Dating from the early 17th century, Kabuki is one of Japan's oldest and most spectacular artforms. It is a highly-stylized performing art with magnificent sets, flamboyant costumes, elaborate make up and live music played on traditional instruments.
Ichikawa Ebizo XI is arguably the greatest young star of Kabuki, with film-star looks and the consumate skill required to perform both male and female (onnegata) roles. His first visit to London's Sadler's Wells Theatre in 2006 was hugely popular with audiences and critics alike; a success he has emulated in Paris, Amsterdam and Monte Carlo.
In June 2010, Ebizo returned to London to perform extracts from the epic play "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", including one of the most famous scenes in all of Kabuki, "Shi-no-Kiri".