歌舞伎: The Art and Tradition

Front Cover
講談社インターナショナル, 2001 - Photography - 181 pages
Kabuki traces its origins to exactly the same era as Shakespeare. As the legendary Izumo no Okuni was entertaining spectators with her "kabuki dance revue" in Koyto, Shakespeare's four great tragedies were opening in rapid succession in London.

The art of Kabuki was never intended to mirror life but to be something more grandiose, more spectacular. Kabuki unashamedly makes use of the crudest as well as the most subtle theatrical devices to achieve its ends. The magnificence of the scenery, the costumes, and the music are devised to excite even the most jaded theatergoer.

With an introduction by Donald Keene explaining the Kabuki Theater and an informative commentary by Kabuki literati Iwao Kamimura, Kabuki Today captures the essence of Kabuki its characteristics, tradition, principal stage features, makeup and costumes, stories, characters, outstanding actors, dance and music, and ongoing growth.

Including beautiful photographs by Shunji Ohkura, a devoted follower of the art for over thirty years, Kabuki Today is a visual marvel sure to thrill Kabuki enthusiasts, as well as those who have never experienced its magic firsthand.

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About the author (2001)


SHUNJI OHKURA, born in Tokyo on May 2, 1937, studied at Dokkyo High School. He was taught basic techniques of photography by Tominari Tadao, specialist in botanical photography. Co-authored Butterflies (Pelican Photo Library, Heibonsha) with Tominari at nineteen years of age. Studied with Miki Jun
(documentary photographer for Life) just three days. Studied fashion photography with Sato Akira, specialist in female photography, and became freelance photographer at twenty-two. Having been working on fashion, cooking, insects, ikebana, performing arts, documentary, posters for theater,
commercial photography, and so on, was given Kodansha Publications Cultural Award in 1971, and Annual Award of the Photographic Society of Japan in 1987.

Among his books are Tokyo X (Kodansha International), EMMA (Mainichi Shimbun), Japanese Cooking (Bunka Shuppan), Toybox of a Painter (Co-authored with Inokuma Genichiro, Bunka Shuppan), Actress Matsuzaka Keiko (Shueisha), Authors'Index (Shueisha), Onnagata Tamasaburo (Heibonsha), Kabuki of Onoe
Kikugoro VII (Heibonsha), The World of Ueda Itsuko (Heibonsha), The Ecology of Butterflies, Zephyrus 24 (Asahi Shimbun), Matsumoto Koshiro no Haiyu Haidan (Asahi Shimbun), Musashino (Single Cut-sha), and others.

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