Yakusha-e referred to as "actor prints" in English, are Japanese woodblock prints or paintings, of kabuki actors those done in the ukiyo-e style popular through the Edo period and into the beginnings of the 20th century. Most the term yakusha-e refers to portraits of individual artists. However, prints of kabuki scenes and of other elements of the world of the theater are closely related, were more than not produced and sold alongside portraits. Ukiyo-e images were exclusively images of urban life. Realistic detail, the availability of playbills from the period, a number of other resources have allowed many prints to be analyzed and identified in great detail. Scholars have been able to identify the subjects of many prints down to not only the play and actors portrayed, but the theater, year and day of the month as well. Over the course of the Edo period, as ukiyo-e as a whole developed and changed as a genre, yakusha-e went through a number of changes as well. Many prints earlier ones, depict actors generically, plainly, showing in a sense their true natures as actors playing at roles.
Many other prints, take something of the opposite tack. Only a few artists were innovative enough to stand apart from the masses, creating works more distinctive in style; these artists, beginning with Katsukawa Shunshō, depicted actors elaborately and idealistically, but with the realistic details of individualized faces. Individual actors, such as Ichikawa Danjūrō V, can now be recognized across roles and as depicted by different artists. Torii Kiyonobu was one of the first to produce actor prints in the mainstream ukiyo-e style. An artist from the Torii school which painted theater signboards, Kiyonobu was no stranger to the theater or to artistic depictions of it. In 1700, he published a book of full-length portraits of Edo kabuki actors in various roles. Though he took much, from the Torii school style as a whole, there are significant elements of his style that were innovative and new, his dramatic forms would guide the core of ukiyo-e style for the next eighty years. It is possible that his prints may have affected kabuki itself, as actors sought to match their performances to the dramatic and intense poses of the art.
By the 1740s, artists such as Torii Kiyotada were making prints depicting not only the actors themselves, in portraits or in stage scenes, but the theaters themselves, including the audience and various staging elements. Throughout the 18th century, many ukiyo-e artists produced actor prints and other depictions of the kabuki world. Most of these drew upon the Torii style, were promotional works, "generalized stylized billboards meant to attract the crowd with their bold line and color", it was not until the 1760s and the emergence of Katsukawa Shunshō that actors began to be portrayed in such a way that the individual actors could be identified across different prints depicting different roles. Shunshō focused on facial idiosyncrasies of the individual actors; this drastic change in style was emulated by Shunshō's students of the Katsukawa school, by many other ukiyo-e artists of the period. The realistic, individualized style replaced that of the Torii school's idealistic, but generalized style which had dominated for seventy years.
Sharaku is one of the most influential yakusha-e printers along with Kiyonobu. Sharaku's works are bold and energetic, demonstrate an unmistakably unique style, his portraits are among the most individualized and distinctive portrayals in all of ukiyo-e. However, his personal style was not emulated by other artists, can be seen only in the works created by Sharaku himself, during the short period in which he produced prints, between 1794 and 1795. Meanwhile, Utagawa Toyokuni emerged simultaneously with Sharaku, his most well-known actor prints were published in 1794–1796, in a collection called Yakusha butai no sugata-e. Though his works lack the unique energy of Sharaku's, he is considered one of the greatest artists in "large-head" portraits, in ukiyo-e in general for his depictions of other subjects and in other formats. Though the figure print began to enter serious decline around the turn of the 19th century, headshot portraits continued to be produced. Artists of the Utagawa school, emulating Toyokuni's style, created characterized depictions of artists that, while not realistic, were highly individualized.
The characters and actual appearances of a great number of individual actors, who would otherwise be known only by their names, are thus known to modern scholarship. The sentiments of the above paragraph notwithstanding, there appeared a 開花年齢 of 役者絵, when actors’ names could again be printed alongside their image if any scenic background was added by other artists, more date identifications were ascribed by means of singe Censor Seal. There prints, of Kabuki virtuosi, were abundant, numbering more than the usual press runs, they included images of, for example: young 一 代目河原崎権十郎 [Kawarazaki
Yoshiwara was a famous yūkaku in Edo, present-day Tōkyō, Japan. In the early 17th century, there was widespread male and female prostitution throughout the cities of Kyoto and Osaka. To counter this, an order of Tokugawa Hidetada of the Tokugawa shogunate restricted prostitution to designated city districts: Shimabara for Kyōto, Shinmachi for Ōsaka, Yoshiwara for Edo. A leading motive for establishing these districts was the Tokugawa shogunate trying to prevent the nouveau riche chōnin from engaging in political intrigue; the Yoshiwara Yūkaku was created in the city of Edo, near what is today known as Nihonbashi, near the start of the busy Tōkaidō that leads to western Kyoto in western Japan. In 1656, due to the need for space as the city grew, the government decided to relocate Yoshiwara and plans were made to move the district to its present location north of Asakusa on the outskirts of the city; the old Yoshiwara district burned down in the Great fire of Meireki of 1657. Yoshiwara was home to some 1,750 women in the 18th century, with records of some 3,000 women from all over Japan at one time.
