can I learn more?

woodblock hirokazu fukadu

Below is a collection of visuals, essays, and other fascinating kishōtenketsu odds and ends that I continue to find inspiring.

If you’re intrigued by the form, its history, its applications, or if you want some recommended reading or viewing material, you’ll find fantastic leads in the links that follow.

I’ll continue to update this list as life allows. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me [tenortaku at gmail.com] should you encounter any resources that might enrich this page — and its visitors — further.


Visual Representations:

“Kishōtenketsu reflects the structure and development of Chinese and Japanese narratives…”

Enlightening Essays:

“For countless centuries, Chinese and Japanese writers have used a plot structure that does not have conflict ‘built in’, so to speak…”

“Conflict, rather than be the fulcrum…is instead changed to one of experience: one of many that the characters endure…”

“Connections are often implicit or meant to be inferred, rather than outright stated…”

“There is…no need to call on the Western narrative’s need for conflict and confrontation…”

How the Japanese Read/Write/Speak Kishōtenketsu:

“Ki-Sho-Ten-Ketsu (Prologue-Event-Turn & Change-Epilogue) is a popular format used in writing essays and stories in Japanese…”

“Often there is overlap with this 4-part structure and a 3-part structure that English speakers may be more familiar with…”

“For Americans who are used to a more straightforward style, kishōtenketsu can be very confusing…”

“When Japanese use the kishōtenketsu pattern, it’s often difficult for non-Japanese to follow…” 

Film & Video Games:

“Japanese contemporary cinema in the digital environment is rapidly changing [its] narrative approaches…”

“This structure of introduction, development, twist and wrap-up was fundamental in many Super Mario 3D Land and World levels…”

The Narrative Shapes of Stories:

“Used in all manner of East Asian narratives, this is a structure of [the] synthesis of ideas…”

Contemporary Japanese Literature — Essays, Critiques & Reviews: