Onnagata: A Labyrinth of Gendering in Kabuki Theater (Hardback)Maki Morinaga (author)
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Kabuki is well known for its exaggerated acting, flamboyant costumes and makeup, and unnatural storylines. The onnagata, usually male actors who perform the roles of women, have been an important aspect of kabuki since its beginnings in the 17th century. In a "labyrinth" of gendering, the practice of men playing women's roles has affected the manifestations of femininity in Japanese society. In this case study of how gender has been defined and redefined through the centuries, Maki Isaka examines how the onnagata's theatrical gender "impersonation" has shaped the concept and mechanisms of femininity and gender construction in Japan. The implications of the study go well beyond disciplinary and geographic cloisters.
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 522 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
A well-researched and thorough historical study of the artificial and artistic construction of femininity by onnagata that provides a great deal of information as well as many thought-provoking insights.-- Akiko Kusunoki * Early Modern Women *
It is an important addition to the study of women performers in kabuki and supports the idea that onnagata is an action or performance-- Colleen Lanki * Asian Theater Journal *
Isaka makes a number of important interventions in understanding how femininity is constructed and presented on the Japanese stage as well as in society as a whole. . . . The book's exploration of gender performance goes far beyond the worlds of dramatic literature and theatrical performance.-- Megan Ammirati * Theatre Survey *
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