Logo

Features of Kabuki in Japan

Kabuki was formed in 1603 when Okuni, a maiden virgin in Izumo Taisha Temple, began performing a new style of dance in Kyoto. Actresses play both male and female roles in comedies about the daily life. This type of art was soon popular. The Kabuki dance was initiated by women, but now Kabuki actors are forced to be male.

 

In 1629, beacuse Kabuki was so offensive at that time, the government did not allow women to continue performing. Young talented  male artists subsequently followed, but were banned in 1652 for the same reason. At that time, the authorities allowed only older male artists to perform this art. Since the Edo period, Kabuki art has undergone many changes and gradually improved.

                             

It is because of its popularity among the elite that Kabuki has become a flashy form of display that is unlikely to catch up with other Japanese traditional arts. For example, when compared to Noh, this is also a traditional art form, perhaps you will see the action of the actor Kabuki very ostentatious, from makeup to costume called Kumadori also extremely colorful

 

Kabuki is one of the three popular performing arts in Japan

Kabuki is one of the three popular performing arts in Japan

 

Besides, the plot is as interesting as the television dramas or comics. And of course there are times of tension, but there is no lack of laughter, scuffles, bed scenes and other popular pleasures. Kabuki is not the mainstream drama for those who have a keen understanding of Kabuki, so you definitely want to come and see it once.

 

There are two main types of Kabuki plays:

+ Jidaimono: Taken from many events in Japanese history, especially in the Edo era.

+ Sewamono: the object reflects mainly the farmers, families and love. Old plays Sewamono largely narrated the tragedy in love should be limited and subject to the pressure of society.

 

Kabuki - a kind of famous stage theater

Kabuki - a kind of famous stage theater

 

Common Character Types in Kabuki:

+ Tachiyaku: Leading male roles

+ Katakiyaku: Represent bad guys doing evil.

+ Onnagata: female characters.

+ Kumadori: generals, heroes

 

Kabuki's distinction over Noh or Western plays is that sometimes the character of the actor is more important than the role in the plays. For example, when Jack Dawson, who starred in the movie Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio completely immersed in his character and become a real Jack Dawson, not an actor anymore.

 

Kabuki became a unique art form not only in Japan but also in the world

Kabuki became a unique art form not only in Japan but also in the world

 

And Noh is a kind of drama where the actor does not need to have personality. As for Kabuki, there is sometime between the actor's play to stop acting, instead of greeting the audience as an actor. This is a rare trait in other types of drama. Kabuki attaches great importance to the character of the actor. Actors are not only incarnated in the role but also need more, they need to know how to develop their own way to bring something interesting to the audience.

 

To be able to enjoy an entire Kabuki from start to finish, you need 4 ~ 5 hours. There is a midday break, but you almost sit and watch. You do not have to pay too much attention to your outfit when you go to Kabuki. You can go to see with a Kimono, or wear jeans

 

Also, even if you do not know Japanese, the Kabukiza Theater or the National Theater in Tokyo is equipped with an English headphone to enjoy Kabuki  in Japan.