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Japanese Theatre


Japanese Theatre Noh Did you Noh . Noh is a highly stylized form of theatre that enacts stories from Japan s classical literature. The Plays Content of the Noh ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Japanese Theatre

Japanese Theatre
  • Noh

Did you Noh.
  • Noh is a highly stylized form of theatre that
    enacts stories from Japans classical literature.

The Plays
  • Content of the Noh play is almost always tragic.
  • Written in prose or in verse
  • Performances are a day long, but the Noh play
    itself are very short (1 hr)

The Stage
The stage
  • Temple roof supported by 4 columns
  • First Actor, Pillar, Mark Pillar, and Flute
    Players Pillar
  • Each of these represents either the placement of
    the actors entrance, or the part of the stage in
    which the musician stands
  • Hurry door- used by minor characters, musicians,
    stage assistants for quick entrances and exits.
  • 3 real small pine trees
  • They stand for heaven, earth, and man along the
    pebble path
  • Epiphany Pine- painted on the center wall
    representing spirituality.

The Stage breakdown
Masks Costumes
  • Noh masks can convey several different emotions
    and pictures
  • Masks are worn when portraying a female or
    supernatural beings
  • Costumes do not resemble the SES of the character
  • portray.

Japanese Theatre
  • Kabuki

What is Kabuki?
  • Kabuki- meaning off balance or
  • Ka for music, bu for dance, and ki for skill
  • An energetic form of theatre that began around
    1600 by Okuni.
  • She drew inspiration from Buddhist dances with
    contemporary forms
  • Plays that once lasted a full day, but today only
    last about 5 hours.
  • Includes themes of feuds, revenge, adventure,
    and romance

Kabuki Acting
  • Highly stylized form of story telling
  • The audience is aware they are in the theatre
    watching a play.
  • Actors specialize in certain characters.
  • Movement is also stylized

The Plays
  • The text of the play is less important than the
  • To reveal emotions they display exaggerated
    facial expressions and strike dramatic poses.
  • Very similar to Western musicals

The Stage
  • Combines a proscenium stage and a thrust stage.
  • Who can tell me what these are?
  • Hamamichi- Flower path The stage connects to a
    ramp that runs to the rear of the auditorium.
  • This runway is used by actors for dramatic
    entrances and exits.
  • Musicians sit on stage

Role of Women in Kabuki
  • Okuni began origins of Kabuki in Japanese
  • However, in the mid 1600s women were banned
    from kabuki for engaging in prostitution.
  • As a result male Kabuki performers were then to
    portray women on stage, thus creating ONNAGATA

Role of Men in Kabuki
  • When women became banned men began to portray
    female roles (just like Shakespeare)
  • Studying the art of Kabuki is begun in childhood
  • It is an art that is passed down over

Spectacle- Makeup
  • Known as Kumadori
  • Not realistic looking
  • The face is painted with white and bold lines,
    mostly red or blue.
  • Red lines Virtue/ strength
  • Blue Evil

Spectacle- Costumes Scenery
What are some differences between Noh and Kabuki?
  • Differenes
  • Similarities
  • Noh uses masks, Kabuki uses makeup
  • Noh is subtle in movemnts, Kabuki is loud

  • Japanese Theatre

What is Bunraku?
  • Japanese puppet theatre!
  • First signs of use in the 16th century
  • Flourished in 1872- 19th C.
  • This is not what western culture thinks of when
    they think of puppet show

What Makes it Different?
  • These puppets are NOT marrionets, sock or hand
  • Bunraku puppets stand about about 3 feet tall
  • They are controlled by a series of pullies and
    strings controlled by 3 puppeteers
  • Another unique component is that they control
    facial expressions as well (Think Sesame Street,
    but cooler!)

The Play
  • The first townsfolk plays
  • The plays first started out more historical,
    legendary, or heroic tales
  • Then turned to actual incidents- like love

  • These puppeteers are seen by the audience- very
    different from western theatre
  • The main puppeteer controls the head
  • The main puppeteers face remains uncovered
  • The other puppeteers are in blacks from head to
    toe. This creates
  • the idea that they are
  • invisible to the
  • audience.

  • The puppeteers become one with the puppet.
  • They all must work together to create a realistic
    character through the puppet.
  • It can take years to become the main puppeteer-
    can take up to thirty years!
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