Kabuki Heroes on the Osaka Stage 1780 – 1830

30 June – 11 September 2005

This exhibition is now closed

Room 92 - 94

Supported by the AHRC, ANA, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, Japan Foundation and Toshiba International Foundation.

Kabuki Heroes celebrates the fanatical devotion surrounding Japanese urban theatre between 1780 and 1830, the intense inter-generational rivalries between actors, poets and artists and the colourful memorabilia, from scrapbooks to hymnbooks, that they gave birth to.

In particular, Kabuki Heroes follows the battle of minds and bodies between Kabuki’s two greatest performers – the ‘masterful’ Rikan and the 'start-up’ Shikan. Bringing together evidence from Britain and Japan, this special exhibition is a vivid reminder that the drama of pop culture runs through the centuries and across the globe.

Woodblock print showing Rikan and Shikan

Woodblock print showing Rikan (right) and Shikan (left) by Hokushû.