Printed and Web Resources for Bunraku and Kabuki

(N.B. Japanese names have been rendered with the surname followed by the given name.)





Hironaga, Shuzaburo. The Bunraku Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Japan’s Unique Puppet Theatre, with Synopses of all Popular Plays. Tokyo: Maison des Arts, 1976. (Originally published by Tokyo News Service, 1964.)



Adachi, Barbara C. Backstage at Bunraku: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Japan’s Traditional Puppet Theatre. New York: Weatherhill, 1985. (Originally published as: The Voices and Hands of Bunraku. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1978.)

Ando, Tsuruo (Trans. Kenny, Don). Bunraku: The Puppet Theater. New York, Walker/Weatherhill, 1970.

Brandon, James R. (Ed.). Chûshingura: Studies in Kabuki and the Puppet Theater. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i, 1982.

Dunn, Charles J. The Early Japanese Puppet Drama. London: Luzac, 1966.

Gerstle, C. Andrew. Circles of Fantasy: Convention in the Plays of Chikamatsu. Cambridge, Mass.: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1986.

——— “Hero as Murderer in Chikamatsu.” Monumenta Nipponica LI:3 (Fall 1996), pp. 317-356.

Hamanaka, Sheila. In Search of the Spirit: The Living National Treasures of Japan. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1999.

Jones, Stanleigh H. “Experiment and Tradition: New Plays in the Bunraku Theatre.” Monumenta Nipponica XXXVI:2 (Summer 1981), pp. 113-131.

Kawatake Toshio and Inoura Yoshinobu. The Traditional Theater of Japan. 1st one-volume edition. New York: Weatherhill in collaboration with the Japan Foundation, 1981. (Originally published as: A History of Japanese Theater: Part II: Bunraku and Kabuki. Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkôkai [Japan Cultural Society], 1971.)

Keene, Donald. Bunraku: The Art of the Japanese Puppet Theatre. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1965. Reprinted within No and Bunraku: Two Forms of Japanese Theatre. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Law, Jane Marie. Puppets of Nostalgia: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of the Japanese Awaji Ningyô. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997.

Kominz, Laurence R. and Levenson, Mark (Eds.). The Language of the Puppet. Vancouver, Wash.: Pacific Puppetry Center Press, 1990.

Oga Tokio (Trans. and Ed. Don Kenny). Bunraku. Osaka: Hoikusha, 1984.

Saitô Seijirô, et al (Eds.). Masterpieces of Japanese Puppetry: Sculptured Heads of the Bunraku Theatre. Tokyo: Tuttle, 1958.

Scott, Adolphe Clarence. The Puppet Theatre of Japan. Tokyo and Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1963.


Translations of Plays.

Gerstle, C. Andrew, Inobe Kiyoshi and Malm, William P. Theater as Music: The Bunraku Play “Mt. Imo and Mt. Se: An Exemplary Tale of Womanly Virtue.” Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 1990.

Jones, Stanleigh H. (Trans.). “Miracle at Yaguchi Ferry: A Japanese Puppet Play and Its Metamorphosis to Kabuki.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 38:1 (1978).

——— (Trans.). “Moritsuna’s Camp: An Eighteenth-Century Play from Japan’s Puppet Theatre by Chikamatsu Hanji, Miyoshi Shôraku, and Takemoto Saburôbei.” Asian Theater Journal 2 (Fall 1985).

——— (Trans.). Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

——— (Trans.). Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Keene, Donald (Trans. and Ed.). Chûshingura: The Treasury of Loyal Retainers. A Puppet Play by Takeda Izumo, Miyoshi Shôraku, and Namiki Senryû. New York: Columbia University Press, 1971.

——— (Trans. and Ed.). Four Major Plays of Chikamatsu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964. (Originally published as: Major Plays of Chikamatsu, 1961.)

The Love Suicides at Sonezaki (Sonezaki Shinjû).

The Battles of Coxinga (Kokusen’ya Kassen).

The Uprooted Pine (Nebiki no Kadomatsu).

The Love Suicides at Amijima (Shinjû Ten no Amijima).




Brandon, James R. (Ed.). The Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Brandon, James R., Trapido, Joel and Langhans, Edward A. (Ed.). An International Dictionary of Theatre Language. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1985.

Leiter, Samuel L. (Ed. and Trans.). New Kabuki Encyclopedia: A Revised Adaptation of Kabuki Jiten. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997. (Originally published as: Kabuki Encyclopedia: An English-language Adaptation of Kabuki Jiten, 1979.)




