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A kabuki performance about 1740

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.

Kabuki dates from 1603 when Izumo no Okuni began performing a new style of dance drama in Kyoto. Kabuki was originally short comic plays performed by females. Women's kabuki was banned in 1629 for being indecent.

Men began performing at this time. Drama rather than dance was emphasized. Kabuki thrived through the next few centuries. The formal structure of the dramas, stock characters, and other elements became stylized.

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