Published On: Thu, Dec 11th, 2014

Witness the Attractive Kabuki

OVH-Japon-Kabuki006

photo: medeeenfurie.com

Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theater, which the roots can be traced back to the Edo Period. It’s known as one among three Japan’s major classical theaters next to Bunraku and Noh, and has been acknowledge as one of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages.

 

This Japanese theater is actually an art form that is rich in showmanship, which involves eye-catching make-up, elaborate designed costumes, outlandish wigs, and most importantly, the actors exaggerated actions. The highly stylized movements are performed to convey meaning toward the audience. It is especially important because the performance is using an old-fashioned Japanese performing art, which can be difficult to fully understand even for Japanese people.

Stage

Stage

photo: kcpwindowonjapan.com

Stage

The use of dynamic stage sets like trapdoors and revolving platforms allows the prompt to change scenes or the appearance and the disappearance of the stage actors. Another Kabuki’s specialty stage is the hanamichi (a footbridge) that could leads through the audience, making possible for a more dramatic exit or entrance. Ambiance is helped with the live music performance using Japanese traditional music instruments. These elements combination produces a captivating and visually stunning performance.

 

 

Plots

The plots of Kabuki are commonly based on tales of tragedy, historical events, moral conflicts, warm hearted dramas, love stories, conspiracy and other famous tales. The unique feature of the performance is the fact that what is being performed on the show is often times merely a part of a whole story, and mostly the best part. That is why, in order to gain more enjoyment out of the performance, it would be better to read a bit about the story prior to attending the show. But it is actually possible at some theaters to rent headsets that would provide the audience English narrations and also explanations.

 

Conventions

Originally, only women who used to be acted at kabuki stages and this performing art was popular mostly among common people. But later during Edo Period, the Tokugawa Shogunate forbid women to participate in any performing art, which is why to the present day, it is exclusively performed by men. There are even a number of male actors that are specializing only in playing onnagata, or the female roles

kabuki4

photo: kcpwindowonjapan.com

When you’re watching the performance, one of the things you’ll noticed are probably the assistants that are dressing in black appearing on the stage. These assistants are there to help the actors by handing out props or help them in other ways during the performances. The assistants are one of the important elements that help to create seamless performances. These assistants are called kurogo and regarded as the nonexistent.

 

Should you come across people among the audience that are shouting out names of the actors on the stage, don’t mistake it for disrespectful act. The audience shouting out the actors stage names to show support at appropriate timing is an accepted practice. The reason for this is because every kabuki actors have what it is called a yago or hereditary stage name. The yago is associated to the theater troupe the actors is originated. In the Kabuki world, troupes are somewhat knit hierarchical organizations, commonly continued through from one generation to the next within families.

 

About the Author

- the man who love japan , culture, people ^_^

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Follow me on Twitter