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Symbolic clothes, Kimono and Peter Pan

Discovering the imposing bronze statue behind Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa reminded me that I really do wish to attend a Kabuki performance. The traditional Japanese building of our local Kabuki theatre is controversially being replaced by a modern brick box and not due to reopen until next year. I'm hoping it will be amazingly accessible.

I checked out the alternative theatres and discovered that I had missed the May season. I had hoped to go to a morning performance as the event usually lasts around four hours. I would need a translation too!

The Kabuki stage has a 'catwalk' running from the deck to the back of the auditorium, where the hero of 'Shibaraku' appears to deliver his monologue. Unlike Shakespeare plays, this piece was conceived spontaneously in the middle of another play, by the actor whose family developed the drama and now seems to have exclusive rights to the role.

The hero wears an impressive padded costume to add height and width to his stature. I think Japanese people are perhaps more aware of the symbolic possibilities of clothes and they are fond of dressing up.

There are quite a few young people wearing kimono, but so many women in 'dolls clothes' one gets the impression there are almost no grown- ups in the country.

Outfits that look like mini, frilly nightwear and cute little- girl hairstyles make it seem like Japanese women pass from childhood to old age with no adult years between.

And indeed, a lot of them are reluctant to take on roles as wives and mothers, to the extent that the government is seriously worried about the shrinking population numbers.

Is our fascination with being/looking youthful leading humanity on the road to extinction? Is this particular Utopia a dead end?

 

 

Kimono: the hair

the style, the pins,

socks and shoes

as well as the

signature wrap

garments with

belts, all belong

together. Conspire

to make tiny steps

into a future

looking back

at somewhere

slower.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 31 May 2012

Last modified by Gini, 31 May 2012