By Katherine Mezur
This publication is a feminist examining of the heritage of gender functionality and development of the feminine position avid gamers, onnagata, of the Kabuki theater. it's not constrained to a ''theater arts'' concentration, particularly it's a mapping and shut research of transformative genders via a number of historic sessions in Japan (the 17th during the 20th centuries). specifically, the paintings specializes in undoing of binary genders, the sensual ambiguity of boy-ness, early life, and female-likeness and the cultural improvement of the aesthetics of eroticism, nostalgia, and cruelty established in female-like transformative gender acts. The paintings can also be a visible cultures examine because it attracts not just on literary resources but in addition prints, images, movie, and video documentation.
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Additional resources for Beautiful Boys/Outlaw Bodies: Devising Kabuki Female-Likeness
The no, the classical mask theatre, set a tradition for men playing female roles. Female shamans and female prostitute performers are sometimes mentioned as precursors because they performed in malelike attire. 1 18 B E AU T I F U L B O Y S Several volumes focus on the history and creation of the art of onnagata: notably Fujita Hiroshi’s Onnagata no Keizu (Onnagata Geneology) and Adachi Naoru’s Kabuki Gekijo Onnagata Fuzoku Saiken (A Study of Kabuki Onnagata Customs and Manners). These authors outline the early history of onnagata performance in kabuki and then provide short biographies of famous Edo period onnagata.
Gunji does T H E O RY I N T O P E R F O R M A N C E 23 not cite specific attributes to define the quality he feels is no longer performed; however, he does speak of “an erotic sensibility which onnagata used to effuse onstage. 19 In general, Western kabuki scholars have written about onnagata within their studies of kabuki theatrical performance and history. Earle Ernst, James R. Brandon, Samuel L. Leiter, and Leonard Pronko have written about kabuki performance techniques and kata (stylized forms); however, none of these studies analyzes onnagata performance as a gender role performance.
Further, Mizuochi defines onnagata performance not as a traditional art, but, as “an art of the contemporary world. ”5 Furuido Hideo, a professor in Waseda University’s Theatre Department, highlights in his interview the complex history surrounding the merchant class aesthetic of jinko no bi (artificial beauty), a constructed or designed concept of beauty that boy actors invented in their transition from wakashu to yaro kabuki. For example, when the wakashu were forced to shave their provocative forelocks in 1659, they added the boshi (forehead scarf ) draped over the shaved area, which Furuido contends initiated the artificial aesthetic of the onnagata.
Beautiful Boys/Outlaw Bodies: Devising Kabuki Female-Likeness by Katherine Mezur