chapter  4
16 Pages

Nakamura Shichisaburo I and the Creation of Edo-Style Wagoto

WithHolly A. Blumner 60

Kabuki, as dramatic art, gives expression to the complexities of human nature and society. The artistic process is based on the actor, who functions through a multiplicity of role and character interrelationships in a play: yakusha, yakugara, and yaku. Kabuki begins with the yakusha, the great Danjuro, Utaemon, and others, whose artistic heritage gives them immediate and significant dramatic stature. The activity of the yakusha is based on generalized yakugara and finds final expression in specific yaku. This chapter discusses these multiple interrelationships and some of their implications. It focuses on Sukeroku Yukari no Edo Zakura, commonly called Sukeroku, one of the most popular plays of the repertoire. Since yakusha is usually translated into English as 'actor'. Yakugara may be translated 'role' or 'role type'. Yaku are the particular characters in a play, and it is at this level that the concept of multiplicity in the interrelationship between actor, role, and character is fully developed.