The area had over 9,000 women in 1893. These girls were indentured to the brothels by their parents between the ages of about seven to twelve. If she was lucky, she would become an apprentice to a high-ranking courtesan; when the girl was old enough and had completed her training, she would become a courtesan herself and work her way up the ranks. The young women had a contract to the brothel for only about five to ten years, but massive debt sometimes kept them in the brothels their entire lives. One way a woman could get out of Yoshiwara was for a rich man to buy her contract from the brothel and keep her as his wife or concubine. Another would be; this did not occur often, though. Many women died of sexually transmitted diseases or from failed abortions before completing their contracts. A significant number served out their contracts and married a client, went into other employment, or returned to their family homes. In these cases, the advanced payments their parents received could be used to fund her dowry.
Social classes were not divided in Yoshiwara. A commoner with enough money would be served as an equal to a samurai. Though samurai were discouraged from entering the Yoshiwara area, they did so; the only requirement on them was. By law, brothel patrons were only allowed to stay for a day at a time. Like all official policies for Yoshiwara, this was enforced. Yoshiwara became a strong commercial area; the fashions in the town changed creating a great demand for merchants and artisans. Traditionally the prostitutes were supposed to wear only simple blue robes, but this was enforced; the high-ranking ladies dressed in the highest fashion of the time, with bright colorful silk kimonos and expensive and elaborate hair decorations. Fashion was so important in Yoshiwara that it dictated the fashion trends for the rest of Japan. Most prostitutes were, girls from poor families and were exploited. Most of them were so poor that when they died their bodies were brought anonymously to Jōkan-ji temple and left at the back entrance since a proper burial would have been too expensive.
The temple therefore became known as Nage-komi dera. A memorial to thousands of anonymous prostitutes of the Yoshiwara was consecrated in the Meiji era; the area was damaged by an extensive fire in 1913 nearly wiped out by the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake in 1923. It remained in business, until prostitution was outlawed by the Japanese government in 1958 after World War II. Prostitution is technically illegal, although this supposed illegality has been accomplished by applying a rather strained definition of the term; the area known as Yoshiwara, near Minowa station on the Hibiya Line, is now known as Senzoku Yon-chōme and retains a large number of soaplands and other façades for sexual services. People involved in mizu shōbai would include hōkan, dancers, rakes, tea-shop girls, Kanō, courtesans who resided in seirō and geisha in their okiya houses; the courtesans would consist of yūjo, shinzō, hashi-jōro, kōshi-jōro, tayū, oiran and the yobidashi who replaced the tayū when they were priced out of the market.
In addition to courtesans, there were geisha/geiko, otoko geisha and okaasan. The lines between geisha and courtesans were drawn, however - a geisha was never to be sexually involved with a customer, though there were exceptions. Today, Yoshiwara corresponds to Tōkyō Taitō-ku Senzoku 4 Chōme. At first glance, Yoshiwara to
Surimono are a genre of Japanese woodblock print. They were commissioned for special occasions such as the New Year. Surimono means "printed thing". Being produced in small numbers for a educated audience of literati, surimono were more experimental in subject matter and treatment, extravagant in printing technique, than commercial prints, they were most popular from the 1790s to the 1830s, many leading artists produced them. In most cases, surimono were commissioned by poetry societies to illustrate the winning poem in a poetry contest judged by the master of the society; such prints had a small format c. 205 × 185 mm, the relief carving of the Kanji characters took a great deal of technical skill. Kabuki actors commissioned surimono prints to commemorate important events in their careers, such as changes of name and stage debuts of their sons. Ukiyo-e Woodblock printing Woodcut Frank Lloyd Wright was a collector of Allen. Public Spectacles, Personal Pleasures: Four Centuries of Japanese prints from a Cincinnati Collection.
