RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Imagine  >  Thorny path of flower

Thorny path of flower

Author: 06.07.2018 | Japan, art, traditions
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips.

The word kabuki is sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing". Why not an operetta? The essence of performance is not confined to musical presentation only: the same as an experienced actor rips off his kimono at rapid-fire pace, revealing a new attire under a pile of hand-painted silk, a sentimental drama of the Edo period reveals the deep layers of the Japanese philosophy, making a viewer feel involved into the national history.

Фото styleinsider.com.ua

Dipping into he atmosphere of the play begins with a procession of actors on a wooden walkway hanamichi running from the left edge of the stage through the hall. During the performance hanamiti serves as a projection, and in some theatres hanamichi pathways are built on the right side, thus surprising the audience with brilliantly synchronized three-level performance. After the play, the grateful fans adorn hanamichi with flowers, so the name of this stage in Japanese means "path of flowers".

Theatre audience is appealed directly through a delicate art of "face play", providing an actor with an opportunity for self-expressions within unchanging canon. Each kabuki image is a static mask created by a multi-layer kumadori stage makeup. White colour of foundations symbolizes youth, and yellow-brown colours are associated with maturity and withering. The nature of male character is revealed through colour pattern painted on cheeks and forehead: red colour represents courage and nobility, black accompanies magic and divine providence, and blue paint is used to label cowards, spiteful critics and demons in human likeness.

Фото styleinsider.com.ua

At first glance, mask completely subjugates personality of an actor assigning a strict order of gestures, intonations and poses to the role, thus creating an easily recognizable line of character. The choice of protagonists is limited to three types widespread in folklore: aragoto – a strongman endowed with supernatural power; wagoto – a refined gentleman and ladies' man; jitsugoto – a wise man defeating a formidable enemy with his fortitude. Companion of a protagonist is usually a comic figure: a funny fool dôkegata or koyaku – a little boy who is played by a son of some troupe’s member.

According to the logic of the play’s plot, sooner or later there will be a scoundrel poisoning life of good characters. The images of villains are more dynamic, but they are quite predictable: jitsuaku is an evil conspirator or a big-time cruel villain seeking for wealth and power; iroaku is a handsome, young and crafty seducer; kugeaku is a misguided off-spring of a noble family.

Favourites of the public usually are onnagata, performers of female roles. Young shy girl musumegata, high-ranking courtesan keisei, virtuous wife of a merchant sewa nyôbô, vicious aristocrat akahime and cruel femme fatal akuba. The female nature has thousands of faces, like the Kannon Bodhisattva, and each of them is perfectly played by a male actor. Older generation of theatre-goers often complain about the sharpness and directness of modern emancipated Japanese women, in their opinion, only onnagata retained the elegant manners and grace of a noble lady.

Фото traveltheworld.com.ua

Ironically, theatre forbidden to the fair sex, was founded by a female dancer Izumo no Okuni from Edo who was a skilful dancer at the Grand Shrine of Izumo. Trying to ease the perception of a complex ritual symbolism of temple dances for ordinary citizens, a priestess accompanied her performances with recitation of folk tales, and in between choreographic pieces, the prima amused people with comic songs with erotic overtones.

Thanks to the patronage of the youngest son of the shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, Izumo no Okuni was given a stage in the Kitamo temple and assembled around her a troupe of wandering female performers who danced and acted in knockabout comedies and sketches. Okuni and her entourage were directed by rhythms of shamisen and beats of mallets, and the singer-narrator told what was happening on stage, so that even completely uneducated citizens could follow the plot of the play. The revolving stage facilitates and rapid replacement of the scenery allowed to keep a high tempo of play. Theatre of Okuni-san was rapidly gaining popularity, but the price for success was fights and scandals because of jealousy, as many of the actresses did not hesitate to provide sexual services to their fans.

After the battle in the theatre in 1629, shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu banned women from performing, replacing female actors by men, but among the noble samurai there were many supporters of same-sex love. The epic battle for morality resulted in decision to allow only mature men to go on stage, and to force all the theatres out of the city limits. The descendants of samurai birth were strictly forbidden to appear in the artistic quarter of Asakusa and bring actors home, but aristocrats still made their way to the performances, dressed up like artisans and traders.

Фото mag.japaaan.com

Due to the constant pressure of censorship, kabuki artistic means gained strictly formal expression. No play was complete without classic techniques of tachimawari (fighting scenes with swords), mie (holding a picturesque pose to establish a character), danmari (a silent pantomime, with actors moving slowly in the dark) and roppo (a stylised, exaggerated way of walking to signify the exit of an important character). It may seem that extremely regulated play is unbearably boring, but in fact conditional action, multiplied by the outstanding talents, drew vehement force on the artistic temperament to exquisite psychological nuances that escape the attention of the viewer in the heat of passion. Spectacular art of pantomime of the Japanese bourgeois theatre has been realized in soulful close-ups of Akira Kurosawa and Sergei Eisenstein. Of course, it is still too early to send kabuki to the antiques shop: who knows what other wonders are hiding behind the stage curtain…

