Just a week ago I returned from a week in Kanazawa, Japan. My trip represented a working vacation for me, attending a meeting, giving a talk and probing as deeply as a one-week visit could possibly allow the multilayered Japanese culture, so very different than Western — the world of Samurai Warriors, Ninja Assassins, Sumo wrestlers, Geisha women, Kabuki and Oiran performers… — all endlessly fascinating,
Kabuki performances are highly lyrical plays allowing actors to demonstrate their range of skills in visual and vocal performance. These actors have carried the traditions of Kabuki through dozens of generations, indeed many of the actors tracing their ancestry and performing styles to the earliest Kabuki actors. Takero was gracious in offering a critical correction. "This is Oiran..." he writes, "in Kabuki they paint special lines on their faces."
According to the Britannica, the Kabuki form dates to the early 17th century, when a female dancer named Okuni (who had been an attendant at the Grand Shrine of Izumo), achieved popularity with parodies of Buddhist prayers. She assembled around her a troupe of wandering female performers who danced and acted. Okuni’s Kabuki was the first dramatic entertainment of any importance that was designed for the tastes of the common people in Japan. The sensuous character of the dances (and the prostitution of the actors) proved to be too disruptive for the government, which in 1629 banned women from performing. Young boys dressed as women then performed the programs, but this type of Kabuki was suppressed in 1652, again because of concern for morals. Finally, older men took over the roles, and it is this form of all-male entertainment that has endured to the present day. Kabuki plays grew in sophistication, and the acting became more subtle. Thus the stern looking performer in the photo is a man, playing a pregnant woman.
Critiques | Translate
ryno (6865) 2014-08-10 20:24
Great shot, Bulent. I like the dramatic colours in this one, and her facial expression. Your sharp picture brings out the interesting detail in her dress and ornaments, and your informative note complements the image very well.
stego (24132) 2014-08-10 21:23
Amazing sharpness and colours in what looks like a difficult situation. And perfect composition also. It is true that looking at the full resolution version, there a slight blurr and noise on the walls, but that isn't apparent in the small version.
emka (89411) 2014-08-10 22:50
Hello Bulent, You have great working holidays, lucky you, I must pay for everything :(. Indeed, Japan is fascinating for the Western tourist, so different in every aspect. Fantastic portrait of this kabuki actor. I haven't seen any Asian performance, like Chinese opera, Japanese kabuki or Indian Kathakali. It seems to me too strange. Very interesting note, as always.
Big hugs Malgo
I am preparing for my Russian adventure in September.
bukitgolfb301 (38526) 2014-08-10 23:36
Hi dear Bulent
Great shot for expression and so orgeous color and light getting.
But this is not "KABUKI" but "OIRAN". KABUKI actors should paint unique lines or so on his face but he did not have. But anyat very good shot.
All the best and have a good day! Takero from Tokyo
papagolf21 (93198) 2014-08-11 0:27
Bonjour, cher Bulent,
Comme à l'accoutumée une note d'accompagnement de grande qualité assurant la présentation de cette composition avec maestria.
Royaldevon (34757) 2014-08-11 1:26
What interesting notes, Bulent.
They accompany a wonderful portrait of this 'pregnant' dancer, perfectly sharp with wonderful textural details.
Have a lovely day,
Nicou (133470) 2014-08-11 2:46
quelle image superbe vue quel costume de cloueur avec ces bandes dorées qui pendent ce maquillage blanc avec la coiffure superbe élégance et captage quelle attitude.
Bravo et amitié
Tue (31048) 2014-08-11 3:05
What a great photo! So rich in colours and with a lovely and pleasant light. Really well captured.
Thank you for the link to your own website too, I really enjoyed seeing your drawings and lithographs!
jhm (146666) 2014-08-11 3:13
Our friend Takero gets rivalry in his own country with this portrait.
A nice image with these lady, with bright colours
Colours and sharpness are very nice to see
Excellent composition, nice presentation too.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice new week,
asajernigan (21427) 2014-08-11 3:19
You have captured great color and detail here under what must have been difficult conditions. The details of the dress and expression are great and you have presented it beautifully.
alvaraalto (6177) 2014-08-11 4:21
If I look at this amazing beautiful and colourful picture, I think I have to convince Lars for a visit to Japan instead of the USA.
photoray (13725) 2014-08-11 7:41
Attractive up close view of the Kabuki performer in classical costume and makeup, and multiple saturated colors, with fine resolution.
Japanese culture is indeed unique to us and by sharing we will learn more and gain greater understanding.
worldcitizen (7890) 2014-08-11 7:43
This is a lovely capture. The actor has quite an expression on his face, and his kimono is stunning. I especially like that there is actually a painting on the famous Kinkakuji temple on it. The colors in this scene are so vivid and beautiful.
saxo042 (37730) 2014-08-11 8:08
A very interesting picture and note! The picture shows an abundance of details, all in perfect colours. Also valuable comments from Takero. A really enjoyable and well composed contribution!
mirosu (15878) 2014-08-14 3:03
You have a very interesting travels, and I appreciate that you always bring back excellent photos. I like this one, excellent, well saturated colors, superb light & clarity.
Very well done.
aliabazari (16091) 2014-09-01 21:01
Hi Bulent dear
A good portrait will be on display. Clarity and lighting was perfect. I love the culture and people of Japan. Thanks for sharing
Fis2 (92195) 2014-09-22 0:27
Beautiful folk costume.
Excellent composition and strong colors.
Very well done.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (37449)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-07-28
- Categories: Festivals
- Camera: Nikon D200, 18-70mm DX Zoom Nikkor
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/60 seconds
- Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): SYMPHONY OF COLORS [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2014-08-10 19:42