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Former good article nomineeKabuki was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
March 3, 2007Good article nomineeNot listed

Random foul words[edit]

I have never edited a Wikipedia page before, but in reading about Stage Design of Kabuki theatre, I came across 3 foul words that had been dropped in at random points among sentences. Could someone knowledgeable double check that in removing those words, the article remained accurate, and please remove any others you might see? Thank you.

no ESSENTIAL information given; HELP A WIKI OUT[edit]

the article seems informative, but it doesn't say anything about what a kabuki performance really is. does it involve a story, with drama? is it just a play with singing and dancing? the wiki even says "the structure of a kabuki play" became established, or something, but it DOESN'T ACTUALLY SAY what a typical structure is. honestly: after reading the wiki, i still don't know what kabuki is-- i only have a vague impression of what a performer looks like. is there a story with beginning, middle, and end? are there scripted lines? is there improvised comedy? is the singing/dancing related to the story, or is it more like some amazing vaudeville act? SOMEBODY HELP THE WIKI OUT. 22:38, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I also noticed that there is little detail on what is actually seen or heard at a kabuki play. There is mention of a "chanter" but no description of his (?) role. Is the chanter one of the essential elements? What does he/she chant? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Removed from article as unclear:

    Its development was pioneered by Ichikawa Danjuro (1660-1704) in 
    Edo and Sakata Tojuro (1647-1709) in the Kyoto-Osaka 

If anyone can clarify as to the development of what.... Exploding Boy 08:33, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)

I have readded the above statements, hopefully in a fashion which is more explanatory. Also, in regards to the earlier comment about "what a kabuki performance really is" - there is in point of fact tons missing from this article, not only about the plays themselves, but also about the culture surrounding kabuki. I write this NOT as a criticism of any individual editors - I love you all, and I trust that we are all working together on this to make it better, gradually. I have expanded on play structure, the differences between Edo & Kamigata kabuki, and a few other themes... a lot remains to be said, but there's just so much I don't think I could quite organize myself enough to do it properly. In any case, I'll be back, I'm sure, when it strikes me to have something else to add.
I am writing all of this essentially simply as a note to our readers, and to other editors, that this article continues to be very much a work in progress. If you have anything to contribute, please do, and if you have any questions on specific elements that are unclear or that are absent from the article entirely, please feel free to ask. LordAmeth 17:23, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Kabuki theater[edit]

Is this article related to Kabuki theater?

Yes. There is presently no article on kabuki theater, which could mean theater in the kabuki genre (the subject of Kabuki) or it could mean a building in which kabuki is performed (e.g. the Kabuki-za, a famous theater in Tokyo). Either way, this article is related to it.Fg2 07:06, Feb 11, 2005 (UTC)


Images of kabuki and bunraku on wikipedia are sorely lacking, as are many articles relating to such subjects; I am working, gradually, to rectify that situation as regards the articles. I have contributed to articles on one puppet troupe, a number of kabuki actors, a few plays, characters, theatres, and ukiyo-e artists, and intend to keep doing so, expanding wikipedia's coverage of such subjects piece by piece, あちこち.

But as it pertains to images, anything anyone can provide would be most helpful. Theatres do not allow photography, I would imagine, and even if they do, it's likely very difficult to get a good shot during performance; images of works of art are highly guarded by the museums and other owners of the art; images from books, often taken by professional photographers, and designed specifically to perfectly illustrate topics or subjects, which would make them *perfect* for Wikipedia, are of course tightly controlled by the copyright holders - publishers, photogrphers, authors, as well.