Ariyoshi Sawako (Trans. Brandon, James R.). Kabuki Dancer: A Novel of the Woman Who Founded Kabuki. Tokyo and New York: Kodansha, 1994.

Bowers, Faubion. Japanese Theatre. New York: Heritage House, 1952.

———. Theatre in the East: A Survey of Asian Dance and Drama. New York: Grove, 1956.

Cavaye, Ronald. Kabuki: A Pocket Guide. Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1993.

de Bary, William Theodore (Ed.). Sources of Japanese Tradition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1964 [1958].

Brandon, James R. (Ed.). Chûshingura: Studies in Kabuki and the Puppet Theater. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i, 1982.

——— and Leiter, Samuel L. (Eds.). Japanese Theater in the World. New York: Japan Foundation: Japan Society, 1997.

———, Malm, William P., and Shively Donald H. (Ed.). Studies in Kabuki: Its Acting, Music, and Historical Context. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i, 1978.

Dunn, Charles J. and Bunzô Torigoe (Ed. and Trans.). The Actors’ Analects (Yakusha rongo). Tokyo, University of Tokyo Press, 1969.

Ernst, Earle. The Kabuki Theatre. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i, 1974. (Originally published: New York: Oxford University Press, 1956.)

Grand Kabuki: Overseas Tours 1928-1993. Tokyo: Shochiku Company, 1994.

Gunji Masakatsu (Trans. Kenny, Don). Buyô: The Classical Japanese Dance. New York: Walker/Weatherhill, 1970.

——— (Trans. Bestor, John). Kabuki. Tokyo and Palo Alto: Kodansha, 1985 [1969].

——— (Trans. Holmes, Christopher). The Kabuki Guide. Tokyo and New York: Kodansha, 1987.

Haar, Francis and Ernst, Earle. Japanese Theatre in Highlight: A Pictorial Commentary. Tokyo and Rutland, Vt.: 1952.

Halford, Aubrey S. The Kabuki Handbook. A Guide to Understanding and Appreciation, with Summaries of Favourite Plays, Tokyo, Rutland: Tuttle, 1956.

Hamamura Yonezô (Trans. Takano Fumi). Kabuki. Tokyo: Kenkyûsha, 1956.

Kawatake Toshio (Trans. O’Neill, P.G.). Japan on Stage: Japanese Concepts of Beauty as Shown in Traditional Theatre. Tokyo: 3A Corporation, 1990.

——— (Trans. Kay, Helen). Kabuki, Eighteen Traditional Dramas [Ehon kabuki jûhachiban]. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 1985 [1984].

——— and Inoura Yoshinobu. The Traditional Theater of Japan. 1st one-volume edition. New York: Weatherhill in collaboration with the Japan Foundation, 1981. (Originally published as: A History of Japanese Theater: Part II: Bunraku and Kabuki. Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkôkai [Japan Cultural Society], 1971.)

Keene, Donald. World Within Walls: Japanese Literature of the Pre-Modern Era, 1600-1867. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976.

Kirihata, Ken (Trans. Shimoyama Ai and Clancy, Judith). Kabuki Costumes. Tokyo: Shikosha, 1994.

Kominz, Laurence R. Avatars of Vengeance: Japanese Drama and the Soga Literary Tradition. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 1995.

———. The Stars Who Created Kabuki: Their Lives, Loves, and Legacy. New York: Kodansha, 1997.

Leabo, Karl (Ed.). Kabuki. New York: Theatre Art Books, 1982.

Miner, Earl, Odagiri Hiroko, and Morrell, Robert E. (Eds.). The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Mitoma Susilo, Judith (Ed.). Japanese Tradition: Search and Research. International Conference Journal. Los Angeles: University of California, College of Fine Arts, 1981.

Ortolani, Benito. The Japanese Theatre: From Shamanistic Ritual to Contemporary Pluralism. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990; rev. ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.

Pronko, Leonard C. Guide to Japanese Drama. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1984 [1973].

———. Theater East and West: Perspectives Toward a Total Theater. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967.

Raz, Jacob. Audience and Actors: A Study of Their Interaction in the Japanese Traditional Theater. Leiden: Brill, 1983.

Scott, Adolphe Clarence. The Kabuki Theatre of Japan. London: Allen & Unwin, 1955.

Seigle, Cecilia Segawa. Yoshiwara: The Glittering World of the Japanese Courtesan. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1993.

Shaver, Ruth M. Kabuki Costume. Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1966.

