Did Ninagawa succeed in combining Japanese and Greek culture in his kabuki-infused production of Greek tragedy Medea?
This dissertation study aims to determine whether the Japanese director Yukio Ninagawa achieved to combine Japanese and Greek culture in his production of Euripides’ Medea. In this respect, the research project will focus on Greek and Japanese classical theatre forms. The focal point will be Greek tragedy, Japanese kabuki and bunraku theatre, as they are the two Japanese theatre genres that Ninagawa incorporated in his production of Medea. Japanese and Greek theatre forms have major differences, this study seeks to analyse if a combination of both classical forms is possible and effective. The study uses qualitative methodology using literary sources about Ninagawa’s production of Medea. It is a presentation of a qualitative self-reflection of the researcher, in a combination with Mae Smethurst’s (2002) American Journal of Philosophy about the production. Moreover, the study examines the similarities and differences between Greek and Japanese theatre forms, studies Ninagawa’s directorial experimentations with Western theatre forms and focuses on his production of Medea. The study will also discuss the changes that the director made in his Tokyo and Athens production of the tragedy, by analyzing a video recording of the Athens production and Mae Smethurst’s analysis of the Tokyo production. This study’s conclusions indicate that Yukio Ninagawa in his production of Medea achieved to incorporate both cultures and theatre forms creatively.