What do you think about kabuki theater?
Are you referring to the Japanese form of drama or the American form of political discourse?
I prefer Noh theater, because of the use of masks in the performances. The only draw back for me is that many of the performances are Buddhist morality plays. Still, it’s an interesting window into Japanese culture and folklore.
Kabuki is a traditional Japanese art form. It is difficult for those of us from the U.S. to fully appreciate it the way the Japanese do unless we were raised in that culture. But I respect Kabuki and find it interesting.
I don’t think I could handle much of it because my Western brain has a difficult time wrapping itself around the Kabuki conventions; e.g., men playing female roles. But again, I realize that to the Japanese, this isn’t strange at all, but part of their culture and full of ancient symbolism.
Someone here once posted a link to the life of Christ told in bunraku (yes, I know it’s not kabuki).
Awesome! I wish the whole performance was available!
It always makes for an interesting fantasy fighting style that’s for sure. ;p
hops on one foot, sword held high in one hand, and left palm thrust out
“Thou shalt be slain… my apologies!! >8D”
Yep, that was me. I think.
And for the record, bunraku and kabuki does have some interplay.
Not so strange considering that in the West as well - from the Greco-Roman period up to the Middle Ages - it was considered disgraceful for a woman to go on the stage, and this belief continued right up until the 17th century, when the long-standing taboo was broken in Venice.
And there’s actually a reason why onnagata exists. The ironic thing is, kabuki was actually developed by a woman, Okuni of Izumo, in 1603. Okuni was said to be a miko at the Grand Shrine of Izumo (Izumo Taisha) who began performing a new style of dance drama in the dry riverbeds of Kyoto around that time. Following Okuni’s lead, female performers played both men and women in comic playlets about ordinary life, and kabuki was born as ensemble dance and drama performed by women. Problem was, the performances were sometimes ribald and suggestive. It did not help that part of kabuki’s success at the time was because some were using it as a front for prostitution. In fact, it became a common form of entertainment in the ukiyo (‘floating world’) culture of Yoshiwara, the registered red-light district in Edo (Tokyo).
The government - in this case, the shogunate - was never a fan of the ‘vulgar’ (in both its senses) kabuki and all the mischief it brought, and banned it in 1629 for being too erotic. Following the ban, kabuki began to be the domain of young men, but since they too were eligible for prostitution the government soon banned it as well. Kabuki switched to adult male actors playing both genders around the mid-17th century, and fortunately, the most of the trouble stopped there.
Arigatou gozaimasu! I am forever grateful and that presentation always mesmerizes me.
Iz even able to understand some of what they are saying without the subtitles.