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Ju-on: The Grudge

Ju-on: The Grudge

Ju-on: The Grudge

Theatrical poster
Directed by Produced by Written by Music by Takashi Shimizu Takashige Ichise Takashi Shimizu Shiro Sato

Cinematography Tokusho Kikumura Editing by Release date(s) Running time Country Language Nobuyuki Takahashi January 25, 2003 92 minutes Japan Japanese

Ju-on: The Grudge ( Juon) is a 2003 Japanese film written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. The film is the third entry in the Ju-on series and is the first film theatrically released (the first two entries were direct to video productions). The film was released in Japan on January 25, 2003 and has spawned several sequels and an American remake titled The Grudge, which was released in 2004.

It is said in Japan that when someone dies in extreme sorrow or rage, the emotion remains and can leave a stain upon that place. Death becomes a part of that place, killing everything it touches.

Rika ()
Rika is a volunteer social worker charged with caring for Tokunaga Sachie, a catatonic elderly lady. She discovers the quiet suburban home in a state of disarray and her ward malnourished and soiled, with no one else home. While vacuuming she finds a family picture with the wife's face cut out. Upstairs she hears shuffling noises coming from the bedroom closet, which has been taped shut. Rika removes the tape and opens the door when she hears meowing sounds. Inside the closet she discovers a black cat and a young boy whom she recognizes from the photo. She calls the welfare center to report the incident. She hangs up and is startled to see the boy staring down at her from the upstairs balcony. She asks his name. "Toshio" is his reply. Murmuring from Sachie's room draws Rika's attention. Rika attempts to calm Sachie, but is frightened by the sudden appearance of a dark shadow descending upon them. A pair of eyes appear within the shadow, which open and stare directly at Rika, who then faints. A human version of Toshio is seen standing next to her.

Ju-on: The Grudge

Katsuya ()
Kazumi, Katsuya's wife and Sachie's daughter-in-law, cannot sleep at night because of what she presumes to be Sachie's restless stirring. Kazumi reminds her husband as he leaves for work that his sister, Hitomi, is expected for dinner. She falls asleep on the couch and is startled awake. At first she assumes that it was Sachie, but soon sees a pair of fresh handprints on the door. She discovers a black cat on the stairs. When she approaches, a pair of small pale arms reach out and take the cat, which scares Kazumi. Katsuya comes home to find his wife lying on the bed unable to move or speak. As he goes for the phone, he senses another presence in the room and soon encounters the boy, Toshio. Katsuya asks who he is, but gets no reply as the closet doors begin to shake and his wife's condition worsens. Hitomi arrives for dinner only to find her brother sitting on the stairs behaving strangely and muttering something about a child that isn't his. She asks about Kazumi, but Katsuya will not say what became of her. Katsuya pushes Hitomi outside and tells her to go home.

Hitomi ()
Hitomi is one of the last people to leave the office building. She unsuccessfully attempts to call her brother on her way out. On her way out, she hears strange shuffling sounds in the corridor, which seem to be coming from behind her. Slightly unnerved, Hitomi stops in the ladies room, where her phone rings and identifies the caller as her brother. When she answers, a terrible death rattle sounds is heard coming from the mobile phone. In the stall next to her a provoking banging begins, Hitomi apologizes and hangs up the phone. A small teddy bear ornament falls from her purse as she begins to leave the bathroom. As Hitomi reaches for it the next door stall opens and an ethereal curtain of black hair moves ominously toward her making the same death rattle noise she heard during the mobile phone call. Hitomi runs to the security office and asks a security guard to investigate. She observes him, via a surveillance monitor in the security office, as he stops at the bathroom door the video camera footage begins to pick up little interference and a dark shadow emerges from under the door guiding the security guard into the room. Hitomi makes a hasty retreat to her apartment. At her home the phone rings and it ends up being her "brother" claiming to have forgotten the apartment number. Hitomi tells him the number, which is several stories up, and buzzes him into the building. Before she could hang up the phone her doorbell rings. She looks through the peephole and it's her "brother". She opens the door to nothing but an empty hallway, the death rattle sound comes loudly from the phone still in her hand. Hitomi quickly throws the phone on the hallway floor and heads back into her apartment, turns on the television, and cowers under the covers of her bed. The news is on but while the reporter is reporting the television picture and audio become distorted, the face warps into a phantom like image and the audio emits the death rattle sound and the television shuts itself off. Petrified, she continues to hide in her bed. Shortly after, she feels something strange in the bed and pulls it out, it's the teddy bear ornament that fell from her purse back at work. A human-shaped lump manifests from beneath the covers at the far end of the bed. Hitomi lifts the sheet to see the female ghost, who quickly pulls Hitomi towards her. A full shot of the room is seen and both the ghost and Hitomi are now gone.

Toyama ()
When Rika does not return to the care center, her boss, Hirohashi, goes to the house to check on her. He finds Sachie dead and Rika in a state of shock. Detectives attempt to locate Katsuya by calling his cell phone. They hear ringing coming from upstairs and track the sound to the attic. There they find the bodies of the young couple living there, Katsuya and Kazumi. They also find out that every family that had lived in the house either died or disappeared. During the investigation, Hirohashi is found dead, and Hitomi is missing. The investigators turn to another detective, Toyama, for answers. Toyama was assigned to the case of a man, Takeo Saeki who had murdered his wife, Kayako, and child, Toshio, in that house years before. Toyama watches the security tape of Hitomi's office building and sees the security guard being consumed by a shadow and Kayako looking directly at the security camera. Convinced that

Ju-on: The Grudge the house is responsible for the rash of disappearances, Toyama goes there with gasoline, intent on burning it to the ground. He has a daughter, Izumi, who was about twelve years old. While inside he experiences a vision of her as a teenager. He is then attacked by Kayako. He manages to escape the house, but the two investigators who came to look for him are not so fortunate.

Izumi ()
Several years later Izumi is a teenager and her father, Toyama, long since dead another Ju-on casualty. As Izumi and two friends walk to school, she notices a missing persons poster featuring three of her friends. She was with them the day they disappeared from a house that was rumored to be haunted. Izumi feels guilty because she ran from the house in fear, leaving the others to their fate. At school the girls notice that there are no photos of Izumi from a recent event and complain to their teacher about it. Izumi's state of mind has been deteriorating since the day they went to that house. She keeps the curtains closed, covers her head with a hood, and clutches a pillow. Her friends visit and are disturbed by Izumi's condition and the strange behavior of her mother. One friend draws the curtain to reveal that the windows are covered with newspaper. Izumi tells them the ghosts of her three missing friends are stalking her, peering at her through the windows. As her friends leave, Izumi's mother tells them her father had exhibited the same behavior before he died. The girls remember the photos they brought to show Izumi. They understand why the teacher had not posted any photos of Izumi. In every photo, Izumi's eyes were eerily blackened out as were the eyes of her three missing friends. Back in her bedroom, Izumi is having a vision of her father. She suddenly wakes to find a scrap of newspaper on the bed and moves quickly to return it to the window. When she pulls the curtain, she sees her three missing friends, pale and grey, staring at her through the gaps in the newspaper. Terrified, she runs from her room, but the ghosts of her friends are in hot pursuit. Izumi runs into a room and attempts to block the doorway, but this does not deter the ghosts. Izumi, in a panic, backs away right up against the Shinto altar in her house. Suddenly, ghostly hands, belonging to Kayako, emerge from the altar. Kayako proceeds to drag Izumi, kicking and screaming, into the altar as the ghosts of her three friends continue to approach. As the camera zooms in to the altar, the faces of Izumi and her father materialise in the darkness. In the bonus material of the DVD Shimizu explains that he intended on including the same effect happening between the shelves in the room revealing the faces of the three friends, but this idea was dropped because he thought it would either be ridiculed or take away the focus of Izumi's death and place it on the entire group. Before her death it is made quite clear this takes place years in the future, not only because there is a scene with her father and her as a child, but not long before she dies her mother is watching the news. The report is on the discovery of Rika's dead body. It is also theorized that she is an unmentioned character in the last vignette of Ju-On: The Curse 2 (the sequel to the telemovie) because it is titled "Saori," who is the name of one of her friends who disappeared in the Saeki house. Saori was the "ringleader" of the group.

