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Kagema (陰間) were male entertainers and sex workers – usually teenagers; often quite a bit older but made up to look like adolescents – in Edo period Japan whose clients were largely adult men.

Some kagema were kabuki actors who moonlighted as prostitutes. For them, the stage frequently became an opportunity to advertise their charms; audiences frequently became rowdy and brawls occasionally broke out over the favours of a particularly handsome young actor.[citation needed] This contributed to the shogunate's clamping down on kabuki in 1652.


  • Tsuneo Watanabe and Jun'ichi Iwata, The Love of the Samurai: a thousand years of Japanese homosexuality GMP Publishers, London, 1989; passimTemplate:Japan-hist-stub


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