Kabuki 歌舞伎 (Japanese Comedic Theatre)
“Kabuki”【歌舞伎/かぶき】is one of the most famous Japanese theatrical art.
“Kabuki” was started in Kyoto by Okuni, who’s the founder of Izumo Shinto Shrine. “Kabuki” is has only been performed by males, and they act both male and female. This is because, the time when “Kabuki” became very popular in Kyoto, courtesans in pleasure quarters began to copy Okuni’s “kabuki” to attract more customers. Then the shogunate government, afraid it would corrupt the morals of the people, decided to prohibit women from performing. Since then, “kabuki” has only has been performed by males, who play both the male and female roles.
“Kabuki” is an all-round theatrical art consisting of music, dance and acting. “Kabuki” theaters have unique features like revolving stages for quick scene changes, trapdoors in the floor which actors appear, and extended passages through the audience to make actors’ entrances and exits more impressive. Actors wear uniquely exaggerated makeup called “kumadori” which helps to express their characters.
Picture: “Kabukiza” (Kabuki hole) in Ginza.