Kabuki Theater – 歌舞伎

Kabuki Theater – 歌舞伎

Japanese performance arts such as dance and theater have a millenary history, given they are closely related to the Chinese culture. In the beginning, the Chinese Empire extended all over Asia, including the islands and territories that today Japan is comprised of. It is therefore appropriate to look at Chinese history and culture when talking about Japan.news20130519_01

That is not to say, however, that Japan does not have its own culture, but the truth is that many of the ancient traditions that make up Japanese culture have somewhat been affected by or inherited from China. Even the Japanese language contains thousands of words adapted from Chinese, not to mention the thousands of Chinese pictograms, known as Kanji.

Unmistakably, one of the most well-known features of the Japanese performing arts is the use of Geishas. Geishas have traditionally been females, so it is unclear whether nowadays a man or a trans person can also be a Geisha, given that it is an old fashioned custom.

In any case, a Geisha is often trained and schooled, since an early age, in a variety of fields and subjects, such as languages, dance, singing, acting, poetry, rhetoric, theater, history, politics etc. All in all, becoming a Geisha is a well-respected career and, culturally speaking, it is considered to be a highly prestigious thing.

Not just anybody can succeed in becoming a Geisha, since it is rather hard work which takes years of extenuating training. Geishas are a central part of an ancient art form known in Japan as Kabuki, or 歌舞伎, which means kabuki theater; these kanjis mean sing, dance and skill. As you can gather from the preceding passages, in order to become a Geisha, one needs to be smart, talented and possess a specific set of skills. It is every bit worth it.