An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film and television; the analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art. In ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval world, the time of William Shakespeare, only men could become actors, women's roles were played by men or boys. After the English Restoration of 1660, women began to appear on stage in England. In modern times in pantomime and some operas, women play the roles of boys or young men. After 1660 in England, when women first started to appear on stage, the terms actor or actress were used interchangeably for female performers, but influenced by the French actrice, actress became the used term for women in theater and film.
The etymology is a simple derivation from actor with -ess added. When referring to groups of performers of both sexes, actors is preferred. Actor is used before the full name of a performer as a gender-specific term. Within the profession, the re-adoption of the neutral term dates to the post-war period of the 1950 and'60s, when the contributions of women to cultural life in general were being reviewed; when The Observer and The Guardian published their new joint style guide in 2010, it stated "Use for both male and female actors. The guide's authors stated that "actress comes into the same category as authoress, manageress,'lady doctor','male nurse' and similar obsolete terms that date from a time when professions were the preserve of one sex.". "As Whoopi Goldberg put it in an interview with the paper:'An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor – I can play anything.'" The UK performers' union Equity has no policy on the use of "actor" or "actress". An Equity spokesperson said that the union does not believe that there is a consensus on the matter and stated that the "...subject divides the profession".
In 2009, the Los Angeles Times stated that "Actress" remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients. With regard to the cinema of the United States, the gender-neutral term "player" was common in film in the silent film era and the early days of the Motion Picture Production Code, but in the 2000s in a film context, it is deemed archaic. However, "player" remains in use in the theatre incorporated into the name of a theatre group or company, such as the American Players, the East West Players, etc. Actors in improvisational theatre may be referred to as "players". In 2015, Forbes reported that "...just 21 of the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 featured a female lead or co-lead, while only 28.1% of characters in 100 top-grossing films were female...". "In the U. S. there is an "industry-wide in salaries of all scales. On average, white women get paid 78 cents to every dollar a white man makes, while Hispanic women earn 56 cents to a white male's dollar, Black women 64 cents and Native American women just 59 cents to that."
Forbes' analysis of US acting salaries in 2013 determined that the "...men on Forbes' list of top-paid actors for that year made 21/2 times as much money as the top-paid actresses. That means that Hollywood's best-compensated actresses made just 40 cents for every dollar that the best-compensated men made." The first recorded case of a performing actor occurred in 534 BC when the Greek performer Thespis stepped onto the stage at the Theatre Dionysus to become the first known person to speak words as a character in a play or story. Prior to Thespis' act, Grecian stories were only expressed in song, in third person narrative. In honor of Thespis, actors are called Thespians; the male actors in the theatre of ancient Greece performed in three types of drama: tragedy and the satyr play. Western theatre developed and expanded under the Romans; the theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, acrobatics, to the staging of situation comedies, to high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies.
As the Western Roman Empire fell into decay through the 4th and 5th centuries, the seat of Roman power shifted to Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. Records show that mime, scenes or recitations from tragedies and comedies and other entertainments were popular. From the 5th century, Western Europe was plunged into a period of general disorder. Small nomadic bands of actors traveled around Europe throughout the period, performing wherever they could find an audience. Traditionally, actors were not of high status. Early Middle Ages actors were denounced by the Church during the Dark Ages, as they were viewed as dangerous and pagan. In many parts of Europe, traditional beliefs of the region and time period meant actors could not receive a Christian burial. In the Early Middle Ages, churches in Europe began staging dramatized versions of biblical events. By the middle of the 11th century, liturgical drama had spread from Russia to Scandinavia
A brothel or bordello is a place where people engage in sexual activity with prostitutes. Technically, any premises where prostitution takes place qualifies as a brothel. However, for legal or cultural reasons, establishments describe themselves as massage parlors, strip clubs, body rub parlours, studios, or by some other description. Sex work in a brothel is considered safer than street prostitution. Around the world, attitudes towards prostitution and how and if it should be regulated vary and have varied over time. Part of the discussion impacts on whether the operation of brothels should be legal, if so, to what sort of regulations they should be subjected. On 2 December 1949, the United Nations General Assembly approved the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others; the Convention by December 2013 had been ratified by 82 states. The Convention seeks to combat prostitution, which it regards as "incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person."
