If that is your real name

From the Japan Times:

The Kabukiza in Ginza is presenting special kabuki programs in March, April and May to celebrate the shumei (succession to a stage name) of Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII. Kanzaburo, 50, has mastered both tachiyaku (male lead) and onnagata (female) roles. He is showing off his prowess by playing the leads in several plays, which are all significant in the Nakamura clan repertoire.
Nakamura Kanzaburo, is one of the most prestigious stage names in kabuki. Arriving in Edo in 1622 as a kyogen trained actor named Saruwaka (literally, jester) Kanzaburo soon got permission from the Tokugawa shogunate to establish the Saruwakaza theater in Nihombashi, where he staged performances of "Young Men's Kabuki" and steadily rose to stardom.

Actually, saruwaka is literally "monkey kid" (猿若), but its cultural meaning is equivalent to English "jester".

1622 is very early in the history of kabuki, incidentally, given that the first recorded kabuki performances (a courtesan named Okuni dancing in a riverbed) took place in 1603. The Man didn't even start clamping down on kabuki until 1629, when the No Girls rule was promulgated to stop male patrons brawling over who got to hire the actresses afterwards. Patrons promptly began brawling over the actors instead.

Authorities got sick of the whole thing and banned kabuki for a year at the beginning of the 1650s. Troupes were only allowed to start performing again after they promised to actually stage coherent plays from then on, instead of stringing together bawdy songs and skits. See? Censorship does work.

(The whole story reminds me of that strip club in Idaho that got around nudity laws by instituting "art club nights". In a few centuries, today's stripping will no doubt have evolved into a formalised art form that only old people are interested in.)

Another cool kabuki-related word is 一夜漬け, "overnight pickle", which referred to a topical play about the foibles of public figures written, rehearsed and opened with lightning speed. They didn't even use pseudonyms, originally, which led to pressure from the Man yet again -- so playwrights just started changing the names and setting the story a few centuries earlier. D'oh!

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