Заглавное фото sakuravillage.jp

It will be interesting:
METRO beauty
Residents of big cities almost daily use the subway as a transport means. Alas, in the rapid pace of modern life a few people can afford to enjoy the design of these transit hubs. OUTLOOK is not able to stop time, but allow us to highlight fifteen of the most mesmerizing underground subway station from all around the world.
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti.
Houses that they build…Unusual houses
Treehouses, dug-outs and secret shelters – all the things we used to build when children. Unfortunately, as we grow older, fantasy fades and most of us now live in uncomfortable grey “boxes”. However, there are people who have created dwellings of their dreams by themselves.
Amazons from tribe mosuo​: Conservation of feminism in the shadow of Himalayas
Composers of antiutopias predict hundreds of sorrows to the people of the future who are from times to times forbidden to celebrate weddings, however, it seems, everything is not so terrible. In Chinese province Yun Nan near the foot of Himalayas the matriarch tribe mosuo resides that is not familiar with the concept of marriage at all.
Along the waves of time: historic Sailing vessels of Estonia
History of Estonia isn’t preserved in scrolls of parchment but in leaden chronicles of the North Sea. Winding coastline three thousand kilometers long has seen millions of sails starting with striped cloths of drakkars to nap-of-the-earth flight of clippers over the waves in the era of steam and electricity.
The Ambassador Elena Leticia Teresa Mikusinski held a diplomatic reception, the world-famous Argentine singer Gerónimo Rauch became an honored guest
The Column Hall of the Kyiv City State Administration on June 11 welcomed guests of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic to Ukraine on the occasion of a national day. The Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, representatives of the government and its agencies, partners of the embassy, the business community and the media lined up to congratulate the head of a foreign diplomatic institution and express their greetingss to friendly Argentina.
Fight like a woman. The fight club of flying cholit
The free fight has not feminine face. The good girl could smile in a pretty way and care colorful dress but not strike out wildly. But in the fierce Ands such gentle flowers do not grow. The true Bolivian cholit will be quick on the uptake, and it is able to fill in if necessary. But on Sunday, having gathered the starched skirts, she will desperately go to fight
Let's have a seat!
Walking along the Kyiv Landscape Alley, you always notice amazing benches created by Ukrainian masters. My favorite one is with a blanket and a pillow, because it seems comfortable even in inclement weather. Sitting on it, I remembered a picture from my childhood: the grandmothers take a long board out of the house, put it at one end on the stump, the other - on the railing of the entrance, and it turns out to be a bench. Wasn't it a design miracle?
Art of topiary
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Everyone needs money. Currency of the world
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames which is not so well known, but clearly deserves attention!
Little pets of big cities
Germans have other pets besides German Shepherds and in Boston not just Boston Terriers can be seen. People choose dogs relying on own preferences. But sometimes locals are too prone to having a certain breed so it becomes a distinctive of a location. Natural conditions, fashion and even set of mind contribute to it.
Step over threshold: The magical art of the huichol
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life.
We were there: Japan - the subtleties of Tokyo life
Not every tourist will come to Japan. But Marina Belka, a fashion designer, did it, because the mysterious Land of the Rising Sun was her childhood dream. She shared with us her impressions of Tokyo and gave practical advice to future tourists.
White gold of Tianxia. Chinese porcelain
The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
Kagoshima: City with kamikaze fame
Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius!, Nietzsche exclaimed in a prophetic ecstasy. Gloomy pathos of the philosopher could be hardly understood by the residents of the Japanese city of Kagoshima, located at the bottom of the caldera Aira resulting from the explosion about 22 thousand years ago. Farmers were hoeing edges of the hollow from the Bronze Age, as usual fending off the ashes scattered in the air.
Belgian lace: Waltz of a thousand threads
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops.
Forgotten art: Chinese ceremony in South Korea
After the walking along the boisterous streets of Seoul one wants to take it easy in a café drinking a cup of flavored tea, however, it never happens like that. Good teahouses are found out only near Buddhist monasteries or at the bohemian pedestrian street Insadon. Chinese ceremony in Korea that is incomparable with the rough schedule of offices and remaining the joy of wise people and privilege of the masters.
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Shrimp fishing at Oostduinkerke: Horses for courses
If early morning you walk along sandy beaches of Oostduinkerke, located in one of Belgium western provinces, you can see several suns. One, of course, is in the sky, and others are bright yellow spots riding horses carrying heavy wicker baskets, while plying the shallows along the North Sea coast for shrimps. Oostduinkerke and shrimps are hand and glove, so horseback shrimping is still practiced here.
Palio del Papero: Not just birds
There are so many things that Italy mixes in its cauldron: gondolas that travel along olive-green rivers, scorching sun that, like a juice, flows into the bottle of Pisa Tower, entwined spagetti of streets and crusts of squares covered in a mixture of Italian herbs and dialects. Also, it has ducks in its teasury. Oh yes, it is these creatures that allow you feel a flavor of genine national distinctive. And this ducktale is over thirty years old.
Close
Outlook facebook page