21 , 2016-03 , 東京大学東洋文化研究所 , Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo
Xixiangji 西廂記, a masterpiece of Yuan drama, boasts more than 40 editions in Ming era. Panke shuoren 槃薖碩人 edition is one of them, published in 1621. In this edition, the text is revised by Panke shuoren in order to fit the drama to the actual performance of the time. In the upper column of each page, there are editor’s notes which explain the reasons why he changed the original text. A number of notes point out, for the reason of revision, that the arias of main roles are inappropriate to be sung in front of elder characters because they express strong emotions; they are against courtesy (li 礼). He often makes some changes in order to solve the problem. There is an implicit rule of drama, however, that even if there are other characters on the stage, they do not necessarily hear or make response to the arias. Why did Panke shuoren ignore this rule of drama? In late Ming, as southern drama became popular among wenren 文人(men of culture) , Xixiangji in southern tunes appeared in two versions. Panke shuoren made reference to considerable numbers of editions, both in nor thern and southern styles to make his version. As a result, Panke shuoren edition was influenced largely by the style of southern drama, although it still belongs to the category of northern drama. In southern plays, all the characters can sing arias, and songs can be used for conversation along with spoken words. If used for conversation, songs must be heard by other characters. Then they cannot convey what sounds rude or against courtesy to other characters, especially the elders. The author concludes the reason for Panke shuoren’s sensitivity to li 礼 as follows: his revision was largely influenced by the style of southern drama; he had to consider the taste of audience which was mainly wenren.