By L. Edelson
Danjuro’s women is an interesting background of Japan’s girl kabuki troupes, delivering a penetrating research into 3 generations of kabuki actresses linked to the well known Ichikawa Danjuro appearing dynasty. Contextually grounding early girl precedents in kabuki, the publication specializes in the Ichikawa women’ Kabuki Troupe, a special and trailblazing corporation based after Japan’s defeat in global battle II. The troupe turned a countrywide sensation within the Fifties, in brief changing into a part of the differently impenetrable all-male kabuki institution. Drawing on a variety of interviews, in addition to written and visible basic assets, Danjuro’s women demanding situations readers to reconsider traditional notions approximately gender, functionality, and conventional eastern theatre.
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Additional info for Danjuro's Girls: Women on the Kabuki Stage (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History)
In fact, they had made their respective stage debuts some four years earlier, in 1889, at a charity recital at the Shintomi-za hosted by the private Mimasu Society headed by Danjūrō. 33 Fittingly, Fukuchi, an advocate of kabuki actresses, wrote Mirror Lion, the piece they performed at the Kabuki-za. The play is classified as a dance-drama (shosagoto), but is reminiscent of the “pine-tree board plays” (matsubame-mono), the sub-genre that adapted plays from nō and kyōgen as part of the trend to reform and refine kabuki.
69 Compared to the plum roles that she had played in the past, it was not a remarkable part, but she could still take great pride in this belated debut at the prestigious Kabuki-za. com - licensed to Taiwan eBook Consortium - PalgraveConnect - 2011-05-06 34 35 After Danjūrō’s death, she collaborated with other “old-school actors” to perform at minor theatres as well as to tour the provinces and other cities. 70 She also taught “old-style acting” at the newly opened Imperial Actress Institute. Commentators suggest that her acting began to decline as early as 1905, when she was injured in a traffic accident (a bicycle crashed into her rickshaw).
26 According to the cartouche, the print was produced on 23 February 1888, some twelve days before the performance, which accords with the standard practice of prints being published in advance. What is troubling is that Kumehachi is not listed in the banzuke (play program); there is no mention of who played the maid Masuno. 27 There is no extant written documentation that suggests that Kumehachi appeared in this production. Thus, we must ask whether the print can be considered reliable, factual information.