The creator of kabuki theatre; an attendant at the Izumo shrine. In 1603 she assembled shrine maidens in the dry river-bed of the Kamo, near Kyoto, and created a new style as an offshoot of noh theatre and nembutsu odori temple dancing, but with freer dancing and singing: this was given the name of kabuki 'strange, unbalanced'.

This quickly became a popular lower- and middle-class entertainment, but was regarded with great suspicion by the shogunate. In 1608 the troupes were ordered out of the town of Kyoto, and they settled in the ukiyo, the "floating world". As the acting was accompanied by a great deal of prostitution, female performance was banned by the Shogun in 1629.

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