Parties to the Convention agreed to abolish regulation of individual prostitutes, to ban brothels and procuring. Some countries not parties to the Convention ban prostitution or the operation of brothels. Various United Nations commissions, have differing positions on the issue. For example, in 2012, a Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS convened by Ban Ki-moon and backed by United Nations Development Programme and UNAIDS, recommended decriminalization of brothels and procuring. In the European Union, there is no consensus on the issue. Netherlands and Germany have the most liberal policies; the European Women's Lobby condemns prostitution as "an intolerable form of male violence" and supports the "Swedish model". In February 2014, the members of the European Parliament voted in a non-binding resolution, in favor of the "Swedish Model" of criminalizing the buying, but not the selling of sex. Prostitution and the operation of brothels is illegal in many countries, though known illegal brothels may be tolerated or laws not enforced.
Such situations exist in many parts of the world, but the region most associated with these policies is Asia. When brothels are illegal they may operate in the guise of a legitimate business, such as massage parlors, saunas or spas. In other places, prostitution itself may be legal, but many activities which surround it are illegal making it difficult for people to engage in prostitution without breaking any law; this is the situation, for example, in the United Kingdom and France. In a few countries and operating a brothel is legal and regulated; the degree of regulation varies by country. Most of these countries allow brothels, at least in theory, as they are considered to be less problematic than street prostitution. In parts of Australia, for example, brothels are legal and regulated. Regulation includes planning controls and licensing and registration requirements, there may be other restrictions. However, the existence of licensed brothels does not stop illegal brothels from operating. According to a report in the Australian Daily Telegraph, illegal brothels in Sydney in 2009 outnumbered licensed operations by four to one.
The introduction of legal brothels in Queensland was to help improve safety of sex workers and the community at large and reduce crime. This is believed to have been successful in many ways in Queensland with The Viper Room being one of the most well known, clean and most regard brothels in Brisbane and Queensland; the Netherlands has one of the most liberal prostitution policies in the world, attracts sex tourists from many other countries. Amsterdam is a destination for sex tourism. Germany has liberal prostitution laws; the largest brothel in Europe is the Pascha in Cologne. Although the Dumas Hotel in Butte, Montana operated from 1890 until 1982, brothels are illegal throughout the United States, except in rural Nevada. All forms of prostitution are illegal in Clark County, which contains the Las Vegas–Paradise metropolitan area; the earliest recorded mention of prostitution as an occupation appears in Sumerian records from ca. 2400 BCE, describes a temple-bordello operated by Sumerian priests in the city of Uruk.
The ` kakum' or temple was housed three grades of women. The first group performed only in the temple sex-rites. In years, sacred prostitution and similar classifications of females were known to have existed in Greece, India and Japan. State brothels/bordellos with regulated prices existed in ancient Athens, created by the legendary lawmaker Solon; these brothels catered for a predominantly male clientele, wit
A yukata is a Japanese garment, a casual summer kimono made of cotton or synthetic fabric, unlined. Yukata are worn by women. Like other forms of traditional Japanese clothing, yukata are made with straight seams and wide sleeves. Men's yukata are distinguished by the shorter sleeve extension of 10 cm from the armpit seam, compared to the longer 20 cm sleeve extension in women's yukata. A standard yukata ensemble consists of a cotton undergarment, obi, bare feet, sandals, a foldable or fixed hand fan, a carry bag. Kinchaku are used by both women to carry cellphones and other small personal items. For men, an optional hat may be worn to protect the head from the sun. Yukata means bath clothes, although their use is not limited to after-bath wear. Yukata are a common sight in Japan during the hot summer months; the yukata was worn as a bathrobe, but in Japan it is worn only as a summer garment. There are few regions. However, in some hot spring areas, it is possible to experience all-year-round the authenticity of wearing a yukata as a bathrobe while visiting the various onsens in town.
Traditionally yukata were made of indigo-dyed cotton but today a wide variety of colors and designs are available. As with kimono, the general rule with yukata is that younger people wear bright, vivid colors and bold patterns, while older people wear dark, matured colors and dull patterns. A child may wear a multicolored print and a young woman may wear a floral print, while an older woman would confine herself to a traditional dark blue with geometric patterns. Men in general may wear solid dark colors. Since the late 1990s, yukata have experienced increasing popularity. Yukata are worn at outdoor summer events such as bon-odori festivals. Yukata are worn at traditional Japanese inns after bathing in hot springs. In some onsen resort towns like Kinosaki and Kusatsu, it is common to see guests strolling around town in their yukata and geta while onsen-hopping; the left side of the yukata is wrapped over the right side and secured with an obi sash tied in a bow with the excess or with the koshi-himo.
