[JAPANESE THEATRE]. ODA OTOYA: A COLLECTION OF STAGE DESIGNS. Oda Otoya (1920-2006) began his career in the arts as an illustrator of fiction, moving to stage design in the post-war period. He created designs for many plays at the National Theatre in Tokyo, as well as the famous Little Theatre there. He published an important book on his own work in 1977: BUTAI BIJUTSU WO KANGEARU [THOUGHTS ON STAGE DESIGN]. Receiving a special Kikuta Kazuo Theatre Prize in 1977 and then the coveted Shijushô [Purple Ribbon Decoration] in 1983 for his advancement of the Japanese theatre arts, he was regarded as one of the grand old men of the Japanese theatre. Besides his extensive work in Kabuki, he also designed the sets of many modern theatre productions, including plays by Mishima, Tanizaki, etc.. This collection consists of literally thousands of his original designs and design ideas for the stage.
2,311 oblong sheets, most are around 7 x 21 inches, showing proscenium views, stage backgrounds, pieces of scenery, scrims, etc. Some are preliminary sketches with touches of color, but the majority. over 2000, are highly finished watercolor designs that show either an entire scenic design on one sheet or component pieces of a single scenic design on two or more sheets that form the whole, or even a large prop, such as a boat. A handful of designs have small photos attached to them that either indicate the inspiration for the design, suggest a view to be seen outside a stage window, and, in one instance, show the set as realized with actors.
46 smaller (various sizes) preliminary and final sketches, either colored or with touches of color, that show scenic designs, details of specific elements of designs, props, decorative motifs, etc..
456 drawings, some sketches, while others are quite detailed and include measurements, along with photocopies of drawings and painted designs, many of which are marked with notations or with areas of color.
363 stage plans (various sizes) that show the placement of the component elements of the rendered designs.
29 watercolors of kimono designs, 15 x 10 inches, and 3 sheets of costume designs.
An important archive documenting Japanese theatre design in creative context.