JFLA Lecture Series 32
History, Aesthetics, and Star Power
Tuesday, January 19th, 7PM
The all-male kabuki theater has been around for more than four hundred years, and to this day it remains Japan's most popular form of theater. A unique theatrical genre that combines dance, music, dynamic action, and picturesque poses, kabuki has left a profound mark on Japan's cultural memory, creating urban heroes, legendary characters, and iconic courtesans and princesses-not to mention a whole culture of stardom.
In her lecture, Professor Satoko Shimazaki, a kabuki specialist who teaches at the University of Southern California, will trace kabuki's roots back to the seventeenth century and give a user-friendly introduction to its aesthetics and special pleasures. This lecture is part of an ongoing series of kabuki events organized by The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, which includes screenings of high resolution Cinema Kabuki at theaters throughout Los Angeles.
Dr. Satoko Shimazaki is Assistant Professor of Japanese theater and literature at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on early modern Japanese theater and popular literature; kabuki's modern history; gender representations on the kabuki stage; and the interaction of performance, print, and text. She is the author of the forthcoming book Edo Kabuki in Transition: From the World of the Samurai to the Vengeful Female Ghost (Columbia University Press, 2016) and co-editor of Publishing the Stage: Print and Performance in Early Modern Japan (University of Colorado, Center for Asian Studies, 2011). Her publications also include an introduction to kabuki in The Cambridge History of Japanese Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2016).