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Dance / Drama: Kabuki

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Video: Kabuki Theatre

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.

Duration: 4:23



Video: Kabuki Conventions

Explore the fascinating conventions and traditions of Kabuki. Actor Kataoka Ainosuke explains the origins and meanings of Kabuki's unique make-up, its onnagata techniques, and stage machinery.

Production Year: 2018

Duration: 27:48

The Emperor's New Clothes

Books available in the NCC

Style and Characters