Kinoshita never accepted any national honors or awards, and stuck to his left-wing political views throughout his life. Kinoshita died on October 30, 2006, from pneumonia. In accordance with his will, no funeral was held. His death was reported one month after his death. (From Wikipedia)
The Play is adapted from the Japanese folk tale Tsuru no Ongaeshi.
The play was performed in the 1940’s.
As wartime censorship grew in Japan in rigidity, Junji Kinoshita turned from contemporary or historical themes to folklore and created his own unique genre of “folk plays.” Yūzuru (1949; Twilight Crane) is an outstanding example and the play with which Kinoshita is most closely identified. (Britannica)
Japan was occupied (mainly by the US) after the world war. READ MORE.
Under MacArthur’s guidance, the Japanese government introduced sweeping social reforms and implemented economic reforms that recalled American “New Deal” priorities of the 1930s under President Roosevelt. The Japanese constitution was comprehensively overhauled and the Emperor’s theoretically-vast powers, which for many centuries had been constrained by conventions that had evolved over time, became strictly limited by law. (Wikipedia)
Allied (primarily American) forces were set up to supervise the country, and “for eighty months following its surrender in 1945, Japan was at the mercy of an army of occupation, its people subject to foreign military control.”
By the end of 1945, more than 350,000 US personnel were stationed throughout Japan.
Outcomes of the occupation
- Liberalization – All the major sectors of the Japanese society, government, and economy were liberalized in the first few years and won strong support from liberals in Japan.[
According to various accounts, U.S. troops committed thousands of rapes among the population of the Ryukyu Islands during the Okinawa Campaign and the beginning of the American occupation in 1945.
On the day the occupation of Japan was over, the Asahi Shimbun published a very critical essay on the occupation, calling it “almost akin to colonialism” and claiming it turned the Japanese population “irresponsible, obsequious and listless… unable to perceive issues in a forthright manner, which led to distorted perspectives”.
Leftists (Junji Kinoshita was left-wing) looked upon the occupation forces as a “liberation army”.
Japan continued to experience Westernization in the postwar era, much of which came about during the occupation, when American soldiers were a common sight in many parts of the country. American music and movies became popular, spurring a generation of Japanese artists who built on both Western and Japanese influences.