Abstract

The entrance dance by the character Sukeroku is a highlight of Sukeroku Yukari no Edo Zakura, a kabuki play that has been a mainstay on the Japanese stage since the early eighteenth century. Analysis of this dance that features one of Japan's most iconic stage persona demonstrates the power of the presentational aspects of kabuki—dance, music, and costume—to symbolically express iki ("chic refinement"), the predominant aesthetic style of Edo era popular culture. As the foremost example of iki in a male character, Sukeroku displays in this dance the complexity of this aesthetic as both an expression of fashionable style on the surface and, at a more hidden level, a symbolic expression of resistance by commoners who sought to oppose the samurai ruling class.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2109
Print ISSN
0742-5457
Pages
pp. 215-249
Launched on MUSE
2010-02-06
Open Access
No
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