Wednesday, October 10, 2012
the same except different
Tthe intertextuality of no and kabuki theater is a vast domain to try to fit into 100 words, but I will highlight one point I found curious. It has to do with the audiences that attended kabuki during the 18th century and following. Historically, no theater was created for the wealthy, educated, and ruling class. Conversely, kabuki unfolded as a genre linked to prostitution and sensual pleasure, intended solely for the commoners. Surprisingly, I discovered that during the time of Namiki Gohei III (the playwright who transformed Ataka into Kanjincho), kabuki made a concerted effort to draw in the patronage of the upper class. Specifically, in the third month of the year, ladies in waiting,from the shogun's castle and the imperial palace were given vacation time to visit families. As it turns out, these royal ladies would typically set aside time to attend the kabuki theatre. For their part, the kabuki management would focus their choice of repertiore on satisfying these honored guests by performing plays appropriate to theireducated and elevated tastes. This connection between no and kabuki is a prime example of being entertainment form that were"the same except different".