Symposium explores Hawaiʻi kabuki

November 12th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Campus News

Scene from Nozaki Village, a kabuki production produced in 2004 at UH Manoa

Scene from the UH Mānoa kabuki production Nozaki Village (2004)

For more than a hundred years, kabuki has been performed in Hawaiʻi by early Japanese immigrants, professional kabuki actors, local community groups and university students.

The spread of this traditional art form within Japan and its reception abroad is the subject of a free, full-day kabuki symposium hosted by the UH Mānoa Center for Japanese Studies on Sat., Nov. 13, 2010.

Highlights of the event include an address by theatre Professor Emeritus James Brandon titled Eighty-Seven Years of English Language Kabuki at the University of Hawaiʻi: 1924–2011 and a performance demonstration by students of Assistant Professor Julie A. Iezzi and visiting artist choreographer Onoe Kikunobu, who are preparing for the spring production of Ise Ondo Koi no Nebata (The Vengeful Sword).

Iezzi, a Japan-focused specialist in Asian theatre, will also co-host a discussion about the practical considerations of kabuki production in Hawaiʻi. From translation to costuming to music, each production requires months of specialized training including work with kabuki experts from Japan.

Event details

Kabuki: Negotiating Historical, Geographical and Cultural Borders takes place Sat., Nov. 13, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. in the Art Building auditorium. To register for the free symposium, please send name, affiliation and email address to

Download the program (PDF).

For more information, visit the Center for Japanese Studies website.

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