Kayako ()
Rika has more or less recovered from the trauma of her experience in the house. She arranges to meet an old friend, Mariko, for lunch. An old man plays peek-a-boo with an unseen person just outside the care center where she still works. Another worker, assuming the man is feeble-minded, tries to join in the game and is rebuffed. The old man resumes his game with his unseen playmate, a sight which makes Rika uneasy. Toshio's reflection is visible in the glass, revealing the identity of the unseen playmate. While having lunch with Mariko, Rika sees Toshio under the table, panics, and rushes out. Later Rika receives a call from Mariko, concerned over what had happened at lunch. Mariko tells Rika that she is on a home visit for a student who has not been to school. The student's name is Toshio.

Ju-on: The Grudge Rika quickly realizes that Mariko is in the cursed house. She hurries there, but is too late to help as Rika sees Mariko being dragged up into the attic. Rika briefly follows Mariko's path and sees Kayako crawling towards her. Rika panics and runs down the stairs to the door, but she runs past a mirror and sees an unfamiliar reflection where her own should be. She covers her face with her hands in the same way that the old man playing peek-a-boo did. Doing so reveals Kayako in the mirror, staring back at her through her fingers. After a frightening vision of Kayako emerging from her chest, Rika hears thumping noises overhead, and realizes that something is coming slowly down the stairs toward her. The ghost of Kayako, the murdered wife, inside a blood-soaked plastic bag is crawling toward her, long black hair covering her face. She seems to be reaching out for help. Rika covers her face with her hands again, and, to her horror, sees herself as Kayako (it is commonly mistaken that she is actually seeing Kayako without the blood, but this is not the case, it is really her but with Kayako's body and hair). It is then that Rika comes to the terrible realisation that she is destined to play out the curse. After this revelation, Kayako disappears. More noises come from the stairs. Rika looks up to see a new Yurei approaching: the evil Takeo Saeki, the killer of Kayako, and the source of the Grudge, striding slowly downstairs. Looking upstairs, Rika can see Takeo's son, Toshio, peering through the banisters, mirroring the same fashion in which Kayako was murdered. As Rika begins to protest, Takeo reaches for her and kills her off-screen (in a deleted scene, her death is shown in more detail she is killed in exactly the same way as Kayako was). The scene then fades to shots of the streets abandoned and littered with 'missing' posters. The body of Rika is then seen, wrapped in a plastic bag, inside the attic, she has long hair now. As the camera zooms in on her face, her eyes open and the now-familiar croaking sound like Kayako. This scene is presumably set years later, perhaps in the same timeline as the "Izumi" chapter, as evidenced by the news report in that chapter.

Megumi Okina as Rika Nishina Misaki Ito as Hitomi Tokunaga Misa Uehara as Izumi Toyama Yui Ichikawa as Chiharu Takako Fuji as Kayako, the onryo Yuya Ozeki as Toshio Takashi Matsuyama as Kayako's evil husband, Takeo Kanji Tsuda as Katsuya

MPAA Rating
In Japan and the USA, Ju-On: The Grudge got an MPAA rating of R for disturbing images but in other places where the movie is released, it is rated PG-13.

DVD Release
Ju-On: The Grudge was released on DVD on November 9, 2004.

In 2004, Sony Pictures Entertainment released an American remake of the film. The film was directed by Takashi Shimizu and starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jason Behr. The main plot of the film followed Rika's experience within the house but with a different ending. The American sequel Grudge 2, however, mirrors a similar ending where Aubrey meets the same fate as Rika.

Ju-on: The Grudge

Ju-on: The Grudge 2 is the sequel to Ju-on: The Grudge which is a continuation of Kayako's storyline and follows identical subplots.

Ju-on 3
Ju-on: The Grudge 3 most likely won't be made, according to the audio commentary from the Ju-on: The Grudge 2 DVD. He stated "I want to move on and try other things, and then, maybe, when people stop remembering me for Ju-on, I may come back and make Ju-on 3 for Japanese audiences. So... at this point in time, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a release of Ju-on 3."

External links
" (Ju-on)" [1] (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-21. Reviews Nippon Cinema [2] Snowblood Apple [3] Ju-on: The Grudge [4] at the Internet Movie Database Ju-on: The Grudge [5] at Allmovie

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] http:/ / www. jmdb. ne. jp/ 2003/ ea000200. htm http:/ / nipponcinema. com/ db/ review/ ju_on_the_grudge http:/ / www. mandiapple. com/ snowblood/ juonthegrudge1. htm http:/ / www. imdb. com/ title/ tt0364385/ http:/ / www. allmovie. com/ work/ 307949


Ju-on ( Juon, lit. Curse Grudge) is the title of a series of horror films by Japanese director Takashi Shimizu. Shimizu attended the Film School of Tokyo, where he studied under Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Kurosawa helped Shimizu shepherd the Ju-on projects to fruition.

The title of the films translates roughly to The Curse or The Grudge. The first two films in the series were so-called V-Cinema, or direct-to-video releases, but became surprise hits as the result of favorable word of mouth. The story is a variation on the classic haunted house theme, as well as a popular Japanese horror trope, the "vengeful ghost" (onryo). The curse of the title, ju-on, is one which takes on a life of its own and seeks new victims. Anyone who encounters a ghost killed by the curse is killed themselves and the curse is able to be spread to other areas. Under very tight budgetary constraints, Shimizu's films garnered much acclaim from both critics and genre fans for their effective use of limited locations and eerie atmosphere to generate chills. Shimizu was at the same time perfectly willing to show his ghosts onscreen, in contrast to some directors who might choose only to hint at their appearance. But critics noted that Shimizu's minimalist approach to directing and storytelling a necessary by-product of the production's limited overall resources allows the films to retain their ability to unnerve viewers. Very few scenes in the movies are graphically bloody, making such scenes more disturbing when they occur. Following the success of the two direct-to-video films, and the international success of Hideo Nakata's Ring (1998), Kurosawa and Ring screenwriter Hiroshi Takahashi helped Shimizu develop Ju-on as a theatrical feature starring Megumi Okina and Takako Fuji. Titled Ju-on: The Grudge, this was released in 2003 to critical acclaim, and the US remake rights were purchased, with Shimizu himself attached to direct and Sarah Michelle Gellar starring. Later that year, a theatrical sequel, Ju-on: The Grudge 2, was released. In 2004, the US remake, The Grudge, was released.

The Curse
The Ju-on movies follow the lives of the people affected by a curse created by a murdered housewife in a house in Nerima. It was said that when one person dies with a deep and burning grudge, a curse is born. The curse gathers in the place where that person has died or where he was frequent at (in the series' case, the house in Nerima) and repeats itself there. The curse manifests on those who encounter the curse by any means, such as entering the house or being in contact with somebody who was already cursed. The curse's manifestation is mainly death, where the victims' bodies may or may not disappear. The following deaths create more curses and spreads the curse in other places.

Ju-on Timeline
Ju-on was originally released as two low-budget straight-to-video Japanese television movies in 2000. Three years later, due to the success of the videos, Takashi Shimizu, director of all, made a theatrical version based on the videos, titled Ju-on also, (sometimes noted as Ju-on: The Grudge). This version is widely available in America. Then that version spawned a sequel, now available in America, titled Ju-on 2 (Ju-on: The Grudge 2). A year later Takashi Shimizu directed The Grudge, an American remake. It is based on theatrical version of Ju-on, but it contains scenes re-enacted from all of the Ju-on movies.