Traditionally the bow is placed in the back as bows tied in the front have represented prostitution. In private, such as after a bath, the yukata may be belted. Yukata are worn with wooden sandals called geta, but tabi are not worn. Media related to Yukata at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of yukata at Wiktionary
Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre
Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into U. S. drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, Swedish playwright August Strindberg. The drama Long Day's Journey into Night is numbered on the short list of the finest U. S. plays in the 20th century, alongside Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire and Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. O'Neill's plays were among the first to include speeches in American English vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but slide into disillusionment and despair. Of his few comedies, only one is well-known. Nearly all of his other plays involve some degree of tragedy and personal pessimism. O'Neill was born in a hotel, the Barrett House, at Broadway and 43rd Street, on what was Longacre Square. A commemorative plaque was first dedicated there in 1957.
The site is now occupied by 1500 Broadway, which houses offices and the ABC Studios. He was the son of Irish immigrant actor James O'Neill and Mary Ellen Quinlan, of Irish descent; because his father was on tour with a theatrical company, accompanied by Eugene's mother, O'Neill was sent to St. Aloysius Academy for Boys, a Catholic boarding school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where he found his only solace in books, his father suffered from alcoholism. The O'Neill family reunited for summers at the Monte Cristo Cottage in Connecticut, he briefly attended Betts Academy in Stamford. He attended Princeton University for one year. Accounts vary as to, he may have been dropped for attending too few classes, been suspended for "conduct code violations," or "for breaking a window", or according to a more concrete but apocryphal account, because he threw "a beer bottle into the window of Professor Woodrow Wilson", the future president of the United States. O'Neill spent several years at sea, during which he suffered from alcoholism.
Despite this, he had a deep love for the sea and it became a prominent theme in many of his plays, several of which are set on board ships like those on which he worked. O'Neill joined the Marine Transport Workers Union of the Industrial Workers of the World, fighting for improved living conditions for the working class using quick'on the job' direct action. O'Neill's parents and elder brother Jamie died within three years of one another, not long after he had begun to make his mark in the theater. After his experience in 1912–13 at a sanatorium where he was recovering from tuberculosis, he decided to devote himself full-time to writing plays. O'Neill had been employed by the New London Telegraph, writing poetry as well as reporting. In the fall of 1914, he entered Harvard University to attend a course in dramatic technique given by Professor George Baker, he did not complete the course. During the 1910s O'Neill was a regular on the Greenwich Village literary scene, where he befriended many radicals, most notably Communist Labor Party of America founder John Reed.
O'Neill had a brief romantic relationship with Reed's wife, writer Louise Bryant. O'Neill was portrayed about the life of John Reed, his involvement with the Provincetown Players began in mid-1916. O'Neill is said to have arrived for the summer in Provincetown with "a trunk full of plays." Susan Glaspell describes a reading of Bound East for Cardiff that took place in the living room of Glaspell and her husband George Cram Cook's home on Commercial Street, adjacent to the wharf, used by the Players for their theater: "So Gene took Bound East for Cardiff out of his trunk, Freddie Burt read it to us, Gene staying out in the dining-room while reading went on. He was not left alone in the dining-room when the reading had finished." The Provincetown Players performed many of O'Neill's early works in their theaters both in Provincetown and on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. Some of these early plays began downtown and moved to Broadway. One of these early one acts written by O'Neill was The Web.
Written in 1913, this is the first time O'Neill explores the famous themes he thrives in in his career. The Web was one of O'Neill's first dramas; this one act began his interesting inclusion of the brothel world. This can be showcased. We see O'Neill explore memorable avenues within this play such a including a baby, born out of prostitution; this was a huge stepping stone as O'Neill is exploring fields in which have never before been explored with such success. O'Neill's first published play, Beyond the Horizon, opened on Broadway in 1920 to great acclaim, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, his first major hit was The Emperor Jones, which ran on Broadway in 1920 and obliquely commented on the U. S. occupation of Haiti, a topic of debate in that year's presidential election. His best-known plays include Anna Christie, Desire Under the Elms, Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra, his only well-known comedy, Ah, Wilderness!, a wistful re-imagining of his youth as he wished it had been.