Again, any help anyone can offer in providing pictures of actors, sets, puppets, ukiyo-e prints, would be wonderful. Thank you. LordAmeth 16:31, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Images are very difficult. Trying to find a good photograph of a kabuki actor in full makeup and costume proved impossible for me (and the handful I did find wouldn't be free use anyway). Woodblock prints are a better bet -- they're almost all public domain, and kabuki is a pretty popular inspiration. I found this site by Hans Olof Johansson a good place to start searching.
On an unrelated note, I think this article would pass GA, except for its lack of inline citations. Going to work on that when I can, but it probably wouldn't be until after the holidays. If someone else could do so before that, I'd be happy to nominate it. I think it's gotten to be a pretty good overview of the subject and deserves the recognition. Shimeru 19:33, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
If you'd like to add "citation needed" templates where you think appropriate, I can then go to work finding citations for those points. LordAmeth 14:40, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
I've scattered a couple through the article. It might also be appropriate to cite in other places, such as summaries for the three famous plays mentioned. Will be getting some sources together myself, too. Shimeru 20:20, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you much for your help, and in particular for noting which statements you felt needed to be backed up with citations. This really helped me know what to search for in looking through my sources - I have managed to cite most of what you tagged; those things I have not cited I do very much believe to be true, but have not found a written, published citation for yet. But you said you were getting some sources together... I'm glad this article's really starting to shape up! LordAmeth 04:01, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
No, thank you -- you're the one doing the work. ^_- Looks good so far, and I think I may actually have something for at least one of those remaining tags, now that I look at it. I'll dig through my books tomorrow and find out. Shimeru 06:11, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Took a while, but I managed to track down those sources. All of the fact tags should be taken care of now. Probably could use a copyediting pass though. Shimeru 20:22, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Pop culture references[edit]

I have added a section on pop culture references. I think this is important, as it highlights the prominence of kabuki both inside Japan and in the West; I very very much hope that this does not, however, become a long trivia section loaded with tons of tons of pop culture references. It was essentially created to accomodate the recent addition of a reference to the Slipknot drummer. As to whether or not this comment serves no purpose and ought to be removed, I'm making no judgements right now.

My main purpose in posting this here talk page comment is to ask for opinions or suggestions on what this section might be called. We can't say "Kabuki in popular culture," as kabuki was very much a part of popular culture itself through the Meiji period and possibly later, though it has become more formalized and stodgy-feeling lately. And I don't want to simply say "Kabuki outside Japan" or something like that, since that would include actual kabuki performances and such. Maybe "Kabuki in popular culture today" or the like is the best we can do. LordAmeth 23:42, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I see what you mean, and "non-traditional popular culture" is somewhat clumsy (and perhaps misleading). What about "References to kabuki in popular culture" or "Pop-cultural references to kabuki", or something along those lines? The "references" is usually understood, but since we're dealing with a subject that is itself (at least arguably) pop-culture... On the other hand, I suppose we could simply say "Kabuki in popular culture" after all, and hope that our readers draw kabuki's own pop-culture status and impact from the article. Right now, I don't think the section is needed at all, so I've removed it -- the Slipknot drummer wears a noh mask, according to his article, so I've removed the bit about him from this page, and I placed a sentence about the anime references in the history section under "Kabuki today," where it seems to fit along with the movie appearances by kabuki actors. Shimeru 04:14, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Good article review[edit]

I have reviewed this article, and overall, I think it's very well written, and would probably give it a B or B+ grade. However, I've noticed several issues which are significant enough that I don't think it warrants passing this in accordance to the good article criteria:

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    a (fair representation): b (all significant views):
  5. It is stable.
  6. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b lack of images (does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  7. Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:

I don't think the article is broad enough to cover everything. I noticed a significant number of red links still in the article, particularly near the end. All three of the famous plays listed are red links, and very little is said about famous playwrights. The 'major theatres in operation' section is really just a list, so this should be written out and expanded. The items listed in the 'see also' section are mainly Japanese words, and without adequate descriptions, are pretty much meaningless to a non-Japanese reader. The article could use better english descriptions for Japanese words at other areas in the article as well.

