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Kabuki Dance-Drama

歌舞伎 (Kabuki)

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers. Kabuki originated in the 17th century when Japan was under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate. Female performers played both men and women in comic playlets about ordinary life. The style was immediately popular and rival troupes quickly formed. Kabuki became a common form of entertainment in the ukiyo, or Yoshiwara, the registered red-light district in Edo. A diverse crowd gathered under one roof, something that happened nowhere else in the city. Kabuki theaters were a place to see and be seen as they featured the latest fashion trends and current events. Kabuki, in a sense, initiated pop culture in Japan. The shogunate was never partial to kabuki and all the mischief it brought, particularly the variety of the social classes which mixed at kabuki performances. Women's kabuki, called onna-kabuki, was banned in 1629 for being too erotic. Kabuki switched to adult male actors, called yaro-kabuki, in the mid-1600s. Male actors played both female and male characters. The theatre remained popular, and remained a focus of urban lifestyle until modern times. See "Kabuki". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2014-12-14.

Matted Mitate-e Woodblock Toyohara Kunichika's "Narihira's Morning" (c.1868)
Woodblock Ukiyoe Print: Utagawa Kunisada III-Kabuki Actor Onoe Kikugoro (c.1890)
Japanese Woodblock Ukiyo-e by Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III) 'Pleasure' c.1854
Antique Japanese Woodblock Ukiyo-e Print: Utagawa Yoshitora (c.1852) "47 Ronin"

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