This Kabuki figurine represents the actor, Bando Kamezo. The Kabuki actors were national heroes in Japan. Although they belonged to the hinin, the lowest class, they were considered as idols by the audience. Their popularity is similar to the role of Gladiators, popular during ancient roman times. Consequently, the portraits of the Kabuki actors which were sold at the Kabuki theater, sold out fast. Kunisinada Utagawa rose to prominence as an painter after he published portraits of Kabuki actors in 1808.
This statue reproduces a wood block print by Utagawa as a three-dimensional statue. See how the actor Bando Kamezo moves with great gusto lowering his face in a grimace as his sword swings by his side. The detail work on all sides of this statue pays tribute to the elaborate costumes worn by Kabuki actors.
- Size: 9 in. H x 7 in. L x 4.5 in. D
- Item Type: statue
- Material: Resin.
- Weight (lbs): 3.3
- Finish: hand-painted color details
- Part of the highly collectible Parastone Museum Collection of replica figurines.
Kunsinada Utagawa (1786-1865)
During his lifetime Kunisada was considered one of the greatest ukyio-e artists. As a son of a rich merchant from Edo, he learned his trade in the prominent Utagawa Toyokuni studios. After publication of his first portraits of Kabuki actors in 1808 his fame rose to great heights. Commercially he became the most successful wood block print artist ever.
The Kabuki Theatre: From the beginning of the 17th century, Kabuki is a prominent feature in the nightlife of the big cities. Initially the rebellious plays have a strong erotic atmosphere. However, in 1629 the leaders banished the women and later, from 1652 onwards, the young men were also banished from the stage. Because of this more room was created for the story itself.
The performance could last a full day, beginning with a heroic history play, followed by a dramatic, sometimes ironic play about daily life. Dramas about an impossible love, ending with a double suicide were very popular. There was a lot of contact between players and audience. A lot of shouting and stamping went on and the actors were spurred on loudly.