chapter  2
17 Pages

Origins of Kabuki Acting in Medieval Japanese Drama

WithLaurence R. Kominz 16

One of the most effective and interesting outgrowths of shogekijo movement has been a kind of contemporary kabuki, variously called 'new' or 'neo' kabuki, which arose in the 1980s. This chapter outlines its characteristics, and introduces three major companies known for new kabuki and clarifies the difference between new kabuki and earlier approaches. It also examines the future prospects of new kabuki through observing the companies' current activities. The chapter provides an overview of new kabuki, which offers a close view of the principal exemplar of the genre, the company called Hanagumi Shibai. There are three major companies known for new kabuki: Hanagumi Shibai (Flower group theatre), Gekidan Choju Giga (Caricature of birds and beasts company), and Super Ichiza (Super company). Kano Yukikazu founded Hanagumi Shibai in 1987 with the aim of creating original and contemporary 'kabuki' theatre and to contribute to a restoration of kabuki culture in today's society.