Shioya Sakae. Chûshingura: An Exposition. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1956.

Thornbury, Barbara E. Sukeroku’s Double Identity: The Dramatic Structure of Edo Kabuki. Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 1982.

Toita Yasuji and Yoshida Chiaki (Trans. Kenny, Don). Kabuki. Osaka: Hoikusha, 1979.

Tsubouchi Shôyô and Yamamoto Jirô. History and Characteristics of Kabuki, the Japanese Classical Drama. Yokohama: Heiji Yamagata, 1960.

Unno Mitsuko (Trans. Gary, Ann B.). The Challenge of Kabuki: Canadian Academy on Stage. Tokyo: Japan Times, 1979.

Yoshida Chiaki. Kabuki: The Resplendent Japanese Theater. Tokyo: The Japan Times, 1971.

Young, Margaret H. Kabuki: Japanese Drama. Bloomington: Eastern Press, 1985.



Bach, Faith. “New Directions in Kabuki.” Asian Theatre Journal 6 (Spring 1989).

———. “Breaking the Kabuki Actors’ Barriers: 1868-1900.” Asian Theatre Journal 12 (Fall 1995).

Brandon, James R. “The Actor’s Art: Ie no Gei in Kabuki.” In Fenway Court 1992. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1993.

———. “Bridging Cultures: 101 Years of Kabuki in Hawaii.” In Performing Arts of Asia: The Performer as (Inter)Cultural Transmitter. Working Papers Series 4. Leiden: International Institute for Asian Studies, University of Leiden, 1996.

———. “Contemporary Japanese Theatre: Inter-Culturalism and Intra-Culturalism.” In Fischer-Lichte, Erika et al (Ed.). The Dramatic Touch of Difference: Theatre, Own and Foreign. Tubingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1990.

———. “Kabuki: Changes and Prospects: An International Symposium.” Asian Theatre Journal 5:2 (Fall 1998), pp. 253-269.

———. “Kabuki in English: Toward Authenticity.” In International Conference Journal: Japanese Tradition: Search and Research. Los Angeles: University of California at Los Angeles, 1981.

———. “Kabuki: Japan’s First Contemporary Urban Theatre.” In Proceedings of Language, Thought, and Culture Symposium. Osaka: Kansai University of Foreign Studies, 1978.

———. “Performance: Edo/Tokyo.” In Friedman, Mildred (Ed.). Tokyo: Form and Spirit. Minneapolis: Harry N. Abrams, 1986.

———. “Text and Performance: A Kabuki Perspective.” Modern Drama 35 (1992).

¾¾¾. “Theatre East and West: An International Congress.” Asian Theatre Journal 2:2 (Fall 1985), pp. 231-233.

¾¾¾. “Time and Tradition in Modern Japanese Theatre.” Asian Theatre Journal 4:1 (Spring 1987), pp. 71-79.

¾¾¾. “Translating Kabuki for English Performance.” In Studies on Japanese Culture. Vol. 2. Tokyo: PEN, 1973.

Gerstle, C. Andrew. “Flowers of Edo: Eighteenth Century Kabuki and its Patrons”. Gerstle,  C. Andrew (Ed.). 18th Century Japan. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1989, pp. 33-50. (Originally published in Asian Theatre Journal 4:1 (Spring 1987), pp. 52-75.)

Goldberszt, Jeanne. “The Structure of Imagination in the Fifth Act of Tôkaidô Yotsuya Kaidan.” In Nish, Ian and Dunn, Charles J. (Eds.). European Studies on Japan. Kent: Paul Norbury Publications, 1979, pp. 293-296.

Hirshfeld-Medalia, Adeline. “The Voice in Wayang and Kabuki.” Asian Theatre Journal 1:2 (Fall 1984).

Hyland, Peter. “A Kind of Woman: The Elizabethan Boy-Actor and the Kabuki Onnagata.” Theatre Research International 12:1 (1987).

Itô, Sachiyo. “Some Characteristics of Japanese Expressions as They Appear in Dance.” Dance Research Annual 10 (1979).

Kawatake Shigetoshi. “Kabuki After the Opening of Japan.” Contemporary Japan 22 (1953).

Kawatake Toshio. A Crisis of Kabuki and Its Revival Right After World War II.” Waseda Journal of Asian Studies 5 (1983).

———. “The Reaction to Overseas Performances of Kabuki.” Maske and Kothurn 27:1 (1981).