Cincinnati: Cincinnati Art Museum. ISBN 0-931537-29-0. Bowie, Theodore. Art of the Surimono. N/A: Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253304759. OCLC 795508326. Based on an exhibition at the Indiana University Art Museum, February 25 – March 25, 1979. Surimono on the website of the Art, Design & Architecture Museum
The mie, a powerful and emotional pose struck by an actor, who freezes for a moment, is a distinctive element of aragoto Kabuki performance. Mie means'appearance' or'visible' in Japanese, one of the primary purposes of this convention is to draw attention to a important or powerful portion of the performance, it is meant to show a character's emotions at their peak, can be a powerful pose. The actor's eyes are opened as wide as possible. In Japanese, the mie pose. Audience members will shout out words of praise and the actor's name at specific times before and after the pose is struck; the practice of mie is said to have originated with Ichikawa Danjūrō I in the Genroku era, along with the aragoto style itself. There are a great many mie, each of which has a name describing it, many of which are associated with particular lines of actors. In the Genroku mie, one of the most famous or well-known, the actor's right hand is held flat, perpendicular to the ground, while his left hand is pointed upwards, elbow bent.
At the same time, the actor stamps the floor powerfully with his left foot. This mie is most associated with the character Kamakura Gongorō Kagemasa, the hero of the play Shibaraku, is said to have been invented by Ichikawa Danjūrō I. Two mie cut by the priest Narukami, in Narukami Fudō Kitayama Zakura, are the "post-wrapping pose", in which the actor wraps his arms and legs around a post, column, or long weapon such as a naginata, the Fudō no mie, meant to resemble the Buddhist figure Fudō Myoō, is a strong pose, meant to evoke anger and power. In Kanjinchō, the monk Benkei cuts the Fudō no mie while holding a scroll in one hand and Buddhist prayer beads in the other. Another pose taken by Benkei in this play is the so-called "rock-throwing pose", meant to look like its namesake; the term tenchi no mie, or "heaven and earth pose," is used when two actors, one low on the stage and one high above, on a rooftop or other set-piece, strike a pose simultaneously. Mie at Kabuki Jiten
The Tokugawa Shogunate known as the Tokugawa Bakufu and the Edo Bakufu, was the last feudal Japanese military government, which existed between 1603 and 1867. The head of government was the shōgun, each was a member of the Tokugawa clan; the Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle and the years of the shogunate became known as the Edo period. This time is called the Tokugawa period or pre-modern. Following the Sengoku period, the central government had been re-established by Oda Nobunaga during the Azuchi–Momoyama period. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, central authority fell to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Society in the Tokugawa period, unlike in previous shogunates, was based on the strict class hierarchy established by Toyotomi Hideyoshi; the daimyō were at the top, followed by the warrior-caste of samurai, with the farmers and traders ranking below. In some parts of the country smaller regions, daimyō and samurai were more or less identical, since daimyō might be trained as samurai, samurai might act as local rulers.
Otherwise, the inflexible nature of this social stratification system unleashed disruptive forces over time. Taxes on the peasantry were set at fixed amounts that did not account for inflation or other changes in monetary value; as a result, the tax revenues collected by the samurai landowners were worth less and less over time. This led to numerous confrontations between noble but impoverished samurai and well-to-do peasants, ranging from simple local disturbances to much larger rebellions. None, proved compelling enough to challenge the established order until the arrival of foreign powers. A 2017 study found that peasant rebellions and collective desertion lowered tax rates and inhibited state growth in the Tokugawa shogunate. In the mid-19th century, an alliance of several of the more powerful daimyō, along with the titular Emperor, succeeded in overthrowing the shogunate after the Boshin War, culminating in the Meiji Restoration; the Tokugawa shogunate came to an official end in 1868 with the resignation of the 15th Tokugawa shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, leading to the "restoration" of imperial rule.