Ju-on 1998 Katasumi and 4444444444 (shown within television movie Gakk no kaidan G) Katasumi follows the demise of Kanna and her classmate, Hisayo. They are feeding rabbits at school when Kayako, the ghost in the series and the curse's fulfiller, attacks them both. 4444444444 follows the death of Tsuyoshi, Kanna's older brother. Tsuyoshi comes to school to meet his girlfriend, Mizuho, and finds a mysterious ringing cell phone whose caller ID shows a strange number, 4444444444. (The number 4 in Japanese is a homophone of the Japanese character for "death.") The ghost of Toshio, Kayako's son and also one of the curse's fulfiller, appears and takes Tsuyoshi; his body is never found. The stories of Kanna and Tsuyoshi are further extended in Ju-on 1. 2000 Ju-on, aka Ju-on: The Curse (V-Cinema); (Available only in Japan, Germany, and Scandinavia) Ju-on 1 follows the lives of the people connected to a house in Nerima, Tokyo where a gruesome murder of a housewife occurred. School teacher Shunsuke Kobayashi visits the home of his absent student, Saeki Toshio, where he discovers Toshio beaten and bruised. He waits for Toshio's parents to come. Too late, he realizes what the Saeki family has become and not even Kobayashi's wife makes it out alive. The movie also explores the fates of the next family to live in the house, the Murakami family, as well as two people who come into contact with them. This timeline of the film also extends the stories of Tsuyoshi and Kanna from Gakk no kaidan G. The last timeline shows a snippet of Suzuki Kyoko's experience, a psychic invited by her brother to look into the house that he was going to sell, which was the cursed Saeki house. This movie showed death or vanishing as the curse's result. Ju-on 2, aka Ju-on: The Curse 2 (V-Cinema); (Available only in Japan, Germany, and Scandinavia) Ju-on 2 continues the story of Suzuki Kyoko and shows how the curse affected everyone in her family. It also shows the story of another couple, the Kitadas, living in the house and the extended storyline of Det. Kamio from Ju-on 1. Ju-on 2 also shows a snippet of a scene that plays in the theatrical versions of the films, being the fate of the school girls who had snuck into the house, one of which is Toyama Izumi, whose story would be continued in Ju-on: The Grudge. 2003 Ju-on: The Grudge, aka The Grudge; (Japan, released in the UK and USA) Ju-on: The Grudge centers on the fate of social worker Nishina Rika. Rika comes to visit the house of Tokunagas (the old Saeki house) where she was summoned after the social worker assigned to the house has disappeared. Surviving a terrible experience in that house, she discovers the real reason about the deaths connected to the house. It was later revealed that Rika was the one destined to play out the curse: she was to die the same way as Kayako and become the next fulfiller of the Ju-on. In this movie, it was revealed that the curse has some time-traveling capabilities (or residual haunting) where a victim may see another victim from another time frame. An example is that Det. Toyama Yuji saw what will happen to his daughter, Izumi, years after his death when she entered the house. Izumi was just 12 when Yuji died and when she entered the house at 16, she sees her father just before he encounters Kayako. However, this is not just prior to his death, because he runs out of the house and it is later revealed by Izumi's mother that he went crazy before he died. Ju-on: The Grudge 2, aka The Grudge 2; (Japan, released in the UK and USA) Ju-on: The Grudge 2 revolves around the actress Harase Kyoko's pregnancy. After a car accident caused by Toshio's ghost, Kyoko apparently miscarries. When her doctor assures her of a healthy pregnancy, Kyoko becomes perplexed. It is revealed that Kyoko was involved with a television production filmed at a haunted house - the house of the Saekis in Nerima. Producer Keisuke finds Kyoko and informs her that most members

Ju-on of the film crew have been killed or gone missing. The outcome of Kyoko's pregnancy is horrifyingly revealed as she gives birth to Kayako. As another incarnation of the curse, this showed that the curse could cause a pregnant woman to carry Kayako in her womb. 2004 The Grudge (American) This was largely a remake of Ju-on: The Grudge, following the story of Karen Davis (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a social worker assigned to take care of Emma Williams. The movie varies slightly from the original, because Karen burns the house and survives the curse. However, the house is saved. 2006 The Grudge 2 (American) This movie tells the story of a school girl Allison who entered the house upon the pressure of her friends Vanessa and Miyuki. The curse follows her to Chicago even though she was trying to escape it causing the whole Chicago apartment to be cursed. This movie also followed the story of Aubrey, Karen's younger sister, on her quest to stop the curse after her sister Karen falls to her death from the hospital roof. 2009 The Grudge 3 (American) was released on DVD on May 12, 2009. This film is a continuation of the events that took place in the Chicago, Illinois vignette of The Grudge 2. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Ju-on series two new Japanese Ju-on films titled Ju-on: Shiroi Rjo (The Grudge: Old Lady in White) and Ju-on: Kuroi Shjo (The Grudge: Girl in Black) premiered in simultaneous screenings in theaters in Japan on June 27, 2009.[1] Takashi Shimizu and Taka Ichise return to supervise the films, each with a different director.

Video Game
In honor of the series' 10th anniversary, a game, titled Ju-on: The Grudge Haunted House Simulator was developed for the Wii. The game was released in Japan in 2009 by AQ Interactive under the title Kyoufu Taikan: Ju-on (Fear Experience: Ju-on), and in Europe under the title Ju-On: The Grudge - A Fright Simulator.

[1] White Ghost, Black Ghost in 'Ju-On' Sequels (http:/ / www. bloody-disgusting. com/ news/ 17712)

External links
Gakk no kaidan G ( at the Internet Movie Database Ju-on ( at the Internet Movie Database Ju-on 2 ( at the Internet Movie Database Ju-on: The Grudge ( at the Internet Movie Database Ju-on: The Grudge 2 ( at the Internet Movie Database The Grudge ( at the Internet Movie Database The Grudge 2 ( at the Internet Movie Database The Grudge 3 ( at the Internet Movie Database Ju-on: Shiroi rjo ( at the Internet Movie Database

Ju-on: Kuroi shjo ( at the Internet Movie Database Official site for Ju-on: The Grudge (


Onry () is a mythological spirit from Japanese folklore who is able to return to the physical world in order to seek vengeance. While male onry can be found, mainly in kabuki, the majority are women. Powerless in the physical world, they often suffer at the capricious whims of their male lovers. In death they become strong.

Origin of onry
The traditional Japanese spirit world is layered, with Yomi on one extreme, and the physical world on the other. In-between is a sort of purgatory, an uncertain and ambiguous waiting area where spirits languish before moving on. Ghosts in this in-between state who are very powerful from love, jealousy, hatred or sorrow can bridge the gap back to the physical plane where they can haunt and wreak havoc on their earthly tormentors.

Onry vengeance
While driven by their desire for vengeance, they rarely follow the Western ideals of justified revenge. For example, several tales involve abusive husbands, but these husbands are rarely the target of the onry's vengeance.

Examples of onry vengeance

How a Man's Wife Became a Vengeful Ghost and How Her Malignity Was Diverted by a Master of Divination - A neglected wife is abandoned and left to die. She is transformed into an onry, and torments a local village until banished. Her husband remains unharmed. Of a Promise Broken - A samurai vows to his dying wife never to remarry. He soon breaks the promise, and his former wife's onry beheads the new bride. Furisode - A heartbroken woman curses her famously beautiful kimono before dying. After, everyone who wears the garment soon dies. Possibly the most famous onry is Oiwa, from Yotsuya Kaidan. In this story the husband remains unharmed; however, he is the target of the onrys vengeance. Oiwa's vengeance on him isn't physical retribution, but rather psychological torment.

