Iíve always said that a cube has 8 sides. 6 surface sides, the inside, and the outside. You must look beyond the surface to appreciate the other dimensions.
-- Kabuki: Metamorphosis #8
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Home Message Boards WFC: February 16-20, 2003

Re: Kabuki Theatre Thesis
TUE, 2/18/03, 2:52 p.m. - In Response To: Kabuki Theatre Thesis (Bridget)

Mr. Mack,
I'm doing a senior honors thesis on kabuki makeup, kesho, and part of my thesis is an exploration of "new" kabuki. Basically I'm examining modern kabuki theatre and other media that has been influenced by kabuki theatre. In my hunt for resorce information your book has come up several times. I just wanted to ask you if you found inspiration for the kabuki masks from the theatre itself or if it is more of a blend of NOH and Kabuki? How did you bcome interested in Japanese theatre? I love "Kabuki" and would enjoy including any information you provide me in my honors thesis.
Bridget Tunstall
Hi Bridget,

Many of the masks and costumes are inspired by Kabuki and Noh mask and costumes. But the main connection between my story called Kabuki and the Kabuki theatre is the subject matter in context of the story. My Kabuki story deals with some of the same ideas that are so popular in many of the Kabuki plays. One of these is the Japanese Ghost Story that is the heart of many of the Kabuki plays. My Kabuki story can be viewed as a modern retelling of the Japanese Ghost story as it is told in the Kabuki Plays. Even the storytelling constructs and acts of the story match up to it. Many of the details are different but the main ideas, themes, and story arcs overlap.

One of these traditional themes is the idea of the wronged or enraged woman who is killed and then comes back to the material world in a new form to set things right in order for her spirit to be at peace. There are several other thems as well, but I try to resist categorizing the ideas and structures of my stories because I like the reader formulate their own idea about what the story is about.

Read Kabuki- Circle of Blood (Vol 1), and Kabuki- Dreams (Vol 2). They touch on a lot of the ideas that are in the Kabuki plays and the Japanese Ghost stories. They will be helpful for your thesis and even include extensive afterwords that delve into this subject. You are welcome to use this response, and any of the information in my books or the afterwords in your thesis as long as you cite the references to the work. I hope this is helpful to you.

Thanks for your interest. Let me know what you think.

Kindest regards,


Wow! Amazing in depth study of the work...
TUE, 2/18/03, 3:06 p.m. - In Response To: My Senior Thesis on Kabuki (Vanessa)
Hi..I haven't posted on this before, I just found it today in fact. I'm a senior English major at college right now, and I wrote my senior thesis on Metamorphosis last semester. I brought Kabuki to my professor asking to write on it and he was pretty supportive in an occasionally conservative department, and I tried to do it justice by altering the very form in which I was writing it, so I wrote it in hypertext. He really pushed me to a specific reading (using critical theory, deconstruction, whatever), and it was an amazing experience..I love Kabuki, I think it's incredible. I've really wanted to show it to David, I've been nervous about it - but I really tried to do it justice - so David, if you get the chance to look at it, I hope you don't mind the massive number of pictures I've put into the text - I felt as though what I wrote would be irrelevant without them. So, I'd really appreciate if you could look at it and let me know what you think. It's at http://students.vassar.edu/vachang and begins with a large picture that has rollovers leading to separate bodies of text and graphics...if you move your mouse around, you'll find that over the psychiatrist's face, there are 2 links leading to a introduction and conclusion which are prior and after the other 3 essays that reside within other rollovers. I didn't think a conventional mode of criticism would be appropriate for so complex a work. In any case..I hope you look at it.
Hi Vanessa,

Welcome to the Kabuki message board. Thank you for reading my work and for choosing Kabuki for your thesis.
I read your thesis and I am very impressed by it (the content, research, and the presentation)! I really enjoy the way you included the art with the text. My congratulations to you. And please pass on my appreciation to your instructor for being so supportive of you and for pushing you to deconstruct the story in this way.

My first thought upon reading your thesis was that I would like to include it in a future Kabuki publication. Maybe in the back of a future book, or included in a book that has other studies or opinions of what the book is about. Although I do not have immediate specific plans for this, I think it is something that I can find a place for in a future publication.

Let me know if this is agreeable to you. If so, I will let you know as soon as I figure out what book or format to include it in. It would list your title, name credit, your sources and everything you included.

Either way, great job on your work!
Warmest regards,


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