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Japan, Kabuki, and Bunraku: Crash Course Theater #23

100 Comments

  1. Skylar LacyBookworm Author

    Why has PBS History of Theater been so eurocentric? I enjoyed those episodes and would like to see the same thing with other regions of the world.

    Reply
  2. 1980rlquinn Author

    Please make the minimal effort to pronounce words correctly. Of course, you are not obliged to lose your American accent for your audience here, but 1) if you could not do the minimal work to know the words themselves (some are already established in English), how do we trust any other research and 2) many of these words are new to the audience and here is where we learn them. Deliberately or accidentally teaching them incorrectly pointlessly frustrates further research and communication.

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  3. Orlando Byron Author

    I'm a great admirer of both CrashCourse's content and Mike's presentation style, but the pronunciation in this episode is atrocious. It really lowers the quality and educational value of the video.

    They also show an animation of a bunraku puppet with marionette-like strings. That's not how they work. It's also a pity that they omit the tayuu from their summary of bunraku.

    Reply
  4. Gustavo Espinoza Torres Author

    Just today in the med school we studied the Kabuki syndrome, which has it's name for the face shape of the affected, which reassembles the Kabuki masks.

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  5. thedeadbeat Author

    Why does the law nearly always ruin the fun for female performers? It is cool that the Kabuki genre was started by women even if they didn't get to continue being performers at the time.

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  6. Elfos64 Author

    Why was this video done so long after the Noh one? Anyway, will you cover Hero shows, modern Japanese theater too? Basically, set up a small stage somewhere public/high traffic, like a mall or something, and act out a little fight scene or something with actors dressed as superheroes/villains, usually to promote a tokusatsu series popular at the time.

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  7. scarred child Author

    Anime makes a lot more sense. Especially the dramatic pause is like that moment where the background changes to action lines just before the person hits their opponent.

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  8. aperson22222 Author

    Why would I think the death of a soy sauce seller is less tragic than the death of anyone else in similar circumstances? A person’s a person, no matter their job.

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  9. Cathy Caron Author

    Comment on the survey – do you guys have some weird agreement with SurveyMonkey where you can't redirect the page after the survey is done? Maybe redirecting to your swag site would be a bit much – but something related to your guys that isn't SurveyMonkey selling itself would make more sense.

    Also – Mike must do more Crash Course! My suggestion is History of Science Fiction – with a cartoon Frankenstein's monster as the recurring character.

    Reply
  10. Jaydoggy531 Author

    The Met Opera has a staging of Madame Butterfly that involves a Bunraku Puppet being her son (since the part has no dialogue). It's a fascinating mix of theaters, I encourage anyone to check it out.

    Reply
  11. lsamaknight Author

    Aww. No mention of the fun Kabuki has with the Kuroko (stage-hands dressed all in black). It's where the tradition of ninja dressed all in black comes from. Since the audience was supposed to treat them as part of the scenery it was shocking when one of them interacted with the actual actors.

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  12. WeiYinChan Author

    Funny how most shoguns are gay or at least bisexual (there was only one who was exclusively straight, and he was considered a weirdo because of that),

    Also, now women are still banned from kabuki, even though a woman invented it. But now because there are no woman actors, female roles are cross-dressing dudes, and if you look up a dancing performance… it’s like really gay.

    Reply
  13. helios396 Author

    Kabuki is exclusive to male actors, but now in modern Japan there's also a female only theater troupe called the Takarazuka Revue. Some actresses specialize in playing male roles and, dare I say, look more gentlemanly on stage than actual males. They play adaptations of many titles, even some famous anime/manga.

    You should talk about them later when these videos reach the modern theaters era!

    Reply
  14. teapotOctopode Author

    I know I'm nitpicking here and it's "only cartoons" but I often wish the graphics team was putting a little more effort in the costumes. The kimono (especially the female ones) just don't look like japanese kimono but more like chinese hanfu. It would help distinguishing the different cultures. As someone who loves and collects kimono it really bothers me…

    I otherwise really love this video and the shows.