———. “Japanese Traditional Culture and Today’s Japan: The Internationalization of the Kabuki Theatre and Its Function in Modern Society.” In Nish, Ian (Ed.). Contemporary European Writing on Japan: Scholarly Views from Eastern and Western Europe. Woodchurch, Ashford, Kent: Paul Norbury, 1988.

Kominz, Lawrence P. “Origins of Kabuki Acting in Medieval Japanese Drama.” Asian Theatre Journal 5:2 (Fall 1988), pp. 132-147.

Leims, Thomas. “Kabuki Goes to Hollywood: Reforms and ‘Revues’ in the 1980s.” In Fischer-Lichte, Erika et al (Ed.). The Dramatic Touch of Difference: Theatre, Own and Foreign. Tubingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1990.

Leiter, Samuel L. “Authentic Kabuki: American Style.” Theatre Crafts 2 (September/October 1968).

———. “The Depiction of Violence on the Kabuki Stage.” Educational Theatre Journal 21 (May 1969).

———. “Four Interviews with Kabuki Actors.” Educational Theatre Journal 18 (December 1966).

———. “The Frozen Moment: A Kabuki Technique.” Drama Survey 6 (Spring 1967).

———. “Ichikawa Danjûrô XI: A Life in Kabuki.” Educational Theatre Journal 29 (March 1977).

———. “Kabuki Jûhachiban.” Literature East and West 18 (1976).

———. “The Kanamaru-za: Japan’s Oldest Kabuki Theater.” Asian Theater Journal. 15:1 (Spring 1997).

———. “Keren: Spectacle and Trickery on the Kabuki Stage.” Educational Theatre Journal. 28 (1976).

———. “Kumagai’s Battle Camp: Form and Tradition in Kabuki Acting.” Asian Theater Journal. 15:1 (Spring 1997).

———. “Onoe Kikugorô VII”. Asian Theater Bulletin 3 (Fall/Winter 1973).

———. Tachimawari: Stage Fighting in the Kabuki Theater. Monographs on Music, Dance and  Theatre in Asia. Vol. 3. New York: Performing Arts Program of the Asia Society, 1976.

Michener, James A. “Kabuki is a Must for America”. Theatre Arts 38 (March 1954).

Ortolani, Benito. “Nô, Kabuki and New Theatre Actors in the Theatrical Reforms of Meiji Japan (1868-1912).” In Jukes, Milan (Ed.). Acta of the 7th International Congress on Theatre Research. Prague: Univ. Karlova Prava, 1976.

Poulton, Cody. “‘Today’s Japan’ in Toronto: A Report.” Asian Theatre Journal 13:2 (Fall 1996), pp. 192-217.

Pronko, Leonard. “Creating Kabuki for the West.” Special issue on “Japanese Theatre and the West.” Horie-Webber, A. (Ed.). Contemporary Theatre Review 1, part 2 (1994).

———. “Kabuki and the Elizabethan Theatre.” Educational Theater Journal 19:1 (1967).

———. “Freedom and Tradition in the Kabuki Actor’s Art.” Educational Theatre Journal 21 (1969).

———. “Kabuki: Signs, Symbols, and the Hieroglyphic Actor.” In Edmond, James (Ed.). Themes in Drama. 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.

———. “Kabuki: Today and Tomorrow.” Comparative Drama (1972).

———. “Learning Kabuki: The Training Program of the National Theatre of Japan.” Educational Theatre Journal 23 (December 1971).

———. “Oriental Theatre for the West: Problems of Authenticity and Communication.” Educational Theatre Journal 20:3 (1968).

———. “What is Wrong with Kabuki?” Japan Quarterly 18 (1971).

Raz, Jacob. “The Audience Evaluated: Shikitei Samba’s Kyakusha Hyôbanki.” Monumenta Nipponica XXXV:2 (Summer 1980), pp. 199-221.

Takahashi Yuichirô. “Kabuki goes Official: The 1878 Opening of the Shintomi-za.” The Drama Review 39 (Fall 1995).

Thornbury, Barbara E. “Actor, Role and Character: Their Multiple Interrelationship in Kabuki.” Journal of the Association of Teachers of Japanese 12:1 (1977).


Indices for Journal Articles

Asian Theatre Journal. University of Hawai’i Press, Hawai’i.


The Drama Review (TDR). Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Modern Drama. University of Toronto.


Monumenta Nipponica. Sophia University, Tokyo.


Theatre Research International. Oxford University, United Kingdom.



Brandon, James R. and Niwa Tamako (Prod. and Dir.). Kanjinchô. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i, 1968. [Sound recording].

