Reviews - What do customers think about Heroes of the Kabuki Stage: An Introduction to the World of Kabuki with Retellings of Famous Plays, Illustrated with Woodblock Prints?
Anybody interested in Japanese culture... Jun 28, 2005
...will find a treasure-trove of information in this wonderful book. The nobles had Noh, the commoners had Kabuki. Noh is tragic, intense, and performed with no scenery. Kabuki is melodramatic (when it isn't funny), diffuse, and depends on elaborate costume and scenery changes, some so entertaining they're done while the audience watches. On the Left Coast, when most people hear "Japanese Art," they think of the Zen-influenced sumi ink painting, calligraphy, the cha-ya-nu ceremony, and ikebana. A tour through this book shows that much of Japanese art is unrestrained, brash, colorful, and fun. I'm an old Japanese woodblock print collector and can vouch for the excellence of the prints used to illustrate every story. If you are a Westerner going to see your first Kabuki, this book is the authoritative source for understanding not only 85 separate Kabuki plays, but the whole wonderful set of conventions that have been built up around it. The publisher has a catalog of Japanese and Asian art books which range from the terrific to the merely splendid.
illustrated study of Kabuki theater Mar 1, 2005
The large, coffee-table quality book offers a particularly engaging, different way to learn about the kabuki theater that has long been an integral part of Japanese society. With full-color pictures of Japanese woodcuts on nearly every page, it's really an art book on kabuki. One aspect of the woodcuts relating to the theater are woodcuts of actors. These testify to the important place of kabuki in Japanese society, while they sometimes served as a sort of publicity. Besides offering a multi-dimensional treatment covering origins and evolution, playwrights and actors, the yearly cycle of kabuki, costumes, staging, and music, the work is also a lifelong reference--with its six indexes for instance. The Dutch authors are steeped in the subject from extensive research and attraction to Japanese prints. Thirty-seven kabuki dramas are reviewed with casts of characters, narratives of story lines, appropriate woodcuts, and endnotes and references.