Kabuki 歌舞伎 (かぶき)
Kabuki is a form of traditional Japanese theater. Kabuki theater is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by its performers.
The kabuki stage features a projection called a hanamichi (literally, flowery path), a walkway which extends into the audience and via which dramatic entrances and exits are made. Kabuki stages and theaters have steadily become more technologically sophisticated, and innovations including revolving stages and trap doors, introduced during the 18th century, added greatly to the staging of kabuki plays.
In kabuki, as in some other Japanese performing arts, scenery changes are sometimes made mid-scene, while the actors remain on stage and the curtain stays open. Stage hands rush onto the stage adding and removing props, backdrops and other scenery; these stage hands, always dressed entirely in black, are traditionally considered "invisible."
There are three main categories of kabuki play: jidai-mono (時代物, historical), sewa-mono (世話物, domestic), and shosagoto (所作事, dance pieces).
Important characteristics of Kabuki theater include the mie (見得), in which the actor holds a picturesque pose to establish his character. Keshō, or make-up, provides an element of style easily recognizable even by those unfamiliar with the art form. Rice powder is used to create the white oshiroi base, and kumadori enhances or exaggerates facial lines to produce dramatic animal or supernatural masks for the actors.
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