———, Malm, William P. and Shively, Donald H. (Ed.). Studies in Kabuki: its Acting, Music, and Historical Context. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai’i, 1978.

Komiya Toyotaka (Trans. Seidensticker, Edward G. and Keene, Donald). Japanese Music and Drama in the Meiji Era. Tokyo: Ôbunsha, 1956.

Kyoto Kabuki Orchestra. Kabuki Nagauta Music. New York, N.Y.: Lyrichord, 197-?. [Sound recording].

Malm, William P. and Crump, J.I. (Eds.). Chinese and Japanese Music-dramas. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan, 1975.

———. “Four Seasons of the Old Mountain Woman: an Example of Japanese Nagauta Text Setting.” Journal of the American Musicology Society 31:1 (1978).

———. Japanese Music and Musical Instruments. Tokyo, Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1974 [1959].

———. Music Cultures of the Pacific, the Near East, and Asia. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967.

———. Nagauta: the Heart of Kabuki Music. Greenwood Press: Westport, Conn., 1973. (Originally published by Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1963.)

———. Six Hidden Views of Japanese Music. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.

Nagauta Music and Original Music and Arrangements from Older Classics. New York: Columbia University, 1954. [Sound recording.]

Spirit of Japan: Traditional Music and Drama of Japan. London: Earth, 1998. [Sound recording].

Takasago Katsumasa (Ed.). Geza Music from Kabuki. Nonesuch Records, 1966. [Sound recording.]


Staging Kabuki.

Mitchell, John D. Staging Japanese Theatre: Noh and Kabuki. New York: Institute for Advanced Studies in the Theatre Arts Press, 1994.

Nakamura, Matazô (Trans. Oshima Mark). Kabuki, Backstage, Onstage: an Actor’s Life. Tokyo and New York: Kodansha, 1990.


Ukiyo-e Prints.

Clark, Timothy T. and Ueda Osamu (Ed.). The Actor’s Image: Print Makers of the Katsukawa School. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago in association with Princeton University Press, 1994.

Gunsaulus, Helen C. (Ed.). The Clarence Buckingham Collection of Japanese Prints: The Primitives. Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1955.

Hempel, Rose (Ed.). Gems of the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Prints from the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett. New York and Dresden, Japan Society, 1995.

Hibbett, Howard (Ed.). The Floating World in Japanese Fiction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959.

Izzard, Sebastian (Ed.). Kunisada’s World. New York: Japan Society in collaboration with the Ukiyo-e Society of America, 1993.

Keyes, Roger S. and Mizushima Keiko (Ed.). The Theatrical World of Osaka Prints. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1973.

Lane, Richard (Ed.). Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print. New York: Konecky and Konecky, 1978.

——— (Ed.). Masters of the Japanese Print. New York: Doubleday, 1962.

Link, Howard (Ed.). The Theatrical Prints of the Torii Masters: A Selection of 17th and 18th-Century Ukiyo-e. Honolulu: Honolulu Academy of Arts, Riccar Museum, 1977.

Michener, James A. (Ed.). Japanese Prints: From the Early Masters to the Modern. Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1959.

Neuer, Roni, Libertson, Herbert and Yoshida Susuga (Eds.). Ukiyo-e: 250 Years of Japanese Art. New York: Gallery, 1988.

Rijksmuseum, Netherlands (Ed.). The Beauty and the Actor. Ukiyo-e: Japanese Prints from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde Leiden. Leiden: Hotei Publishing, 1995.

Stern, Harold P. (Ed.). Master Prints of Japan: Ukiyo-e Manga. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1969.

Tinios, Ellis (Ed.). Mirror of the Stage: the Actor Prints of Kunisada. Leeds: University Gallery Leeds, 1996.



Bach, Faith. “Takatoki: A Kabuki Drama”. Asian Theatre Journal 15:2 (Fall 1998), pp. 155-181.

Takatoki (Hôjô Kudai Meika no Isaoshi).


Bowers, Faubion (Trans.). Japanese Theatre, Rutland, Vt: Tuttle, 1952.

Gappô and His Daughter (Sesshû Gappô ga Tsuji).


Brandon, James R. (Ed. and Trans.). Kabuki: Five Classic Plays. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1992 (Originally published by Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975.

Sukeroku: Flower of Edo (Sukeroku Yukari no Edo-zakura).

Saint Narukami and the God Fudo (Narukami).

Chronicle of the Battle of Ichinotani (Ichinotani Futaba Gunki).

