Danjuro's Girls: Women on the Kabuki Stage
Danjuro’s Girls is a fascinating history of Japan’s female kabuki troupes, offering a penetrating investigation into three generations of kabuki actresses associated with the renowned Ichikawa Danjuro acting dynasty. Contextually grounding early female precedents in kabuki, the book focuses on the Ichikawa Girls’ Kabuki Troupe, a unique and trailblazing company founded after Japan’s defeat in World War II. The troupe became a national sensation in the 1950s, briefly becoming part of the otherwise impenetrable all-male kabuki establishment. Drawing on numerous interviews, as well as written and visual primary sources, Danjuro’s Girls challenges readers to re-examine conventional notions about gender, performance, and traditional Japanese theatre.