The appearance of an onry

Traditionally, onry and other yrei had no particular appearance. However, with the rising of popularity of Kabuki during the Edo period, a specific costume was developed. Highly visual in nature, and with a single actor often assuming various roles within a play, Kabuki developed several visual shorthands that allowed the audience to instantly clue in as to which character is on stage, as well as emphasize the emotions and expressions of the actor. A ghost costume consisted of three main elements: White burial kimono Wild, unkempt long black hair White and indigo face make-up called aiguma.



Iwasaka, Michiko and Toelken, Barre. Ghosts and the Japanese: Cultural Experiences in Japanese Death Legends, Utah State University Press, 1994. ISBN 0874211794

External links
Ghoul Power - Onryou in the Movies [1] Japanzine By Jon Wilks Yrei-ga gallery at Zenshoan Temple [2]

[1] http:/ / www. seekjapan. jp/ article/ jz/ 1279/ Ghoul+ Power [2] http:/ / www. theway. jp/ zen/ html/ gallary/ somnailindex. html

Kabuki ( kabuki) is classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers. The individual kanji characters, from left to right, mean sing (), dance (), and skill (). Kabuki is therefore sometimes translated as "the art of singing and The July 1858 production of Shibaraku at the Ichimura-za theater in Edo. Triptych dancing." These are, however, ateji woodblock print by Utagawa Toyokuni III. characters which do not reflect actual etymology. The kanji of 'skill' generally refers to a performer in kabuki theatre. Since the word kabuki is believed to derive from the verb kabuku, meaning "to lean" or "to be out of the ordinary", kabuki can be interpreted as "avant-garde" or "bizarre" theatre.[1] The expression kabukimono () referred originally to those who were bizarrely dressed and swaggered on a street.



History of kabuki
16031629: Female kabuki
The history of kabuki began in 1603 when Okuni of Izumo, possibly a miko of Izumo Taisha, began performing a new style of dance drama in the dry riverbeds of Kyoto.[2] Japan was under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate, enforced by Tokugawa Ieyasu, who ruled with shogun of the Tokugawa family.[3] The name of the Edo period derives from the relocation of the Tokugawa regime from its former home in Kyoto to the city of Edo, present-day Tokyo. Female performers played both men and women in comic playlets about ordinary life. The style was immediately popular. Okuni was asked to perform before the Imperial Court. In the wake of such success, rival troupes quickly formed, and kabuki was born as ensemble dance and drama performed by womena form very different from its modern incarnation. Much of its appeal in this era was due to the ribald, suggestive themes featured by many troupes; this appeal was further augmented by the fact that the performers were often also available for prostitution.[1] For this reason, kabuki was also written "" (singing and dancing prostitute) during this period.

The earliest portrait of Izumo no Okuni, the founder of kabuki (1600s)

Kabuki became a common form of entertainment in the ukiyo, or Yoshiwara, the registered red-light district in Edo. A diverse crowd gathered under one roof, something that happened nowhere else in the city. Kabuki theaters were a place to see and be seen. Kabuki featured the latest fashion trends and current events. The stage provided good entertainment with exciting new music, patterns, clothing, and famous actors. Performances went from morning until sunset. The teahouses surrounding or connected to the theater provided meals, refreshments, and good company. The area around the theatres was lush with shops selling kabuki souvenirs. Kabuki initiated pop culture in Japan. The shogunate was never partial to kabuki and all the mischief it brought, particularly the variety of the social classes which mixed at kabuki performances. Womens kabuki, called onna-kabuki, was banned in 1629 for being too erotic. Following onna-kabuki, young boys performed in wakashu-kabuki, but since they too were eligible for prostitution the shogun government soon banned wakashu-kabuki as well. Kabuki switched to adult male actors, called yaro-kabuki in the mid 1600s.[4] Male actors played both female and male characters. The theatre remained popular, and remained a focus of urban lifestyle until modern times. Although kabuki was performed all over ukiyo and other portions for the country, the Nakamura-za, Ichimura-za and Kawarazaki-za theatres became the top theatres in ukiyo, where some of the most successful kabuki performances were and still are held.[3]

16291673: Transition to yar kabuki

The modern all-male kabuki, known as yar kabuki (young man kabuki), was established during these decades. After women were banned from performing, cross-dressed male actors, known as onnagata ("female-role") or oyama, took over. Young (adolescent) men were preferred for women's roles due to their less masculine appearance and the higher pitch of their voices compared to adult men. In addition, wakashu (adolescent male) roles, played by young men often selected for attractiveness, became common, and were often presented in an erotic context.[5] Along with the change in the performer's gender came a change in the emphasis of the performance: increased stress was placed on drama rather than dance. Performances were equally ribald, and the male actors too were available for prostitution (to both female and male customers). Audiences frequently became rowdy, and brawls occasionally broke out, sometimes over the favors of a particularly handsome young actor, leading the shogunate to ban first onnagata and

Kabuki then wakashu roles. Both bans were rescinded by 1652.[6]


16731841: The golden age

During the Genroku era, kabuki thrived. The structure of a kabuki play was formalized during this period, as were many elements of style. Conventional character types were established. Kabuki theater and ningy jruri, the elaborate form of puppet theater that later came to be known as bunraku, became closely associated with each other, and each has since influenced the other's development. The famous playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon, one of the first professional kabuki playwrights, produced several influential works, though the piece usually acknowledged as his most significant, Sonezaki Shinju (The Love Suicides at Sonezaki), was originally written for bunraku. Like many bunraku plays, it was adapted for kabuki, and it spawned many imitatorsin fact, it and similar plays reportedly caused so many real-life "copycat" suicides that the government banned shinju mono (plays about lovers' double suicides) in 1723. Ichikawa Danjr I also lived during this time; he is credited with the development of mie[7] poses and mask-like kumadori make-up.[8]

18421868: The Saruwaka-ch kabuki

Male actors played both female and male characters.

The two Kabuki actors Bando Zenji and Sawamura Yodogoro; 1794, fifth month by Sharaku

In the 1840s, fires started terrorizing Edo due to repeated drought. Kabuki theatres, traditionally made of wood, were constantly burning down, forcing their relocation within the ukiyo. When the area that housed the Nakamura-za was completely destroyed in 1841, the shogun refused to allow the theatre to rebuild, saying that it was against fire code.[4] The shogunate did not welcome the mixing and trading that occurred between town merchants and actors, artists, and prostitutes. The shogunate took advantage of the fire crisis in 1842 to force the Nakamura-za, Ichimura-za, and Kawarazaki-za out of the city limits and into Asakusa, a northern suburb of Edo. Actors, stagehands, and others associated with the performances were forced out as well. Those in areas and lifestyles centered around the theatres also migrated, but the inconvenience of the new location reduced attendance.[3] These factors, along with strict regulations, pushed much of kabuki "underground" in Edo, with performances changing locations to avoid the authorities. The theatres new location was called Saruwaka-ch, or Saruwaka-machi. The last thirty years of the Tokugawa shogunate's rule, is often referred to as the Saruwaka-machi period. This period produced some of the gaudiest kabuki in Japanese history.[3] The Saruwaka-machi became the new theatre district for the Nakamura-za, Ichimura-za and Kawarazaki-za theatres. The district was located on the main street of Asakusa, which ran through the middle of the small city. The street was renamed after Saruwaka Kanzaburo, who initiated Edo kabuki in the Nakamura Theatre in 1624.[3] European artists began noticing Japanese theatrical performances and artwork, and many artists (for example, Claude Monet) were inspired by Japanese wood block prints. This Western interest prompted Japanese artists to increase their depictions of daily life including theatres, brothels, main streets and so on. One artist in particular, Utagawa Hiroshige, did a series of prints based on Saruwaka from the Saruwaka-machi period in Asakusa.[3] The relocation diminished the tradition's most abundant inspiration for costuming, make-up, and story line. Ichikawa Kodanji IV was one of the most active and successful actors during the Saruwaka-machi period. Deemed unattractive, he mainly performed buyo, or dancing, in dramas written by Kawatake Mokuami, who also wrote

Kabuki during the Meiji period to follow.[3] Kawatake Mokuami commonly wrote plays that depicted the common lives of the people of Edo. He introduced shichigo-cho (seven-and-five syllable meter) dialogue and music such as kiyomoto.[3] His kabuki performances became quite popular once the Saruwaka-machi period ended and theatre returned to Edo; many of his works are still performed. In 1868, the Tokugawa shogunate fell apart. Emperor Meiji was restored to power and moved from Kyoto to the new capital of Edo, or Tokyo, beginning the Meiji period.[4] Kabuki returned to the ukiyo of Edo. Kabuki became more radical in the Meiji period, and modern styles emerged. New playwrights created new genres and twists on traditional stories.


