INVITATION TO KABUKI Guide to Japanese Traditional Performing Arts KabukiINVITATION TO KABUKI Guide to Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Kabuki

Characters and ActorsVarious Kabuki Roles

Kirare Otomi

Piece this appear in | “Musumegonomi Ukina no Yokogushi” (The Young Girl’s Favorite Comb of Scandal)

Character

Akuba (evil woman) are characters portraying women with charm and sex appeal who are willing to do almost anything even any wicked things for the men they love. In this play, an akuba named Otomi extorts money from hoodlums, murders her own husband, and steals money for her lover.

Costumes

“Musumegonomi Ukina no Yokogushi” ‘Akamaya Okuzashiki’ scene
National Theatre (Y_E0100289500799)

For scenes in which an akuba set out to extort money from victims, they typically wear costumes in a masculine checkered pattern that create a chic and sophisticated image. In addition to akuba, this checked pattern is worn by the male role Igami no Gonta in “Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura” (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees) and other roles. The size of the checkered patterns is normally adjusted to fit the personality of the roles.

The wigs akuba wear are styled to crudely pile hair at the back of the head. This touch is used to present the personality of the roles as strong-spirited, mannish-like women as they go out to extort money or engage in fighting performance.

“Musumegonomi Ukina no Yokogushi” ‘Akamaya Okuzashiki’ scene
National Theatre (Y_E0100289500799)