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Kabuki is a Japanese traditional theatre form, which originated in the Edo period at the beginning of the seventeenth century and was particularly popular among townspeople. Originally, both men and women acted in Kabuki plays, but eventually only male actors performed the plays: a tradition that has remained to the present day. Male actors specialized in women's roles are called onnagata. Two other major role types are aragoto (rough style) and wagoto (soft style). Kabuki plays are about historical events and moral conflict in relationships of the heart. The actors speak in a monotone voice and are accompanied by traditional instruments.
An educational resource tied to the National Gallery of Australia's exhibition of Kabuki art. Provides information on the history, acting styles, music, themes, stage settings, costuming, and make up common in Kabuki theatre.
This collection of video segments produced by KET provides examples of Japanese culture through aesthetics, drama, and music.
The Kabuki segments provided here include the basics of the genre, techniques, make-up, symbolism, and a performance. All the Kabuki videos feature Shozo Sato, a Kabuki master.
A collection of photographs which show famous Kabuki stars, stills from several performances, and the transformation process involved for an onnagata role (in which a male actor plays a female character).
One of the most comprehensive handbooks available on Kabuki theatre provides readers with all the information they need to understand and appreciate this exciting amalgam of dramatic and musical arts. A clear and thoughtfully written text describes the theater's development in the context of Japanese history, with detailed analyses of actors' techniques, music and dance, plays and playwrights, the playhouse's design evolution, and six representative Kabuki plays.
This comprehensive guide to the theatre's history covers theatre arts around the globe, including ancient Eastern arts like Kabuki and more modern ones such as Bollywood. This book goes back to what we know from our earliest ancestors by examining ancient artifacts and ancient texts to find out how theatre was influenced by life and how it in turn influenced the culture of the people who came to enjoy it. The book concludes with a look at modern theatre and its current heyday as entertainment for the masses, especially in places like Broadway in New York City.