Kabuki after the Meiji period

Beginning in 1868 enormous cultural changes, such as the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, the elimination of the samurai class, and the opening of Japan to the West, helped to spark kabuki's re-emergence. As the culture struggled to adapt to the influx of foreign ideas and influence, actors strove to increase the reputation of kabuki among the upper classes and to adapt the traditional styles to modern tastes. They ultimately proved successful in this regardon 21April1887, the Meiji Emperor sponsored a performance.[9] After World War II, the occupying forces The November 1895 production of Shibaraku at Tokyo Kabukiza theater briefly banned kabuki, which had strongly supported Japan's war since 1931;[10] however, by 1947 the ban had been rescinded.[11]

Kabuki today
The immediate post-World War II era was a difficult time for kabuki. Besides the war's physical devastation, many rejected the styles and thoughts of the past, kabuki among them.[12] Director Tetsuji Takechi's popular and innovative productions of kabuki classics at this time are credited with bringing about a rebirth of interest in kabuki in the Kansai region.[13] Of the many popular young stars who performed with the Takechi Kabuki, Nakamura Ganjiro III (b. 1931) was the leading figure. He was first known as Nakamura Senjaku, and this period in Osaka kabuki became known as the "Age of Senjaku" in his honor.[13] Today, kabuki is the most popular of the traditional styles of Japanese dramaand its star actors often appear in television or film roles.[14] For example, the well-known onnagata Band Tamasabur V has appeared in several (non-kabuki) plays and movies, often in a female role. Kabuki appears in works of Japanese popular culture such as anime. In addition to the handful of major theatres in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, there are many smaller theatres in Osaka and throughout the countryside. The shika Kabukitroupe, based in shika, Nagano Prefecture, is one example.[15] Some local kabuki troupes today use female actors in onnagata roles. The Ichikawa Kabuki-za, an all-female troupe, was formed after World War II but was short-lived. In 2003, a statue of Okuni was erected near Kyoto's Pontoch district. Interest in kabuki has also spread in the West. Kabuki troupes regularly tour Europe and America, and there have been several kabuki-themed productions of canonical Western plays such as those of Shakespeare. Western

Kabuki playwrights and novelists have also experimented with kabuki themes, an example of which is Gerald Vizenor's Hiroshima Bugi (2004). Writer Yukio Mishima pioneered and popularized the use of kabuki in modern settings, and revived other traditional arts, such as Noh, adapting them to modern contexts. The introduction of earphone guides in 1975, including an English version in 1982, helped broaden the art's appeal. As a result, in 1991 the Kabuki-za began year-round performances and, in 2005, began marketing kabuki cinema films.[16] In Australia, the Za Kabuki troupe at the Australian National University has performed a kabuki drama each year since 1976, the longest regular kabuki performance outside of Japan. Kabuki was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2005.


Elements of kabuki
Stage design
The kabuki stage features a projection called a hanamichi (; literally, flower path), a walkway which extends into the audience and via which dramatic entrances and exits are made. Okuni also performed on a hanamichi stage with her entourage. The stage is used not only as a walkway or path to get to and from the main stage, but also important scenes are also played on the stage. Kabuki stages and theaters have steadily become more technologically sophisticated, and innovations including revolving stages and trap doors, were introduced Shibai Ukie ("A Scene from A Play") by during the 18th century. A driving force has been the desire to manifest Masanobu Okumura (16861764), depicting Edo one frequent theme of kabuki theater, that of the sudden, dramatic Ichimura-za theater in the early 1740s revelation or transformation.[17] A number of stage tricks, including actors' rapid appearance and disappearance, employ these innovations. The term keren (), often translated playing to the gallery, is sometimes used as a catch-all for these tricks. Hanamichi and several innovations including revolving stage, seri and chunori have all contributed to kabuki play. Hanamichi creates depth and both seri and chunori provide a vertical dimension. Mawari-butai (revolving stage) developed in the Kyh era (17161735). The trick was originally accomplished by the on-stage pushing of a round, wheeled platform. Later a circular platform was embedded in the stage with wheels beneath it facilitating movement. The kuraten (darkened revolve) technique involves lowering the stage lights are lowered during this transition. More commonly the lights are left on for akaten (lighted revolve), sometimes simultaneously performing the transitioning scenes for dramatic effect. This stage was first built in Japan in the early eighteenth century. Seri refers to the stage "traps" that have been commonly employed in kabuki since the middle of the 18th century. These traps raise and lower actors or sets to the stage. Seridashi or seriage refers to trap(s) moving upward and serisage or serioroshi to traps descending. This technique is often used to lift an entire scene at once.



Chnori (riding in mid-air) is a technique, which appeared toward the middle of the 19th century, by which an actors costume is attached to wires and he is made to fly over the stage and/or certain parts of the auditorium. This is similar to the wire trick in the stage musical Peter Pan, in which Peter launches himself into the air. It is still one of the most popular keren (visual tricks) in kabuki today; major kabuki theaters, such as the National Theatre, Kabuki-za and Minami-za, are all equipped with chnori installations.[18] Scenery changes are sometimes made mid-scene, while Chnori: Kunitar Sawamura II as Kitsune Tadanobu (left) flying over the stage, in the August 1825 production of Yoshitsune Senbon the actors remain on stage and the curtain stays open. Zakura This is sometimes accomplished by using a Hiki Dgu, or small wagon stage. This technique originated at the beginning of the 18th century, where scenery or actors move on or off stage on a wheeled platform. Also common are stagehands rushing onto the stage adding and removing props, backdrops and other scenery; these kuroko () are always dressed entirely in black and are traditionally considered invisible. Stagehands also assist in a variety of quick costume changes known as hayagawari (quick change technique). When a character's true nature is suddenly revealed, the devices of hikinuki or bukkaeri are often used. This involves layring one costume over another and having a stagehand pull the outer one off in front of the audience.

