Kabuki Dance Make Up and Costuming

The art of Kabuki buyō (Kabuki Dance), sometimes simply called Nihon buyō (Japanese Classical Dance), involves a great deal of backstage preparation of the costumes, make up, and wigs. We present here four videos, subtitled into English and Japanese, covering the four main backstage crafts of the art: the wig maker (katsurashi), the wig stylist (tokoyama), the make up artist (kaoshi), and the costumer (ishōkata). GloPAC also has 45 minutes of video capturing the make up demonstration and explanation by Bandō Kotoji (Mr. Naoya Mura) and Nishizaki Sakurako during their dance techniques workshop at Cornell University in October 2010. Contact us for interest in using or developing this footage. 

The videos below were produced by Artery Co., Ltd., president Mr. Ryo Komiya, and cordinated by Mr. Naoya Mura. fn
The subtitling was done by GloPAC staff.
Click on image to play video

The wig maker 鬘師
GloPAD record #1006857

The wig stylist 床山
GloPAD record #1006858

The make up artist 顔師
GloPAD record #1006859

The costumer 衣装方 
GloPAD record #1006860

The wig maker, katsurashi 鬘師, assembles the wig from the basic components. In this video we see the artist Kaji Katsutoshi 鍛冶勝利build the frame of the wig, overlay it with paper, and finally attach the hair to complete the wig.




The wig stylist, tokoyama 床山, takes the wig from the katsurashi and makes up the style to fit the performing role. Here we see Nagai Tadahisa 永井忠久 prepare a female wig and then style it with different shapes and accessories for three different roles.




The make up artist, kaoshi 顔師, makes up the performers for their roles. In this video we see Okada Noriaki 岡田憲明 put a foundation for a young woman role and then apply a special kabuki face paint pattern, kumadori, to transform the face into that of a lion for a dance performance. At the end a cloth impress of the kumadori is made.



The costumer, ishōkata 衣装方, selects and puts on the highly ornamental robes and accessories for the buyō dancer. Here we watch Hosoda Shūsaku 細田周作 clothe a performer in three layers of robes, many sashes, and several accessories. At the end of the video the wig stylist puts on and adjusts the styled wig, and the completely costumed performer makes her way to the stage.




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