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歌舞伎 Kabuki

歌舞伎 Kabuki

Kabuki, Japan's unique traditional entertainment involves special songs, drums, shamisen and dance performances by actors whose faces are made up with white powder. The beauty of the dancing actors and the intensity of the atmosphere make it worth watching. The most famous Kabuki theater in Tokyo is Ginza's Kabuki-za, which you may want to visit the next time you come to Japan.

Kabuki is one of Japan’s traditional performing arts.
Once enjoyed by the emperor, Kabuki is designated as an important intangible cultural asset and is inscribed on the world’s intangible cultural heritage list. Kabuki performances are mainly categorized into jidai-mono (historical stories) and sewa-mono (domestic stories about ordinary people).

Jidai-mono plays generally focus on the society of court nobles and samurai, while sewa-mono plays feature the lives of Japanese townspeople during the 17th to 19th century. The main roles in Kabuki include the honorable man called tachiyaku, the female role called onnagata, the villan called tekiyaku, the comical clown called dokegata, and supporting actors such as soldiers called karami. Tachiyaku roles vary depending on the play. There is the jitsugotoshi who is a mature and reasonable man, aragotoshi who is a brave and powerful man full of vitality, wagotoshi whose specialty is love scenes, and shinbo-yaku who patiently endures being abused by the enemy. Stagehands called kuroko dressed in black, and kouken, who assist the actors from behind, also help the performance that unfolds on stage. The character’s personality is expressed through costumes and make-up. For example, aragotoshi who symbolizes superhuman powers wears make-up called kumadori with lines around the eyes, cheeks and forehead to emphasize bulging veins and muscles. Although Kabuki has local tours, we recommend going to a special theatre for kabuki, as the stage is considered a part of the performance.