Sagi Musume

A sensational on-stage transformation in Kabuki. The play is Sagi Musume, meaning Heron Maiden. The actor is Bando Tamasaburo, a celebrated onnagata (man specialising in female roles.) In Kabuki it is customary for all female roles to be performed by men, much like the actors of Shakespeare’s time. However, the earliest form of Kabuki, during the Edo period, was in fact performed by an all female cast until it was outlawed for women to appear on the Kabuki stage in 1629.

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