Explaining Japanese performing arts

Choose one of the things on the next page and explain it as if you are talking to someone who knows little or nothing about Japan. Your partner will listen, perhaps ask for more details, and then fill in anything relevant which they think you left out.  

Useful language for discussing the descriptions

“Is it similar to…?”/ “What’s the difference between… and…?”

“You could add that…”/ “Rather than…, I would say that…”/ “I think the most important point is…”

“I think you’ve covered it (now)”

Ask about anything below which you couldn’t explain then suggest other things for the list and how to explain them.  

Make sentences about the things below including explanations but also your feelings, opinions, etc, for example:

  • likes and dislikes
  • past experiences
  • future desires and plans
  • popularity
  • importance
  • reactions of people
  • connections to particular groups of people
  • connections to the authorities
  • connections to where you live
  • good points and bad points
  • trends/ changes over time
  • comparisons with other things
  • cause and effect

Your partner will listen, add more explanation, and then give their own opinions and feelings on that thing.

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Japanese performing arts to explain

“BGM”

“group sounds”

“idol” singers/ idoru music/ “idol” groups

“live house”
“variety” shows

anime songs

AKB

biwa

Budokan

Bunkamura

bunraku

butoh

chindon/ chindonya

enka

Eurobeat/ Para Para

fue, e.g. shakuhachi or shinobue

Fuji Rock

gagaku

geisha show

J pop

kabuki(za)

kendama

koto

kyougen

Liquid Room

manzai

Meiji-za

minyou

National Theatre of Japan

noh/ The National Noh Theatre

Okinawan folk music

Opera City

rakugo

sanshin

shamisen/ Tsugaru-jamisen

Shibuya kei

Shiki theatres

Summer Sonic

taiko/ wadaiko

Takarazuka

Teigeki (= Imperial Theatre)

Tokyo International Forum

Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre

visual kei

Zepp Tokyo

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PDF version for easy saving and printing: Explaining Japanese performing arts

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