The three main categories of kabuki play are jidai-mono (, historical, or pre-Sengoku period stories), sewa-mono (, domestic, or post-Sengoku stories) and shosagoto (, dance pieces). Jidaimono, or history plays, were set within the context of major events in Japanese history. Strict censorship laws during the Edo period prohibited the representation of contemporary events and particularly prohibited criticising the shogunate or casting it in a bad light, although enforcement varied greatly over the years. Many shows were set in the context of the Genpei War of the 1180s, the Nanboku-ch Wars of the 1330s, or other historical events. Frustrating the censors, many shows used these historical settings as metaphors for contemporary events. Kanadehon Chshingura, one of the most famous plays in the kabuki repertoire, serves as an excellent example; it is ostensibly set in the 1330s, though it actually depicts the contemporary (18th century) affair of the revenge of the 47 Ronin. Unlike jidaimono which generally focused upon the samurai class, sewamono focused primarily upon commoners, namely townspeople and peasants. Often referred to as "domestic plays" in English, sewamono generally related to themes of family drama and romance. Some of the most famous sewamono are the love suicide plays, adapted from works by the bunraku playwright Chikamatsu; these center on romantic

The March 1849 production of Chshingura at Edo Nakamura-za theater

Kabuki couples who cannot be together in life due to various circumstances and who therefore decide to be together in death instead. Many if not most sewamono contain significant elements of this theme of societal pressures and limitations. Important elements of kabuki include the mie (), in which the actor holds a picturesque pose to establish his character.[17] At this point his house name (yag, ) is sometimes heard in loud shout (kakegoe, ) from an expert audience member, serving both to express and enhance the audience's appreciation of the actor's achievement. An even greater compliment can be paid by shouting the name of the actor's father. Kesh, kabuki makeup, provides an element of style easily recognizable even by those unfamiliar with the art form. Rice powder is used to create the white oshiroi base for the characteristic stage makeup, and kumadori enhances or exaggerates facial lines to produce dramatic animal or supernatural masks. The color of the kumadori is an expression of the character's nature: red lines are used to indicate passion, heroism, righteousness, and other positive traits; blue or black, villainy, jealousy, and other negative traits; green, the supernatural; and purple, nobility.[8]


Play structure
Kabuki, like other traditional forms of drama in Japan and other cultures, was (and sometimes still is) performed in full-day programs. Rather than attending for 25 hours, as one might do in a modern Western-style theater, audiences "escape" from the day-to-day world, devoting a full day to entertainment. Though some individual plays, particularly the historical jidaimono, might last an entire day, most were shorter and sequenced with other plays in order to produce a full-day program. The structure of the full-day program, like the structure of the plays themselves, was derived largely from the conventions of bunraku and Noh, conventions which also appear in other traditional Japanese arts. Chief among these is the concept of jo-ha-ky (), which states that dramatic pacing should start slow, speed up, and end quickly. The concept, elaborated on at length by master Noh playwright Zeami, governs not only the actions of the actors, but also the structure of the play as well as the structure of scenes and plays within a day-long program. Nearly every full-length play occupies five acts. The first corresponds to jo, an auspicious and slow opening which introduces the audience to the characters and the plot. The next three acts correspond to ha, speeding events up, culminating almost always in a great moment of drama or tragedy in the third act and possibly a battle in the second and/or fourth acts. The final act, corresponding to kyu, is almost always short, providing a quick and satisfying conclusion.[19] While many plays were originally written for kabuki, many others were taken from jruri plays, Noh plays, folklore, or other performing traditions such as the oral tradition of the Tale of the Heike. While jruri plays tend to have serious, emotionally dramatic, and organized plots, plays written The September 1824 production of Heike Nygo-ga-shima at Osaka Sumi-za theater specifically for kabuki generally have looser, sillier plots.[20] One of the crucial differences in the philosophy of the two forms is that jruri focuses primarily on the story and on the chanter who recites it, while kabuki focuses more on the actors. A jruri play may sacrifice the details of sets, puppets, or action in favor of the chanter, while kabuki is known to sacrifice drama and even the plot to highlight an actor's talents. It was not uncommon in kabuki to insert or remove individual scenes from a day's schedule in order to cater to the talents or desires of an individual actorscenes he was famed for, or that featured him, would be inserted into a program without regard to plot continuity.[20]

Kabuki Kabuki traditions in Edo and in Kamigata (the Kyoto-Osaka region) were quite different. Through most of the Edo period, kabuki in Edo was defined by extravagance and bombast, as exemplified by stark makeup patterns, flashy costumes, fancy keren (stage tricks), and bold mie (poses). Kamigata kabuki, meanwhile, was much calmer and focused on naturalism and realism in acting. Only towards the end of the Edo period in the 19th century did the two regions adopt one another's styles to any significant degree.[21] For a long time, actors from one region often failed to adjust to the styles of the other region and were unsuccessful in their performance tours of that region.


Famous plays
Kanadehon Chshingura (Treasury of Loyal Retainers) is the famous story of the Forty-seven Ronin who track down their lord's killer, and exact revenge upon him before committing seppuku as required by their code of honor upon the death of their lord.[22] Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees) follows Minamoto no Yoshitsune as he flees from agents of his brother Yoritomo. Three Taira clan generals supposed killed in the Genpei War figure prominently, as their deaths ensure a complete end to the war and the arrival of peace, as does a kitsune named Genkur.[23] Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy) is based on the life of famed scholar Sugawara no Michizane (845903), who is exiled from Kyoto, and upon his death causes a number of calamities in the capital. He is then deified, as Tenjin, kami (divine spirit) of scholarship, and worshipped in order to propitiate his angry spirit.[22] This list is incomplete.

Major theatres in operation

Tokyo Kabuki-za

Kyoto Minami-za

Akita Kosaka Tokyo Kabuki-za (Closed for rebuilding reopening in 2013[24] ) Meiji-za Shinbashi Enbuj National Theater

Kyoto Minami-za Osaka Shin-Kabuki-za Osaka Shchiku-za Nagoya

Kabuki Misono-za Fukuoka Hakata-za Kotohira Kanamaru-za


[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] "Kabuki" in Frederic, Louis (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Haar 1971, p.83 Masato 2007 Ernst 1956, pp.1012 Leupp 1997, pp.9192 Leupp 1997, p.92 " Mie (http:/ / www2. ntj. jac. go. jp/ dglib/ edc_dic/ dictionary/ dic_ma/ dic_ma_04. jsp)". Kabuki Jiten. Accessed 9 February 2007. Kincaid, Zoe (1925). Kabuki: The Popular Stage of Japan. London: MacMillan and Co. pp2122. Shriya, Asagoro. Kabuki Chronology of the 19th century at (http:/ / kabuki21. com/ hist_19. php) (Accessed 18 December 2006.) [10] Brandon 2009 [11] Takemae, Eiji; Robert Ricketts and Sebastian Swann (translators and adapters) (2002) [1983]. The Allied Occupation of Japan. New York & London: Continuum. pp.390391. ISBN0-8264-6247-2. [12] Kominz, Laurence (1997). The Stars Who Created Kabuki; Their Lives, Loves and Legacy. Tokyo, New York, London: Kodansha International. pp.232. ISBN4-7700-1868-1. [13] Toita, Yasuji; Don Kenny (translator) (1970). "Zenshin-za Innovations". Kabuki: The Popular Theater. Performing Arts of Japan: II. New York & Tokyo: Walker/Weatherhill. pp.213. ISBN0-8027-2424-8. [14] Shriya, Asagoro. Contemporary Actors at (http:/ / kabuki21. com/ acteurs_a. php). (Accessed 18 December 2006.) [15] "shika Kabuki" (http:/ / www. ooshika. com/ kabuki/ src/ index. html). . Retrieved 2007-02-22. [16] Martin, Alex, " Kabuki going strong, 400 years on (http:/ / search. japantimes. co. jp/ cgi-bin/ nn20101228i1. html)", Japan Times, 28 December 2010, p. 3, retrieved on 29 December 2010. [17] Scott 1955, pp.5556 [18] Ukon Ichikawa as Genkur Kitsune flying over audience (http:/ / www2. ntj. jac. go. jp/ unesco/ kabuki/ jp/ 4/ 4_04_02. html) in the July 2005 National Theatre production of Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura. [19] Quinn, Shelley Fenno. "How to write a Noh playZeami's Sand. Monumenta Nipponica, vol 48, issue 1 (Spring 1993). pp5388. [20] Toita, Yasuji (1970). Kabuki: The Popular Theater. New York: Weatherhill. pp 68. [21] Thornbury, Barbara E. "Sukeroku's Double Identity: The Dramatic Structure of Edo Kabuki". Japanese Studies 6 (1982). Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan. 13 [22] Miyake, Shutar (1971). "Kabuki Drama". Tokyo: Japan Travel Bureau. [23] Jones, Stanleigh H. Jr. (trans.)(1993). "Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees." New York: Columbia University Press. [24] Unmissable Tokyo (2010). "Kabuki-za" (http:/ / UnmissableTokyo. com/ kabuki-za) Retrieved 11 June 2010.

