Stage arts and Music
Traditional Japanese dramatic stage arts include Noh, Kyougen, Kabuki and Bunraku. The most popular today is Kabuki which developed in the 17th century. Kabuki actors belong to acting families which pass on the tradition from fathers to their sons. There are no female players. Noh is performed wearing masks with distinctive music and narrative chanting. Kyougen is a comic performance which is played between Noh plays. Bunraku is a puppet theater. The dolls are manipulated from behind by three people. The most well-known play writer is Chikamatu Monzaemon who wrote his many play scripts. The most popular theme is about lovers who cannot get married because of social pressure. Unable to live apart, they commited suicide. Traditional Japanese music ranges from the festive Bon dance music which can be heard in the summer all over Japan, to the traditional formal music called Gagaku which was originally played in the imperial court.Some of the traditional musical instruments are the guitar, the shamisen which have strings like guitar, the Koto which is laid on the floor whereby its 13 strings are pricked by the thumb- or finger sticks, the Shakuhati which is a wind pipe instrument made of bamboo, and of course the Taiko – a Japanese drum . Traditional arts and music are also have been handed down by Geisya- female professional entertainers. The number of Geisya has sharply decreased, but today the Geisya culture are drawing renewed attention as a tourist entertainment. In addition to the traditional arts and music, Japan has many genre of performance from classical music, opera , Broadway show to Jazz. It is difficult to find a genre that Japan has ignored.