Culture and its Role in Japanese Theatre

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Cultural Studies

Document 1

For example, the position which the woodblock art holds n Japanese culture is a throwback to which numerous traditional and historical references were recorded. For a long time, the Japanese culture has been recognized as excellent in terms of having a very strong background in religion, education, and families1. The way of life of Japanese is comprised of the mixture of the art, music literature and much more, it’s more eye-catching. In Japan it is very hard to find a place to stay; this is because getting acquiring of land in that country is very expensive. As a result of these differences, there exist numerous cultural dissimilarity between east and west. The Kabuki theatre was introduced in the sixteenth century.

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Kabuki theatre performance is very lively when watching; it is usually a combination of dance, drama, and music. It began the same time with when the English people started to colonize the American continent. The kabuki history is very long as the United States history. It had distinct features which included the extravagant costumes, the makeups which are very colorful, deco stage, actor’s rhythmic movement and the use of music and sound effects which were very complex in nature4. Kabuki which was regarded as the main form of entertainment for commoners in the theatre it enjoyed high popularity and it grew as a form of arts. Some styles which were commonly used in the performance of kabuki included, types of characters, the structure play and the onnagata art, these later took form and formed its basis.

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Kabuki reached the highest level of excellence due to the fact that the actors used to perfect themselves more in their craft and introduced some distinct types of responsibilities7. In this period there was another development which emerged. There was a rise of dramatists who were the first professionals rather than actors. Those who perform in the Noh are in simple terms storytellers; they use their movements and also visual appearances to bring out the tale rather than to play it. Because there is usually less to be said in the Nor drama, those audience who are educated understands the plot of the story very well so that they can be able to get the symbols which are contained in the Japanese culture in form of movements which are made and words which are spoken10.

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The Noh theatre highlights more on the spiritual characteristics of human emotions and their actions. The Noh performances are functional and it is composed of the incorporation of various elements such as dance, music, drama, masks made with wood and poetry, these are made into a highly decorative and consecrate performance on the stage. The Noh play is a repetitive and slow-moved, and the performance tone is usually grave in nature, this is in line with the nature of the situations which are being portrayed during the performances. The Noh was changing preferences for those who were new to their performances, they introduced new styles and also patterns in their performances on stage. This was followed by extreme refinements in order to state the objectives of Noh in a clear manner, but this did not lead to large deviation from the traditional form of Noh theatre13.

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