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From the more simplistic costumes, makeup and performances of Pansori (판소리) meaning ”Gathering place” or “varying sound” from Korea to the elaborate, colorful, and vibrant costumes, makeup, and performances we see in Kabuki (歌舞伎) which means “Song-Dance Skill” or “Bizarre Theatre” from Japan and Jīngjù/Jīngxì (京剧/京戏) or Beijing/Peking Opera or “Theatre of the Capital” from China. These beloved Eastern Asian Theatres are a treasure for each country being the embodiment of aesthetic ideals, and a bridge to connect people of many different cultures. These traditional performances with similar origins in religious practices or other culture celebrations such as a bountiful harvest are enjoyed by the common people of their own country and many others. Eastern Asian theatre became a cultural heritage, bringing national unity with these precious traditions creating a way of life and economic stability for many. Being able to compare the different types of Eastern Asian Theatre specifically from China, Japan, and Korea as they relate to each other as well as western theatre gives us an important cultural glimpse into how similar and different they are and at the same time allows us to have a deeper appreciation for them, those of different cultures, and inspires us to keep learning, and growing as we celebrate each other.

Publication Date



Logan, UT


East Asia, theatre, culture


Asian Studies | Latin American Studies

Unmasked: A Comparative Glimpse Into East Asian Theatre