Let me tell you the story of a woman
and her incredible pants
The time: THE DAWN OF THE 1600S. The Portuguese had arrived sixty years before, in 1543, and promptly looked around and went "oh my gOD the #AESTHETIC" which blah blah blah eventually led to an outbreak of weeaboos in 18th century Europe BUT IRRELEVANT
and then it was about ECONOMICS 😍 and TRADE EMPIRES 😍😍
I will draw your particular attention to "tempura"
This is a Japanese painting of some Portuguese merchants. Look at those pants tho???? look how lovingly rendered those pants are??????????
IZUMO NO OKUNI
"what if i do this temple dance but mAKE IT SEXY"
"what if i also TELL SOME JOKES"
"what if i also just fuck off and start my own troupe of street performers"
Her troupe was, needless to say, a rAGING SUCCESS
it was, as the kids say, a #look.
They were invited to perform in front of the Imperial Court!
Also... they were all women. And they cross-dressed. And they were bawdy and lewd.
And so all the wet-blankets in the city went "Oh thank goodness for the riots, now we have an excuse to SHUT THEM DOWN, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE"
"Okay, no probs," they said. "We can work with that," they said, and simply moved indoors, into the brothels and teahouses.
So they banned women from performing on stage. OBVIOUSLY. Dusted off their hands, turned their attentions elsewhere.
By that point, this was what the theaters looked like:
You could buy things that your favorite actor had touched! Bottles of water that your fave had bathed in! A handkerchief that your fave had used on stage!
Hell, you could even buy your fave! bc still prostitution.
Who had money?
The people who always have money. My faves in any society.
Upper-class guy wants to go to kabuki? Has to, GULP, borrow money
From a merchant.
Borrower says "No, because I have a sword"
merchant says, "um i can hire people with big sticks, fuck ur sword, asshole"
GUESS WHAT? RIOTS
he thinks of Noh theater. He goes, "Mmm yes." and then he goes "That's gonna be tricky."
Noh, on the other hand, was strictly reserved for the aristocracy. Ichikawa Danjuro VII had never seen one, wasn't even allowed to get his hands on a script, wasn't even allowed to see the costumes.
What's the motherfucker do? Only adapts the Noh play to kabuki and bullies all his actor friends into learning it even though it's "boring"
except that there were aristocrats in the audience
And they recognized the story.
And it all started because of a woman with incredible pants doing a sexy dance in a dry riverbed.
THE END :D