Japanese actor who took Kabuki to the world dies at 57

TOKYO Wed Dec 5, 2012 11:46am IST

Japanese Kabuki actor Nakamura Kanzaburo (L) of the Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre performs during a dress rehearsal for the 'Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka' in Berlin May 14, 2008. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Files

Japanese Kabuki actor Nakamura Kanzaburo (L) of the Tokyo's Heise Nakamura-za theatre performs during a dress rehearsal for the 'Summer Festival: A Mirror of Osaka' in Berlin May 14, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch/Files

Related Topics

TOKYO (Reuters) - One of Japan's top kabuki actors, who worked hard to modernise the centuries-old theatre form and performed around the world, died on Wednesday after a five-month battle with cancer, Japanese media repored.

Kanzaburo Nakamura, 57, was born to a family of longstanding performers in the ancient kabuki theatre - known for elaborate make-up, extravangant costumes and all-male casts - and began performing at the age of three.

He sought to modernise kabuki, which dates back 400 years, and to introduce Western audiences to the colourful art form through packed performances in New York, Paris and Berlin.

"I love Kabuki and it's a good thing I love it. If I hadn't loved it, I would have just gone mad, given the family I was born to," he told Reuters in 2008 before a performance in Berlin.

Diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in June, he underwent surgery a month later but contracted pneumonia and was in and out of hospital after that, with women's magazines following his illness closely.

Born Noriaki Namino, he took the stage name of Kankuro Nakamura at his first performance, and then officially inherited the revered stage name Kanzaburo Nakamura in 2005, becoming the 18th person to bear it. (Reporting by Olivier Fabre at Reuters Television; Editing by Elaine Lies and Ron Popeski)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

ENTERTAINMENT SHOWCASE

Drugs Offence

Drugs Offence

China prosecutor approves arrest of Jackie Chan's son on drug charge.  Full Article 

A Minute With

A Minute With

Ethan Hawke on lessons from Robin Williams.  Full Article 

Season Opener

Season Opener

Rihanna, CBS bench opening number for Thursday football.   Full Article 

Tanovic Speaks

Tanovic Speaks

Emran Hashmi is a decent, calm guy: Tanovic.  Full Article 

Another Stunt

Another Stunt

Daredevil Nik Wallenda to walk over portion of Chicago skyline.  Full Article 

Activist DiCaprio

Activist DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio named U.N. messenger of peace for climate.  Full Article 

'High' Days

'High' Days

Singer Robin Thicke says was high during 'Blurred Lines' breakout year.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage