|Today we spent quite a bit of time enjoying the exhibit|
"Japanese Prints of Kabuki Theater from the Collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Art."
As always, I was interested in the few prints that depicted food.
|An actor, holding his small child, is also having some tea.|
|In another panel of three-part print, these men are serving tea or soup in covered dishes.|
The large number of displayed prints include close-up portraits of actors, scenes with stage settings and dramatized moments from famous Kabuki plays, and imagined meetings between actors. Also in the exhibit is a short video with scenes from Kabuki drama as still presented in Tokyo, and a beautiful red kimono that was once worn onstage.
I learned a great deal about the popularity of this drama in the 18th and 19th century. Some of the prints were handed out as advertisements for the plays; others were sold to be collected by loyal fans of particular actors. Though now valuable museum-pieces the prints were originally very cheap or even given away for free. A few even contain ads for other products and businesses.
All parts in Kabuki plays were played by male actors who specialized in either male or female roles. Interestingly, the actors who played women's parts were often influential in setting fashion for actual women of the time.