Notwithstanding its eventual overthrow in favor of the more modernized, less feudal form of governance of the Meiji Restoration, the Tokugawa shogunate oversaw the longest period of peace and stability in Japan's history, lasting well over 260 years. The bakuhan taisei was the feudal political system in the Edo period of Japan. Baku is an abbreviation of bakufu, meaning "military government"—that is, the shogunate; the han were the domains headed by daimyō. Vassals provided military service and homage to their lords; the bakuhan taisei split feudal power between the shogunate in Edo and provincial domains throughout Japan. Provinces had a degree of sovereignty and were allowed an independent administration of the han in exchange for loyalty to the shōgun, responsible for foreign relations and national security; the shōgun and lords were all daimyōs: feudal lords with their own bureaucracies and territories. The shōgun administered the most powerful han, the hereditary fief of the House of Tokugawa.
Each level of government administered its own system of taxation. The emperor, nominally a religious leader, held no real power; the shogunate had the power to discard and transform domains. The sankin-kōtai system of alternative residence required each daimyō to reside in alternate years between the han and the court in Edo. During their absences from Edo, it was required that they leave family as hostages until their return; the huge expenditure sankin-kōtai imposed on each han helped centralize aristocratic alliances and ensured loyalty to the shōgun as each representative doubled as a potential hostage. Tokugawa's descendants further ensured loyalty by maintaining a dogmatic insistence on loyalty to the shōgun. Fudai daimyō were hereditary vassals of Ieyasu, as well as of his descendants. Tozama became vassals of Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara. Shinpan were collaterals of Tokugawa Hidetada. Early in the Edo period, the shogunate viewed the tozama as the least to be loyal. In the end, it was the great tozama of Satsuma, Chōshū and Tosa, to a lesser extent Hizen, that brought down the shogunate.
These four states are called Satchotohi for short. The number of han fluctuated throughout the Edo period, they were ranked by size, measured as the number of koku of rice that the domain produced each year. One koku was the amount of rice necessary to feed one adult male for one year; the minimum number for a daimyō was ten thousand koku. Regardless of the political title of the Emperor, the shōguns of the Tokugawa family controlled Japan; the administration of Japan was a task given by the Imperial Court in Kyoto to the Tokugawa family, which returned to the court in the Meiji Restoration. While the Emperor had the prerogative of appointing the shōgun, he had no say in state affairs; the shogunate appointed a liaison, the Kyoto Shoshidai, to deal with the Emperor and nobility. Towards the end of the shogunate, after centuries of the Emperor having little say in state affairs and being secluded in his Kyoto palace, in the wake of the reigning shōgun, Tokugawa Iemochi, marrying the sister of Emperor Kōmei, in 1862, the Imperial Court in Kyoto
Onnagata or oyama, are male actors who played women's roles in Japanese Kabuki theatre. The modern all-male kabuki was known as yarō kabuki to distinguish it from earlier forms. In the early 17th century, shortly after the emergence of the genre, many kabuki theaters had an all-female cast, with women playing men's roles as necessary. Wakashū kabuki, with a cast composed of attractive young men playing both male and female roles, dealing in erotic themes, originated circa 1612. Both onnagata and wakashū, actors specializing in adolescent female roles, were the subject of much appreciation by both male and female patrons, were prostitutes. All-male casts became the norm after 1629, when women were banned from appearing in kabuki due to the prevalent prostitution of actresses and violent quarrels among patrons for the actresses' favors; this ban failed to stop the problems, since the young male actors were fervently pursued by patrons. In 1642, onnagata roles were forbidden; these plays continued to have erotic content and featured many wakashū roles dealing in themes of nanshoku.
The ban on onnagata was lifted in 1644, on wakashū in 1652, on the condition that all actors, regardless of role, adopted the adult male hairstyle with shaved pate. Onnagata and wakashū actors soon began wearing a small purple headscarf to cover the shaved portion, which became iconic signifiers of their roles and became invested with erotic significance as a result. After authorities rescinded a ban on wig-wearing by onnagata and wakashū actors, the murasaki bōshi was replaced by a wig and now survives in a few older plays and as a ceremonial accessory. After film was introduced in Japan at the end of the 19th century, the oyama continued to portray females in movies until the early 1920s. At that time, using real female actresses was coming into fashion with the introduction of realist shingeki films; the oyama staged a protest at Nikkatsu in 1922 in backlash against the lack of work because of this. Kabuki, remains all-male today. Oyama continue to appear in Kabuki today, though the term onnagata has come to be used much more commonly.
