“A BRILLIANT HISTORY-MAKING COLLECTION”: KISHIN SHINOYAMA’S TAMASABURO BANDO, 1978
SHINOYAMA, Kishin. Tamasaburo Bando. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1978. Tall quarto, original black silk, original laminated photographic slipcase with printed red paper band. $650.
First edition of this artistic photo-documentation of performances by one of the greatest onnagata, with 132 finely-screened color-printed dramatic photographs.
“One of the most famous ‘onnagata’ performers in Japan, Tamasaburo Bando began his theatrical career at the age of six when he began studying Kabuki with Kanya Morita. Onnagata are men who perform female roles. Their goal is to not so much play women as convey the essence of femininity through their performances. It is a discipline which requires literally a lifetime of training, and the greatest onnagata, throughout Kabuki’s centuries-long history, have been among the most revered celebrities in Japan. Bando is unique in that he has consistently applied his onnagata techniques to classical Western theatrical roles such as Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, and Medea” (New York Times). The photographer, Kishin Shinoyama, has become “one of Japan’s best-known commercial photographers” (Parr & Badger, 303). His 1978 photo-essay on Bando documents actual performances, both in wide-angle and amazingly dramatic close-ups. “A brilliant history-making collection of photographs that feature marvelous shots which perfectly capture moments expressive of supreme physical beauty” (Dai Nippon). Text in Japanese. Complete with scarce belly-band and slipcase.