Kabuki and Noh theater

Japanese theater

What is Kabuki and Noh theater?

Noh and kabuki theater are the two forms of traditional Japanese theater. They both have storytelling and drama but tell it in there own ways.

Kabuki theater


Kabuki theater focuses on the telling of the story by dancing, acting, and posing. Kabuki actors dress in traditional Japanese clothing, though there masks or makeup are more colorful than the Noh theaters and may involve a present expression on them. The purpose of kabuki is to entertain.

Costumes and props

The costumes in kabuki theater are bold with color and patterns. It is said to heighten the drama of the performance. Some costumes weigh up to 44 pounds. Wigs are also part of the costumes. Wigs are very important because kabuki theater is performed by men.

Noh theater

Noh theater focuses on the telling of the story by using their visual appearance and movements to suggest the essence of the story rather than to enact it. In Noh theater the plots are usually drawn from legend, history, literature and contemporary events. The theme often relates to dreams, supernatural worlds, ghosts and spirits.

Costumes and props

The costumes are very lavish and elaborate. In the olden days the costumes were taken care of by nobility and guarded by the military. The masks are very important in Noh theater. They have no emotion on them so it's the actors responsibility to convey emotion threw there movements. Noh theater us also performed by men so wigs are also part of there costumes. For props in every show painted on the background of the stage is always a pine tree. Some other props are wigs and fans.