Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage 1780

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9780714124308: Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage 1780
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Kabuki Heroes is about collective participation in urban culture―on the stage, in poetry salons, in art studios, and in fan clubs. Focusing on the culture of Kabuki theater in Osaka and Kyoto, the book illustrates the passionate hero worship of actors by all levels of society.

Just as now we worship celebrities both in private and in public―at concerts, theaters, and sports events―so too did eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Kabuki fans celebrate their stage idols. Most importantly, after the spread of new color woodblock printing technology in the late 1760s, a golden age of popular Kabuki culture was promoted far and wide with beautifully colored prints and books. The over 300 fine examples brought together in this catalogue reside in leading public and private collections in Europe and Japan and evoke a fascinating period when theater, art, and poetry were essential elements of social and cultural life.

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About the Author:

C. Andrew Gerstle is professor of Japanese Studies at SOAS, University of London, and Director of the AHRB Center for Asian and African Literatures. His most recent book is Chikamatsu: Five Late Plays.

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