LucireThe global fashion magazine February 28, 2024  Subscribe to the Lucire Insider feed
Subscribe to Lucire
latest news | fashion | beauty | living | volante | print and tablet | tv
home | community | shopping | license | contact

Lucire: Living

Lucire 2012
Frédéric Aranda

The production begins Kabuki actor Onoe Kikunosuke V entering the stage at the Barbican for Yukio Ninagawa’s adaptation of Twelfth Night.

Revealing the secrets of kabuki

Fashion and celebrity photographer Frédéric Aranda gets unprecedented access to Japan’s secretive kabuki theatre, showing his works in a charity exhibition in London next month. Yuka Murai reports
photographed by FrÉdÉric Aranda


Above Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo XI in 2006 at Sadler’s Wells, before going on stage to play Yoemon in Kasane. Bottom Ebizo getting ready backstage at Sadler’s Wells to play in Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden).


From capturing American comedian Ben Stiller, Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, former US president Bill Clinton, to the faces of high fashion artistry, Paul Smith and Yohji Yamamoto, award-winning portrait and fashion photographer Frédéric Aranda now unveils the backstage secrets of kabuki. Aranda captures the first glimpses in its 400 years of history, images which have never before appeared in the world, not even in Japan.

Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance–drama created around 1600. Its individual characters of kabuki in kanji (the adopted logographic Chinese characters) means sing–dance–skill, often translated into ‘the art of singing and dancing’. The modern version of kabuki is well ingrained to the country’s new generation and, to an extent, in the western world. ‘All the visual aspects of the kimono, the make-up, the wigs, the set design and I think all of this has huge artistic value to us in the west—it’s a totally new perspective,’ says Aranda, describing its relevance.

Aranda was granted to access the secret backstage and rehearsal scenes of kabuki theatres, capturing a stunning set of images of the art’s brightest young actors over the last five years. Aranda recalls this experience: ‘It was a magical time in my life … To be able to dive into another culture through their theatre was a unique opportunity.’

Now his photographic exhibition about this unknown world is on its way to London.

The exhibition will be held at the Hospital Club in London, from March 9 to 16, 2012, as an official pre-launch event to the Japan Festival 2012 in London, organized by Japan in time for the London Olympics. The aim is to show Japan’s appreciation to the world for its support after the Great North Japan Earthquake and Tsunami last year. Sponsors include Fujifilm, and Genesis Laboratory. All proceeds from this exhibition will go to the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund. •


For more information about this event, go to the Hospital Club at For more information about Frédéric Aranda, visit his website at


‘It was a magical time in my life … To be able to dive into another culture through their theatre was a unique opportunity’





Yuka Murai of YM Biz & Media is a correspondent for Lucire.



Related articles
Lucire 2012 | The Global Fashion Magazine Double strength in Tokyo
After having the earlier event cancelled due to a devastating earthquake and tsunami, Mercedes-Benz Japan Fashion Week came back with extra pizazz, as Yuka Murai reports
Lucire 2012 | The Global Fashion Magazine Graziano Ferrari: at the top of his game
Thomas Salme talks to photographer Graziano Ferrari, who was there when Milano launched its first fashion shows
photographed by Graziano Ferrari
Lucire 2011 | The Global Fashion Magazine Hollywood through the ages
Getty Images Gallery takes us through Tinsel Town’s last 100 years
photographs courtesy of Getty Images




Facebook Lucire Facebook group
Digg This Digg it | Add to Facebook Add to Facebook
Follow Lucire on Pinterest







Copyright ©1997–2014 by JY&A Media, a division of Jack Yan & Associates. All rights reserved. JY&A terms and conditions and privacy policy apply to viewing this site. All prices in US dollars except where indicated. Contact us here.