Brandon, James R. (2009). Kabuki's Forgotten War: 1931-1945. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN0824832000. Ronald Cavaye (1993) Kabuki A Pocket Guide. USA and Japan: Charles E. Tuttle, Ronald Cavaye, Paul Griffith and Akihiko Senda (2004). A Guide to the Japanese Stage. Japan: Kodansha International. Ernst, E. (1956). The Kabuki Theatre. New York: Oxford University Press. Scott, A. C. (1955). The Kabuki Theatre of Japan. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.. Senelick, L. (2000). The Changing Room: Sex, Drag, and Theatre. London: Routledge. Facts JPN-kabuki. 25 November 2007 <>. Japanese Culture. 25 November 2007 <>. Kabuki. 25 November 2007 <> Kabuki. Ed. Shoriya Aragoro. 9 September 1999. 25 November 2007 <> Haar, Francils (1971). Japanese Theatre In Highlight: A Pictorial Commentary. Westport: Greenwood P. p.83.

Kabuki Masato, Takaba (2007). "History of Kabuki: Birth of Saruwaka-machi" ( kabuki/en/2/2_10.html). Watanabe Norihiko.. Retrieved 30 April 2009. Leupp, Gary P. (1997). Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan. University of California Press. ISBN0520209001.


External links
Kabuki Web ( Shochiku Official Kabuki Website in English Earphone Guide ( The English language Earphone Guide Kabuki 21 ( All about Japan's traditional Theatre Art of Kabuki: The art, the plays, the great stars of today, the legends of the past, the theaters, the history, the glossary, the traditions, the heroes and the derivatives. Listen to music sample of Kokaji and Musume Djji (After clicking on this link, scroll down page) (http:// National Diet Library: photograph of Kabuki-za in Kyobashi-ku, Kobiki-cho, Tokyo (1900) (http://www.ndl.; Kakuki-za (1901) (http://; Kakuki-za (1909) (; Kabuki-za (1911) ( p=culture_entertainment); Kabuki-za (1912) ( html?type=category&p=culture_entertainment); Kakuki-za (1915) ( 149/index.html?type=category&p=culture_entertainment) Japan Mint: Kabuki Coin Set ( Audio recording of the kabuki play Narukami by Ichikawa Danjuro I at (http://www.lostplays. com/play/narukami)



Yomi (), the Japanese word for the underworld in which horrible creatures guard the exits; according to Shinto mythology as related in Kojiki, this is where the dead go to dwell and apparently rot indefinitely. Once one has eaten at the hearth of Yomi it is impossible to return to the land of the living. Yomi is comparable to Hades or hell and is most commonly known for Izanami's retreat to that place after her death. Izanagi followed her there and upon his return he washed himself, creating Amaterasu, Susanoo, and Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto in the process (See Japanese mythology). This realm of the dead seems to have geographical continuity with this world and certainly cannot be thought of as a paradise to which one would aspire, nor can it appropriately be described as a hell in which one suffers retribution for past deeds; rather, all deceased carry on a gloomy and shadowy existence in perpetuity regardless of their behavior in life. Many scholars believe that the image of Yomi was derived from ancient Japanese tombs in which corpses were left for some time to decompose. After the arrival of Buddhism, Yomi also became one of the Buddhist hells in Japan, like Kakuri which is ruled by Enma. The kanji that are sometimes used to transcribe Yomi actually refer to the mythological Chinese realm of the dead called Hungqun ( or "Yellow Springs"), which appears in Chinese texts as early as the eighth century BCE. This dark and vaguely-defined realm was believed to be located beneath the earth, but it was not until the Han Dynasty that the Chinese had a clearly articulated conception of an underworld below in contrast with a heavenly realm above. With regard to Japanese mythology, Yomi is generally taken by commentators to lie beneath the earth and is part of a triad of locations discussed in Kojiki: Takamahara ( alternatively transliterated Takamagahara, lit., "high heavenly plain", located in the sky), Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni ( lit. "central land of reed plains", located on earth), and Yomo-tsu-kuni () or Yomi-no-Kuni ( lit. "Land of Yomi", located underground). Yomi has also often been associated with the mythological realm of Ne-no-Kuni ( alternatively, Ne-no-Katasukuni, ). Yomi is ruled over by Izanami no Mikoto, the Grand Deity of Yomi (Yomotsu-kami ). According to Kojiki, the entrance to Yomi lies in Izumo province and was sealed off by Izanagi upon his flight from Yomi, at which time he permanently blocked the entrance by placing a massive boulder (Chibiki-no-Iwa ) at the base of the slope that leads to Yomi (Yomotsu Hirasaka or ). Upon his return to Ashihara-no-Nakatsukuni, Izanagi noted that Yomi is a "polluted land" (kegareki kuni). This opinion reflects the traditional Shinto association between death and pollution.

Christian uses
Some Japanese Christian texts use to refer to what is called Hell in the English versions. For example Revelation 6:8 [1],

in English: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.
Yomotsu Hirasaka in Higashiizumo, Shimane Prefecture



[1] http:/ / ja. wikisource. org/ wiki/ %E3%83%A8%E3%83%8F%E3%83%8D%E3%81%AE%E9%BB%99%E7%A4%BA%E9%8C%B2(%E5%8F%A3%E8%AA%9E%E8%A8%B3)#6:8

