Is Japan An Extraordinary Novel Performing Art?

2513 WordsMar 17, 201511 Pages
As the music rose through the midst of tranquility, a woman by the name of Okuni with excessive abstract makeup on her white-painted face like a mask, wearing an extravagant kimono with sophisticated details, danced slowly in to the stage in a dry riverbed outside of Kyoto. She fiercely dressed herself as a man to perform on stage, an act that had never been done before. Okuni skillfully “danced like a jaunty, carefree man…” and successfully pushed back all conventional boundaries of performance to create the first kabuki play (Thornbury 129). This woman offered the world an extraordinary novel performing art that lives on through centuries of restrictions and discrimination to become Japan’s well-preserved cultural play. Japan’s cultural pastimes, namingly dances and dramas, contain more than a millennium of uninterrupted history. The seriousness employed within different forms of play, theatrically speaking, makes Japan an extraordinary and unique country. In all of Asia, where tradition is generally subjected to assimilation, Japan’s theatre culture stands out as an art form that has never suffered a decline nor undergone any drastic change. The most traditional well-preserved form of theater in Japan is kabuki. It is a theatrical form that harmonizes singing, acting, and dancing to create a stylized performance. Kabuki’s unique characteristics specialize in elaborate colorful costumes, excessive makeup on white-painted faces, traditional Japanese folk music, and
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