A New Notion of Time in Modern Tokyo Life: A Comedy at High Speed at the Imperial Theatre in the 1920s


  • Ayumi Fujioka Sugiyama Jogakuen University (Japan)




The Imperial Theatre in the 1920’s operated both as a stronghold of multifarious modern Japanese theatre and as an embodiment of the acceleration of Tokyo modern life, in which people started to benefit from theatrical entertainment provided by thriving consumerism. A popular genre performed at the Imperial Theatre was joyūgeki (actress play), a series of satirical comedies in which actresses portrayed the main roles. A Comedy at High Speed can be recognised as a description of exhilarating modern life where the object of laughter aroused by the audience being the discordance experienced in the multifaceted modern life of the 1920’s controlled by a new perception of time. This new concept consisted of economic systems as well as social structures, in which not only anticipation of desirable flamboyancy grew swiftly, but also intolerant darkness, represented by fascism, a violation of human rights, and class distinctions were equally underlaid.