HIJIKATA YOSHI


HIJIKATA YOSHI
(1898–1959)
   Hijikata Yoshi was a Tokyo-born theater director who was active in the shingeki theater reform movement and joined with Osanai Kaoru in 1924 to create the Tsukiji Little Theater, the first in the world to use electric illumination. The theater featured foreign plays by such playwrights as Anton Chekov and Maxim Gorky translated into Japanese. However, with Osanai’s sudden death in 1928, Hijikata was ousted from control, and in 1929 he formed the New Tsukiji Theater Company with the aim to focus on more socialist-realist theater. This new company adapted many of the novels of the contemporary proletarian literature movement. In 1932, however, government opposition became fierce and Hijikata was arrested. The following year he fled to the Soviet Union and remained there in fear of persecution by the thought police. He was deported to Europe in 1937 and stayed for four years before returning to Japan, where he was immediately arrested. After World War II, he was released and joined the Communist Party.
   See also MARXISM.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

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