All About Japanese Kabuki Theater

japan's kabuki theatre
Japanese Language

All About Japanese Kabuki Theater

Japan’s Kabuki Theatre

Japan has more to offer than its stunning beauty, vibrant metropolitan life, and unique culture. Kabuki theatre, one of Japan’s most renowned and distinct performance arts, has a rich history.

This article teaches

  • Kabuki theatre history
  • Where can I watch kabuki today?
  • Kabuki manners
Table of Contents

    How Kabuki theatre came to be

    Kabuki theatre has been around for hundreds of years. It started in 1603 during the Edo period. People in the town wanted a raw, emotional, and flashy art form to watch and enjoy, so the genre was made.

    But the shogun, who was in charge of the military and was really in charge of Japan, didn’t like this new performance art. From the very beginning of the Edo period, the shogunate was horrified by how graphic kabuki theatre was.

    Since women used to perform kabuki comic dance routines for mostly male audiences, the shogunate thought that the women onstage were prostitutes and banned women from the art form in 1629. Learn Japanese Language

    Onnagata: A New Way to Be a Woman

    Since then, only men have been in kabuki performances, and the same men have played both male and female roles. But the male actors who play these female roles (called onnagata in Japanese) are said to have created a new version of “womanhood” that is unique to kabuki and made for the stage.

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    Types of Kabuki Plays

    Even though there are some things that all kabuki plays have in common, there are many different kinds of plays from many different times.

    Some kabuki plays were based on stories written before the Edo period, but others show the busy lives of people in Edo, which gives them a more real feel. Some anime shows and movies, like Naruto and Nausicaa, have been turned into kabuki performances, bringing this traditional art form into the world of modern Japanese pop culture.

    Where Can I see Kabuki Today?

    Kabuki shows have been a part of Japanese culture for a long time, so it’s no surprise that the Kabukiza Theater in Ginza has become a popular place for tourists to go.

    Repertory means that plays and dances are often done over and over again on a cyclical schedule. Only a few days pass between performances, and the actors’ busy schedules mean that they often have to practise for one show while putting on another.

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    Kabuki Etiquette

    Kabuki audiences must behave. This is typical theatre behaviour: turn off phones, don’t take photos, and stay in your seat.

    Theatre gadgets translate the script and narrative into English for non-Japanese speakers. The audience can buy Japanese bento boxes, sandwiches, and sake between shows. The theatre’s interactive exhibition features kabuki props and costumes.

    Kabuki theatre is a beautiful and sophisticated performance art that has become a global symbol of Japanese culture. Kabuki offers magnificent sights, a complex history, and something for everyone. Learn Japanese Language

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