Bando Tamasburo, male kabuki legend, by Kishin Shinoyama

TI loved this feature on male kabuki legend Bando Tamasburo-and Shinoyama's photography is incredible. 
This is from the Paradis summer 08 issue-I was so, so, so excited to get my hands on a copy last time I was in New York. It's my favorite magazine. 

Paradis
"For 38 years, Kishin Shinoyama has been taking photographs of Bando Tamasburo, a living ledgend of kabuki theatre. In 1970, the author and nationalist ritual suicide, Yukio Mishima, said of this 'onnagata'-a male actor who specialises in female roles, but doesn't play them exclusively: "The onnagata is the flower of Kabuki, and although the great elders are essential in this field, if there were no young actors, none of these flowers in bud, kabuki would not survive. Nowadays, even though we would like to cultivate such flowers, there is no soil for this purpose and we can only impaitiently wait for a miracle. Now our paitience has been rewarded. Tamasaburo is a young onnagata whose elegance and delicacy call to mind the working of ivory. He is the living proof of the vitality of kabuki." Kishin Shinoyama, himself a master of the photographic medium, spoke to Paradis about his singular rapport with Bando Tamasburo."
Click below to see more scans of the pictures and to read the interview with Kishin Shinoyama discussing Tamasburo.

 
Read the interview
and HERE

Hope you enjoy :)
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  1. Benji says:

    Wow. This is really beautiful.
    And the photographs are stunning, as well – they look almost like paintings… such thick, saturated colours.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Oh my goodness! What beautiful pictures!
    They’re just so stunning and really capture the essense of Kabuki!

  3. Christine says:

    Great photos, I’ll be sure to check out the interviews!
    I love your blog and I’d be honoured to interview you for my
    my Blog Love Thursday feature, check it out to see what I do!
    If you’re interested please let me know
    wutwuzithinking@gmail.com :)

  4. quelle says:

    costume-wise, my favourite of the kabuki roles is always the demon-like warriors with the fierce makeup and big hair.

  5. Genevieve says:

    It’s interesting how they labelled him as young even though he is already 59 and has been around this industry for half a century! But he is my favourite kabuki actor, Sagimusume (the last picture) is my favourite performance of him. Thanks for publishing the interview for us!!!

  6. Rebecca says:

    Stunning! The costumes are amazing as well. Thanks for posting this!

  7. stunning costumes! i love this kind of stuff.

  8. Maria says:

    I have followed Tamasaburo for years & have photos in my office of him, beautiful!

  9. Tina says:

    Amazing pics! I love this kind of costumes. Thanks for your Tokyo chronicles.
    Kisses from Kill the Heel! xxx

  10. kimm says:

    lurve the peacock one. it really jumps out don’t you think?

  11. Isabel says:

    These pics are really beautiful!

  12. La Carmina says:

    Hahah I recently did a post about him too! Did you see Bando’s new photo book of costumes, or any of his performances on video? Here are some on my site… http://www.lacarmina.com/blog/2009/06/bardo-tamasaburo-kabuki-onnagata-female-impersonator-japanese-theater-kabuki-makeup-and-costumes/
    xoxo

  13. lily says:

    Jane you hit on a soft spot, with Bandō Tamasaburō pics, and a Yukio Mishima quote.

  14. Priscilla says:

    I saw him this March and he was FUCKING AMAZING, so breathtaking to see.
    Go see a show if you get a chance.

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    I am going to Japan and it looks really interesting certainly the Kabuki theater..
    if you got some hints to go to..tell me!
    greetz,
    Laura

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  26. I saw him this March and he was FUCKING AMAZING, so breathtaking to see.
    Go see a show if you get a chance.

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  29. Camarad says:

    This theme has interested me! But he is my favourite kabuki actor, Sagimusume (the last picture) is my favourite performance of him. Thanks for publishing the interview for us!!!

  30. Rather actually! This is from the Paradis summer 08 issue-I was so, so, so excited to get my hands on a copy last time I was in New York. It’s my favorite magazine.

  31. Kailee Nez says:

    Lovely pics.. I’m a huge fan of Bando Tamasburo.

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