, especially in Tokyo, that blended elements of shingeki and kabuki with an overlay of patriotism, which he called shinkokugeki [new national theater], based on the principle of hanpozenshinshugi “half-step” forward. Shinkokugeki refers to both the style of performance and the company that performed it.

Waseda University student Sawada Shōjirō (1892–1929) became a shingeki actor in Tsubouchi Shōyō’s Bungei Kyōkai [Literary Arts Society], later achieving popularity in performances with the Geijutsu-za [Art Theater], appearing opposite Matsui Sumako, and with the Kindaigeki Kyōkai [Modern Drama Society]. He believed that shingeki was too elitist and other forms theaters too commercial and lowbrow. Sawada wanted to create theater that would appeal to the urban masses but that was also not crassly commercialized.

content locked



Article DOI



Related Searches

Citing this article:

Wetmore, Kevin. Shinkokugeki [New National Theater]. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

Copyright © 2016-2024 Routledge.