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Japanese Theatre. Theatre History. Japanese Theatre-Noh Plays. Based on ritual Much like the Chinese theatre in content and form Short Serious Philosophical Used poetry and dance. Japanese Theatre-Noh Plays. Formal, classic language Meant only for the aristocrats Still done today

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Japanese Theatre


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japanese theatre

Japanese Theatre

Theatre History

japanese theatre noh plays
Japanese Theatre-Noh Plays
  • Based on ritual
  • Much like the Chinese theatre in content and form
  • Short
  • Serious
  • Philosophical
  • Used poetry and dance
japanese theatre noh plays1
Japanese Theatre-Noh Plays
  • Formal, classic language
  • Meant only for the aristocrats
  • Still done today
  • Remarkably unchanged
japanese theatre noh plays2
Japanese Theatre-Noh Plays
  • Dance style:

Used a series of sedate postures

Each movement meant something specific

Even small hand or finger movements

were important

japanese theatre stage
Japanese Theatre-Stage
  • Specific stage size:

- 18’ x 18’ square

- audience on three sides

- performed outside originally

- roof like a Shinto shrine

- floor supported by 4 pillars

- floor is highly polished lacquer

japanese theatre stage1
Japanese Theatre-Stage

-large hollow jars for support to create a

unique sound on stage

- actors often thumped floor to get an

effect

- entered from greenroom along a corridor

- each character bowed to audience

- chorus of 6-8

- men only as actors

japanese theatre scenery and costumes
Japanese Theatre-scenery and costumes
  • Scenery:
  • Usually a tapestry on back wall
  • A tree was always a part of the scene
  • Items suggested symbols/actions
  • Costumes: ornate
  • CHARACTERS:
  • Major actors wore large wooden masks
  • 15 standard masks used in Noh theatre
japanese theatre kyogn
Japanese Theatre-Kyogn
  • Comedic interlude to the Noh plays
  • Farcical
  • No music
  • 5 Noh plays and 3 Kyogen plays were given
japanese theatre kabuki
Japanese Theatre-Kabuki
  • Theatre for the common man
  • Song and dance used
  • Melodramatic
  • Subject matter:

- heavy tension-filled tragedies

- realistic suicides, murders, torture

- love triangles

- demons and grotesque dramas

japanese theatre kabuki1
Japanese Theatre-Kabuki
  • Stage:

- a large platform- but no pillars, roof, or bridge

- entered from audience on a flowerway

- stage had trapdoors

Characters/costumes:

- lavish costumes

- characters wore huge wigs (up to 25 pounds)

japanese theatre bunraku

Japanese Theatre-Bunraku

17th Century

Doll theatre

4 foot tall dolls as actors

Very realistic

Narrators told story

Puppeteers wore black- not seen as part of action

japanese theatre1
Japanese Theatre-
  • Kabuki and Noh actors

- acting skill all important

- men who were good at impersonating women

- few women still involved in this art form

- passed along family lines- lifelong passion

japanese theatre2
Japanese Theatre-
  • Websites:
  • Next- Medieval Theatre