    Reply
  15. yugo k Author

    Very interesting and well researched, but besides the numerous pronunciation comments already made, it would be a lot more informative (to a very large part of the world) to have the measures in metric… at least also in metric.

    Reply
  16. Faraz Harsini Author

    CrashCourse: Would you be interested if I help to add Farsi (Persian) subtitles to some of your videos? I couldn't find a way to message you, so let me know if interested! Thanks!

    Reply
  17. 両角淳 Author

    Foreigners may think that kabuki is traditional and the formality is high and it is hard to see. But there is not such a thing.
    For beginners and visitors to Japan, we recommend Kabuki-za, Shimbashi playhouse, National Theater, Asakusa public hall, Shochikuza, Minamiza with "Simultaneous commentary earphone guide (Japanese)".
    Also, for foreigners, recommend Shimbashi performance place with “simultaneous commentary earphone guide (English version)“, National Theater, Kabuki-za also has "subtitle guide (Japanese / English)"
    Theater tickets are from 4000 yen to 12000 yen. “Simultaneous commentary earphone guide“ etc. are separate fee from tickets. 
    There is no particular dress code. It is okay with a little fashionable general clothing.
    For beginners, we recommend "simultaneous commentary earphone guide" and "subtitle guide" introduced earlier!  Do not forget to borrow beforehand when you watch at a facility with services (extra charge).  You can also enjoy the world of Kabuki by purchasing a simple commentary "Scenario" (Japanese / English) that contains the outline of the program etc. "Scenario" is on the first floor of the theater There are many "scenario store" and you can get it at the shop.
    If it is a Kabuki-za, there are many shops in the basement, there are shops and kabuki patterns such as sweets and goods etc. There are lots of interesting things such as goodies! Recently, the motif of Kabuki's unique makeup, Kumadori (Kumadori) was popular Face pack.
    Kumadori emphasizes the blood vessels of the face.
    Depending on the color of Kumadori, we are exaggerating the personality and so on.
    If the color of Kumadori is red, a man with justice and a justice, he has a superhuman power.
    If Kumadori's color is blue it is a bad guy and a ghost.
    If black is included in the color of Kumadori, that person's position is high.
    It is such a meaning.

    Reply
  18. ChocoCaramel Author

    Hi Mike! No one expects perfection, but a lot of your Japanese was pronounced incorrectly. Just thought to let you know for future videos. The vowels are pronounced like the Spanish ones, if you're used to that.

    A = ah
    I = ee
    U = oooh
    E = eh
    O = oh

    Hope that helps!

    Reply
  19. Carolin Author

    Not to be nitpicky, but the amusement district in Edo is called Yoshiwara, not (really) ukiyo. "Ukiyo" as a word stands more for the lifestyle in the amusement quarters etc. While it is all intertwined, I think it would be wrong to remember "Ukiyo" as the name for a physical place, which it is not (really). The translation "floating world" is correct though.

    Reply
  20. AAA AAA Author

    For effective speedrunning of crash course playlists, increase the video speed according to familiarity:

    Watched the playlist before =1.25x
    Studied concepts in spare time=1.5x
    Taken a class for subject=2x

    Reply
  21. Saila Sobriquet Author

    This was outstanding! I've made more than a little effort to familiarize myself with the forms of Noh, Bunraku, and Kabuki, reading a book on Japanese theater, two books of plays, and buying DVDs to see the plays performed, and I still learned a lot from this video. Great job!

    Reply
  22. Hank Hill Author

    I’m doing a report on British theatre and all things Britain be great if you do a video on them and btw I love your channel I’m passing a lot of reports And modules because of your videos

    Reply
  23. Steve Silver Author

    I normally enjoy watching these videos and find them very well-done, but I found this one disappointing. For all the effort that went into the production of the episode, there seemed to be minimal attention paid to pronouncing Japanese words correctly. It made it painful for me to watch. I would encourage the producers and the presenter to at least make somewhat of an effort to pronounce foreign words correctly. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should represent a respectful effort.

    Reply

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