Kabuki World – Introduction of Actors and Words

Japanese traditional culture

Hello. I’m Yuko.
Continuing from the last time, today I would like to talk about Kabuki again.

Let’s see Kabuki world!

Popular Actors

Last time, I talked about Ebizo Ichikawa, the “Ichikawa Soke”.
Ebizo Ichikawa is known with the advertisement of “Oi Ocha(お~い、おちゃ)”, which is a bottle of Japanese green tea.

Bando Tamasaburo, a living national treasure.
Recently, he was on the popular TV drama “Kirin ga Kuru” as a role of the emperor.

Kataoka Nizaemon, a popular actor in Kansai.
There are many Nizaemon fans around me. He is a popular Kabuki actor who represents modern Kabuki. He is slender, tall and sexy. Nizaemon is also a Living National Treasure.

Kansaburo Nakamuraand his younger brother Nakamura Shichinosuke are popular as young actors.
Ainosuke Kataoka is also famous as he was on TV drama “Naoki Hanzawa” which is very popular for many Japanese.

Chusha Ichikawa is also known as an actor “Teruyuki Kagawa” for a long time that’s why he is familiar on TV. He is also very popular with children as he is also known as “a teacher of insects”.

You may have seen some of them on TV!

Kabuki Words

There are many Japanese words which were made from Kabuki.

・ Ichimatsu moyo(Check pattern): An actor from the Edo period, Ichimatsu Sanogawa, wore a hakama with this pattern in a stage costume. Now it is very popular in the animation “Kimetsu no Yaiba”.

Ichimatsu moyo

・ Otoko mae: Otoko means “Man” and Mae means “Front”. In the world of Kabuki, the front is movement. Since the actor with good movement was evaluated as beautiful, the word “Otoko mae” has been used for beautiful/ handsome man.

・ Ohako: It is written in Chinese character, No.18(Ju hachi ban). It means a specialty. It is derived from the fact that the Ichikawa family kept 18th special script of Kabuki in a paulownia box. Paulownia is a subject that people use it for something precious.

・ Makunouchi bento: Maku means “Curtain” and Uchi means “Inside”. This is a bento that is eaten during a breaktime of the show. It is a combination of cylinder-shaped rice balls and side dishes.

Makunouchi bento

Many of the Japanese words we usually use come from Kabuki.

Kabuki has been a big entertainment for old people. It was like a movie nowadays.
Therefore, it had a great influence on the general public.

The Kabuki stage in Kansai is the Minamiza Theater in Kyoto and the Shochikuza Theater in Osaka Namba.

There may be many people who say “Maybe I’ve taken a picture in front of the building!”
It maybe difficult to understand the background and everything because it uses old words, but please try kabuki world.

Kyoto Minamiza

Osaka Namba Shochikuza


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