Kabuki Theater Analysis

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In our modern society, there is still a prevalent view of a black-and-white set of binary gendered norms; you 're either masculine or feminine. While this notion is being challenged by many, especially the young within the LGBT+ community that are drifting away from that paradigm, causing a change in societal views, many of which would be considered progressive stances, there is still a curious fascination with the grey area between the physical traits of the two norms; Androgyny; a state of physical features and outward appearance that is neither masculine or feminine. This is often seen as 'strange ' by many with traditional views in the west, but this has not always been the case, nor has it always been with every culture. Japanese Kabuki …show more content…
Ningo Shibai became wildly popular to the public, and completely overshadowed Kabuki theater in terms of success, and public image, where it was not tainted with a history of being a front for prostitution. Kabuki actors began incorporating new techniques in to their shows, mimicking the movements of the dolls in their competitor’s shows in their own performances(Scott). The greatest contribution taken from doll theater by Kabuki was a shift from the eroticized realism seen in Kabuki to a more symbolic and fantasy environment. The shift sent Kabuki Theatre into a second creative renaissance, where the values and methods borrowed from Ningo Shibai allowed Kabuki to once more thrive in public …show more content…
Reaching into modern times a more androgynous, or even feminine, look is desired by many Japanese entertainers. Japanese rock-or ‘J-rock’-bands like the globally popular Malice Mizer, which is comprised of cross-dressing male musicians who very easily pass as women to those that do not know the band 's male composition, are highly popular in Japan. Recently a new fashion trend called 'Genderless Kei ' has gained great popularity as well. Genderless Kei blends male and female fashion styles and an androgynous look to make a fashion that is neither male or female, yet both at the same time. Japanese “Idols” (which are similar to our actors, musicians, and artists in their fame and role in society) are embracing the image as well, with idols such as Ryucheru, Toman, Yohdi Kondo, and GENKING (who presents his name in all capitals and bold font) embodying the androgynous or Genderless Kei fashion. While not all in Japan may realize that these trends have their roots in Kabuki, the effects of the male portrayal of female roles served as the building blocks for the obsession Japan has with androgyny and feminine male

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