Kabuki Theatre

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  • Topic: Kabuki, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Bunraku
  • Pages : 10 (3665 words )
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  • Published : January 28, 2013
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To what extent does stage design impact, influence, and enhance a traditional Kabuki theatre performance, more specifically, in the eighteenth century play Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees) written by Takeda Izumo II, Namiki Senryû I, and Miyoshi Shôraku?

Table of Contents
Title Page………………………………………..………………………………….....…….Page 1 Table of Contents………………………………………………………………...………….Page 2 Subject of Essay………………………………...………………………………..………Page 3-10 * Introduction……………………………………….....………………………………Page 3 * Kabuki and Kabuki History……………………………………….....……………Page 3-4 * Aspects of Stage Design………………………………………………...……...…Page 4-6 * Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura and Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura History…………..…Page 6-9 * Stage Design in Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura…………………………………..…Page 9-10 Bibliography………………………………………………………………...………….Page 11-12 Evaluation of Sources…………………………………………………………….…….Page 13-17

Introduction
Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura focuses on historic Genji and Heike conflict in the twelfth century due to a civil war period in Japan. The play was first performed in 1747, as Bunraku, traditional Japanese puppet theatre, however was quickly adapted into Kabuki theatre in 1748. In the 1740’s Kabuki theatre had already taken a very specific structure and form after a history filled with changes in power, revolts, and chaos. The style of theatre was easily noticed due to distinctive and elaborate make up and costumes, as well as, a very advanced stage design for the time period. In all Kabuki plays these aspects together lead to the plays success, ultimately leading up to the question of how the stage design impacts, influences, and enhances Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees) written by Takeda Izumo II, Namiki Senryû I, and Miyoshi Shôraku. Kabuki and Kabuki History

Kabuki, literally translating into song (歌), dance (舞), and skill (伎), is known as the art of singing and dance. It is a highly regarded classical Japanese form of theatre that originated in the early seventeenth century. Throughout the past four hundred years Kabuki has both thrived and struggled due to a chaotic Japanese History. However, Kabuki remains one of Japans most popular theatre styles because it appeals to all social classes.

Kabuki began as a style of dance and developed into a well-renounced style of theatre. First performed in 1603 by Izumo no Okuni and her dancing troupe it quickly caught the attention of many, especially women. It then became known as Kabuki Odori or Onna Kabuki, meaning eccentric dances typically danced by women. The dancing was extremely vulgar and turned out to be considered prostitution, which eventually lead to the banning of women’s participation in Kabuki in 1629 by the Japanese government. From 1629 to 1673 Kabuki was only performed by men, this period of time is know as yarō-kabuki. Men took the rolls of women, which led to the transformation of Kabuki from a dance to a drama. During the late seventeenth century and all of the eighteenth century Kabuki developed its structure and form, because of Noh and Bunruka influence and also because Kabuki began casting both male and female roles together. The theatres prospered and Kabuki spread to the west, until the end of nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century, when Japan became full of chaos involving fires, falling empires, power struggles, and world wars. In the modern era, later twentieth and present day twenty-first century, Kabuki remains part of Japans culture and industry, as well as, a growing interest in the Western world. Stage Design

There are many aspects that make Kabuki Theatre original. These aspects are unique costumes and extensive make up, however more impressively is Kabuki stage design. Thinking back to 400 years ago, there were not as many technological advancements when compared to today, more specifically absolutely no electricity. However, Kabuki theatre has innovated...
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