Love Letter from the Licensed Quarter (Kuruwa Bunshô).

The Scarlet Princess of Edo (Sakurahime Azuma Bunshô).


Brazell, Karen (Ed. and Trans.). Traditional Japanese Theatre: An Anthology of Plays. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

Shunkan on Devil Island (Heike Nyogo no Shima).

Suma Bay (Ichinotani Futaba Gunki).

Yotsuya Ghost Stories (Tôkaidô Yotsuya Kaidan).

The Hamamatsu-ya Scene (Aotozôshi Hana no Nishiki-e).

A Maiden at Dôjôji Temple (Musume Dôjôji).


Ernst, Earle (Ed. and Trans.). Three Japanese Plays from the Traditional Theatre. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976. (Reprint of the edition published by Oxford University Press, London, 1959.)

Benten the Thief (Aotozôshi Hana no Nishiki-e).

The House of Suguwara (Suguwara Denju Tenarai Kagami).


Kennelly, Paul B. (Ed. and Trans.). “Ehon Gappô ga Tsuji: A Kabuki Drama of Unfettered Evil.” Asian Theatre Journal 17:2 (Fall 2000), pp. 149-189.

An Illustrated Picture Book of the Crossroads at Gappô (Ehon Gappô ga Tsuji).


Kominz, Lawrence P. “Ya no Ne: The Genesis of a Kabuki Aragoto Classic.” Monumenta Nipponica XXXVIII:4 (Winter 1983), pp. 387-407.

The Arrow Sharpener (Ya no Ne).


Leiter, Samuel L. (Trans. And Ed.). The Art of Kabuki: Famous Plays in Performance. Dove Publications, New York, 2000. (Originally published by Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.)

Benten Kozô (Aotozôshi Hana no Nishiki-e).

Suguwara’s Secrets of Calligraphy (Suguwara Denju Tenarai Kagami).

Shunkan (Heike Nyogo no Shima).

Naozomurai (Kumo ni Magô Ueno no Hatsuhana).


Mitchell, John D. and Watanabe Miyoko (Ed. and Trans.). Staging Japanese Theatre: Noh & Kabuki, Key West, Fla.: Institute for Advanced Studies in the Theatre Arts Press in association with Florida Keys Educational Foundation, Inc., Florida Keys Community College, 1994.

Narukami (Narukami).


Motofuji, Frank T. (Trans.). The Love of Izayoi and Seishin, A Kabuki Play by Kawatake Mokuami. Rutland, Vt.: Tuttle, 1966.

The Love of Izayoi and Seishin (Kosode Soga Azami no Ironui).


Richie, Donald and Watanabe Miyoko (Trans.). Six Kabuki Plays. Tokyo, Hokuseido Press, 1963.

The Courtesan (Kagotsurube).

The Maiden at Dôjôji Temple (Musume Dôjôji).

The Miracle at Tsubosaka Temple (Tsubosaka Reigenki).

The Zen Substitute (Migawari Zazen).

The Serving Pedestal (Takatsuki).

The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (Kanadehon Chûshingura).


Scott, Adolphe Clarence (Trans.). Genyadana: A Japanese Kabuki Play. Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1953.

Genyadana (Yowa Nasake Ukina no Yokogushi).


——— (Trans.). Kanjinchô; a Japanese Kabuki Play. Tokyo, Hokuseido Press, 1953.

The Subscription List (Kanjinchô).


Shively, Donald H. (Trans.). The Love Suicide at Amijima: A Study of a Japanese Domestic Tragedy by Chikamatsu Monzaemon. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1953.

The Love Suicide at Amijima (Shinjû Ten no Amijima).


Unno Mitsuko (Trans. and Ed.). You Mean to Say You Still Don’t Know Who We Are? (in that case I’ll just have to tell you): Seven Kabuki Plays. Ashiya, Japan: Personally Oriented, 1976.

Benten Kozô (Aotozôshi Hana no Nishiki-e).


Videotapes/Films in the Collection of Sinclair Library, University of Hawai’i

Search “Kabuki” in the Media Search Catalogue for holdings.


The Art of Kabuki (02128479)

1992 (56 min.)

NHK: Films for the Humanities.

This program provides an introduction to the 400-year-old tradition of Kabuki, explaining its origins and purposes, its literary sources, and the meaning of its symbolism. The program shows the rehearsal, preparation of costume and wigs, and the performance of the Kabuki play, relates the make-up and music to the overall scheme, and explains the esthetic of Kabuki art.



