kabuki, one of the oldest show businesses in Japan, started in 1603 when Izumo-no Okuni (Okuni from Izumo) first performed a Kabuki dance on a stage in Kyoto. It was also the year that Iyeyasu Tokugawa established the Tokugawa Regime in Edo (present Tokyo). Okuni\u27s Kabuki dance reflected the fresh atmodphere of this new era. The audience in Kyoto gave a big applause to Okuni who appeared on the stage dressed in the style of \u27Kabuki-mono, \u27 literally meaning \u27slanting person.\u27 \u27Kabuki-mono\u27 was the name given to rescals who liked to draw other people\u27s attention by wearing gaude clothes. They were the men who often did violence causing nuisance to townpeople, but at the same time they were the heroes of the time. In fact, they were the successors of \u27akuto\u27 (rascals), \u27basara\u27 (gilded vulgarians), and \u27kyo-warawa\u27 (children of Kyoto) living in and around Kyoto for over three hunder years since the end of Kamakura Period. Performances of Kabuki were not limited only in Kyoto but soon spread over the whole countrym from Edo to Kyushu, and won a big popularity. The Tokugawa government was not happy with the vulgarity and indecency of kabuki and finally in 1629 decided to segregate Kabuki theaters. However, what the government regarded as \u27vulgarm indecent, and wicked\u27 was nothing but the charm of kabuki and it was exactly what kabuki-goers loved to see on the stage. The root of kabuki and its char, therefore, should be sought for in the characterictics of \u27Kabuki-mono\u27 first turned into a theatrical figure by Okuni. This paper is an attempt to see the true spirit of Kabuki by tracing back the histry of this \u27Kabuki-mono, \u27 the slanting person

    Similar works