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BANDO TAMASABURO: KABUKI ONNAGATA, FEMALE IMPERSONATOR. JAPANESE THEATER, KABUKI MAKEUP AND COSTUMES.


Tokyo kabuki plays, Japanese theater, onnagata female impersonator on stage plays, Bando Tamasaburo. Beautiful kabuki and noh costumes, makeup.
Kabuki makeup, costume design book by Bardo Tamasaburo. Tokyo kabuki plays, Japanese theater, onnagata female impersonator on stage plays. Beautiful kabuki and noh costumes, stage settings, geisha.

Does the name Bando Tamasaburo ring a bell for anyone? Like Mana-sama, he’s a multi-talented performer who transforms himself into an outerworldly female beauty. While browsing in Shinjuku’s Kinokuniya bookstore, I fell in love with his gorgeous new photo-book. I couldn’t resist taking a few sneaky snaps to share with you (please excuse my crucifix-fingers in the left corner!)

Crossdressing Japanese, man wearing geisha costume or outfit, Tokyo kabuki plays, Japanese theater, onnagata female impersonator on stage plays, Bando Tamasaburo. Transsexual makeup and kimono.

Bando Tamasaburo is the world’s most feted onnagata, or male actor who plays female parts in Kabuki theater. His physical beauty, grace, and subtle expression are mesmerizing to watch:

Japanese kabuki clown and demon masks, stage theater costumes. Crossdressing Japanese, man wearing geisha costume or outfit, Tokyo kabuki plays, Bando Tamasaburo. Gold flowers kimono.

Born in 1950, Bando Tamasaburo has been a Kabuki artist since childhood. A Renaissance man (or woman), he designs his own sets and costumes, performs in every genre from Shakespeare to dance, and collaborates with Western artists such as Yo-Yo Ma. I hope I’ll be able to see him perform live someday.

Hope you’re having a lovely and lazy Sunday! Speaking of male artists in white facepaint… there’s a mega-giveaway involving Marilyn Manson coming up on this site… you don’t want to miss it. (Add me on Twitter so that you’ll be the first to know.)

Song of the Day #137: Bardo Tamasaburo – “Orochi” (Great Serpent)

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30 Comments

  1. Posted June 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    I just saw the pictures and the video you posted..AMAZING!*____*

  2. Posted June 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    :D Sooo inspiring. I really want to see this in person.

  3. Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I just saw the pictures and the video you posted..AMAZING!*____*

    • Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      :D Sooo inspiring. I really want to see this in person.

  4. Posted June 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    wow, that interesting :D

    MARILYN MANSON! neat

  5. Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    wow, that interesting :D

    MARILYN MANSON! neat

  6. Posted June 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I know Tamasaburo-sama.
    He is ten times more graceful and thrilling that any woman will ever be!

  7. Posted June 8, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    nice…intereseting

  8. Posted June 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    bando tamasaburo rulz…
    just love him…

  9. Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I know Tamasaburo-sama.
    He is ten times more graceful and thrilling that any woman will ever be!

  10. Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    nice…intereseting

  11. Posted June 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    bando tamasaburo rulz…
    just love him…

  12. Posted June 9, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Very cool, I really enjoyed the video. Its also interesting to think my dad is Bando's age, would have a completely different childhood for me ^^.

    Also I have seen Yo-Yo Ma in person thanks to Columbia College, I was right up front as he performed and then spoke with us (actually he only played one song the rest was speaking with us).

  13. Posted June 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Ah, no way! I went to Columbia, and they were always great about inviting performers.

  14. Posted June 9, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I should clarify I didn't go to school there (although yes I've noticed you've typed it a few times). Since becoming a teaching in Manhattan I've gone to Columbia a few times for workshops/presentations etc. If I go for another Masters or higher its on my list of possible schools (a huge change in mindset from my 'cheaper, faster, better' approach for undergrad, or my 'good but affordable' grad school method).

  15. Posted June 10, 2009 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Very cool, I really enjoyed the video. Its also interesting to think my dad is Bando’s age, would have a completely different childhood for me ^^.

    Also I have seen Yo-Yo Ma in person thanks to Columbia College, I was right up front as he performed and then spoke with us (actually he only played one song the rest was speaking with us).

    • Posted June 10, 2009 at 1:08 am | Permalink

      Ah, no way! I went to Columbia, and they were always great about inviting performers.

      • Posted June 10, 2009 at 1:48 am | Permalink

        I should clarify I didn’t go to school there (although yes I’ve noticed you’ve typed it a few times). Since becoming a teaching in Manhattan I’ve gone to Columbia a few times for workshops/presentations etc. If I go for another Masters or higher its on my list of possible schools (a huge change in mindset from my ‘cheaper, faster, better’ approach for undergrad, or my ‘good but affordable’ grad school method).

  16. Posted June 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    He's fantastic!

  17. Posted June 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    He’s fantastic!

  18. Posted June 30, 2009 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    BaNdo Tamasaburo, not Bardo. Please check your sources better if you're publishing something online.

  19. Posted June 30, 2009 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I'm glad you told me. I don't know how I made that typo! Edited. :)

  20. Posted July 1, 2009 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    BaNdo Tamasaburo, not Bardo. Please check your sources better if you’re publishing something online.

    • Posted July 1, 2009 at 3:07 am | Permalink

      Wow, I’m glad you told me. I don’t know how I made that typo! Edited. :)

  21. Posted September 15, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I heard about their show, but never have had an experience to see one yet. I heard that they take ghostly make-ups. Is that true? Their costumes are long, but look nice on them.

  22. Posted September 16, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I heard about their show, but never have had an experience to see one yet. I heard that they take ghostly make-ups. Is that true? Their costumes are long, but look nice on them.

  23. Posted September 16, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    I heard about their show, but never have had an experience to see one yet. I heard that they take ghostly make-ups. Is that true? Their costumes are long, but look nice on them.

  24. Posted February 14, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    …so beautiful. The elegance stole me and the simple movement of white cranes clinging to the little moonlight that shly peeks thru the night clouds lives in her gestures. I miss Japan very much. Thanks for sharing this video.

  25. Posted February 14, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    …so beautiful. The elegance stole me and the simple movement of white cranes clinging to the little moonlight that shly peeks thru the night clouds lives in her gestures. I miss Japan very much. Thanks for sharing this video.

  26. Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    osome……………..great actor…………….

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