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Asian Art Calendar of Events

Monday, April 15, 2024


Exhibition Public - USA & Canada

Staging the Supernatural: Ghosts and the Theater in Japanese Prints

Smithsonian Institution
1050 Independence Ave. SW,
Washington, USA
Mar 23, 2024 To Oct 06, 2024


Detail: Throughout Japanese cultural history, the boundary between the real world and the world of supernatural beings has been remarkably porous. Certain sites, states of mind, or periods in the lunar cycle made humans particularly vulnerable to ghostly intervention. The Edo period (1603–1868) was a crucial stage in the development and solidification of ideas about the supernatural. Many of the beliefs that gained currency at this time are still held as conventional wisdom in Japan today.

Supernatural entities came to life especially during noh and kabuki theater performances. Explore—if you dare—the roles that ghosts and spirits play in the retelling of Japanese legends and real events. Staging the Supernatural brings together a collection of vibrant, colorful woodblock prints and illustrated books depicting the specters that haunt these two theatrical traditions.

Phone No.: 202.633.1000
Contact Email: [email protected]
Site URL: https://asia.si.edu/whats-on/exhibitions/staging-the-supernatural/



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