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.
"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.