Tamasaburo Bando Poster Exhibition

The Japan Foundation, Toronto Presents
Tamasaburo Bando Poster Exhibition
February 1-June 22, 2012

Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando V is one of the cultural icons of Japan and an international theatrical phenomenon. While the social modernization after World War II threatened the tradition of Onnagata, male actors who specialize in female roles, Tamasaburo revolutionized and revitalized the meaning of the Onnagata’s existence.

Although Kabuki theatre consists of highly stylized expressions, the beauty that Tamasaburo creates on stage enchants people immediately; his every action projects a clear contemporary message. Centering on the Kabuki stage, his artistic activities extend from acting to directing, from film to western theatrical repertoire.

Through his incomparable talent, Tamasaburo has attracted a wide range of audiences for over 40 years, inviting them into a fascinating world of illusion. Men and women both agree that Tamasaburo captures feminine beauty more than any actress.Speaking about his artistry, Tamasaburo has said performers should be devoted to their work of providing the audience with a spiritual escape from the burdens of everyday reality to the traditional beauties of the past. “We theatrical people work hard on this process of illusion, even to the degree of risking our own lives. This is our mission.”

Tamasaburo is by far the most published actor in Japan. His collaboration with such notable photographers as Naotake Fukuda, Kishin Shinoyama, and Shunji Okura has resulted in more than 20 coffee table photo books (the most recent published in January 2012). Long-term partnering graphic designer Norio Ishiguro has expanded these photographs further into exquisite large-scale posters. This exhibition includes such published objects as posters, photo books, theatrical flyers and house programs on Tamasaburo.

Admission Free
Gallery Hours:

Monday 11:30 am – 7 pm extended hours
Tuesday 11:30 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesday 11:30 am – 4:30 pm
Thursday 11:30 am – 7 pm extended hours
Friday 11:30 am – 4:30 pm
Select Saturdays noon – 5 pm

NEW for Saturday Openings:

A rare chance to leaf through the archival materials from the display cases.

Kabuki actor Tamasaburo collaborated many times with Japan’s leading photographers to create coffee table books. For the occasion of this Saturday opening, we will take a few precious books from 1978, 1988, and 2007 out of their cases for you to have a closer look. White gloves will be provided for the protection of the materials.

Saturday opening dates:
April 14 & 28, May 12 & 26, June 2 & 16
Doors Open Toronto: May 26 & 27

other Saturdays & Sundays, May 21 (Victoria Day)

New acquisitions: 10 posters have been added to the show as of April.