The following translated essay by Tsubouchi Shōyō 坪内逍遥 (1859–1935) gives an example of one of the earliest public discussions about the
theatrical form called buyō 舞踊 (dance) based on Western scientific approaches in Japan. Within the theatre renewal movement (engeki kairyō undō 演劇改良運動), which has been initiated by intellectuals of the political and cultural elite of the Meiji-state, Shōyō on the one hand championed for a preservation of the old dance forms but on the other hand criticized the underlying texts of dance. He as well mentioned the lack of experts at his time who could develop high quality dance performances appropriate to the modern times. As a pioneer of the theatre renewal movement, Shōyō not only focused dance on a theoretical basis, but had also created plays of modern dance theatre as a commixture of Japanese and Western theatrical aspects. In the face of the intense wave of westernization, which affected nearly all areas of life at this time, Shōyō shifts his readers’ attention on Japanese dance (shosagoto 所作事) to become aware of its importance as a unique national and cultural value as well as he commented methods and dynamics of contemporary international dance-activities.