In 1936 he received the
Geisha, geiko, or geigi are Japanese women who entertain through performing the ancient traditions of art and singing, are distinctively characterized by traditional kimonos and makeup. Contrary to popular belief, geisha are not the Eastern equivalent of a prostitute; the word geisha consists of two kanji, 芸 meaning "art" and 者 meaning "person" or "doer". The most literal translation of geisha into English would be "artist", "performing artist", or "artisan". Another name for geisha is Geiko, which translates as "Woman of Art"; this term is used to refer to geisha from Western Japan, which includes Kanazawa. Apprentice geisha are called Maiko "Woman of Dance", or Hangyoku, "Half-Jewel", or by the more generic term o-shaku "one who pours"; the white make-up and elaborate kimono and hair of a maiko is the popular image held of geisha. A woman entering the geisha community does not have to begin as a maiko, having the opportunity to begin her career as a full geisha. Either way, however a year's training is involved before debuting either as a maiko or as a geisha.
A woman above 21 is considered too old to be a maiko and becomes a full geisha upon her initiation into the geisha community. On average, Tokyo apprentices are older than their Kyoto counterparts. Geisha began the earliest stages of their training at a young age, sometimes as early as 6 years old; the early Shikomi and Minarai stages of geisha training lasted for years and months, longer than in contemporary times. A girl is a shikomi for up to a year while the modern minarai period is one month, it is still said that geisha inhabit a separate world which they call the Karyūkai or "The Flower and Willow World". Before they disappeared, the courtesans were the colourful "flowers" and the geisha the "willows" because of their subtlety and grace. In the early stages of Japanese history, there were female entertainers: Saburuko were wandering girls whose families were displaced from struggles in the late 600s; some of these saburuko girls sold sexual services, while others with a better education made a living by entertaining at high-class social gatherings.
After the imperial court moved the capital to Heian-kyō in 794 the conditions that would form geisha culture began to emerge, as it became the home of a beauty-obsessed elite. Skilled female performers, such as Shirabyōshi dancers, thrived. Traditional Japan embraced sexual delights and men were not constrained to be faithful to their wives; the ideal wife was a modest manager of the home. For sexual enjoyment and romantic attachment, men did not go to courtesans. Walled-in pleasure quarters known as yūkaku were built in the 16th century, in 1617 the shogunate designated "pleasure quarters", outside of which prostitution would be illegal, within which yūjo would be classified and licensed; the highest yūjo class was the geisha's predecessor, called tayuu, a combination of actress and prostitute playing on stages set in the dry Kamo riverbed in Kyoto. They performed erotic dances and skits, this new art was dubbed kabuku, meaning "to be wild and outrageous"; the dances were called "kabuki", this was the beginning of kabuki theater.
These pleasure quarters became glamorous entertainment centers, offering more than sex. The accomplished courtesans of these districts entertained their clients by dancing and playing music; some were renowned calligraphers. They all became specialized and the new profession, purely of entertainment, arose, it was near the turn of the eighteenth century that the first entertainers of the pleasure quarters, called geisha, appeared. The first geishas were men, entertaining customers waiting to see the most popular and gifted courtesans; the forerunners of the female geisha were the teenage odoriko: expensively trained as chaste dancers-for-hire. In the 1680s, they were popular paid entertainers in the private homes of upper-class samurai, though many had turned to prostitution by the early 18th century; those who were no longer teenagers adopted other names—one being "geisha", after the male entertainers. The first woman known to have called herself geisha was a Fukagawa prostitute, in about 1750.
