Kabuki, a Traditional Form of Term Paper

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com).

Today, kabuki retains a number of leading plays and theatrical groups. The conventional kabuki repertoire has about 300 plays, although others are being added. Play types range from the shosa-goto (dance-drama), to the jidai-mono (historical drama), and the sewa-mono (domestic drama) (University of Texas at Austin)

There are three main groups of kabuki plays. Many kabuki plays were adapted from the puppet theater (such as Chushingura and Tsubosaka-Dera), or the no and kyogen dramas (such as Zazen, Kanjincho, and Musume Dojoji. Kagotsurube is among plays written especially for kabuki theater (University of Texas at Austin).

Kabuki performers Nakamura Kichiemon II, Sawamura Sojuro, Ichikawa Sadanji, Nakamura Matsue and Nakamura Kasho perform with the 70-member Shochiku Company of Tokyo. Of these performers, Nakamura Kichiemon II is considered to be one of Kabuki's strongest actors. Director Nakamura Utaemon is considered to be a "living national treasure" (Lo).

Today, Kabuki presentations in America influence the character of American theater. The Grand Kabuki Theater of Japan commonly performs outside of Japan, in a number of American venues. For example, Tokyo's Shochiku Company has performed Tsuri Onna ("Fishing for a Wife") and the drama Shunkan in Houston, Texas. Production of Kabuki in the United States often involves the use of simultaneous interpretation devices (Lo).

A number of the different types of kabuki theater have influenced American theater patrons. For example, performances by the Tokyo's Shochiku Company in Texas featured the shosa-goto (dance drama) and jidai mono ("historical drama") (Lo).

Generally, American theater patrons have responded favorably to kabuki theater.

In 1979, Clive Barnes of the New York Post noted, "What is the fascination of Kabuki, it's ritual and magic? I do not understand a single word of Japanese... But this theater, with its traditions and remembrances, simply thrills me" (cited in Lo).

Western culture has also had a profound impact on kabuki theater.
Notes Ichimura Manjiro Presents Kabuki for Everyone, "The opening of Japan to the West in 1868 affected Kabuki and the rest of the country profoundly." Today, kabuki theater "faces its most difficult enemies in modern forms of entertainment like movies and television" (Ichimura Manjiro Presents Kabuki for Everyone).

Theater of diversity improves relations between different people through a number of different means.

This improvement often comes through allowing people to experience different cultures and traditions. In doing this, individuals learn that different societies have made significant theatrical and artistic contributions to their cultures. This, in turn, can help dispel preconceptions that a specific society or culture is less advanced. Similarly, it can create a respect for different artistic and cultural interpretations and traditions.

In conclusion, the interaction of American theater and culture and Japanese kabuki theater provides a real opportunity for understanding the importance of theater of diversity. Theater of diversity can help improve understanding of different cultures, thus increasing tolerance. In addition, an understanding of American theater and Japanese kabuki theater provides a strong cultural contrast that can only increase creativity among theater in both traditions.

Works Cited

Ichimura Manjiro Presents Kabuki for Everyone. Kabuki: A Brief History. 21 October 2004. http://www.fix.co.jp/kabuki/about/history/overview.html

Japan-Guide.com. Theater - Kabuki. 21 October 2004. http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2090.html

Lo, Tamara. Graceful stars of Japan's Kabuki Theater take over Jones Hall. The Daily Cougar, 1996. 21 October 2004. http://www.stp.uh.edu/vol62/16/Lifestyl/life1/life1.html

Nakamura, Matazo. Kabuki, backstage, onstage: An actor's life. Kodansha International, 1990.

Spencer, Michael. Kabuki Story 2001 Japan Festival Award. 22 October 2004.

Project devised and co-ordinated http://www.lightbrigade.demon.co.uk/

University of Texas at Austin. KABUKI: Traditional Theatrical Arts. Courtesy of: The International Society for Educational Information, Inc., Tokyo. 21 October 2004. http://asnic.utexas.edu/asnic/countries/japan/kabuki.html.....

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