3/22/2009

Kabuki costumes and traditional technique

I find the entry about costumes of Bando Tamasaburo, a famous kabuki actor of female roles, in Ginza Taizo Blog. Anyway, please see the photo on the blog!
Making kabuki costumes for Bando Tamasaburo (Photo)
How wonderful it is! I desire to see Bando Tamasaburo wearing this kimono.

Kiritata Ken wrote an essay about Kabuki Costumes in Kyoto Shoin’s Art Library of Japanese Textiles.

Most first-time viewers of Japan’s traditional performing arts are fascinated by
the intriguing costumes and masks. The costumes worn in Kabuki are remarkable in
their extraordinary shapes, colors and in the variety of stage techniques that
enable instant costume changes. The original objective of the performing arts
was to attract the attention of the gods and entertain the people, and for this
reason, the costumes and staging were gorgeous.
The following description of
Ichikawa Danzo’s costume was added to the illustrated program for Koiwataru
Enishi no Shakkyo, one of the most popular dance dramas performed at the
Fujikawa-za in Osaka in September 1784.
“1. Light blue satin (uchikake
overgarment) with an arrow-wheel design. Embroidered with gold
thread…..”
(Excerpts from Kabuki Costumes by Kirihata Ken)
When I read it, I can clearly imagine costumes on the stage. The attraction of kabuki and its costumes was supposed to be energy of people at that time.

I have heard from a master of the wholesale merchant that genuine articles make us impressed rather than reasoned transcending time. When I see these wonderful costumes, I have a real desire to leave them transcending time. According to the Ginza Taizo Blog, we can know that making each costume of Bando Tamasaburo has a very difficult process. But it is actually more difficult and essential to protect traditional techniques of craftsmen, who make these costumes. The encounter between Bando Tamasaburo and craftsmanship with great care, combination of Japanese traditional arts and techniques, enables completion of these costumes as achievements of craftsmen’s sweat and tears even now. No, it's almost like a miracle. Only the encounter between Bando Tamasaburo and Ginza Taizo, both always pursue genuine articles, may accomplish the authentic world.

Genuine articles make us impressed transcending time.
We should not decide that there used to be many good things in the good old days, but should meet with genuine articles which we want to leave for posterity. Then, it’s important to have a strong desire to make them actually leave for posterity. Once we know which should be left for posterity, we could naturally understand the importance of craftsmen’s techniques.
Therefore, it is my sincere hope that as many people as possible meet with genuine articles.
As for kabuki costumes, they are not legacies of the past, but future treasures, in which we should pursue beauty.

I watched the picture of Bando Tamasaburo’s costumes many times. I want to see their real things. But I surely faint with emotion, if I could see Bando Tamasaburo wearing these costumes.

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