There are three different types of Japanese theatre:

Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku.


Kabuki is a traditional form of Japanese theatre. It began in the Endo period. The Kabuki plays are usually about moral conflicts in love or historical events. The actors in the Kabuki plays use old fashioned language that's hard for even the Japanese people to understand. The characters use lifeless voices and are accompanied by traditional Japanese instruments.

Kabuki Stages are rotating and designed with many contraptions like trapdoors and more that allowed the actors to appear and disappear frequently during the plays.

In the beginning of the Endo period men and women both acted in the Kabuki plays but later in the Endo period the women weren't allowed to perform and that law still remains to today. Many men Kabuki actors play only female roles.


Noh is almost the oldest form of traditional Japanese theatre starting in the 14th century. Noh theatre combines dance, drama, music, and poetry. The actors of Noh theatre always wore masks. Noh, just like Kabuki theatre, was accompanied by many types of Japanese traditional musical instruments.

There are five categories of Noh theatre.


Bunraku is a traditional form of Japanese puppet theatre. The puppets in Bunraku are operated by one to three people and every person is responsible for controlling a different part of the puppet.

This form of Japanese theatre was developed before the sixteenth century.


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