An Introduction to the Appreciation of Kabuki (Kabuki kanshô nyûmon) (02700510)

1990 (150 min.)

An excellent introduction to all facets of kabuki.




Japan’s Grand Kabuki in America (02129766)

1986 (28 min.)

Pasadena, CA: Barr Films, Centre Productions.

Host, Dick Cavett follows the Grand Kabuki backstage for interviews with principals and a look at the task of recreating their homeland theater. NOT LICENSED FOR CAMPUS TV


(See also: Grand Kabuki: Overseas Tours 1928-1993 / [text by Mogi Chikashi, managing director, Shochiku Company ... et al.], Tokyo : Shochiku Company, 1994.

“... essentially an English version of Kabuki Kaigai Kôen no Kiroku, a documentation of the Kabuki tours conducted abroad from 1928 through 1991, with two chapters added to cover two tours conducted in 1993.”)


Costumes, Makeup, Music and Kabuki Productions

Aspects of the Kabuki Theatre of Japan (02125347)

1980 (13 min.)

Based on [preparation for]: John D. Mitchell (1917-), Theatre, the search for style: master directors on style, Chekhov to kabuki to musical comedy, 1st ed. Midland, Mich.: Northwood Institute Press, c1982.

Northwood Institute, NY. -Institute for Advanced Studies in the Theatre Arts.

John D. Mitchell. Onoe Baiko VII, Koshiro VIII, and Matagoro II. Summary: Shows costumes, make up, and examples of Kabuki productions. Commentary and dialogue in English with accompanying traditional Kabuki music.



Kabuki Productions

The Edo Stage: Kabuki and Bunraku (00252572)

1970 (29 min.)

Japan Foundation & Iwanami Productions

During the Edo Period (1603-1867), Japan was almost totally isolated from the outside world. This period was also a time of intense creativity resulting in the theatrical arts of kabuki and bunraku. Features extracts from two plays: Sukeroku-yukari-no-Edozakura and Sonezaki Shinjû.



Invitation to Kabuki (00252477)

1978 (33 min.)

Japan Foundation & Sakura Motion Picture Co.

Kabuki is a highly stylized dramatic art developed during the Edo period (1615-1868) which presents the affairs of the feudal society in a style peculiar to the aesthetics of the feudal times. This film is designed to help those who are not familiar with, but would like to enjoy Kabuki plays. Features some of the best known Kabuki scenes.



Acting Techniques

Kabuki Acting Techniques (02134369)

1980 [2 videocassettes] (89 min.)

East Lansing, Mich.: Instructional Media Center, Michigan State University.

Guest professor, Leonard C. Pronko; project director, Farley Richmond; director, Larry McMullen.

I. The body (60 min.) -- II. The voice (29 min.)

VIDEOTAPE 7971 v. 1-2


Kabuki for Western Actors and Directors (02646925)

1980 (40 min.)

Pronko, Leonard Cabell. -Michigan State University.

Demonstrates some of the difficult and complicated moves in Kabuki productions that must be mastered by western actors and directors



Kabuki Techniques (02637961)

1995; originally released in 1969 (27 min.)

No producer mentioned.

Two of the greatest stars of Japan’s kabuki theater reveal what has only rarely been seen, the actual acting techniques used in the most difficult and splendid of theater forms. Onoe Shôroku II and Onoe Baikô VII discuss and demonstrate their craft in conversation with the well-known author of works on Asian arts, Faubion Bowers.



Kabuki Terence Knapp; Halifu (02514660)

1995 (30 min.)

Producer, Stuart Yamane (pt. 1), Dan Ziegler (pt. 2), Holly Richards (pt. 3). Telecast Dec. 20, 1995, on the program Spectrum Hawaii, on KHET, Honolulu.

Cast: James Brandon, Terence Knapp, Glenn Cannon, Sandra Finney, Donald Yap, Sister Grace Capellas, Halifu Osumare.

The art of Kabuki theater is taught at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, the only university able to produce this type of theater with live music. Dr. James Brandon explains the discipline involved and its benefits, including the continuation of this art form in the community.



Martial Arts of Kabuki (00742743)

1980 (30 min.)

Writer, narrator & producer, Beate Gordon. New York: Asia Society.

Performing arts of Asia. Summary: Demonstrates the highly stylized patterns of dance of the Kabuki theatre. The patterns are founded on actual fighting practice of the martial arts. VIDEOTAPE 930


Portrait of an Onnagata (02202810)

1992 (30 min.)

Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities and Sciences

Script, composing, direction, Tineke Hulsbergen.

Nakamura Shibajaku, Ichikawa Mon’nosuke, Ichikawa Danshirô, Uemura Kichiya, Aoki Takayori, Harmke Pijpers. Summary: Examines the role of the Onnagata in Kabuki theatre, the male actor who plays a female role, who exemplifies ideal and ultimate womanhood. Because Kabuki theatre is played entirely by men, the role of the Onnagata is very important.



To Move in Beauty: the Kabuki Tradition (00245049)

1977 (28 min.)

Japan Foundation.

Kabuki, still a vital aspect of the performing arts in Japan, demands a long and difficult apprenticeship of the aspiring actor. Documents the life of a group of young trainees at the National Theatre, Tokyo, from their daily classes in recitation, music and dance to their first professional appearance on the stage.



WWW Links: Bunraku.

Awaji Puppet Theatre

(Photographs of a scene, puppet heads, puppets, chanter/narrator, shamisen player, and shamisen.


A Brief Introduction to the History of Bunraku (by Matthew Johnson).


Bunraku: Takemoto Mojihisadayuh

What is Bunraku?

What is tayuh?

Includes photographs of the yuka (dias on which the tayû or chanter recites), the haraobi (stomach belt) which helps the narrator/chanter breathe, the otoshi (false roll cushion) which adds power to the stomach for reciting, and the shirihiki (stool) to maintain his posture and breathing control.


Bunraku Tsuruzawa Yasuke [Home Page] ( 文楽鶴澤八介)

Photographs of a samisen player, a scene from “Mt. Imo and Mt. Se” (Imoseyama Onna Teikin), the National Bunraku Theatre, Osaka (inside and outside), and three puppeteers manipulating a puppet.


Café de Bunraku: A Brief Introduction to Bunraku (How the three puppeteers collaborate to manipulate one puppet)


The National Bunraku Theatre, Osaka


Tonda Traditional Japanese Bunraku Puppets (1999 US Tour)

(Superb photographs mainly from a performance of Keisei Awa no Naruto.)


Whitman College Sheehan Gallery Bunraku Exhibition

(Photographs of the heads of 19 puppets.)


Yomiuri Shinbun [Newspaper])

An Introduction to Bunraku

(A puppeteer manipulates a puppet.)

Scenes from some [14] of the Best Known Stories , including:

Kanadehon Chûshingura (Okaru in the Ichirikiya Scene)

Ichinotani Futaba Gunki (Naozane)

Kokusen ya Kassen (Watonai)

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Tadanobu and Shizuka)

Photographs of Aspects of Bunraku

The History of Bunraku

Narrator and Shamisen

The Shamisen

Th Puppeteers

Assembling a Puppet

The History of the Puppets

The Making of a Puppet Head

The Puppet Heads

The Puppet Heads Gallery (1 & 2)

The National Bunraku Theatre. Osaka (a puppeteer practising)


WWW Links: Kabuki.

Ichimura Manjuro Presents Kabuki For Everyone links to):

Online Theatre

Kabuki Sounds


[The Training of a Kabuki Actor] Ichimura Manjirô II (1949-?)

(Includes “Changes,” a 15 second video clip showing the transformations of roles caused by costume changes: )


The Kabuki Story Japan Festival Award 1999

A comprehensive project for schools exploring Edo period Japan via one of its major art forms: kabuki.


Music in kabuki.

An Overview


The Onnagata

Fuji Musume

Bandô Tamasaburô in the lead role


Geisha Dolls: Oiran and Onnagata

(Photographs showing the influence of the oiran [courtesan of the Edo period: 1600-1868] on the onnagata role in kabuki.)


Introduction by John Fiorillo


Japanese Traditional Dance: Bandô Tomino’s Beauty on the Stage

(Superb photographs of Bandô Tomino in four different productions.)



(Bandô Tamasaburô in the lead role.)


Welcome to Kabuki Academy (Mary Mariko Ohno)

(A kabuki training school in the USA with explanations of: kabuki, dance, nagauta music, wearing kimono, stage makeup, and so on. Some photographs.)


Catalogue of Japanese ukiyo-e on the Internet


Ukiyo-e of actors and scenes from kabuki plays.

The International Society for Education Information Tokyo.

(Introduction to kabuki: background, repertoire, aesthetic elements, theatre and stage, and actors.)



To the Kabuki contents

Last revised January 16, 2001