The shape of a woman : representations of kabuki and onnagata in scholarship and media
The onnagata is a crucial element in Japanese kabuki; his presence in four centuries of kabuki history has shaped how Japanese femininity is viewed in women. This thesis discusses perspectives on the onnagata in film and scholarship, with an emphasis on Western perspective and representation. It discusses the idea of ‘kabuki queerness’ and onnagata as a staged gender. It also proposes different configurations that would allow women to join kabuki without injecting reality into theatre.