Early Modern Woodblock Print as an Auditory Technology
Intervention de Satoko SHIMAZAKI (Université de Californie à Los Angeles)
Mardi 4 avril 2023 (12h-13h30)
Dans le cadre du seminaire “Histoire de l’art moderne japonais” de Michael Lucken (Inalco)
Salle 5.18, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris
How did people remember particular actors’ voices or a musician’s art before the invention of sound recording? In early-nineteenth century Japan, before the advent of recorded sound and images, music and famous lines from the stage circulated widely in woodblock print. While in Edo kabuki playscripts were often kept in house, what we might call “practice books” including famous lines, often with pictures of the faces of the actors who spoke them and notations about their vocal styles, were marketed for reading and amateur imitation. Toward the end of the early modern period, performance—ranging from kabuki theater to popular songs and street shows—played an instrumental role in organizing the visual and auditory properties of early modern prose fiction, especially popular genres of illustrated fiction. In this talk, I examine soundscapes relating to the kabuki theater and other performative genres that were called up through both the text and the pictures in illustrated fiction, showing how they contributed to the construction of a sort of virtual experience of the theater, and how they demanded an auditory register for textual consumption. This talk is an attempt to bring print culture into communication with modern technologies of sound recording.