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Kabuki: Japanese Theatre Prints

6th November 2013, 17:30 to 21:00, Room EH009, Elvet Hill House, adjacent to the Oriental Museum

Friends of the Oriental Museum lecture by Dr Rosina Buckland, Curator of the Japanese collections at the National Museums Scotland. Dr Buckland will discuss the background to prints and Kabuki, and will present highlights from the National Museum's current special exhibition.

Woodblock prints were a cultural phenomenon in nineteenth-century Japan. Publishing houses commissioned designs from the very greatest artists of the era, but the prints were affordable to the average person on the street. Prints were a cheap and colourful medium of entertainment, much like magazines and posters today. National Museums Scotland hold approximately 4,700 Japanese woodblock prints, wherein a particular strength is pictures of Kabuki, the popular form of traditional theatre in Japan. Performed by an all-male cast, Kabuki combines drama, music, acrobatics and dance, presented against spectacular stage settings in lavish costumes. In the 19th century both men and women clamoured to acquire pictures of their favourite actor in the latest play. There is a small charge of £3 (£1 concession) for visitors.

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