Japan boasts one of the world's oldest, most vibrant and most influential performance traditions. This accessible and complete history provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese theatre and its continuing global influence. Written by eminent international scholars, it spans the full range of dance-theatre genres over the past fifteen hundred years, including noh theatre, bunraku puppet theatre, kabuki theatre, shingeki modern theatre, rakugo storytelling, vanguard butoh dance and media experimentation. The first part addresses traditional genres, their historical trajectories and performance conventions. Part II covers the spectrum of new genres since Meiji (1868–), and Parts III to VI provide discussions of playwriting, architecture, Shakespeare, and interculturalism, situating Japanese elements within their global theatrical context. Beautifully illustrated with photographs and prints, this history features interviews with key modern directors, an overview of historical scholarship in English and Japanese, and a timeline. A further reading list covers a range of multimedia resources to encourage further explorations.