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Onna Mono : The “Female Presence” on the Stage of the All-Male Traditional Japanese Theatre

Onna Mono : The “Female Presence” on the Stage of the All-Male Traditional Japanese Theatre Abstract: As is well known, traditional Japanese theatre has been customarily a male domain, with women physically absent for the most part. The representative classical genres: nō, kyōgen , kabuki, and bunraku are performed only by men. The aim of this article is to look for and map a trajectory of the “female presence” on this predominantly all-male public stage, by exploring a phenomenon that has been largely overlooked: female versions of the popular all-male performing arts since medieval times, including reworking stories of the most prominent masculine heroes in kabuki. It could be argued that this practice did have a lasting presence in Japanese popular culture well into the twentieth century. I have come to denote this type of female-centered performances within the androcentric traditional Japanese theatre discourse as onna mono (おんなもの “female things”)—an expression that I would like to propose here as a general term inclusive of all related art forms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

Onna Mono : The “Female Presence” on the Stage of the All-Male Traditional Japanese Theatre

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 32 (2) – Sep 14, 2015

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-2109
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: As is well known, traditional Japanese theatre has been customarily a male domain, with women physically absent for the most part. The representative classical genres: nō, kyōgen , kabuki, and bunraku are performed only by men. The aim of this article is to look for and map a trajectory of the “female presence” on this predominantly all-male public stage, by exploring a phenomenon that has been largely overlooked: female versions of the popular all-male performing arts since medieval times, including reworking stories of the most prominent masculine heroes in kabuki. It could be argued that this practice did have a lasting presence in Japanese popular culture well into the twentieth century. I have come to denote this type of female-centered performances within the androcentric traditional Japanese theatre discourse as onna mono (おんなもの “female things”)—an expression that I would like to propose here as a general term inclusive of all related art forms.

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 14, 2015

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