Article Sources and Contributors


Article Sources and Contributors

Ju-on: The Grudge Source: Contributors: Akina66, Andrzejbanas, Appleuser, Arvtax, Bovineboy2008, Chickie4, Cs-wolves, D6, Danaman5, David Gerard, Dekkappai, Digitelle, DrOxacropheles, Elizabennet, Elvenscout742, Empty2005, Extraordinary Machine, FMAFan1990, Firsfron, Flyguy649, FreeMorpheme, F, Gellarsgrudge, Godwinkent888, Gram123, Igorrr, JRNorberg, JamesAM, Jeffq, Julianjyrus, Kevin332, Kingpin13, LostLikeTearsInRain, Luizalves, Mattsell, Mikani, Mmmundo, Moocowsrule, Nahallac Silverwinds, Nohansen, Reesoni, Salehjamal, Scetoaux, Schwenkstar, Scorpionman, SimonMorgan, SteinbDJ, SteveAltenRocks, Sugar Bear, Supernumerary, Tatata, The Rambling Man, Tone, Treybien, VOFFA, Vikas Kumar Ojha, Whizkidravi, Woohookitty, Zombie433, 138 anonymous edits Ju-on Source: Contributors: *drew, Ajshm, AlbertMikael, Andrzejbanas, Andycjp, Appleuser, Ariaspr, Beaumont, Bender235, Bignole, Can't sleep, clown will eat me, Cattus, Chris the speller, Cultcinemacritic, Ddxc, Doctor Sunshine, Earle Martin, Elizabennet, Emhilradim, Empty2005, Extraordinary Machine, Galoubet, Gellarsgrudge, Grogsie, Heisenbergthechemist, IceUnshattered, JRNorberg, JamesBWatson, John of Reading, Jusdafax, JustIgnoreMe, Karlo918, Kouban, Liftarn, Maashatra11, Marasmusine, Martarius, MikeWattHCP, Moviefan, Mw66, Nat Krause, Nateji77, Neffyring, Nohansen, Normalityrelief, Oben, Panairjdde, Phil Boswell, Prime Blue, Pseudosocrates, Radagast83, Rayfartheadevo, Reinoutr, ReyBrujo, Schwenkstar, SiegfreidZ, Signalhead, The Editor 155, TheFarix, Todayifeelhatred, UKER, Weaseloid, Welshsocialist, Wonkipedia, Yas, Zeldamaster3, Zombie433, 113 anonymous edits Onry Source: Contributors: Amcaja, Angr, Annlanding, Arm, CALR, Calliopejen1, Cnilep, Earle Martin, EarthRise33, El Mayimbe, Emperorbma, Endofskull, Face, Fg2, GeeJo, George Leung, GoingBatty, Grutness, Haguremetaru, Jack Krauser, Jonniewilks, Kruegerrands, Kyriosity, Luizalves, Michael Hardy, MightyAtom, Mitsukai, NiciVampireHeart, Nnh, Noonleroo, Petrvs, ReyBrujo, Ringbang, Rjwilmsi, Surge79uwf, Tfabbo, Thayora, TheIncredibleEdibleOompaLoompa, TheParanoidOne, TomorrowTime, Valerio79, Whakum, WhiteCrane, YuusukeLoveless, Zahakiel, 49 anonymous edits Kabuki Source: Contributors: -js-, AKeen, Al Silonov, Alansohn, Alcar005, Aldaron, Alex43223, Alsandro, Altenmann, Alx-pl, Andycjp, Anna Lincoln, Aphaia, Arthena, Artistes Associs - Japon, AtticusX, Auddie, BDYT, Bazzargh, Becritical, Beeblebabble, Bendono, Big Jock Knew, Blu3d, Bobo192, Bokken, Bonzo321, BorgQueen, Brain, Bukubku, Bulmabriefs144, Caiaffa, Calmer Waters, Calton, CanisRufus, Capricorn42, Carmichael95, Causa sui, CharlieHuang, Cheesemonkey110123, Chill doubt, Chris 73, Cla68, Coffee, Conversion script, Coughinink, Courcelles, Crashoffer12345, Cureden, D hanbun, DAJF, DVD R W, DannyWilde, Debresser, Dekkappai, DennyColt, Derek.cashman, Dia^, Discospinster, Dixonsej, Dminogue, Dorkmo, DoubleBlue, Ds13, E Wing, Eeekster, Emperorbma, Enviroboy, Epbr123, Eric-Wester, Erkan Yilmaz, Etacar11, Exploding Boy, Fg2, Fgeorg, Foolip, Fritz Saalfeld, Furrykef, GK, Gdo01, George Leung, Gogo Dodo, GracieLizzie, GraemeL, Gryffindor, Gurchzilla, Gwalla, Gwernol, HJ32, Haiduc, Hasek is the best, Hbackman, Heracles31, HexaChord, Hippietrail, Hmains, Horkana, Hut 8.5, Hydao, I'mGettingMine, Insanity Incarnate, Insomniacpuppy, InvisibleK, Ipodamos, Iron Ghost, Ixfd64, JRBrown, Jackel, Jagged 85, James.d.hash, Jappalang, JdwNYC, Jeffq, Jhf, Jnorm, Johan1298, Johndavidn, Jonathan O'Donnell, Jpatokal, Jusdafax, Kaini, Kanabobana, Kanakorocks, Kanjo Kotr, Kappa, Katieh5584, Kbdank71, Keilana, Kingpin13, Kinouya, Komaba, Kordeth, Krich, Kummi, Kurishu, Languagehat, LeaveSleaves, Les murs ont des yeux, Lew0004, Lfstevens, LindsayH, Linkinool, Linnell, Logan, LogicalDash, Loonymonkey, LordAmeth, Lordraydens, Lot49a, Lukeiztheman, MLauba, Magioladitis, Male1979, Mannafredo, Marjil.smith, Martin8721, McSly, Mdukas, Meganyanka, Michael Hardy, MichaelMaggs, Michaelfan, Mitsukai, Mkill, Mlouns, Monedula, Montrealais, Moskvax, Mrjmcneil, Mspandana, Myanw, N2e, Nakon, NameIsRon, Naohiro19, NewEnglandYankee, Nihonjoe, No-sword, Noctibus, Nrfrench, NuclearWarfare, Nuno Tavares, Ocdp, Oda Mari, Old Moonraker, OllieFury, Omicron91, P Carn, P.B. Pilhet, Pacificcitizen, Paralympic, Parhamr, Passion Saturday, PassionOrPain, Philip Trueman, Piano non troppo, Pitan, Plasticup, Pmlineditor, Politepunk, Porqin, Pratheepps, ProveIt, Punkmonkey, Quinsareth, Radar87, Radon210, Rama, Reedy, Reinosuke, Rich Farmbrough, Rob mob, Ryoutou, Sango123, Shadowjams, Sheliak, Sheogorath, ShikiH, Shimeru, SidP, Sluzzelin, Snowmanmelting, Sociekah, Soliloquial, Some jerk on the Internet, Sotaru, Sparkey2989, Specialtom92, Stanistani, Stopperettaetta, Sushiya, Szombathely, Talish, Taskeladd, Tenmei, TerraHikaru, The Singing Badger, The Thing That Should Not Be, TheLeopard, Theory1066, Thingg, Tide rolls, Tkgd2007, Tlotoxl, Tony Sidaway, Toytoy, Trevor MacInnis, TwoOneTwo, Tylerdmace, Uplander7, Vakvak, Valsan.thiyyadi, Vicki Rosenzweig, VivaEmilyDavies, Vizjim, WRK, WadeSimMiser, Wayne Slam, WhisperToMe, Wikiklrsc, Wk muriithi, WyvernOne, YAZASHI, Yaksar, Youssefsan, Yuanchosaan, ZBrannigan, Zarboki, ZayZayEM, Zozza, 636 anonymous edits Yomi Source: Contributors: Amcaja, Ciphers, DTOx, Damaavand, Deadkid dk, GeeJo, Hmains, Identity0, Isolani, JPD, JadziaLover, Jeepday, JssPue, Kineticman, Luccas, Marek69, Markaci, Michael Hopcroft, MikeDockery, Moocowsrule, Mps, Nnh, OGoncho, RandomCritic, RickK, Rtkat3, Sesshomaru, Shii, Shinkansen Fan, Striver, Swibbles, Tlk123, TomorrowTime, Urco, Urutapu, Varlaam, WadeSimMiser, Westendgirl, 36 anonymous edits

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors


Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

File:Juonthegrudgeposter.jpg Source: License: unknown Contributors: Andrzejbanas File:Odori Keiy Edo-e no sakae by Toyokuni III.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: / Toyokuni Utagawa III File:Okuni kabuki byobu-zu cropped and enhanced.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: Gryffindor, OceanSound, , 1 anonymous edits File:SharakuTwoActors.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: Infrogmation, Morio, Twice25, WTCA, 1 anonymous edits File:Shibaraku, Kabukiza November 1895 production.jpg Source:,_Kabukiza_November_1895_production.jpg License: Public Domain Contributors: OceanSound, WTCA File:Shibai Ukie by Masanobu Okumura.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: Morio, OceanSound, Petropoxy (Lithoderm Proxy) File:Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura 1825.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: / Yoshikuni Jukd File:Kanadehon Chshingura by Toyokuni Utagawa III.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: / Toyokuni Utagawa III File:Heike Nygo-ga-shima by Shibakuni and Hokush.jpg Source: License: Public Domain Contributors: / Shibakuni Saiktei & Hokush Shunksai Image:Kabuki-za front cropped.jpg Source: License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Contributors: User:Melanom Image:Minamiza theatre, Kyoto, evening.jpg Source:,_Kyoto,_evening.jpg License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 2.5 Contributors: User:MichaelMaggs Image:Yomotsu Hirasaka.JPG Source: License: Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Contributors: ChiefHira



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