She was a skilled singer and shamisen player named Kikuya, an immediate success, making female geisha popular in 1750s Fukagawa. As they became more widespread throughout the 1760s and 1770s, many began working only as entertainers in the same establishments as male geisha; the geisha who worked within the pleasure quarters were imprisoned and forbidden to sell sex in order to protect the business of the oiran. While licensed courtesans existed to meet men's sexual needs, machi geisha carved out a separate niche as artists and erudite female companions. By 1800, being a geisha was considered a female occupation; the gaudy Oiran began to fall out of fashion, becoming less popular than the chic and modern geisha. By the 1830s, the evolving geisha style was emula
Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers; the individual kanji, from left to right, mean sing and skill. Kabuki is therefore sometimes translated as "the art of singing and dancing"; these are, ateji characters which do not reflect actual etymology. The kanji of'skill' refers to a performer in kabuki theatre. Since the word kabuki is believed to derive from the verb kabuku, meaning "to lean" or "to be out of the ordinary", kabuki can be interpreted as "avant-garde" or "bizarre" theatre; the expression kabukimono referred to those who were bizarrely dressed. It is translated into English as "strange things" or "the crazy ones", referred to the style of dress worn by gangs of samurai. In 2005, the Kabuki theatre was proclaimed by UNESCO as an intangible heritage possessing outstanding universal value. In 2008, it was inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The history of kabuki began in 1603 when Izumo no Okuni a miko of Izumo-taisha, began performing a new style of dance drama in the dry riverbeds of Kyoto. It originated in the 17th century. Japan was under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate, enforced by Tokugawa Ieyasu; the name of the Edo period derives from the relocation of the Tokugawa regime from its former home in Kyoto to the city of Edo, present-day Tokyo. Female performers played both women in comic playlets about ordinary life; the style was popular, Okuni was asked to perform before the Imperial Court. In the wake of such success, rival troupes formed, kabuki was born as ensemble dance and drama performed by women—a form different from its modern incarnation. Much of its appeal in this era was due to the suggestive themes featured by many troupes. For this reason, kabuki was called "遊女歌舞妓" during this period. Kabuki became a common form of entertainment in the ukiyo, or Yoshiwara, the registered red-light district in Edo. A diverse crowd gathered under something that happened nowhere else in the city.
Kabuki theaters were a place to see and be seen as they featured the latest fashion trends and current events. The stage provided good entertainment with exciting new music, patterns and famous actors. Performances went from morning until sunset; the teahouses surrounding or connected to the theater provided meals and good company. The area around the theatres was filled with shops selling kabuki souvenirs. Kabuki, in a sense, initiated pop culture in Japan; the shogunate was never partial to kabuki and all the mischief it brought the variety of the social classes which mixed at kabuki performances. Women’s kabuki, called onna-kabuki, was banned in 1629 for being too erotic. Following onna-kabuki, young boys performed in wakashū-kabuki, but since they too were eligible for prostitution, the shōgun government soon banned wakashū-kabuki as well. Kabuki switched to adult male actors, called yaro-kabuki, in the mid-1600s. Male actors played both male characters; the theatre remained popular, remained a focus of urban lifestyle until modern times.
Although kabuki was performed all over ukiyo and other portions for the country, the Nakamura-za, Ichimura-za and Kawarazaki-za theatres became the top theatres in ukiyo, where some of the most successful kabuki performances were and still are held. The modern all-male kabuki, known as yarō-kabuki, was established during these decades. After women were banned from performing, cross-dressed male actors, known as onnagata or oyama, took over. Young men were preferred for women's roles due to their less masculine appearance and the higher pitch of their voices compared to adult men. In addition, wakashū roles, played by young men selected for attractiveness, became common, were presented in an erotic context. Along with the change in the performer's gender came a change in the emphasis of the performance: increased stress was placed on drama rather than dance. Performances were ribald, the male actors too were available for prostitution. Audiences became rowdy, brawls broke out, sometimes over the favors of a handsome young actor, leading the shogunate to ban first onnagata and wakashū roles.
Both bans were rescinded by 1652. During the Genroku era, kabuki thrived; the structure of a kabuki play was formalized during this period. Conventional character types were established. Kabuki theater and ningyō jōruri, the elaborate form of puppet theater that came to be known as bunraku, became associated with each other, each has since influenced the other's development; the famous playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon, one of the first professional kabuki playwrights, produced several influential works, though the piece acknowledged as his most significant, Sonezaki Shinjū, was written for bunraku. Like many bunraku plays, it was adapted for kabuki, it spawned many imitators—in fact, it and similar plays caused so many real-life "copycat" suicides that the government banned shinju mono in 1723. Ichikawa Danjūrō I lived during this time. Male actors played both male characters. In the 1840s, fires started to affect E