sekai


   The most common type of Japanese puppet play and one of the dominant genres of the kabuki stage is jidaimono, "history" or "period plays." Until the invention of sewamono, or "domestic plays," jidaimono was the dominant genre in Japanese drama. Jidaimono take real historical events as the basis of the drama. The playwrights wrote about the most famous or recognizable historical tales; they often used these historical tales to dramatize events banned by the Tokugawa regime.   The writers of jidaimono eventually saw history not as providing particular events, but as "story regions" or "story worlds" (sekai). Each well-known historical event spans several stock characters and several decades; these characters and the period they live in became a sort of "world" which the dramatist would draw on, adding more events or stories to that world. So the audiences of kabuki and joruri eventually became familiar with these particular "story worlds" and would interpret and understand a play in relation to other plays written about the same "story world."