Kabuki is a classical form of Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for its heavily-stylised performances, the often-glamorous costumes worn by performers, and for the elaborate kumadori make-up worn by some of its performers.
Kabuki is thought to have originated in the very early Edo period, when founder Izumo no Okuni formed a female dance troupe who performed dances and light sketches in Kyoto. The art form later developed into its present all-male theatrical form after women were banned from performing in kabuki theatre in 1629. Kabuki developed throughout the late 17th century and reached its zenith in the mid-18th century.
In 2005, Kabuki theatre was proclaimed by UNESCO as an intangible heritage possessing outstanding universal value. In 2008, it was inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The kabuki stage features a projection called a hanamichi (flower path), a walkway which extends into the audience and via which dramatic entrances and exits are made. Okuni also performed on a hanamichi stage with her entourage. The stage is used not only as a walkway or path to get to and from the main stage, but important scenes are also played on the stage.
Shūmei (name succession) are grand naming ceremonies held in kabuki theatres in front of the audience. Most often, a number of actors will participate in a single ceremony, taking on new stage-names. Their participation in a shūmei represents their passage into a new chapter of their performing careers.
Kabuki actors are typically part of a school of acting, or are associated with a particular theatre.
According to wikipedia.org