Kabuki Character Mask, Japan Expo - Kabuki is a traditional Japanese form of theater developed during the Edo Period. Kabuki is rich in showmanship and involves elaborately designed costumes, outlandish wigs, extraordinary makeup and exaggerated actions performed by the actors. Highly stylized movements convey meaning to the audience; this is especially important since an old-fashioned form of Japanese is typically used, which is difficult for speakers of modern Japanese to fully understand. Plots are based on historical events, moral conflicts, love stories, tales of tragedy of conspiracy, and other well-known stories. Dynamic stage sets: revolving platforms and trapdoors allow for the quick changing of a scene or the appearance or disappearance of actors. Another specialty of the kabuki stage is a footbridge that leads through the audience, allowing for a dramatic entrance or exit. Ambiance is aided with live music performed using traditional instruments. These elements combine to produce a stunning performance. Kabuki is recognized as one of Japan's three major classical theaters along with noh and bunraku, and has been named as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.