Yakugara

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役柄 やくがら


総合

歌舞伎

Role types. During kabuki’s earliest period, women impersonated men and vice versa, but from the mid-seventeenth century, women no longer acted on the kabuki stage and men took all roles of both genders. Toward the end of the seventeenth century, as well-structured play material developed out of simpler skits and characterization diversified and became more complex, a system of role types began to apply to actor training and specialization as well as to playwriting. At first roles were divided primarily according to gender and age, and to some extent, nature. Four basic types show up early and remained the basis of all later developments: male roles and the actors who play them, referred to as tachiyaku; female roles and the actors who play them, referred to as onnagata or oyama; comic roles and the actors who play them, referred to as dōkegata; and evil (male) roles and the actors who play them, referred to as katakiyaku. From these basic divisions, new character types were added throughout the Edo-period that delineated a character’s nature more precisely and that allowed for play content that matched current audience interest. (KSL)