Every Kabuki actor is expected to have facility with onnagata techniques. The phenomenon is best identified with the kanji, 女形. Bandō Tamasaburō V Nakamura Utaemon VI, Yoshizawa Ayame Taichi Saotome Sawamura Tanosuke III. Japanese Theatre Kagema for male prostitutes Cross-gender acting Drag show Köçek Pantomime dame Travesti Womanless wedding
Haiku listen is a short form of Japanese poetry in three phrases characterized by three qualities: The essence of haiku is "cutting". This is represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related. Traditional haiku consist of 17 on, in three phrases of 5, 7, 5 on, respectively. A kigo drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such terms. Modern Japanese haiku are said by some to vary from the tradition of 17 on or taking nature as their subject. Despite the western influence, the use of juxtaposition continues to be honored in both traditional and modern haiku. There is a common, although recent, perception that the images juxtaposed must be directly observed everyday objects or occurrences. In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line while haiku in English appear in three lines parallel to the three phrases of Japanese haiku.
Called hokku, haiku was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century. In Japanese haiku a kireji, or cutting word appears at the end of one of the verse's three phrases. A kireji fills a role somewhat analogous to a caesura in classical western poetry or to a volta in sonnets. Depending on which cutting word is chosen, its position within the verse, it may cut the stream of thought, suggesting a parallel between the preceding and following phrases, or it may provide a dignified ending, concluding the verse with a heightened sense of closure; the fundamental aesthetic quality of both hokku and haiku is that it is internally sufficient, independent of context, will bear consideration as a complete work. The kireji lends the verse structural support, allowing it to stand as an independent poem; the use of kireji distinguishes hokku from second and subsequent verses of renku. However, renku employ kireji. In English, since kireji have no direct equivalent, poets sometimes use punctuation such as a dash or ellipsis, or an implied break to create a juxtaposition intended to prompt the reader to reflect on the relationship between the two parts.
The kireji in the Bashō examples "old pond" and "the wind of Mt Fuji" are both "ya". Neither the remaining Bashō example nor the Issa example contain a kireji although they do both balance a fragment in the first five on against a phrase in the remaining 12 on. In comparison with English verse characterized by syllabic meter, Japanese verse counts sound units known as "on" or morae. Traditional haiku consist of 17 on, in three phrases of five and five on respectively. Among contemporary poems teikei haiku continue to use the 5-7-5 pattern while jiyuritsu haiku do not. One of the examples below illustrates that traditional haiku masters were not always constrained by the 5-7-5 pattern. Although the word "on" is sometimes translated as "syllable", one on is counted for a short syllable, two for an elongated vowel or doubled consonant, one for an "n" at the end of a syllable. Thus, the word "haibun", though counted as two syllables in English, is counted as four on in Japanese; this is illustrated by the Issa haiku below.
Conversely, some sounds, such as "kyo" may look like two syllables to English speakers but are in fact a single on in Japanese. In 1973, the Haiku Society of America noted that the norm for writers of haiku in English was to use 17 syllables, but they noted a trend toward shorter haiku. Shorter haiku are much more common in 21st century English haiku writing. While some translators of Japanese poetry infer that about 12 syllables in English approximate the duration of 17 Japanese on. A haiku traditionally contains a kigo, a word or phrase that symbolizes or implies the season of the poem and, drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but prescriptive list of such words. Kigo are in the form of metonyms and can be difficult for those who lack Japanese cultural references to spot; the Bashō examples below include "kawazu", "frog" implying spring, "shigure", a rain shower in late autumn or early winter. Kigo are not always included in non-Japanese haiku or by modern writers of Japanese "free-form" haiku.
The best-known Japanese haiku is Bashō's "old pond": 古池や蛙飛び込む水の音 ふるいけやかわずとびこむみずのおと furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto This separates into on as: fu-ru-i-ke ya ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu mi-zu-no-o-to Translated: old pond frog leaps in water's soundAnother haiku by Bashō: 初しぐれ猿も小蓑をほしげ也 はつしぐれさるもこみのをほしげなり hatsu shigure saru mo komino o hoshige nariThis separates into on as: ha-tsu shi-gu-re sa-ru mo ko-mi-no o ho-shi-ge na-ri Translated: the first cold shower the monkey seems to want a little coat of strawThis haiku by Bashō illustrates that he was not always constrained to a 5-7-5 on pattern. It contains 18 on in the pattern 6-7-5 富士の風や扇にのせて江戸土産 ふじのかぜやおうぎにのせてえどみやげ Fuji no kaze ya ōgi ni nosete Edo miyage