It's coming a long way, though. Hope these suggestions help! Dr. Cash 18:36, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your suggestions and guidance. This article, being on such a broad topic, clearly has a long way to go, but I think we've made great progress recently, and will continue to do so. All those redlinks are on my personal "to-do" list, and I hope to get around to them sometime within the next few months. Nevertheless, I really don't know if that should count towards the completeness of this article. The question is not whether or not kabuki-related subjects are well-covered on Wikipedia in general, but whether this article by itself provides what it should, which is a general overview. LordAmeth 10:18, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm a bit puzzled by that, myself. The rest is pretty helpful, though. I'm going to see what I can do about explaining the Japanese terms... Shimeru 04:15, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm working on an article on Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura in my Sandbox, which I should be able to finish and post within the next day or two. The other plays listed I have not read, but I could certainly post a briefer summary... LordAmeth 10:23, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Re: my recent edit of readding information - I apologize to undo your work, Shimeru, and I wouldn't want to think that we're working at cross-purposes. In this particular section, I think you removed information which was relevant and I felt the need to readd it. Firstly, that kabuki is not unusual in world traditions in devoting a full day to the theater, thus the re-adding of the phrase "as well as in other cultures around the world". Secondly, the idea of escape from reality into a culture of play - entire journal articles, if not entire books, have been written on the culture of play and the societal role of festivals and carnivals in serving as a metaphor for another plane of existence where the real world is pushed aside, etc etc. This is very important to the way that kabuki functioned in the Edo period and the role it played in people's lives. LordAmeth 10:31, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
No problem. Perhaps we should cover that in more detail, though? The comment about other cultures seemed out of place to me in an article about kabuki, and the "escape" comment currently doesn't offer any of that cultural context. Shimeru 19:06, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Onnagata redirection[edit]

Onnagata should not be redirected to Kabuki. Though they are associated, traditional onnagata and kabuki theater were in competition with each other, especially during the early Meiji era.Hemkito 20:11, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I'd be curious to learn more about this. I've taken a postgraduate level course on Japanese theatre, and read a bit about it, and have never heard of any kind of onnagata tradition outside of kabuki, nor any competition therefore between it and mainstream kabuki. LordAmeth 21:42, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I second Lord Ameth's notes, are you perhaps confusing onnagata (male actors playing female roles) with the all-female body of actors of the Takarazuka Revue? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:11, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
I'd just like to say that if onnagata doesn't have it's own article and redirects here, there should at least be a definition in this article. In the current version, the word appears twice, and no explanation is given for its meaning, which isn't helpful to those who reached Kabuki through the onnagata redirect.--Boffob (talk) 18:34, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Traditional Kabuki Players NOT Prostitutes[edit]

Traditional Kabuki players were not prostitutes, as the first history section, "Female Kabuki" suggests. This mistake stems from the popular misconception that geisha were prostitutes, rather than escort entertainers. The subsequent Japanese that is referred to, 歌舞妓 (Kabuki), presented as a colloquial misnomer, centers around the last character 妓 (gi), which indicates geisha. Regardless of whether this misrepresentation is also present in the reference source, the use of the word "prostitute" is misleading at best, and more appropriately regarded as factually incorrect. In truth, the geisha culture explicitly forbade sexual acts of its members. I propose actual use of the word geisha with link to the appropriate article, or at the very least, the appropriate translation of "escort entertainer" or equivalent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:34, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't agree with your assessment. Geisha were not prostitutes, but many individual geisha either worked also as prostitutes or had physical relations with their clients for other reasons. It is also not the correct to state early kabuki performers were not prostitutes, as the traditional founder of the art form was in fact a full-fledged prostitute, and women's kabuki and boys' kabuki were banned because of the connections with prostitution. The last character of kabuki is also unrelated to the first character of geisha.-- (talk) 19:01, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Costumes? Makeup? Wigs? ...Color? 18 Favorite Plays (juhachiban)?[edit]

Where are the most important aspects of Kabuki mentioned in this article? The reference to costumes is slightly noticeable when talking about Performance, but the kimonos, kumadori, and katsura are not specifically mentioned at all. Color is the most important thing about Kabuki... There are plays that don't allow costumers to change the original colors of the costume at all, such as Sukeroku (in which Sukeroku wears a black kimono with red and light blue underneath, a blackish indigo umbrella, and socks and a headband of a specific shade of purple). Also, the Kabuki juhachiban, the 18 favorite plays, are neglected from the article. These topics are the most important things about Kabuki, and the article on Kabuki doesn't even recognize their existence... (talk) 02:42, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


Are those maintaining this article unaware of the repetition of the first two parts of the history section in the first two paragraphs of its third part? (talk) 21:42, 5 June 2009 (UTC)



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Kabuki music[edit]

There is no mention of Kabuki music. I the Japanese language page, there is a whole section on music (歌舞伎音楽) but I cannot understand the Google translation -- so I have no information to add unfortunately. DouglasHeld (talk) 23:30, 5 January 2018 (UTC)