The creation of celebrity and fame is a topic easily understandable in today's world of pop idol competitions and reality TV shows. This exhibition and catalogue will focus on a similar phenomenon of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, ...
when urban Osaka and Tokyo created superstar actors, and will show how this was a stimulus for the creation of theatre, visual arts and poetry. Visitors to the exhibition will be struck by a colourful and varied visual display through which actors were portrayed as legendary urban heroes. The dates of items included will range from about 1780 until the 1830s; but the core of the exhibition will cover the period 1800-1821, and focus on the fierce rivalry between the two Osaka Kabuki superstars, Arashi Kichisaburo II (Rikan I, 1769-1821) and Nakamura Utaemon III (Shikan I, 1778-1838). Books, surimono, single sheet actor prints and albums will highlight the different ways in which actors and performances were represented, and show how this was part of a complex strategy to create celebrity for the actors, poets and artists involved.
Number of pages: 304
Date of publication: 01/06/2005
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