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Kubo Sakae

The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance

Kubo Sakae 


Japanese playwright and director. While studying German literature at Tokyo University, Kubo became a disciple of *Osanai Kaoru at the Tsukiji Little Theatre. After Osanai's death in 1928, Kubo, now a committed Marxist, chose to work with *Hijikata's New Tsukiji Troupe. Both as a director and as a writer Kubo became a respected spokesman for the importance of historical *realism in the theatre. His most fully accomplished work, the lengthy Land of Volcanic Ash (1937), remains a masterpiece of socially committed drama. Drawing on his childhood knowledge of the difficulties of colonizing Japan's cold northern island of Hokkaido, Kubo created in Amamiya a tragic figure who attempts to combine his humanism with his scientific knowledge. Under house arrest during the Second World War for his left-wing politics, Kubo never fully recovered his health and committed suicide in 1958.

J. Thomas Rimer