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Kabuki is a form of modern, stylized Japanese theater that includes singing and dancing. Originally women were the only actors, playing both male and female roles, but as the performers began gaining the wrong kind of attention, young male actors called wakashu took over the roles.
There are 3 main types of Kabuki plays:
The full length plays usually have 5 distinct acts:
1. The jo is a slow opening which introduces the characters and plot.
2.,3.,4. In the ha, the events speed up, usually with a dramatic or tragic moment in the third act, and a battle in the second or fourth.
5. The kyu is a quick, satisfying conclusion.
Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, 2005, NHK, dir. Osome Hisamatsu
Othello, 1960, dir. Tsuneari Fukuda
Desdemona, Othello, 2008, dir. Yoshihiro Kurita
Lord of the Lies, Richard III, 2007, Shochuku Theatre, dir. Hidenori Inoue
The Tempest, 1994, dir. Hanagume Neo-Kabuki