09p2.Theater Kabuki, Bunraku, And Noh


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09p2.Theater Kabuki, Bunraku, And Noh

  1. 1. Katie Shy, Jackson Duke, and John Rabon
  2. 2. <ul><li>In Japan, there were three types of theater: Kabuki, Bunraku, and Noh. Each one was unique in its own way. In what play in the U.S. can you see a revolving stage, or puppets which are almost-life-size and take three people to work each one? In Japan, all of these things can be found. In ancient Japan, samurai and upper classes went to Noh performances, but lower classes were more likely to attend the rowdy Kabuki theater, where shouting was expected. In Japanese theater, actors, costumes, props, and story-lines of plays were all superb, which is probably why their theater styles have remained popular over the years. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Only higher class people and samurai went to the performances in the Noh theater to be entertained. </li></ul><ul><li>Their satisfaction meant everything to the actors. Satisfaction and honor was all that mattered in the Noh theatre because even if you had lots of money, you were not necessarily respected. </li></ul><ul><li>All that mattered was honor, because money wasn’t as big a part of life and wasn’t used much. </li></ul><ul><li>So this meant that the Noh actors first goal was to please the audience to earn honor. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Kabuki theater began in the 1600s and was meant for merchants and other lower class people. </li></ul><ul><li>Shouting out of opinions was expected, and crowds were usually very rowdy. </li></ul><ul><li>Kabuki was begun by a woman, and was at first performed by all women, but today Kabuki performances are by all men. </li></ul><ul><li>Kabuki performances are very long, and some can get to the point where they are 6-and-a-half hours long! </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Bunraku style of theater is similar to Kabuki theater, except puppets are used instead of actors. </li></ul><ul><li>Three puppeteers control one puppet; one controls the right arm, one controls the left arm, and one controls the body. </li></ul><ul><li>The audience quickly forgets about them and focuses on the puppets, and the black costumes of the puppeteers only help with that. </li></ul><ul><li>A tayu or narrator is the one who says the lines. </li></ul><ul><li>During the performance, someone plays the samisen, which is a guitar-like stringed instrument </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Although every theater style is made to entertain audiences, they are all very unique. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, Noh was only performed to the higher classes of people like the samurai and shoguns. </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese Kabuki theater is normally performed on a rotating stage. </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese Bunraku does not use actors as the characters; instead, they use life-size puppets. </li></ul>Bunraku Puppet Performance
  7. 7. <ul><li>Bunraku, Noh, and Kabuki are still performed today. </li></ul><ul><li>There is also a new experimental western style called shingeki (shin-GEEK-ee). </li></ul><ul><li>Shingeki employs a naturalistic acting and more contemporary themes instead of the stylized conventions that Bunraku, Noh, and Kabuki brings. </li></ul><ul><li>Ancient theater has remained popular throughout the years, which should be considered quite an accomplishment. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>In Kabuki, different costumes are worn than in Bunraku theater or Noh theater, though each type of theater featured kimonos and fans (the styles varied, of course). </li></ul><ul><li>Also, the musical back-up for each type of theater varied as well. Bunraku is “Puppet Theater” and so puppets were featured in Bunraku. </li></ul><ul><li>The puppeteers wear black so the audience will forget about them, but the puppets each wear detailed costumes. </li></ul><ul><li>In Noh theater, the actors wore expressive, elaborate costumes because the stage was sometimes nearly bare. </li></ul><ul><li>Noh actors also wore masks and changed them frequently so they could show each emotion the characters felt. So, if the character was happy, the actor wore a mask that looked happy. If the character was sad, the actor’s wore a mask looked sad. </li></ul><ul><li>In Kabuki theater, there was an orchestra, a chorus, and dancers. </li></ul><ul><li>In Noh theater, there were flutes and drums playing in the background. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>You would be seated in one of the better seats in a Kabuki theater, waiting for a play to begin. In The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, two wooden blocks are clapped to signal the play’s beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>Actors tumble out onto the stage from wooden runways, wearing intricate, elaborate costumes. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of masks (which are worn in Noh theater), they wear heavy makeup and using exaggerated gestures to tell their stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Their costumes are kimonos or robes worn with many undergarments. </li></ul><ul><li>A kimono is a floral type of “dress,” which is worn by both women and men. Kimonos are held in place by obis, which are sashes which are like belts. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Lanterns provide light for you to see what’s happening on the revolving stage that characterizes Kabuki theater. </li></ul><ul><li>The actors sometimes use their kimono sleeves different ways, holding them up, etc. You can tell that some of the actors are wearing many expensive, elaborate undergarments which are layered so only one or two are visible at a time. Welcome to the Japanese theater. </li></ul><ul><li>The actors dance to the orchestra and chorus in the background. </li></ul><ul><li>There are men who are acting as women. Their impersonation is flawless, but you know that they have really adjusted their bodies, makeup, clothes, and posture, to become women. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>In Noh theater, actors’ costumes are very expressive. Some members of the audience may have disapproved if they hadn’t known the reason. </li></ul><ul><li>Actors in Noh were allowed to dress in very expressive costumes because there are almost no props and scenery. This way, the actors will be the centers of attention. </li></ul><ul><li>This is because backgrounds and props are distracting. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, with no props and scenery your eyes will focus more on the clothing and facial expressions. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Clearly, Japanese theater is unique, but that doesn’t make it any worse. In fact, it makes it better. Each theater style is unique, but they blend together well under the single theme “Japanese theater.” Whether it is a stage full of puppets and puppeteers, an almost bare stage, or a revolving stage, the types of Japanese theater each make their audience happy before, during, and after each performance. The three types of ancient theater (Kabuki, Bunraku, and Noh) have the credit of still being around today. </li></ul>