#26 Theatre - Kabuki-

2020 . 10 . 26

This is Autumn for arts. How is it going ??
Have you ever enjoyed watching KABUKI ??
I heard that Kabuki is the first public stage art.

I saw a picture of the stage for Kabuki when I opened an encyclopaedia.
By chance, I was watching an animation about Kabuki thorough YouTube ED,so that I choose today’s Topic ‘KABUKI’.
I like to learn something by chance like today.

“ Western theatre was rational and literary.On the other hand, Eastern theatre was emotional and was developed centred by singing and dance.”

Actually, I opened the page of ‘theatre’ therefore my eyes caught up this sentence talking about differences from the West and the East.

This phrase reminded me again that the power of words influenced the art as well.
English focuses on the subject ,so it is important to indicate What or Who.
Japanese should understand the background or the situation instead of the subject. Sometimes we often don’t put the subject because it is not a big deal. I had been said this before.

By the way, there is no theatre in Tonga, if I say, they dance traditional dance “Taolunga” at a stage of church or just outside. In addition, their choreography includes its meanings. When I remember Tonga, songs and dances are fulfilled in the daily life because there are not one special place. They sing a song for pray before any meetings, they dance at anytime they want.

Well, Many Asian countries were the same as Tonga, it seemed that the theatre was not developed like the West because they showed their performance at the precincts or the court square. Audiences watched the performance surround the actors. Kabuki, having been all the rage from ordinary people, started it like this style in Japan, too. Though only Japanese in the East have built up the theatre with complex equipment, the first opportunity seemed to use a stage curtain. That event led to Kabuki using a script ,and then the stage made various important roles step by step. I think the theatre helped Kabuki, having started with ordinary people to reach high quality and famous art.

It is said that that high artistry inspired many artists strongly beyond the world.
It should have been very much inconvenient to know about overseas than now,,,
How strong its effect is !? I feel more foreigners have been attracted to Kabuki than Japanese even now. I have been taught that wonderfully from many European friends.

TED talk ED which I saw is made by Amanda Mathis and also translated to several languages. This is a simple and clear animation about Kabuki with just 4 min story.
I have never found such an easy understanding animation about kabuki history.
Of course, this recommendable animation might be influenced by Kabuki.

So, now, let’s move on to learn Kabuki from Adam’s work!!

Kabuki: The people’s dramatic art – Amanda Mattes

Many elements of traditional Japanese culture such as cuisine and martial arts are well known throughout the world.
Kabuki of a formal classical theatre performance main at be as well understood in the west, but has evolved over 400 years to still maintain influence and popularity to the stay.
The word KABUKI is derived from the Japanese verb KABUKU meaning “out of the ordinary’ or ‘bizarre’.
Its history begins in only early 17 century Kyoto.
When a shrine maiden named IZUMO NO OKUNI used series dry Kamo riverbed as the stage to perform unusual dances for passed by, who found her during parities of Buddhist prayers both entertaining and mesmerising.
Soon other troops began performing in the same style and Kabuki made history as Japan’s first dramatic performance form catering to the common people.
By relying on makeup or Kesyo and facial expressions instead of masks and focusing on a historical event or everyday life rather than folktales.
Kabuki said it so far apart from the upper class the dancer theatre form known as NOH and provided a unique commentary on society during the end of the period.
At first, the dance was practised only by females and commonly referred to as ONNA-KABUKI.
It soon evolved to an amassable performance and became a regular attraction at the tea houses drawing audiences from all social classes.
At this point, ONNA-KABUKI was often risky as Geisha’s performed not only to show off the singing and dancing abilities but also to advertise the body to the potential clients.
A ban by the conservative Tokugawa shogun in1629 led to the emergence of WAKASHU-KABUKI with young boys as actors, but when it was also banned for similar reasons.
There was a transition to YARO-KABUKI performed by men.
Necessitating a lever costume and making up for those playing female roles or ONNA-GATA.
Attempts by the government to control Kabuki didn’t end with bans on gender or age of performers.
The Tokugawa military group or BAKUFU with field by Confucius ideas and often an acting sanctions on costume fabrics, stage weaponry and subject matters the pra.
At the same time, Kabuki became closely associated with and influenced by BUNRAKU and live rite form of puppet theatre.
Due to these influences, the once spontaneous one-act dance evolved into a structured five-act play often based on a tenet of Confusion philosophy.
Before 1868 when the Tokugawa shogun it fallen and employee Meiji restored to power, Japan practised isolation from other countries or SAKOKU and vast development of Kabuki has mostly been shaped by domestic influences, but even before this period, European artists such as Claude Monet had become interested in and inspired by Japanese art such as woodblock prints. As well as live performance after 1868 others such as Vincent Van Gogh and composer Claude Debussy begin to incorporate Kabuki influences and their work, Well Kabuki itself and when much change and experimentation to adapt to the new modern era. Like other traditions, arts perform Kabuki suffered into popularity in the wake of World War Two but innovation by artists such as director Tetuji Takeshi led to a resurgence shortly after.
Indeed, Kabuki was even conservative popular form of treatment among American troops stationed in Japan despite initial US censorship of Japanese traditions.
Today, Kabuki is still lived on as an inter go part of Japanese rich culture heritage extending its influences beyond the stage to television, film and anime. The art form pioneered by Okuni continues to a driven audience with the actors a level wake up extra begin and dedicate important costumes and the unmistakable melodrama of the stories told on stage.

This is one of changing time that we can get many opportunities to learn various things on YouTube, isn’t it ?
I let you know there is a channel named “Kabukimasho( Let’s Kabuki) ’ on You Tube produced by official Kabuki association. You can see a real Kabuki world or one extra face of actors which we can’t see on the stage or TV.

After I watched this, I became eager to go to ‘ Misonoza’ in Nagoya.

Although I tend to look over outside of my area, I realised that It is full of “what we don’t know” in Japan !!
Imagination from the history of ancient time is one huge trip as well!!

Even though I have been bad at history, I know the feeling of people who like history.

Author ; Miki Kato